Program#L3—“The American Gospel, By The Numbers”

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Radio Show Transcript, 2001, Persuade TheWorld Ministries, Gordon James Klingenschmitt, Servant.  Copyingand distribution (without editing) is highly encouraged. 

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<Manymore transcripts and free MP3 radio shows CLICK HERE>

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Opening introduction by MarkMcWilliams…

Welcome and thank you for joining this radiobroadcast of Persuade The World Ministries.  You’reabout to hear our radio production of the book written and taughtby Gordon James Klingenschmitt, entitled “License To Sin,The Number One Reason America Is Losing Its MoralFoundation.”  If you call us in the next hour,we’ll mail you a free cassette tape of today’sbroadcast, which you can copy and give to your friends.  Justcall our toll-free phone number:  866-Obey-God.  That’stoll free, 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D.  Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt is a graduate of the United States Air ForceAcademy, and a seminary graduate of Regent University, holdingboth M.B.A. and Master of Divinity degrees.  He’s alsothe founder and servant of Persuade The World Ministries, a501(c3) tax-exempt religious non-profit corporation in ColoradoSprings, dedicated to persuading individuals in America andthroughout the world to forsake their sins and submit theirhearts and minds to the loving rulership of our Lord, JesusChrist.  And now with today’s teaching, here is GordonJames Klingenschmitt. 

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Teaching by Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt…

Thanks, Mark.  Now in our previousbroadcast, we discussed a particular heresy called Antinomianism. Do you remember that?  We said that antinomians are falseteachers who promote a false gospel, making repentance optional,and telling people they can sin as much as they please and stillgo to heaven.  After all, we’re in the age of gracenow, and God doesn’t have to rule our hearts.  Buttheir message of cheap grace is actually a false grace, and theypervert the grace message into a license for immorality.  Antinomianswrongly believe, as you recall from last week, that Jesus died onthe cross to pay for their sins, even while they continue toenjoy those sins.  They think they don’t have torepent, and they can still be saved and going to heaven. 

           But does God believe that lukewarm believers are saved and goingto heaven?  Let’s read Revelation chapter 3, verse 16. Here God says, “So then, because you are lukewarm, andneither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. You know, another word for antinomian is lukewarm.  Andlukewarm Christians are not Christians at all in God’s mind. God would rather they be cold than be lukewarm.  He’splanning to vomit Lukewarm Christians out of His mouth!  

           So we come to today’s segment, which is entitled “TheAmerican Gospel, By The Numbers.”  Now let me beginthis segment with a question.  You listening to me rightnow, answer this question:  Is America a Christian nation? Think about that.  I’m asking about America today. Would you say America is a Christian nation today, or are we nolonger a Christian nation?  What do you think?  I’mgoing to share some very surprising statistics today, to try toanswer that question.  And I think the stats I share willshow that Americans fall into three groups:  20, 60, and 20. 

           I propose, and I’ll prove this in a few minutes, that 20% ofAmericans are cold heathens, 60% of Americans are lukewarmunbelievers who think they’re Christians, and only 20% arehot, on-fire, true Christians.  Which of these threecategories best describes you?

           20, 60, or 20. 

           20% of Americans are Cold Heathens:  This group mightinclude atheists, murderers, thieves, adulterers, drug-dealers,radical homosexuals, witches, Satanists, and all who want nothingto do with Jesus Christ.  These people don’t profess tobe going to heaven when they die, and frankly they don’tcare.

           60% of Americans are in what I call the “hypocriticalmiddle,” that is they’re lukewarm unbelievers who thinkthey’re Christians.  They believe they’re going toheaven when they die, they go to church, they believe in Jesus,they may even believe that Jesus died on the cross for them, butwhen you ask them, “who is the boss of your life?”these people answer, “I am.”  Who governs yourspending choices?  “Me.”  Who tells you thedifference between right and wrong?  “Me.”  Whotells you how to run your life?  “I do.”

           These people describe themselves as Christians, but their heartsand minds are not surrendered to the rulership of Jesus Christ. They want God’s blessings, but don’t want to obey hiscommands.  I’ll prove in a few minutes that thislukewarm group represents perhaps 60 percent of the Americanpopulation.  

