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GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 2: The Attack of the Midianites]

So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the LORD. [Judges 6:6]

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For those of you who read Part 1 of this series, which is a prerequisite for Part 2 and future segments, you know we concluded on kind of a down note with an ending left hanging in the air. Therefore, the preceding quote from Judges 6:6, in standing on its own, will not convey the true meaning of this chapter or how it came to be that the Midianites took power and control over the Israelites. How did a heathen tribe of people opposing God take authority over the people of God?

For this, which I listed at the end of Part 1, we return to the opening verse of the Book of Judges Chapter 6:

Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD gave them into the hands of Midian seven years. [Judges 6:1]

And there you have it. The reason Midian rushed in and caused untold havoc over the Israelites is because God gave them authority over His own people to do that very thing. I could spend the next several paragraphs explaining this in much detail but in this instance it is better to simply get to the heart of the problem: The Israelites turned their back on God. They violated their covenant with God. They removed themselves from the yoke of God. They no longer wanted to be yoked together with a gentle God humble in heart in an easy yoke with a light burden that blessed them with peace, safety, and plenty. They rebelled against God and for planting the seed of rebellion against Him Israel got rebellion right back in its face.

So even though in one sense God gave them over to the Midianites, in another sense He allowed it because He could not do much about their obstinate choice anyway. In short, His covenant demands His people do their part and when Israel no longer did its part the nation opened up a door toward destruction. However, it wasn’t simple laziness and non-adherence to an agreement by both parties, but a wholesale turning away from holiness and the upright lifestyle they pledged to lead. They went from doing right to doing evil. That is quite the precipitous drop and a total breach of faithfulness, fidelity, and proper conduct.

In Part 1 I related this to what has been happening in America over the last many decades. American Christianity has gone from having much influence to having much less and rather than setting the standard of righteousness has largely adopted the mores of the culture. Of course, Christianity in America has always had its blind spots and a decided tendency to live according to extra-Biblical mandates rather than solely by the fullness of the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus but even then had a relatively high level of righteous conduct especially compared to other belief systems in this world. American Christianity has historically existed as salt and light and a preservative of the overall culture. Some will undoubtedly take offense at that yet the teachings of the Lord Jesus have no equal. No other belief system comes close regarding one’s responsibility toward God and one another. What other “religion” or belief system in the world adheres to the following enriching teachings of peace and love?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” [Matthew 5:43-45]

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” [Matthew 6:24-25]

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ [Matthew 22:36-39]

“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” [Luke 6:31-37]

In Part I of this series I mentioned Wokism as the antithesis to the Great Awakening. In the above latter verse of Scripture from Luke’s Gospel we see that a central tenet of the Woke is the very opposite of what the Lord taught. Cancel culture is all about destroying people, judging people, and condemning people. There is no actual love or mercy there. Not only are the Lord’s preceding teachings poles apart regarding generally accepted standards of human behavior, they are also obviously difficult to carry out. Real enemies are those who hate another and find another despicable and assign blame to others even though such others are often innocent parties. Group think is such that those who prescribe to it lower their otherwise normal relations with their fellow man and latch onto hateful behavior thinking it is justified. But the Lord’s teachings never allow for any of this. And even if one’s enemy is guilty it doesn’t change the Lord’s overall intent. His standard is the same in all circumstances and reduced down to the simple but very direct it becomes the following:

“Love your enemies.”

“Serve God, not wealth.”

“Love God. Love your neighbor.”

“Treat people the way you want to be treated.”

“Do not judge or condemn, but pardon.”

It is apparent that, prior to Judges 6:1, the ancient nation of Israel was doing these things at least in part but enough to satisfy God in that they were putting forth effort and actually succeeding. In fact, prior to the Midianite invasion in verse 6:1, Israel had a long time of peace, protection, and prosperity. Here is the verse immediately before:

And the land was undisturbed for forty years. [Judges 5:31]  

Israel had been doing very good. The land was at rest. There was no fear. One can relate Israel’s behavior on either a large or small scale. It is indicative of countries, nations, and large groups on the one hand but also of small groups, immediate families, and even individuals on the other. God’s standard is always the same. By being in covenant with Him it gives us the greatest chance to live right, be righteous, and engage in righteousness. Without that connection one will undoubtedly fall under the sway of human authority rather than God’s authority. Since human authority has historically been seasoned with fear to varying degrees in that a fearful populace is much easier to control and manipulate, the replacement of God’s authority with human authority is often driven by fear. Humans fear that which they cannot control whether it’s an invasion or a disease. And unless they manifest trust in God they must place their trust elsewhere. The following passage illustrates this:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. [1John 4:18-21]   

Humanity without the Lord Jesus is a lost cause. Human beings are sinful fallen creatures always coming up short of what they could be otherwise. We only have multiple reams of documentation and libraries full of sinful and disgusting human activity on this planet for multiple millennia to prove it true. As another indication that things have gotten progressively worse, approximately 200 million people were killed in the prior century, not counting abortions, and most of these by human governments. These governments were obviously acting outside the will of God and in direct rebellion against Him.

