Sun, Dec 31, 2017

Prophecy Update 2017 "It's All Good!" Part 1

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PROPHECY UPDATE 2017

PART 1

“IT’S ALL GOOD!”

 

 

 

            Here we are, getting ready for a new year and as fast as things are going, it is hard to imagine that this can continue on for too long. For me, it is an exciting time to live. We could be that generation that closes out church history! I can’t wait to see what the Lord has for us in this new year, 2018!

            But for many Christians, they are oblivious to what is going on around them. When my kids were growing up they had a phrase that just drove me crazy, I think that is why they used it. That phrase was this, “It’s all good!”

            If that is true, and it isn’t, then that means that there is nothing bad out there, nothing evil out there, everything is good and life is just great! Obviously, that is not true. There are good things that are happening and there are bad things that are happening, that is just the reality.

            What I like to do for some of our time this evening is look at the state of the church, what is happening because there are some major problems. Not everything is bad, but when you look at the church in general, you can’t help but see that there are some big problems.

            And then we will focus on some of the other things that are happening in this world that is leading us to a one-world government, technology that seems to coincide with what the Bible is speaking of, wars and rumors of wars and-so-on. So hold on, we are in for a ride!

            And let me say this in regard to what we see happening in the church. There will always be problems in the church because they are made up of people, even the leaders are people, not robots. Although AI is moving forward, artificial intelligence so maybe . . . ?

            But it is not that there are problems that will come into the church, it is that those problems are not dealt with or they are ignored or they are embraced and before long they are accepted and a new set of false doctrine, false teaching is being introduced. And what happens is that Bibles are not brought to the church, the Word of God is not really taught, just a portion here or there so the pastor or teacher can make his point, and thus, what the pastor says is true, at least that is what they believe.

            And these leaders are out there promoting these false teachings, these false doctrines and they are telling their people, “Everything is good. Don’t worry about it.” And yet, things are crumbling down around them.

            I am sure many of you remember the terrorist attack back on September 11, 2001. It is hard to believe that we are coming up on 17 years since that terrible day the World Trade Center Towers came tumbling down!

            A jet plane was crashed into Tower 1, the North Tower at 8:46 am on September 11, 2001. There was also another tower to the World Trade Center, Tower 2 or the South Tower. This was not hit for another 17 minutes by terrorists, crashing another passenger plane into it. This occurred at 9:03 am on September 11, 2001.

            I want to share with you something that you may not be aware of, I wasn’t. And what we are going to look at is the warning that the people in the South Tower or Tower number 2 had. Well, kind of a warning. You will see what I mean and how this led to many more deaths.

            So, this North Tower was hit first and the people in the South Tower knew something happened but were not sure what was going on. Thus, in their book, 102 Minutes, Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn give us this insight to what was going on in that South Tower, Tower number 2 after the First Tower, the North Tower or Tower number 1 was hit.

            We are told,

            Thanks to all those drills, a group from the Fuji\Mizuho offices on the 80th and 81st floors had made it to the lobby of the south tower nearly as fast as anyone in that building. Stanley Praimnath and seventeen others, most of them the senior executives, had dutifully gotten off their floors, just as they had been taught. Praimnath, for instance, boarded a local elevator at the 81st floor, then switched to the express at 78.

            That floor was a “sky lobby,” a way station that allowed elevators to whisk passengers for the upper floors past the intermediate stops, and where they could catch local shuttle elevators to their floors. The sky lobby normally was a crowded place during the morning and evening rush hours, but the Fuji/Mizuho folks had responded so quickly to the emergency that they had little competition for space on the elevators. On his way down, Praimnath ran into most of the bank’s high-ranking executives. They made it downstairs in no more than ten minutes after the plane struck the other building.

            As they approached the security turnstiles in the south tower, a guard waylaid them.

            “Where’re you guys going?” the guard asked.

            “We saw fireballs coming down,” Praimnath said.

            “No, no,” the guard said. “All is well here. You can go back to your office. This building is secure.”

            For most of the group from the Japanese bank, the authoritative voice of the guard reversed the momentum of the drills that had brought them so quickly to the lobby. The same dutiful, responsive approach to emergencies was simply being flipped around. The group turned to go upstairs as fast as they had come down. Still, Praimnath was uncertain. He spoke, for a moment, to the temporary employee he had brought downstairs.

