Read part 2 of Pastor David Jeremiah's interview with The Christian Post here
ORLANDO, Fla. — Influential Pastor David Jeremiah has voiced his concerns about the seemingly increasing number of pastors and churches straying from biblical truth, warning that this trend indicates the "falling away" Scripture prophesies ahead of the End Times.
In an interview with The Christian Post, the 82-year-old founder of Turning Point Radio and Television ministries said, "one of the things the Bible says is that during the time when we're anticipating the rapture, there will be what they call the falling away, the apostasy, is what theologians call it."
"And if you study that, what it teaches is that there will be a time when people who once embraced the truth will fall away from the truth, and it will be an epidemic of this," said Jeremiah.
Jeremiah, who also serves as the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, cited examples of pastors renouncing their beliefs, deconstructing or facing moral failures that disqualify them from ministry, indicating a trend of spiritual decline.
"Hardly a month goes by where you don't hear somebody that you thought was straight and going in the right way and doing the right things and teaching the right truth, and now they don't believe this anymore, or they've gotten in trouble, and they're no longer in the ministry anymore," he said.
"The enemy is at work. The Bible says Satan goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. And he doesn't devour our bodies. Obviously, he devours our influence. And he's been really busy doing that. He's devouring the influence of many people who said that they were Christians. A lot of young guys who I know are saying, 'I don't believe there's anything wrong with abortion,' or 'I don't believe there's anything wrong with homosexuality' or all of these other issues. They once did, but now they don't. That's the falling away. That's what the Bible says is going to happen, and it's happening."
The pastor considers the modern day to be "a time of great discouragement and despair," believing that "we're actually watching the disintegration of our nation right in front of us" and it's "happening not in a century, it's happening within a decade."
"Law and Order is gone. Truth is gone. Gender is gone. Schools are dissipating," Jeremiah said. "We have a Christian school at our ministry, and when we started COVID, we had 1,200 students. We now have 1,700 students because people are in despair in California. … They want to put their children where they won't be told that they're not who God created them to be."
Jeremiah emphasized the need for Christians to remain rooted in Scripture and not drift away from the truth, especially in the current spiritually precarious climate.
According to the American Bible Society's 2022 State of the Bible report, the number of United States adults who read the Bible "at least 3 to 4 times each year on their own, outside of a church setting," has dropped from 50% in 2021 to 39% last year.
Jeremiah lamented the reality that many churches have adopted a "feel-good mentality" instead of preaching the Word of God, adding that "we're in a very desperate place."
"Don't tell me that we're not in a bad place; tell me how to live while I'm in that place," he said. "How did you get through it?"
"I think one of the things that encourages me greatly is, every time I think that we're in the worst place possible, I realize that the world in which the Bible was written, and to whom it was written initially, was way worse than anything we're experiencing right now. And they understood the power of the Scripture."
The pastor voiced his commitment to teaching the Bible and helping people understand its truths, something he seeks to do in his forthcoming bookThe Great Disappearance: 31 Ways to be Ready for the Rapture.
"I have nothing to give to my church if it's not from the Bible," Jeremiah said. "I'm just a person; I'm just an individual."
"I'm always working on a project that integrates the Scripture into what's going on in our world. I believe that's what we should do. That's what we're called to do. And we've kind of gotten away from that."
To help ordinary believers discern the signs of unbiblical principles infiltrating churches, Jeremiah advised observing whether the Word of God is taught and valued. He encouraged finding churches where people carry Bibles and where Scripture is central to the teachings instead of motivational messages.
"If you hear [a church leader] marginalizing the Scripture, or saying things like, 'This was true then, but it's not true now,' you're probably in a place where you better be careful," he said.
'The Word of God is the true test," Jeremiah added. "You can go to a lot of Christian churches … where they hardly ever mention the Bible. Or if they do, they give you two little minutes of Scripture, and then they talk about what they want to talk about. That's a real danger sign."
Jeremiah acknowledged the discouragement and despair prevalent in society and stressed the importance of studying, praying and standing together as believers. He offered the encouragement that faithful teaching of the Scripture still exists, although perhaps not as prevalent as before, and encouraged the next generation of believers to stand firm on the Gospel.
"We live in a time when we have to study, we have to pray, we have to hang together as believers," he said. "We have to work hard. We have to do the best we can in the situation we're in."
"And above all, we have to preach the Gospel and get people saved. Because that's the only ultimate hope: that people know Jesus Christ and they're going to go to Heaven."
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: email@example.com