Monday, September 11, 2006

APOSTASY: What the world now calls backsliding!

GOING BLIND SILENTLY: [Proverbs 29:18a]
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.
Without warning, Jane Berry's father went blind in one eye; the cause was glaucoma. He immediately encouraged his 26-year-old daughter to be tested; she was shocked to learn she also had the eye disease.

Often called "tunnel vision," glaucoma destroys peripheral or side vision. It's caused by a build-up of fluid pressure inside the eye; the eye can't tolerate the pressure, so the main nerve transmitting vision to the brain is damaged. The change is so subtle that by the time a person realizes they have a problem, it's usually too late. Sort of like the proverbial frog in the kettle.

Estimates suggest over 67 million people have glaucoma globally, of whom nearly seven million will go blind owing to late diagnosis or inadequate treatment.

Glaucoma is now the second most common cause of vision loss worldwide and a major factor in car and pedestrian accidents. Doctors urge everyone over 40 to be tested, especially now that a new more effective treatment, with fewer side effects, can help people with glaucoma. One drop per day reduces eye pressure in up to 90 percent of patients who submit to the treatments.

Although it hasn't occur without "warning," the body of Christ is suffering from a similar and untreated problem with its vision. Many, especially the young, truly believe it won't happen to them. The Bible warns, "Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained."

Is there any longer any doubt that "the people are unrestrained"? A people can’t lay hold of the "hope set before [them]" [Hebrews 6:18; cf. Philippians 3:14] if they don't have a vision for that hope. In fact, neither you nor your church can move forward without vision.

Often called "backsliding," apostasy destroys faith and practice. It is brought about by a hardening of the heart. An undernourished heart can't stand secular pressure, so the link between the heart and the mind is damaged. The change is so subtle that by the time a person or church senses the problem they are already apostate. In many cases, we can watch as the Body goes silently blind.

Estimates are that over three quarters of the church in America is has lost its vision, of which more than half are virtual apostates. Sin is the primary cause of apostasy and is the leading cause of individual and family failures in this land.

Since September 11, 2006, church leaders throughout the land have been pleading with the people to get treatment. It's free! The treatment is simple, go to the Word and nourish the heart.

Estimates are that 75 percent of those who do will be cured; the remaining 25 percent can't be cured because they don't have apostasy, they suffer from unbelief. But, Praise the Lord, there's a cure for unbelief also, and it is free! [Ephesians 2:8]

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