            “Delise, why don’t we take the rest of the day off?” he suggested. Delise agreed and went on her way, but Praimnath and the others headed back upstairs. Primnath felt that some of the bosses gave him odd looks for his suggestion to Delise, as though he had exercised poor judgment.

            During the ride up, he turned to one colleague, the company’s human resources director, Brian Thompson, and said, “It’s a good time to take relocation.” The others ribbed him about his anxiety. The bank president got off at 80. Praimnath got off at 81. Thompson continued to 82.

- Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, 102 Minutes, pp. 51-52

             Not only that, we are also told,

            On the 84th floor, Brian Clark, an executive with Euro Brokers who also served as a fire warden, heard a familiar voice over the public-address system.

            Your attention please, ladies and gentlemen. Building 2 is secure. There is no need to evacuate Building 2. If you are in the midst of evacuation, you may use the reentry doors and the elevators to return to your office. Repeat, Building 2 is secure.

- Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, 102 Minutes, p. 60

             And the result of this misinformation,

            By 9:02, the boomerang of alarm and assurance had driven Stanley Praimnath from the 81st floor to the lobby, then back again to his office.

- Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, 102 Minutes, p. 80

             Please keep in mind that they were doing what they were supposed to do, leave the building, but now they are told not to. And it is interesting to me what the guard said to people who were exiting the building, “All is well here. You can go back to your office. This building is secure.”

            But that was not true and less than a few minutes latter a second plane crashed into the World Trade Center, this time into Tower 2 or the South Tower and many people, who should have been out of that building, were killed because they were told that everything was okay, “It’s all good” I guess you could say! But it wasn’t!

            In that terrorist attack, when it was all over, 2,996 people were murdered and over 6,000 more were injured. But for those in that second tower, there was a warning, but leaders, those in authority, those who were there to protect them, told them not to worry and go back to their offices!

            Not only that, but the structure itself was not built correctly. They used a new code to build the Trade Centers and the Port Authority had control over this. Why did they go to this new code? “The reason the Port Authority turned to the new code for its big project was simple: it would make the trade center much cheaper to build.” (Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, 102 Minutes, p. 80)

            Listen carefully to what they did and as we look at the first point of saying everything is good and it wasn’t; and this point we see here, and it wasn’t; that the structure is safe, and it wasn’t, you will see how this applies to the church today and how dangerous it is.

             We are told,

            “The projected world trade center is designed for use of materials and engineering principles which will be found in the proposed code,” the city building commissioner, Harold Birns, explained in a speech to the New York Building Congress. “The fact that the Port Authority of New York is not bound by the requirements of the present City Building Code makes possible the savings involved. Our existing building code does protect the public safety and welfare but it most certainly does not allow for all the efficiency and economy that industry and enterprise find necessary.”

            As an example, he said the 1938 code specified wasteful amounts of fireproofing, beyond what was needed for safety. “The proposed code more accurately evaluates the hazards and need for fire protection,” he said. An article in the Times took note of the flexibility the new code would permit, citing the example of a fire-resistant wall. The old code demanded specific bricks and masonry; the new could would require only that the wall “must withstand flames for a stated number of hours. The wall can be made of brick, specially treated wood – shredded wheat – so long as it can resist fire.”

            Although the article did not mention it, the new code significantly lowered the requirements for fire resistance in office buildings. The 1938 code had required that the columns of tall buildings be able to stand against fire for four hours; the new code reduced that to three hours. For the floors, the earlier code had demanded three hours of fire protection; the new code cut that to two hours.

             And while the old code had ordered concrete cladding or other masonry to provide fire resistance for the structural steel, the new code left that decision up to the owners.

            The cardinal sin of the old code, in the view of many in the real estate industry, was that it forced buildings to be far sturdier and heavier than needed. “Overdesigning is the equivalent of cracking a walnut with a ten-pound weight rather than a nut-cracker,” Said Frederick G. Frost, an architect who guided part of the code study. Office buildings, in particular, did not need so much fire resistance, he said; they had been struck too long with the same burdens as far more hazardous places, like factories.

- Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, 102 Minutes, pp. 93-94

             Not only that, but they had fewer fire escapes and in the end, we looked in horror as we saw two towers, one standing 1,368 feet and the other 1,362 feet come crashing to the ground! I wonder if that would have happened if the structure was built to a better code? I think not.

            Now, let’s apply this to the church today. We have moved away from the Word of God, and thus, we have no supporting structure to build upon or the supporting structure is not going to be able to stand.