Though previously successful in living for God with the spiritual fruit to show the world, Israel had simply quit trying. God blessed them for forty years, and it could have been effectively forever. The nation apparently grew bored with righteousness and reached a point of weakness when it could no longer resist temptation. The people then went full bore into disobedience and wholesale into sin. That which was healthy started becoming rotten. And that which grew rotten, though not yet completely rotted away and therefore still possibly turned around and saved, needed a stimulus in a positive direction. Since their pride was such that they would no longer bend their knees in prayer and get on their faces before God they would have to be driven there for their own good and the good of the nation into the future. Perhaps the wholesale slaughter of their newly-embraced evil lifestyle would get their attention. In this case, the nation of the Midianites would serve as a corrective and the means to get Israel back on the right track before it committed national suicide.

So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the LORD. Now it came about when the sons of Israel cried to the LORD on account of Midian, that the LORD sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘It was I who brought you up from Egypt and brought you out from the house of slavery. I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land, and I said to you, “I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not obeyed Me.”’” [Judges 6:6-10] [1]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 1: Take My Yoke Upon You]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 3: Introducing Gideon]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 4: Destroying Spiritual Strongholds]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 5: Make Your Calling and Election Sure]

AMERICA IS BEING RITUALED: STAY SPIRITUAL!

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What you must be concentrating on is your life as a Christian. Closer to the Lord we must be. Believe more. Pray more. Fence-sitting is over.

The majority of Christians in America have always gotten by being nominal, dutiful, spiritually standoffish, half-hearted, and insistent on a non-walk perceived as a real walk. At least one foot is forever firmly planted (in concrete) in this passing world, the other being ensconced in one’s Christian world, likely faux. If by chance one of these legs continues freestyling or left to dangling it must be compartmentalized post haste and will be as soon as some outside force forces an event-related or circumstance-based directive to put it where they say put it. And once both legs are fully spoken for walking only where directed, how must one Via Con Dios? Freedom is over.

The appearance of such remains promulgated, though, regardless of zombie status guised as good guy, and image is everything (of course). Keeping up appearances being a dutiful doofus trumps that overrated swimming upstream thing. Who needs that? Better to not only watch the river flow but jump in and flow with it. Looking free is better than being free. The important thing is getting on in life. The top priority is not the Lord Jesus and can never be. If such would be so it would involve far too drastic a change and can thus never be so. My social status would suffer. I might actually have to think. Better to take one’s chances and get along in the here and now and worry about that eternity stuff later.

GRAB YOUR CROSS. WHAT?

And now, for a cataclysmic jump into spiritual reality, why do most Christians shun cross-carrying? For starters, as previously alluded, there be one’s family religion. One is born with it and born into it with no say so. Most such are not New Covenant much but on-the-shelf variations. It’s like a movie loosely based on a book. To maintain family unity one must stay within it.

Then there is family culture. This must be maintained. We all come from a long line of many people doing certain things and most doings don’t include the only doing that matters which is doing His will. Now, maybe your family got it right. That’s great. Maybe you come from a long line of Spirit-filled giants who spent their lives changing the world for God. If this is true then pardon moi and continue on. Otherwise…

Then the money monster must be dealt with. This guy puts the slave in slave master. Forget enjoyable work. It may work for a few. Most must use force and force-fit a fit without having one which would be tricky if one had time to consider it. The time comes when economic pressure coerces adherence to whatever one must do for money and one’s beliefs must never threaten this. If the people on the job expect a certain mindset and attitude and one is pressured to conform then one must conform or income and lifestyle will be threatened. Call it a form of selling your soul or owing your soul to the company store which means God can’t have my soul. Tennessee Ernie told me so and he’s the one who spent every day loading sixteen tons so he must know.