           Now the last 20% of Americans are what I call hot“On-Fire” Christians.  These are the people wholove God with all their hearts and surrender themselves entirelyto God’s rulership.  In fact, they want to obeyGod’s commands even more than they want to receive Hisblessings. They’ve offered themselves 100% to worship, loveand serve God sacrificially, because they love God more than theylove themselves.  And Oh, how they have pleased Him.  Thesehot believers are the apple of God’s eye. 

           And now the statistical proof.  20%—60%—20%.

Let me ask you one last time, is Americatoday a Christian nation?

95 percent of all Americans adults believein God.[1]  95 percent. 

89 percent of all Americans pray to God.[2] 

89 percent believe Jesus is the Son of God.[3]

86 percent believe “There is only onetrue God, who is holy and perfect, and who created the world andrules it today.” [4] 

86 percent of Americans believe that“eventually, all people will be judged by God.” [5]  86 percent. 

85 percent of Americans describe themselvesas “Christian.” [6]  85 percent. 

That same 85 percent believe Jesus was bornto a virgin,[7] and 84 percent believe Jesus really rose fromthe dead.[8]

76 percent of Americans claim to attendchurch at least once in a typical month.[9]  So 76 percent arechurchgoers. 

Another 76 percent ask God’sforgiveness for specific sins when they pray.[10]

73 percent of Americans believe that“all of the miracles described in the Bible actually tookplace.” [11]

71 percent believe “The Bible is thewritten word of God” [12] 

And 70 percent of all Americans believe inthe second coming of Christ, that Jesus will return to earth.[13] 

Isn’t this amazing?  Now fromthese statistics, we would guess that America is clearly aChristian nation—perhaps the most “Christian”nation on the face of the earth.  But then again, is itpossible we’re saying one thing with our lips, but doing theopposite with our actions?

           Here are a few more astonishing facts about our nation’sreligious beliefs: 

           Roughly two-thirds of all Americans believe that it doesn’tmatter what god or higher power you pray to, as long asyou’re sincere.[14]  And yet 86percent of Americans believe, “There is only one trueGod.”  Two-thirds say it doesn’t matter what Godyou pray to, but 86 percent say there’s only one true God. Do you realize what that means?  That means there’sover half of the US population who are lukewarm believers,straddling the fence, trying to agree with both statements. They say out of one side of their face, “There’s onlyone God,” but then they say out of the other side of theirface, “it doesn’t matter what God you pray to.” Now doesn’t that make them sort of two-faced?  Youknow, the Bible calls that idolatry.  If you sincerely prayto a false god, you are sincerely an idol worshipper.  Andthe God of the Bible says, “I am the LORD your God...Youshall have no other gods before me...” [15] 

           Now these same Americans believe that “Christians, Jews,Muslims, Buddhists, and others all pray to the same God, eventhough they use different names for that God.” [16]  You know, that’s an interestingopinion, but it doesn’t match up with the words of JesusChrist.  Jesus said “I am the way and the truth andthe life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”[17]  Jesus said that.  Now you candisagree with Jesus if you want, but don’t claim to be aChristian if you don’t agree with Jesus.  Jesus said Noone comes to the Father except through me.  Now do youagree with Jesus or not?  Are you a Christian or you not? Get off the fence, and don’t claim to be a Christian if youdon’t agree with Jesus.  And don’t thinkyou’re going to heaven when you die, either.  Youcan’t be saved without Jesus.  The Bible says, Salvationis found in no one else, for there is no other name under heavengiven to men by which we must be saved. [18]  Not Buddha, not Mohammed, notConfucius.  Jesus said he’s the only way. 

           Now maybe some of you are confused because you don’t readyour Bibles.  You know, 92 percent of Americans have Biblesin their homes, but only a third of Americans read their Biblesoutside of church.[19]  That leavesalmost 2/3 of all Americans in the lukewarm category, with dustyBibles.  Their Bibles are gathering dust on the shelf. 