            Not only that, but we see the church saying that everything is okay and not dealing with the problems but promoting the false teaching as God’s Word! And when you warn them of the danger that is out they, they laugh at you, they think you are crazy or they just ignore you!

 

             Look at the lessons we see with the Twin Towers and what happened to them. Now I am not saying that the Church is going to come crashing down, because God always has His faithful remnant. But what I am saying is that there is a large portion of the so-called church that is moving away from the foundation of God’s Word and the leaders are encouraging it and telling their people not to worry about those coming against them, everything is okay!

            And I believe it is important to know what is going on out there. We are not to bury our head in the sand and be oblivious to what is going on around us. Because there is a danger out there that if we ignore it, we will become part of this falling away from the faith!

            Now, let me also say this. I am not saying that people who go to churches that are moving away from the Word of God, that are embracing these false teachings are not saved. I believe many are.

            Then what is the problem? The more you move away from the truths of God found in the Word of God you will eventually be so far away that you will not hear the Gospel message and the people will not be saved. They will just be comfortable where they are at and that is not a good thing!

            Over the years we have seen this move from the Word of God to the words of men and that these words are even more important than the Word of God. I want to lay down some groundwork here because, as you will see, over the years of moving people away from God’s Word has led to the end times church, the church of Laodicea.

            And ultimately, to a one-world religion that is moving fast to gather as many followers as they can.

            Let me share with you a few quotes, I will expound on them as I go through them, but listen carefully to what they are saying.

            The first quote is from Dr. Norman Geisler and he wrote, “A mystical maze has settled on our land. Fuzzy thinking is the order of the day. The Good Ship Evangelicalism is sailing without rational rudders in the hazy sea of subjectivity.”             

            That was written back in 1988; over 20 years ago and today the ship is lost. There is no direction because we have moved away from the Word of God and thus, whichever way the wind of new doctrine blows, that is the direction the church is going!

            Dr. Francis Schaeffer warns about the coming disaster some 33 years ago and the warning was not heeded and here we are today, many Biblically illiterate and embracing all kinds of false doctrine.

            Dr. Schaeffer wrote, “Here is the great evangelical disaster – the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth. There is only one word for this – namely accommodation: the evangelical church has accommodated the spirit of this age. First there has been accommodation of Scripture, so that many who call themselves evangelicals hold a weakened view of the Bible and no longer affirm the truth of all that it teaches – truth not only in religious matters but in mattes of science and history and morality.”

            How true that is. Many deny the virgin birth, they deny the Incarnation, they deny the blood atonement. They deny what it means to be a follower of Christ and many are following these false teachers with their false doctrine! Morality is no longer what the Bible says, it is how I feel. Science, I mean really, are you going to believe what ancient man wrote or what scientists, highly educated men are telling us? And for history, they have changed that as well, look just at our nation! We need to stand up for the truths of God found in the Word of God by living what we say we believe!

            There is an online Internet German magazine that is called Spiegel and it states, “The mega churches mushrooming in the United States are mammoth feel-good temples providing entertainment for one and all.” How sad that this is said in a secular media and not noticed in churches today in America!

            And listen to what James Montgomery Boice wrote almost 10 years ago, “Like the liberals before us, evangelicals use the Bible’s words but give them new meaning, pouring bad secular content into spiritual terminology. Sin becomes dysfunctional behavior. Salvation becomes self-esteem or wholeness. Jesus becomes more of an example for right living than a Savior from sin. Again people are told how to have happy marriages and raise nice children but not how to get right with the offended God. . . . Far be it from us to preach a gospel that would expose people’s sin, make them uncomfortable, and drive them to the Savior.” 

            He nails it, that is exactly what we see in the church today and it is very dangerous as Bible words get New Age ideas as their new definition!

            Let me share part of this story and I will expound on some of the points that the writer is making as we read through this. But listen carefully because the new move is towards a progressive Christianity.

We are told,

            Several years ago, my husband and I began attending a local Evangelical, non-denominational church, and we loved it. We cherished the sense of community we found among the loving and authentic people we met there, and the intelligent, “outside the box” pastor who led our flock with thought-provoking and insightful sermons. Sadly, the church started going off the rails theologically, and after about a year and a half, we made the difficult decision to leave. Today that church is a self-titled “Progressive Christian Community.” 

