These are apostate times. False teachers are everywhere you turn. Your own pastor could be one. The consequences of apostasy in the Christian church have taken a heavy toll on church and family, causing relationships to end, and splitting families. Odd, isn’t it, that often a few in one family will recognize apostasy in their church, while others don’t and they stay loyal no matter what. And yet, should we really be surprised? Scripture says that we do not fight “flesh and blood”, but “against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12). These spiritual forces, headed by Satan, have their puppets in place in the pulpits and in church leadership. We are watching the escalation of an ages old battle between good and evil; between the truth and the lies; between God and Satan.
Many say that in the latter days, there will be great revivals that none has ever seen before. This is a terrible misunderstanding at best, because the Bible says that things will get worse, not better, in the last days. Many will turn away from the faith, and the love of most will “grow cold” (Mat. 24:12). Most, not some. False prophets will appear, deceiving many people, proclaiming a “different Jesus”, a “cool Jesus”, a “non-judgmental” Jesus. “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted– you may well put up with it.” 2 Cor. 11:3-4
Do not expect anything else but widespread deception. Do not think that your discernment will not be tested. It could be that some will recognize apostasy “here”, but fail to see it “there.” “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible” Mat. 24:24. We are told “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient”. Eph. 5:6. This is not an easy task for a Christian, unless he puts on the full armor of God and understands the scriptures. Yet the Bible says many will be deceived, and a great falling away will come before the end. (2 Thess. 2:3). The same chapter warns that God will send a “strong delusion” upon many and they will believe a lie.
We are also told in verses 8-10: “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Yet, even many “mature” and knowledgeable Christians will be deceived. It is a frightening thought.
The greatest danger we face is not from unbelievers, but from within, from professing believers. The greatest threat to the Christian church is the multi-pronged attack from false movements and teachers claiming to be preaching the true gospel. But they are not preaching the true gospel, and they instead preach “another Jesus.” The only reliable defense for every Bible believing Christian is to have the truth of God’s word, which is “sharper than a two-edged sword.” (Heb. 4:12) A counterfeit can only be spotted when we know the genuine article! We are to “study” to show ourselves “approved”, so we can “rightly divide the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15) But God’s word is under attack, and I believe that this strategy to undermine the Bible is at the heart of every false movement today. If you can create doubt in Gods infallible word, and challenge its complete authority, you can have someone believe anything.
This rejection of Gods word is the underlying foundation of the emergent church movement, and the Word-Faith movement, and the New Apostolic Reformation, and the contemplative mystics, and the Gnostic intellectuals of higher education. It is the foundation of those who promote the social justice movement, and the environmental movement, and those who reject the account of creation for a godless evolutionary theory. It is the foundation of the Neo-Evangelicals and the ecumenists, who reject the doctrine of separation, choosing to hold hands with the world. It is the foundation of the Signs and Wonders crowd, who claim to have a special revelation from God and a higher anointing than the rest of us. It is the subtle denial of God’s power by many contemporary music artists, who with some songs turn worship of God into the worship of self and pursuit of good feelings. It is the foundation of the open theists, who claim that God cannot know the future, and the process theologians, who teach that God makes mistakes and learns from them. It is the foundation of the Rob Bells of the world who reject the hell of the Bible, and who reject a loving God who will bring all in front of His throne someday in judgment. And it has bewitched our very leaders who were entrusted to give us spiritual guidance. “Our shepherds have caused us to go astray” Jer 50:6
So this denial of the truthfulness, the authority, and complete inspiration of God’s word, is what drives the false teachers. But the other problem is that many Christians are being led away from a reliance on God’s word, and are accepting anything that comes from the pulpit without question. They are no longer Bereans who test the teachings of their pastors. They have been conned by pastors who preach love and acceptance and tolerance, but not the wrath and justice of a holy God. They have traded a hunger for truth for the comfort of sitting in the pews and getting along with everyone. They idolize those in the pulpit who tickle their ears, not caring to question anything that is taught to them. They are fast asleep while their children are fed a bunch of lies by teachers who do not know the Bible. They are not willing to give up the fellowship, the friendships, the positions of power that they may lose if they stand for the truth. And they have made serving the neighborhood with food more important than feeding them with the word of God. Such is the state of so many of our churches today.
This is the reason I continue to write these things. That is why so many of my new friends are putting up with the “inconvenience” of writing, warning, witnessing to others, knowing that most of the time, they will be at best ignored; at worst, called hateful. Yet we are still compelled to warn our friends, and even our enemies. We are compelled to say things that folks would rather not hear, because they don’t want bad news. They only want good news, and they want to be able to feel good all the time. Hey, I want good news all the time. But if your neighbor’s house was on fire, would you say nothing and just believe everything will be fine? Of course not. But the Bible warns us in Matthew 10:29, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” And Ezekiel 37 speaks of that sword which will come down on the watchman who fails to warn the people.
You know that Christ warned about the wolves in sheep’s clothing that want to destroy you. We are charged to “test the spirits”, because “sound doctrine will not be endured”, and many after their own lusts will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Tim 4:1-5). Paul says that even an angel from heaven that preaches a false gospel ought to be “eternally condemned.” (Gal 1:6-9). Some will abandon the faith and follow things taught by demons (1 Tim 4:1). We are warned not to be “taken captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy” (Eph. 5:6) , but that is exactly what is happening!
All this will happen from within the church, from those who are professing Christians and are even our leaders. Are you willing to set aside God’s words and place your trust in any man? I pray not. What will be your testimony at the Judgment Seat of Christ?
I have to admit, I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall, for I have directed this message at some who have been close to me for a long time, and yet, it seems they don’t care to hear it.
Is your love growing cold? The hour is getting late, my friend.