           85 percent of Americans call themselves Christians, but onlyone-third of all Americans are “born-again” Christians,meaning they made a personal commitment to Christ and acceptedhim as their personal savior.[20]  Next Sunday, more than half of church attenders in America willnot be born again.[21]  Did you know youcan’t go to heaven unless you’re born-again?  Jesussaid in John 3 “I tell you the truth, no one can see thekingdom of God unless he is born again.” [22]  Look that up in John chapter 3. 

           But then, even those who make personal decisions to accept Christas savior, or claim to have had a “born again”experience, often demonstrate no change in their lifestyle afterthat decision.  George Barna, a Christian pollster, says,“In the past year, a majority of the people who’ve madea ‘decision for Christ’ were no longer even connectedwith the church within 8 weeks of that decision.” [23]  Now some people think the problem is alack of follow-up and discipleship classes by the churches. Maybe, maybe not.  I suggest the problem is with theevangelist preaching cheap grace, who easily called peopleforward “to receive forgiveness” rather than demand thewhole-hearted repentance, that they “give up their entirelives, and surrender their hearts and minds to the Lordship ofJesus Christ.”  You know, for every 100 unchurchedpeople who come forward in an altar call today, not even 3 areactive in any church one year later.[24] They come forward, “they receive a cheap salvation,”and they go back to their old lifestyle, thinking they got saved. They’re not saved.  How did they sneak into the kingdomof God, when God never became their king?  

Another surveycomparing the behaviors of born again Christians tonon-Christians found almost no ethical differences.  GeorgeBarna looked at 65 different moral behaviors (like gambling,whether or not we watch R or X rated movies, engaging inadultery, etc.)…and found there was not a single oneon which born again Christians were demonstrably different (bymore than a couple percentage points) than non-Christians.” [25]  Now I ask, do the people in thiscountry view a decision for Christ as anything more than cheapfire-insurance?  Do they hope to be protected from theflames of hell, while their hearts remain unchanged?  Havethey ever submitted to Christ as Lord, or did they merely attemptto receive Him as Savior?  Jesus said, “Anyone whodoes not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”[26]  Have most Americans ever really beenborn of God?  Have you personally every really beenspiritually reborn?  Here’s what the Bible says, Noone who is born of God will continue to sin…he cannot go onsinning, because he has been born of God.[27] 

           George Gallup, Jr. of the famous Gallup polling organization,found essentially the same results.  “While religion ishighly popular in America,” he says, “it is to a largeextent superficial; it does not change people’s lives to thedegree one would expect from the level of professed faith.” [28]  Professed faith, but unchanged lives. Hmmm…  Isaiah was right when he prophesied about youhypocrites; as it is written: “These people honor me withtheir lips, but their hearts are far from me.” [29]

           I’ll come back with a lot more statistics in a minute, butlet’s take a short break and hear from Mark…

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Middle segment by Mark McWilliams…

Thanks Gordon. He’ll be back in just a moment.  But first, do you knowsomebody who needs to hear today’s message?  If youcall our toll-free number in the next hour, 866-Obey-God,we’ll mail you a free cassette tape of today’sbroadcast, which you can copy and give to your friends.  Allour tapes are copyable and free, but please remember we need yourdonations to stay on the air and to give away these free tapes. So please pray and obey, then send us your best possibledonation, after you receive your free cassette.  (Gordon: Hey time out!  If it’s your first time calling us, nodonation is required!  Just call us!)  Our toll freenumber is 866-Obey-God, that’s 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D. And please specify you’re requesting today’s program. Do you believe America needs to hear these messages?  If so,then we need you to sponsor us, by joining the Persuader’sClub with a monthly pledge of just $15.  If you join thePersuader’s Club, we’ll also send you an autographedcopy of Gordon’s book that you’ve been hearing.  Justvisit our web-site at persuaders-club.com.  Or call us inthe next hour at 866-Obey-God.  Right now, let’s returnto Gordon James Klingenschmitt. 