            Back then I had never heard of “Progressive Christianity,” and even now it is difficult to pin down what actually qualifies someone as a Progressive Christian, due to the diversity of beliefs that fall under that designation.  However, there are signs - certain phrases and ideas - that seem to be consistent in Progressive circles. Here are 5 danger signs to watch for in your church:

 1. There is a lowered view of the Bible 
       One of the main differences between Progressive Christianity and Historic Christianity is its view of the Bible. Historically, Christians have viewed the Bible as the Word of God and authoritative for our lives. Progressive Christianity generally abandons these terms, emphasizing personal belief over biblical mandate. Comments you might hear:

The Bible is a human book . . .

I disagree with the Apostle Paul on that issue . . .

The Bible condones immorality, so we are obligated to reject what it says in certain places . . .

The Bible “contains” the word of God . . .

             [Let me make a few points here. Being a human book, in their minds, then there is nothing wrong to have a Bible study that is about another book, this time really written by man!

            And then we move to dismissing parts of the Bible that don’t agree with the persons theology. I have been accused of following Paul instead of following Jesus, which is not true. And the reason being is because I believe we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone and not by works. Thus, they follow Jesus and the words of Paul, the letters he wrote that were inspired by the Holy Spirit, they negate or make up ideas on what they mean instead of what the Lord is really saying because it goes against what they believe!

            In regard to morality, the Bible does not condone immorality, it just shows us the heart of man and it is not good. God’s call for us is to be holy for He is holy. That means we are to live for Him and what His Word tells us is what is best for our lives.

            And if the Bible just contains the Word of God then we are the ones who will decide what is the Word of God and what is not. And that is a dangerous place to be and we see the fruit of that kind of thinking, and it is not good. Negate sin, negate judgment, it is all love!

            We see this in the Health, Wealth and Prosperity churches. We see this in the Seeker Friendly churches. We see this in the Emergent churches. And this is nothing more than progressive Christianity that changes with the times and it is not of God!]


2. Feelings are emphasized over facts

            In Progressive churches, personal experiences, feelings, and opinions tend to be valued above objective truth. As the Bible ceases to be viewed as God’s definitive word, what a person feels to be true becomes the ultimate authority for faith and practice.
Comments you might hear:

That Bible verse doesn’t resonate with me . . .

 I thought homosexuality was a sin until I met and befriended some gay people . . .

 I just can’t believe Jesus would send good people to hell . . .

             [Of course the Bible doesn’t resonate with people because it exposes their sin and they don’t want to deal with it. So, specific verses will be avoided or explained to make the person feel good about what they are doing instead of convicted of their sin.

            Homosexuality being a sin is not something that is based upon what I think, it is based upon what God has said. But again, feelings can cause us to change what God’s Word has said to fit what we feel.

            I can’t tell you over the years the number of people who tell me that they know what the Bible says but they just feel, for them, God has allowed them to do this. I guess they receive some kind of special dispensation! No, they do not. God’s Word is the standard and not our feelings.

            And lastly, Jesus does not send good people to hell because there are no good people. The Bible tells us that none are good, not even one! Also, Jesus does not send anyone to hell, but He does call them to come to Him to enter into eternal life. You see, man goes to hell because he chooses to go there by rejecting the gift of life that is found in Jesus!


3. Essential Christian doctrines are open for re-interpretation

            Progressive author John Pavlovitz wrote, “There are no sacred cows [in Progressive Christianity]. . . . Tradition, dogma, and doctrine are all fair game, because all pass through the hands of flawed humanity.” Progressive Christians are often open to re-defining and re-interpreting the Bible on hot-button moral issues like homosexuality and abortion, and also cardinal doctrines such as the virgin conception and the bodily resurrection of Jesus. The only sacred cow is “no sacred cows.” 

Comments you might hear:

The resurrection of Jesus doesn’t have to be factual to speak truth . . .

 The church’s historic position on sexuality is archaic and needs to be updated within a modern framework . . .

 The idea of a literal hell is offensive to non-Christians and needs to be re-interpreted . . .

            [If the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not truth, if it is some allegorical story, then we are still dead in our trespasses and sins. Now you may not like that or agree with it but that is your problem because Paul tells us in I Corinthians 15:13-19, But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up - if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

            Paul says that our faith is useless if Christ did not rise from the dead. So, this is an important issue. And Paul makes it very clear as he says in I Corinthians 15:20, But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. Now, since they don’t like that, they may say, “I disagree with the Apostle Paul on that issue.”  

            It really doesn’t matter what you think or what I think, it matters what God’s Word has to say!