I could go on. Most people adhere to tradition to the point of absolute close-mindedness even if their tradition is some variation of low-key, apathetic Que Sera Sera in which they don’t believe much or care much. It’s amazing how much they care, however, once this Joe Cool approach is perceived to be threatened by someone with the man-ups to actually witness. Then Joe goes Volcano. It reminds me of this:

“Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” And when the people heard this bad news, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the children of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. I could come up into your midst in one moment and consume you. Now therefore, take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do to you.’” [Exodus 33:3-5]

TEARING YOU DOWN TO BUILD YOU UP

This is best done in as much of a self-administered and agreeable fashion as possible if at all possible in that full submission to the Lord gets it done faster and better and requires far fewer checkups for further fine tuning. Putting this in a spiritual context, God doesn’t have so much respect for our traditions and excuses and feet-in-concrete reasons to steer clear of actual discipleship. But tell a man he must ruin his life by obeying the unconstitutional draft board, submit to some loud mouth idiot for two months, subject one’s entire life including thoughts and soul to a soldier-making process, go to some distant suckwind country and get maimed or killed and, well, that’s different. It’s different because they’ll throw you in jail and make your life and your entire future even worse if you don’t. And also, everyone will think you’re as yellow as a cob of corn. Can’t have that.

This is why joining up with the Lord for His full program must be strictly voluntary. So right off the bat most will never join. Why? Well, (1) There is no force involved and (2) The world will think one is a total idiot. And then one will have to live life swimming upstream against the grain with a proverbial monkey ensconced on back. Most can never subject themselves to such unless forced to, and many do subject themselves to force of course whatever the force, embracing “May the Force Be With You,” but never His force. Yet the Lord, actually, will never use force and thus most are off the hook and will eventually willingly jump into Fire Lake as the credits roll. Wimps every one. Totally unworthy of the Lord. Don’t let the screen door hit you on the butt on your way out.  

WHAT MEANETH THIS?

It means the PTB have gained such control they are playing the majority like a Stradivarius. The devil is a good liar. He convinces most people to not be Christians and most Christians to not be serious. Big Brother sends daily directives to the talking heads who relay the message dutifully and most believe every word and obey or the cleaned brains will trash you to no end for declining DA indoctrination. I would think that most Christians should thus see that the Lord has made the choice very easy and that dropping one’s nets and never looking back is the perfect antidote to crazyworlditis. He cures our ills, gives us everything we need, and blesses us with great spiritual careers walking purely in faith. And then there’s the retirement benefits, which, as the slogan says, are out of this world.

They can attempt to ritual His people all they want but it will never take. Real Christians are above the clouds looking through them due to gifted eyes seeing His spiritual reality which exposes the fake one. They are off the merry-go-round forever. I like this plan.

21 At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.

22 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

23 Turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see,

24 For I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them.” [Luke 10:21-24] [1]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Americans Deciding with Their Feet: The Ongoing Exodus from Traditional Christianity (1)

         Several years ago, an elder relative was bemoaning the state of his traditional church. “It’s nothing but a few old people,” he said.

         Of course, he was one of the old people. The church was dying.

         This phenomenon has been happening all across the country for several decades now, as traditional churches fight to maintain their existence while also fighting to resist any change for the better.

         In big metropolitan areas the problem is not perceived as much since many churches manage to keep the pews full. The problem, however, remains. It does not go away simply by increasing or maintaining attendance, because many of these churchgoers are mere new transplants from elsewhere or the next generation of existing families. There are extremely few new converts in these places.

         Regarding the next generation, a new Pew Research Center report  reveals that only 27% of Younger Millennials attend religious services on a weekly basis. Younger Millennials are American adults born after 1990:

         “As older cohorts of adults (comprised mainly of self-identified Christians) pass away, they are being replaced by a new cohort of young adults who display far lower levels of attachment to organized religion than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations did when they were the same age.” [1]

         For the past twenty-five years I have been writing and teaching about this subject, and warning that American Christianity’s insistence on maintaining a dying status quo would cost it severely in the future. Few listen. Many who are listening have been deciding with their feet, regardless of any warnings. They decide to leave because American Christianity has been dying a slow death for many decades. They notice this phenomenon, as those with vision notice any obvious institutional pretense, in that the ones who buy into a false, unsustainable, and dying method are blind to its relatively short life expectancy.

         American Christianity of the twentieth century had devolved into saying one thing and doing another as standard operating procedure. It had adopted the enterprising spirit of the times, in that success was measured in the same terms that businesses and professional sports teams are measured—there must be backsides in the pews and the backsides must have healthy wallets.

         For those who did not have the wherewithal, as did the Catholics and large Protestant denominations, to build large buildings to house their flocks, some new Christian enterprises bought giant tents and moved them from city to city.

         Regardless of what appeared on the surface as decidedly different approaches to Christianity and completely different belief systems, the one thing that stayed constant was that “Christianity” must possess large containers (church buildings) and put large groups of people in the containers on a regular basis (congregations), and these people must be willing to support this non-Biblical concept monetarily.

