Read Apostasy of The Church Part 1
Read Apostasy of The Church Part 2
The Lord Jesus warned that the deception that is coming in His Name and accompanied by great shows of power, signs and miracles will be so convincing that even the very elect, that is, those who truly know Him, stand in danger of being carried away in the deception. (Matthew 24:24).
[Reset Exchange interject: please refer to this warning about Bethel Church as an example.]
Multitudes of professed Christians are so worn out and tired from working two jobs to make all of the payments they owe, they have little quality time, if any, to read the Bible for themselves. Their lives are too busy with the cares of this life, temporal pursuits, TV watching and Internet surfing to read their eternal contract with God [the Bible]. They, therefore, just dangerously trust some popular, respected, religious teacher or preacher, or a dear family member who loves them.
Some pastors and leaders deceive others intentionally. Some deceive others because they are deceived. Our present day spiritual leaders, for the most part, are not even called and sent forth by God to preach the gospel. They have called and sent themselves. They are ignorant of the Scriptures, slothful, worldly, spiritually blind pleasure seekers. Many are not acquainted with the Scriptures as they need to be and can’t discern the deadly errors they teach others. Many are not even able to preach their own sermons from their personal study of the Bible. They get their easy-to-receive sermons out of books, rather than going directly to the Bible for themselves.
Instead of preaching the word as they are commanded (2 Tim. 4:2), they preach what people want to hear, not what God wants them to hear. In most churches today, they omit the doctrines of sin, repentance, regeneration, holy living, eternal damnation and the coming Judgment of God. Instead, they entertain people with exaggerated stories, regale them with jokes to keep everyone in an upbeat mood, and preach psychology, self-esteem and unconditional love. And since these teachers and preachers are blind themselves, they are unable to feed the sheep wholesome spiritual food or warn them as they should. Even if they were able to feed the sheep many wouldn’t, because they fear man more than God. And the sheep trying to drink at an empty water trough grow increasingly weaker and weaker until they eventually die of spiritual thirst.
I will conclude by saying, in this era of apostasy, we who love the Lord must stand for the authority of the Word of God and not back down regardless of the pressure apostates exert upon us to compromise. Politicians are sponsoring and urging the establishment of laws that will make it “illegal” to teach a Biblical view when it comes to such issues as abortion and sexual deviance. The government will eventually criminalize and label it ‘hate speech.’ At some point soon, many churches may be forced to make a decision between remaining free to preach the truth, or maintaining their tax exempt status. And this is just the tip of the iceberg; a shadow of things to come in the next few years.
Jude said that we must “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) Contend against whom? Not primarily against godless enemies outside the church but against those within: In verse 4, he tells us “For there are certain men crept in unawares.” Crept in where? Obviously, inside the church. That is where the primary problem will lie in these last days
My word to you today is to BE COURAGEOUS in Christ. If you will uphold the biblical standards in God’s Word, God will give you boldness to speak the truth and do the right thing regardless of the earthly cost. Why should the servants of Satan be so bold with a lie, and we who possess the Absolute Truth of God’s Word be so passive with the truth we have been given and entrusted with? People need to know that they are being lied to and they need to know the truth. Time on this earth is quickly drawing to a close. By ‘contending for the truth’ we may by our example give renewed courage and conviction to many others–and perhaps we can rescue many who are without Christ before it’s forever too late.
God wants us to be like John the Baptist, whose boldness in preaching led to him being beheaded because an adulteress woman found his words offensive. God wants us to be like Stephen who was unafraid to tell the crowd: “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do,” and was stoned for speaking out against sin (Acts 7:51-60 NRAS). God wants us to be like Nathan who was unafraid to speak out against King David’s adultery (2 Samuel 12:1-15). God wants us to be like the prophet Isaiah whom the Lord gave these instructions: “Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins.” (Isaiah 58:1 NAS).
God wants us to be like Jesus! Jesus showed love, kindness, forgiveness, and compassion to the masses, but He also spoke out against sin and warned of eternal judgment. In closing, let me just say that the prophets, apostles and disciples of Jesus’ day (and Jesus Himself) were not persecuted because they told people, “God is love.” They were persecuted because people didn’t want to have a light shined upon their sin so they tried to silence the messengers. It is the same today.
What should we do when people ridicule us and despise us? Jesus counseled in Mark 8:38: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels”. Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus despised the shame of the cross, meaning he refused to let shame control him. In the same way, we must consider it an honor to suffer any shame associated with preaching the truth of God’s word without compromising.
Let me make it very clear. God will not allow all of the church to fall away. There has always been and always will be a remnant of believers who refuse to bow down to Baal; who will believe God’s word and stay faithful to Him. Let us be found among these.