            And the push today, and many in the church have bought into this lie, that we need to change our views on sexuality because the times have changed! Sexual relations between unmarried people. Homosexuality, transgenderism. Divorce. All these things that the Bible speaks clearly on and against, are now being embraced by many Christians!

             And lastly, the idea of hell is offensive to non-Christians? Yes, it should be. Jesus spoke more on hell than He did on heaven because it is a real place and He doesn’t want people to go there. That is why He came, to save man from His sins so that we can enter that relationship with Him!]

 

4. Historic terms are re-defined

            There are some Progressive Christians who say they affirm doctrines like biblical inspiration, inerrancy, and authority, but they have to do linguistic gymnastics to make those words mean what they want them to mean. I remember asking a Pastor, “Do you believe the Bible is divinely inspired?” He answered confidently, “Yes, of course!” However, I mistakenly assumed that when using the word “inspired,” we both meant the same thing. He clarified months later what he meant - that the Bible is inspired in the same way and on the same level as many other Christian books, songs, and sermons. This, of course, is not how Christians have historically understood the doctrine of divine inspiration.

            Another word that tends to get a Progressive make-over is the word “love.” When plucked out of its biblical context, it becomes a catch-all term for everything non-confrontative, pleasant, and affirming.

Comments you might hear:

God wouldn’t punish sinners - He is love . . .

 Sure, the Bible is authoritative - but we’ve misunderstood it for the first 2,000 years of church history . . .

 It’s not our job to talk to anyone about sin - it’s our job to just love them . . .

             [If God did not punish sinners for their sin that would make Him unrighteous. It would be like saying a judge who would not sentence a bank robber to prison because he is a judge of love. No, he is an unrighteous judge and his allowing a bank robber to go free shows he does not love the rest of the people who have to encounter this man.

            God is fair, He is righteous, and the Bible tells us that He will judge sin!

            Now, if we have misunderstood the Bible for the first 2,000 years of church history, why do we think we have it right now? Maybe in 100 years people will say the same about us.

            Here’s the thing. God is very clear in what His Word has to say. You can’t change the meaning of what God is saying to make yourself feel good.

            It is very simple. God created the heavens and earth including all life, and man. Man sinned and that fellowship he had with God was broken. God sent His Son to die for the sins of man by paying in full the debt of man’s sins. You see, not that difficult. The problem is that people don’t like it and thus, they reject it.

            And if it is not our job to talk about sin to anyone, just love, then why do they need a Savior if they are a good person, if they are not a sinner? You see, it is just plain foolishness on their part. The tragedy is that the church continues to buy into these lies!]

5.  The heart of the gospel message shifts from sin and redemption to social justice

            There is no doubt that the Bible commands us to take care of the unfortunate and defend those who are oppressed. This is a very real and profoundly important part of what it means to live out our Christian faith. However, the core message of Christianity - the gospel - is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and resurrected, and thereby reconciled us to God. This is the message that will truly bring freedom to the oppressed. 

            Many Progressive Christians today find the concept of God willing His Son to die on the cross to be embarrassing or even appalling. Sometimes referred to as “cosmic child abuse,” the idea of blood atonement is de-emphasized or denied altogether, with social justice and good works enthroned in its place.

Comments you might hear:

Sin doesn’t separate us from God - we are made in His image and He called us good . . .

 God didn’t actually require a sacrifice for our sins - the first Christians picked up on the pagan practice of animal sacrifice and told the Jesus story in similar terms . . .

 We don’t really need to preach the gospel - we just need to show love by bringing justice to the oppressed and provision to the needy . . .

​            [If sin does not separate us from God then why did God send His only begotten Son to die for the sins of the world? Are you going to believe the words of man or the Word of God?

            And the Bible tells us that Jesus was the Lamb who was slain before the foundations of the world. You can read Psalm 22 and it is a picture of Jesus on the cross 2,000 years before it took place. Isaiah 53 speaks of the Messiah being slain for us. He is the Lamb of God who has come to take away the sins of the world and not the adoption of the pagan practices.

            And this idea of not preaching the Gospel ignores what Jesus has told us to do in Matthew chapter 28 and really throughout the New Testament.

            May we listen to what God has said and not be swayed by the false teachers and false doctrine that is out there.]