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Teaching continued by Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt…

Thanks again, Mark. Now remember, 85 percent of all Americans identify themselves asChristian.  Of these, about 41 percent say they are“absolutely committed” to Christianity, and 44 percentsay they are only “moderately committed” to the faith.[30]  That means more Christians claim to belukewarm than claim to be absolutely committed to God!  Butthen it gets worse.  Only 5 percent of all Americans pay atithe (a tenth) of their gross income to any religious center,[31]in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ in Matthew23:23.[32]  That shows theirreal priority.  Even if 41% claim to be “absolutelycommitted” to God with their lips, only 5 percent give atenth of their income to charity.  Even most of the“absolutely committed” people act like they’relukewarm.  They want God’s blessings, but don’twant to sacrifice to obey His commands.  But God says, Iknow your works, I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wishyou were cold or hot.  But because you’re lukewarm, andneither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.[33] Lukewarm Christians make God sick to his stomach. 

           You know, only 23 percent of all Americans have invited anon-church-going person to attend church in the past six months.[34]And less than one out of three church-attenders has sharedhis/her faith in Christ with a non-Christian in the past twelvemonths.” [35] Perhaps many are too ashamed to mention thename of Jesus, who said, “If anyone is ashamed of me andmy words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes inhis glory.” [36]

           Middle-class Americans spend eight times as much onleisure pursuits as they do in giving to charity.[37]  Eight times more on leisure than oncharity.  But the Bible asks, If anyone has materialpossessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him,how can the love of God be in him?....Anyone who does not loveremains in death. [38]

           76 percent of all Americans claim to attend church at least oncea month.  Yet only 27 percent of all Americans volunteeredany free time recently to help any church.[39] They attend, but don’t help.  Are they obeying the lawsof love, or the laws of selfishness? 

           A University of Wisconsin study recently found that 50% of allAmerican adults have lived with a mate outside of marriage.[40]  Now if 85% of Americans claim to beChristian, but 50% of Americans have co-habitated out of wedlock,then there are a lot of people living in sin who claim to beChristians.  Hmmm.

           A University of Chicago study recently found that 83 percent ofadult men and 70 percent of adult women admit to having engagedin sexual intercourse before marriage.[41] That’s 83% of men and 70% of women.  The Bible callsthat fornication, or sexual immorality.  Now if 85 percentof Americans are self-described Christians, but 70 to 83 percentof Americans admit they are sexually immoral fornicators, thisleaves about two-thirds of the American population in “thehypocritical middle” who 1) describe themselves asChristian, and 2) admit they indulge themselves in sexualimmorality.  What is going on in the minds of those who areboth?  If they have never repented, what pulpit lies allowthem to call themselves Christian? 

If they don’trepent, what do these people believe about the Gospel of JesusChrist?  Isn’t it for them a license to sin as much asthey please, while they pretend to be forgiven?  If theydon’t confess and forsake their sins before God,they’ll never be forgiven.  The Bible says, Be notdeceived: neither fornicators…nor adulterers…shallinherit the kingdom of God.[42] 

           Recently on a nationally syndicated Christian radio talk show, ahomosexual man called in to explain to the host why he was (or sohe thought) saved and going to heaven. 

“I continue tobe openly gay,” he said, “and in fact I’ve beenliving with my male lover for the past eight years, but I knowI’ll go to heaven when I die.  I believe that the bloodJesus shed on the cross paid the penalty for my sins.  Ireceived Jesus as my personal Savior.  That’s the onlyway to get to heaven, isn’t it?  Not by goodworks—I am washed by faith in the blood of Jesus!” [43] 

           Now my goal is not to pick on homosexuals, I’m justrepeating what I heard him say—

But I must ask, what have you preachers beentelling the American people?  What Bible are you preachingfrom?  Is it the same one that says, neither the sexuallyimmoral ...nor homosexual offenders...will inherit the kingdom ofGod? [44]  Who are you falseprophets out there, shouting “Peace with God, Peace withGod!” while God refuses to grant peace until we repent? Do you speak the words of Christ, who preached, “Unlessyou repent, you too will all perish.”[45]  Or have you created a different gospel,void of repentance? 