         However, the Lord Jesus has always had a different plan—the right plan—and He began revealing much spiritual light in the very midst of, and against, the enterprising, false “Christian” revival which was based on the popular political propaganda of those times.

         It was in the bustling and burgeoning post-war 1950s when this populist form of American Christianity reached its peak, and it was toward the end of the 1950s when the Lord Jesus made His move toward real revival… [To Be Continued.]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] © 2015 Pew Research Center: U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious

The Deceived Majority (Part 2)

         How do we know we have been sold down the river by a bunch of lying greedy traitors? Here’s one little reason: [US Debt Clock]

         Now, take the Debt Clock and imagine a Sin Clock. Sin has been rising exponentially for a while now and will soon hit epic proportions. As a case in point, it was intriguing to me when I first read the Old Testament passage many years ago regarding the collective cultural sin of the Amorites:

         “Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.” [Genesis 15:16]

         The entire culture of certain Canaanite tribes was based on the most vile and disgusting sins. Yet, the Lord would say something to the effect, “Hold on, their sin has not yet reached its fullness. When it does I will judge them.” Or in other words, “I’ll exterminate ‘em and get their sorry filthy demonic hides off My planet.”

         But until their sin was full, there was always a chance of repentance. Once their cultural sin reached its zenith, however, there was no longer any chance for redemption. At that point, their minds and hearts had become totally depraved and they were hooked on sin 100% with no turning back.

         Will America ever reach such a point? One must do some gauging. One must compare the total national sin of today with the total national sin of fifty years ago and a hundred years ago. There has always been sin, but there has never been a time of such national sin and depravity as there is right now. Never.  

         We allow babies to be ripped apart piece by piece from the womb and it’s not a crime. The majority of the nation, THE MAJORITY, engages in every form of sexual sin known to man and most of it is not only not a crime, it’s not even considered immoral.

         Do we realize that the vast majority of Americans insist they are Christians? And do we understand that logically, it means all these “Christians” are the ones committing all these sins? Why do we think God is somehow okay with this? Who has been lying to the American people? Who is responsible for not bringing the necessary strong rebuke to get people back on track?

         Could it possibly be American “Christians” and “Christian” ministers of all denominations who have made friends with the world, with money, with fleshly pleasures, and with pride and prestige? Ya think? Could it be that most preachers talk a great game but deliver a bunch of shallow soup devoid of the sin-convicting and life-changing pure Word of God that the Lord Jesus delivered? Do we have pansies in the pulpit who may appear as strong and anointed messengers of God but are actually spiritually neutered generic pablum-producers that affect no real change of heart? Judging by the state of the country and American Christianity, this must be the case.

         The majority has turned its back on God.    

         Yet, people can believe any garbage they want to believe. Not only is this American, it’s the will of God, in that the Lord has granted to all the authority to choose. He encourages people to choose. He also encourages us to choose right, but He will never force our will.

         Do you realize what such portends for humanity? Do you know what is therefore really going on? It’s all part of a grand test. God wants to see who will be worthy. He gives us all a free will. He allows for temptation. Who will fall? Who will resist? Who will live for God? Who will do their best to get it right and try to live according to His revealed will and Word? Who will have the courage to continually overcome and fight back against evil?

         NOT THE MAJORITY. Except for possible brief moments, the Majority is almost always wrong, spiritually speaking. Always. In other words, if you want to run with the pack the odds are great you will lose your soul.

         Human life on this planet is therefore, in general terms, a Sinai desert experience:

         “All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers. You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

         “He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.

         “Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.

         “Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

         “He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.

         “Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. It shall come about if you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish. Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the LORD your God.” [Deuteronomy 8:1-20]

         Our Lord Jesus stated very clearly that only few will make it. Only a small minority will make it into the kingdom. Only a small minority will make it into heaven. Out of multiple thousands of those who followed the Lord during His ministry, only 120 made it to the Upper Room.

         “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:13-14] [1]

         Since this is the case, it logically follows that if one is to do the right thing, live for God, and successfully resist sin and temptation, one must TRY. One must put forth EFFORT. One must often put forth FULL EFFORT. One must overcome the rip tide of sin and rebellion and the strong tug of temptation. The grace of God is free, but the powerful forces of evil are always around, probing, tempting, compelling, and willing to deal.

         The majority falls for the devil’s lies every time. The majority is deceived and does not even know it.

         So what’s the solution? It’s the same as it’s always been. The miracle of America is that it was formerly a place where enough people were living for God and desired His authority that the entire country was on the right track. Real Christians were still a distinct minority on the planet, but many were concentrated on our shores.

         But as Christian morals and real faith in God has diminished, so has the state of the country. The only solution is turning back to God.

         And you know what? It’s actually happening…

           © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 3]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.