 Conclusion:

            Identifying the signs is not always obvious - sometimes they are subtle and mixed with a lot of truth. Progressive Christianity can be persuasive and enticing, but carried out to its logical end, it is an assault on the foundational framework of Christianity, leaving it disarmed of its saving power.
            We shouldn’t be surprised to find some of these ideas infiltrating our churches. Jesus warned us, “Watch out for false prophets” who “come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15). So if you spot any of these 5 danger signs in your place of worship, it might be time to pray about finding fellowship in a more biblically faithful church community.

- https://www.alisachilders.com/blog/5-signs-your-church-might-be-heading-toward-progressive-christianity

 

            Back in Genesis we see the assault on man begin and it continues on today. Satan said to Eve, Has God indeed said . . . Genesis 3:1. And that assault on the Word of God has continued on and I believe is increasing today.

            Again, many do not see this as important but listen to what years of false doctrine has done in the church of Jesus Christ!

            This article was from July 10, 2017 and this is a growing trend we are seeing within the Protestant Church.

 

We are told,

            A worldwide coalition of Reformed churches representing approximately 80 million Christians has signed onto an ecumenical statement with the Roman Catholic Church to “overcome divisions” from the time of the Protestant Reformation.

             The World Communion of Reformed Churches signed a “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” with Catholic, Lutheran, and Methodist leaders last week at a church in Wittenberg, Germany. According to a WCRC press release, “The declaration stated that mutual condemnations pronounced by the two sides during the Reformation do not apply to their current teaching on justification.”

            According to the agreement, which was originally signed by the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation on October 31, 1999, Catholics and Protestants “are now able to articulate a common understanding of our justification by God’s grace through faith in Christ.”

            “It does not cover all that either church teaches about justification; it does encompass a consensus on basic truths of the doctrine of justification and shows that the remaining differences in its explication are no longer the occasion for doctrinal condemnations,” states the Joint Declaration in part.

            The declaration defines justification as “the forgiveness of sins, . . . liberation from the dominating power of sin and death (Rom 5:12-21) and from the curse of the law (Gal 3:10-14). It is acceptance into communion with God: already now, but then fully in God’s coming kingdom (Rom 5:1f). It unites with Christ and with his death and resurrection (Rom 6:5). It occurs in the reception of the Holy Spirit in baptism and incorporation into the one body . . . All this is from God alone, for Christ’s sake, by grace, through faith in “the gospel of God’s Son” (Rom 1:1-3).”

            [So far so good and if that is as far as it went, we might agree. But there is always more and we need to look at what they mean by justified. Listen carefully]

             It also states that since the justified “fall into sin . . . they must constantly hear God’s promises anew, confess their sins (1 Jn 1:9), participate in Christ’s body and blood, and be exhorted to live righteously in accord with the will of God.”

- Michael Gryboski , Christian Post Reporter Reformed Church Body Signs Declaration on Justification to ‘Overcome Divisions’ With Catholic Church

 

            The book of Revelation speaks of a false prophet who will cause the world to worship the beast and he will unite the world’s religions together into a one-world religion. The only way that this can happen is that if the Christian church moves away from the truths of God found in the Word of God.

            You see, the doctrine of sin, salvation, is only found in Christ and not in works. It is by His grace we are saved and yet, the Roman Catholic Church, which the Protestant Church is merging with quickly, believes in a salvation by grace but it means something completely different.

            It speaks of the shed blood of Christ but also; we must go to church, we must fulfill the sacraments, we must go to Purgatory to atone for our sins that we have done in this life. And if people have mass cards for you or light a candle for you after you are dead, then your time in Purgatory is less.

            And yet the Scriptures tell us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, we do not go to Purgatory. And if we can atone for our sins, why did God have to become flesh and die on the cross of Calvary.

            You see, there is a difference and we must not compromise what we believe, but stand strong upon the Word of God!

            And please understand that this ecumenism is growing. Look at this picture of Brian Brodersen from Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and notice who he is with.

            He is with Rick Warren from Saddle Back Church and he is meeting with many other pastors and priests at an Ecumenical Pastor’s Prayer Breakfast on April 10, 2017 at Saddle Back Church! I think this picture tells it all.

            And I will just show you a few pictures to show you what I mean about this ecumenicalism that is growing and the Pope is heading this movement, and many are joining in.

            And there is Willow Creek which has branched out and has touched many, many churches with their false doctrine, even embracing Roman Catholicism! I shared with you before how they are working with a Jesuit priest and incorporating pagan practices for Bible studies.