           USA Today reports that 52% of Americans believe that hellcertainly exists, and another 27% on top of that believe hellmight exist.[46]  Yet nobodybelieves they’re going there!!  An astonishingly low 1%of all Americans agree with the following statement:  “WhenI die, I am certain I will not go to heaven.”[47]Only one percent—almost nobody—believes they will notgo to heaven when they die.  But what did Jesus teach? 

           “Enter through the narrow gate.” He said,“For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction,and many enter through it.  But smallis the gate and narrow the road that leads to life,and only a few find it.” [48] Eternal destruction?  Many.  Eternal life?  Only afew. Now if only 1 percent of Americans believe they will not goto heaven, but Jesus said many will not go to heaven, but toeternal destruction, what happens to all those people who thinkthey’re going to heaven, when Jesus says they’re not? Perhaps they think they’re safe, while destruction awaitsthem? 

           Jesus said many will be surprised when they are cast intodestruction.  Imagine millions of church-going Americans,perhaps 50 or 60 percent of our beloved nation, believing in God,yet acting lukewarm, refusing to let God rule their hearts andminds.  Imagine them all standing before God, having beentold by false teachers “you’re saved, you’reforgiven, you’re going to heaven.”  Now imaginethe shock on their faces, when they hear Jesus say,“You sayto me ‘Lord, Lord’…but ‘I never knew you.Away from me, you evildoers!’”[49]  Don’t be found among the manylukewarm, join the few hot lovers of God.  Wholeheartedlysubmit to God’s rulership, forsake your known sins, and doHis will. 

Let’s praytogether.  Would you pray these words with me?  Justsay these words along with me.  “Father in Heaven, Isee how I have sinned against you, and I’ve only pretendedto love you.  I’m ashamed and sorry for how I’veacted.  I have chosen to be lukewarm and selfish, instead ofloving you with a hot, passionate devotion.  I desperatelyneed your forgiveness.  Now take a moment to confess yourspecific sins to God, especially that one you’re thinking ofright now…

“Father, I nowchoose to forsake my sins, and instead I choose to love God, andto love my neighbor.  With a heart of repentance, I nowtrust in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as the onlyacceptable atonement for my sins.  I surrender the rulershipof my heart to you, Father, and I invite you to come and rule myheart forever.  In the name of my Lord, Jesus Christ, Ipray. Amen.”  Now if you prayed that prayer with me,I’d like to ask you to raise your hand.  Wherever youare, if you’re at home or in your car, or in front of otherpeople, it’s OK.  Just raise your hand up to God as asign that you’ve rededicated your life to God.  Did youmean what you just prayed?  I know you did.  If youprayed with me, would you please write to me and get a copy ofthis book you’re hearing me teach from?  In this bookare all these statistics with their source references, and infuture broadcasts we’ll be answering your questions aboutsalvation by faith versus works, or eternal security, so I hopeyou’ll tune in here again next time.  I love you and Icare about you.  Now here’s Mark again with thatinformation. 

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Closing trailer by Mark McWilliams… 

Thanks Gordon,and thanks everybody for listening. Do you know somebody whoneeds to hear today’s message?  If you call ourtoll-free number in the next hour, 866-Obey-God, we’ll mailyou a free cassette tape of today’s broadcast, which you cancopy and give to your friends. All our tapes are copyable andfree, but please remember that we need your donations to stay onthe air and to give away these free tapes.  So please prayand obey God about how much these teachings are worth to you, andreturn to us your best possible gift after you receive your freecassette.  (Gordon:  Hey time out!  If it’syour first time contacting us, no donation is required!  Justcall us!)  Our toll free number is 866-Obey-God, that’s1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D, and please specify you’rerequesting today’s program.  Now do you believe Americaneeds to hear these messages?  If so, we’respecifically asking you to join the Persuader’s Club,and to sponsor this radio broadcast with a monthly pledge of just$15.  If you join the Persuader’s Club as a monthlypartner, we’ll send you an autographed copy of the bookyou’ve been hearing, written and taught by Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt, entitled, “License To Sin, The Number OneReason America Is Losing Its Moral Foundation.”  Justvisit our web-site at persuaders-club.com.  That’spersuaders-club.com.  It’s the monthly donations of ourPersuader’s Club partners who keep this program on the air. Now if you have comments or questions about today’sbroadcast, you can email us at  “persuadetheworld@yahoo.com,”Or you can write to us.  Or you can always call us tollfree, at 866-Obey-God.  And if you remember, please tell usthe call sign of the radio station you’re listening to. May God bless you, and thank you for supporting Persuade TheWorld Ministries.  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,we persuade men. 

