How are believers different

In this regular feature, Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here’s this week’s question: “Dear Dave and Tom: Please don’t think this is a self-righteous kind of question. I know I fall short of where I ought to be with the Lord all too often, yet it grieves me deeply to see Christian families suffering the same consequences as unbelieving families. Divorces are rampant, children are doing their own thing, believers are turning to psychotropic drugs at the same rate as the lost, and the list, comparable with the world, goes on and on. Do you see any turn around or hope for real repentance ahead?”

Tom: My heart goes out to this person, and I put myself in the same position. We talk about these things, but it’s got to begin with me looking in the mirror spiritually in the morning and figuring out where I am. But I think, in order to have a turnaround, the church has got to get back to the Word of God and trust in the Lord and obey. Somehow, a lot of Christians profess to be trusting in the Lord, but obeying seems to fall way short of what they need to do with their families in their own situations.

Dave: Well, Tom, it reminds me of a hymn—of course, the old hymns have been thrown out of the hymn books; the old hymns that have something to say, and they have been replaced with 7/11 songs, seven words repeated eleven times, go over and over and over, very shallow. I’m not saying in every case, but an awful lot of that has gone on out there. But what you said reminds me of an old hymn: “When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on our way. While we do His good will, He abides with us still, and to all who will trust and obey.” Then the chorus: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

You have to know his Word, we have to obey it. We were just talking about it last night at prayer meeting, our little fellowship. Actually, I think the latest statistics, there’s a higher rate of divorce among people who call themselves Christians than in the world, and I have probably said it many times. I can remember in high school, I knew one person, I think I may have known of one other, whose parents were divorced. That was in the early ‘40s. That was quite a large high school, maybe 1,500 kids. Because even in the world, you didn’t do that. You didn’t violate your promise—you stood before witnesses, and you said, I will, you know, “until death do us part,” and then, because you can’t get along with one another or something, then you break that solemn vow. Even the world recognized you didn’t do that. They would say “A man’s word is his bond.” And there were bankers—you didn’t sign a document They had a hand shake with this old farmer, who was as reliable, you know, and the Bible talks about those who “swear to their own hurt and change not.” If I made a promise, even though it’s going to cost me, the cost of not keeping my promise would be a greater loss to my character than losing whatever money this might be, etc., and I will stand good to my word.

So, it is a tragedy. Now, is it going to get better? I mean, parents don’t get along with children anymore. I don’t recall those kind of problems. I don’t recall anybody that I knew, of friends bad-mouthing their parents or being rebellious, etc.. If somebody had sex with the opposite sex before they were married, I mean, that was a scandal! It was just unbelievable that anyone would stoop to that, you know.

But, we’ve come a long ways, because we’ve gotten away from the Word of God. We’ve thrown God out of our schools. Remember the little—where was it? Columbine School? And you remember somebody that wrote in a little note in the paper, “God, where were you at Columbine?” And, then somebody put a response from God, “Yes, you threw me out.” We’ve thrown God out of our schools. We’ve thrown Him out of our public life and certain ones pretend to honor Him and go to church, but then disobey the Word of God, have the same standards as the world, watch the same TV shows, watch the same movies, you know, R-rated movies—Christians don’t seem to have a problem going there. We have just abandoned God, abandoned His Word, and it’s not going to get better, Tom.

Tom: Well, Dave, I don’t see how it can, because for all of the things with the schools, etc., in the world, it really begins in the home. And, when we have Christians who are not applying God’s Word in their homes and among their children, children, when they grow up, they’re accountable and responsible to God, but we have them for a time. If we have, and it looks like we have, missed what we needed to do at home, well, the next generation, I don’t see how it can get better. It just doesn’t add up.

Dave: And that brings us to what Jesus said: “When the Son of Man returns, will He find the faith on the earth?”

Tom: Now, the faith will be there, but people doing it—they’re hearers of the word, but not doers. I think that’s a major part of the problem.

Dave: Yeah. Christians are supposed to have the Word of God. We don’t have time for me to fumble through and find it, but you know back there in Deuteronomy 6, it talks about the law. And this law, you will bind it in your heart, actually. You will meditate upon it day and night, as you walk in the way you will meditate upon it. You will teach your children. You will talk about it with your family. And then you will prosper, God says. Well, you can’t even have the 10 Commandments in a courtroom anymore. We’ve thrown God out. We’re like the Soviet Union was 80 years ago, and they realize now they want God in their schools. And, we’re where they were, throwing it out, becoming and atheistic country, but worst of all pretending to believe in God because we still have on our coins “In God We Trust.”

Tom: Dave, one last point. We’re not trying to say there’s no hope. But, it’s got to begin in each heart to get back to the Word of God and to be doers of God’s Word and not hearers only. Trust and obey.