            And as bad as that is, this reach into Roman Catholicism is deep and dangerous. Let me share this with you so you will see what I mean. We are told,

            Willow Creek was Saddleback Church before Saddleback. For more than 30 years, Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago area has been the flagship of the Church Growth Movement. By watering down doctrine and adopting (in some ways, inventing) the “seeker-sensitive” approach to ministry, Willow Creek herded goats into their doors, fed them sugar blocks, and slapped the word “church” on it.

 

            In 2015, the church announced that after a year of research into its membership, it recognized that their seeker-friendly approach was a near-total failure at creating serious disciples and pledged to change their ways and focus more on teaching the Bible (novel approach, we know). Since then, Willow Creek has changed leadership and seems to be struggling to change from their doctrineless, watered-down, evanjellyfish ways. Its new upcoming lead pastor, Steve Carter, recently joined the Bishop of Rome for warm fellowship and ostensible partnership.

- http://pulpitandpen.org/2017/11/28/willow-creek-pastor-joins-the-pope-pits-grace-against-repentance/

 

            So, we see the Protestant Church, the Purpose Driven Church, the Seeker Friendly Church, the Emergent Church embracing not only the Pope but Roman Catholicism!

(Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FohFlZVmzRo)

            Folks, we need to stand up for the truth, stand strong for the faith that has been entrusted to us. Again, many may not agree, but hear what the Scriptures have to say! I truly believe that all roads lead to Rome in regard to this one world religion and we see how it is moving quickly in that direction.

            Remember what Paul warned Timothy of in I Timothy 4:1, Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.

            Why are we surprised that demons have doctrines? We should not be because that’s what false religions and the cults are all about.

            Let me share with you what doctrines of demon’s sound like. Back on October 30, 2017 Hillsong’s Carl Lentz was on the secular television show, The View. And when asked about gay marriage and abortion he said, “God is the judge.” He ignored the question in reality.

            Because of that, because he did not say that it was a sin, that he did not share Jesus, many called him a “coward.” Listen to what he had to say, and I think he is correct. I will explain in a minute. We are told,

            Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong NYC has responded to some Christians labeling him a “coward” for taking an alternative approach when speaking on controversial topics, such as abortion, by stating that they may be following a “different Jesus.”

            “A lot of Christians that don’t know who we are say things like ‘You’re a coward’ and ‘Truth is truth’ and ‘You need to speak out.’ I just say, ‘I think me and you - first of all - might know a different Jesus.’ I think I did what I would always do, which is try to get to know a person,” the megachurch pastor told Relevant magazine.

- https://www.christianpost.com/news/carl-lentz-tells-christians-labeling-him-a-coward-you-and-i-know-a-different-jesus-206951/

 

 

            I realize that he was promoting his book and he did not want to offend anyone. But he did. He offended God. He had an opportunity to not only share that these things are a sin but why. Not only that, but that we are all sinners separated from God and it is only Jesus that can cleanse us from our sins. Would that be the last time he was on The View? I bet it would be, but millions of people would have heard the Gospel message and the truth about sin.

            Yes, he said that we follow a different Jesus and we do. We follow the Jesus of the Bible and it would seem, by his own statements, that he doesn’t!

            Now, with what Paul said to Timothy, Paul is warning us that in the last days (the time just prior to Jesus’ return) some in the church will depart from the faith (Jude 3) - although Paul isn’t saying they would necessarily depart from the church.

            And that is the problem. We have the unsaved running the church or leaders who are compromising what the Bible says and, as one pastor said, “There’s a lot of weak preaching going on in the church today but God hasn’t called us to ‘pet’ the sheep - He’s called us to feed and protect the sheep and some of that means by warning them against the wolves and their teachings.”

            That is what I have tried to do over the years. As a pastor, you have to take a stand against false doctrine. You can’t make decisions based on growing your church or because of friendships, but building up your people in the Word of God that they may exercise the gifts that God has given to them. You have to fear God instead of fearing man because the fear of man will cause you to do things contrary to what God has said!

             And that is so important as 2018 is approaching us, just hours away. You see, many Christians spend their whole lives going to Bible studies or sitting around talking about doctrine - but there’s a big difference between spending all your time learning about exercise or

talking about exercise than there is in actually exercising!

            May we enter 2018 exercising our faith, living what we say we believe. I am not going to tell you that “It’s all good!” because it is not. There are dangers out there but make no mistake about it, God is good and what He has for us in this coming year is going to be awesome!