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<Manymore transcripts and free MP3 radio shows CLICK HERE>

 

 

 



[1] ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings, 28Mar 97

[2] Barna, George, What Americans Believe. Regal Books, (Ventura CA:  1991), p. 209.

[3] ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings, 28Mar 97

[4] Barna, What Americans Believe, p.203.

[5] Barna, Index of Leading SpiritualIndicators, Word Publishing (Dallas, TX:  1996), p.71.

[6] Ibid. p. 9.

[7] Ibid. p. 19.

[8] ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings, 28Mar 97

[9] Barna, What Americans Believe, p.237

[10] Barna, Index of Leading SpiritualIndicators, p.62.

[11] Ibid. p.27.

[12] Barna, What Americans Believe, p. 294.

[13] Barna, Index of Leading SpiritualIndicators, p. 20

[14] Ibid., p. 300. 

[15] Exodus 20:2-5 (NIV)

[16] Barna, What Americans Believe, p.212.

[17] John 14:6 (NIV)

[18] Acts 4:12 (NIV)

[19] Barna, Index of Leading SpiritualIndicators, p. 55.

[20] If “born again” Christian isdefined as an individual who has made a “personal commitmentto Jesus Christ” that remains important in their life, andone who also believes that he or she will have eternal salvationbecause they have “confessed their sins and accepted JesusChrist as their savior.”  Ibid., p.73.

[21] Ibid., p. 297.

[22] John 3:3 (NIV)

[23] Barna, interview with Pat Robertson on“The 700 Club,” 27 May 98

[24] J. Vernon McGee, Through the Bible Radio,KGFT, 24 Jul 96

[25] Barna, interview with Pat Robertson on“The 700 Club,” 27 May 98

[26] Matt 10:38 (NIV)

[27] 1 John 3:9 (NIV)

[28] Gallup, George H., Jr. And Castelli, Jim, ThePeople’s Religion, MacMillan Publishing Co, (New York:1989), p.21.

[29] Mark 7:6 (NIV)

[30] Barna, Index of Leading SpiritualIndicators, p. 3.

[31] Barna, Index of Leading SpiritualIndicators, p. 111.

[32] See Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42

[33] Rev 3:15-16 (NKJ)

[34] Ibid., p. 276

[35] Barna, “An Inside Look atToday’s Churches,” www.barna.org, August 97.  

[36] Luke 9:26 (NIV)

[37] Those who earn between $50,000 and $75,000per year give an average of 1.5% to charity, religious orotherwise, and spend 12% on leisure pursuits.  William D.Hendricks, “What’s Wrong with This Picture?” Wall Street Journal, 6 Aug 91

[38] 1 John 3:17, 14 (NIV)

[39] Barna, What Americans Believe. p. 244.

[40] CNN Headline News Factoid, 16 Jul 95

[41] Only 16.5 and 30% respectively reporthaving abstained from vaginal intercourse before marriage.  EdwardO. Laumann, John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael, and StuartMichaels, The Social Organization of Sexuality: SexualPractices in the United States, University of Chicago Press,Chicago, 1994, p.502.

[42] 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (KJV)

[43] Radio talk show host Bob Larson,“Praise the Lord”, TBN, aired 17 Jan 95.

[44] 1 Cor 6:9-10 (NIV)

[45] Luke 13:3 (NIV)

[46] USA Today Snapshots, 31 Oct 97, fromMarket Facts’ Telenation

[47] Barna, What Americans Believe. p.198.

[48] Matt 7:13-14 (NIV)

[49] Matt 7:22-23 (NIV)