            I hope that you see the danger that is out there. And, by letting just a little false teaching, false doctrine into a church, it will be like a cancer and it will destroy faith, destroy a church!

            And think about this, because this is not just an issue for us today. Many of the New Testament epistles or letters were written to address false teaching that had crept into the church.

            The whole book of Galatians was written to address the problem of legalism that came into the church through the Judaizers. They added the Law to Grace and you can’t do that because then it is no longer Grace. God owes you heaven because you did this or didn’t do that!

            The book of Colossians was written to address the problem of Gnosticism that had crept into the church. The idea here is that they were super spiritual and had knowledge that others did not have. And they believed that God was too pure to be part of the material world and thus, Jesus was like a ghost and hovered over the ground. Thus, you can do whatever you wanted in these bodies of flesh, it didn’t matter! The spirit world was where it was at. And yet, the Bible tells us that God became flesh and He dwelt among us, there is the Incarnation!

            We also see this addressed in I John, this idea of Gnosticism creeping into the church, as well as II John.

            We see in II Thessalonians the false teachers, false teaching, false letters that were coming into the church saying that they were in the Tribulation Period and missed the Rapture.

            The book of Hebrews was written to Christian Jews who were going back to the legalism of Judaism!

            And even the book of Revelation, as you read chapters 2 and 3 you see seven letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor. And five out of those seven letters were dealing with error that had come into the church and the call to return to the Lord!

            And as much as these things were for the first century church, the Lord is also warning us of the danger that is out there, so we will not fall prey to it!

            In II Timothy 4:1-4 Paul tells us, I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

            Paul’s warning to Timothy and to us is that there will come a day, and I think we are in it, where people will no longer endure sound or healthy doctrine. They will turn away from the truths of God found in the Word of God and listen to myths or false doctrine. So, if you depart from the truth, what do you fill that void with? Fairy tales!

             We are told in II Peter 2:1-2, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

            False prophets existed in the Old Testament and they exist today, and these false teachers will intermingle with believers and try to bring them down, draw these sheep to their own teachings, their own doctrine instead of the Word of God! And tragically, many will follow them!

            In II Peter 3:1-4, 17 Peter tells us, Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ . . . You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.

            In the last days, in the days we are living in there will arise those who will mock and deny the Word of God and the return of Jesus. These men will have their own beliefs that contradicts the truths of God’s Word and yet, people will listen to them.

            And there is more but I think you get the idea. One of the prominent signs of the last days is false teachers, false doctrine that will flood into the church.

             Thus, we must be students of the Word. Dr. Renald Showers in his book The Foundations of Faith wrote the following words,

            “Is it true that doctrine is not important? God doesn’t think so. Many years ago I read an article that so impressed me I have never forgotten its content. At the beginning of a seminary course on New Testament studies, an instructor told his students that they would work together on one major project that semester. They would move systematically through the New Testament to categorize every area of truth and determine how many times each area is addressed. Their goal was to find the one truth emphasized more than any other in the New Testament. When they completed the project, they were amazed to see that warning against false doctrine is emphasized more than any other issue - even more than love, unity, and experience.

            Since God inspired the Scriptures, this discovery is significant. It indicates that doctrine is of paramount importance to God. Since it is so important to Him, it had better be important to His people.” (Dr. Renald Showers, The Foundations of Faith p. 10)

            May we enter 2018 alert, knowing the truths of God found in the Word of God and not afraid to expose the false teachers and false doctrine that is out there.

            I realize I could have spent a lot of time looking at the various false teachers and false doctrine that is flooding into the church today, but we have done that in many of our previous studies. What I want you to see is the importance of knowing the Word of God and not going along with those who just say, “It’s all good!”

            No, God is good, and His Word is truth and that is what we need to stand upon!

             In our next study we will be looking at all that is going on in the world and preparing for the Tribulation that is to come. Why is that important? Because, the closer we get to the start of the Tribulation Period the closer we get to the Rapture of the Church because the Church, the Bride of Christ is caught up to be with the Lord prior to the start of the seven-year Tribulation Period!

            As I close part 1 of our study, let me close with these words from Jude, Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

            May we earnestly contend for the faith that has been entrusted to us, the faith that has been delivered once and for all the saints! It is unchanging. Our foundation is strong as it is built upon Jesus and His Word. And the warnings that God has given to us about the last days keeps us on track and safe from the false teachers and false doctrine that is out there. May we – STAND UP FOR THE TRUTH IN 2018!

 

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