Age of Apostasy
Islamic radicals destroy Christian churches in Egypt
Churches burn across America too.
The age of apostasy is upon us!
A note about the author:
I make no claims to being a biblical scholar or theologian, I'm merely a concerned Christian who studies what the Bible actually states with a particular focus on end-times eschatology.
Let me also clearly state that this article is not meant to attack any other's religion or their religious beliefs or discriminate against them in any way. I agree wholeheartedly with others religious freedoms and their right to believe whatever they choose.
That being said, I am concerned with teachings or beliefs within Christianity that contradict essential Christian teachings.
1 Timothy 4:1,2 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from what we believe; they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons. These teachers are hypocrites and liars. They pretend to be religious, but their consciences are dead. (NLT)
So are we indeed living in the last times of apostasy, in which the Bible clearly states that some will turn away from the faith, to follow false teachings inspired by demons? To understand whether this is the case, first we must examine what the true doctrines of the Bible are.
While the essential doctrines of Christianity are debated throughout the denominations of the 2.2 billion Christians throughout the world, just what are the truly essential doctrines of Christianity? Most denominations of Christianity agree that the following are essential doctrines to be considered a true Christian denomination.
- There is one God, maker of all things, as well as the triune nature of God. 1 Corinthians 8: 5,6 According to some people, there are many so-called gods and many lords, both in heaven and on earth. But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life. (NLT) Matt. 28:18-20
- The deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, Jesus commonly referred to himself as the son of man, but also claimed to be God. This ties directly to the virgin birth of Jesus as well as his sinless nature as the Son of God. Without his divine nature, his death on the cross would not be sufficient as a substitute for the redemption of mankind. John 10: 30 The Father and I are one. (NLT) Also see Mark 14: 61,62 Jesus made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the blessed God? Jesus said, "I am, and you will see me, the Son of Man, sitting at God's right hand in the place of power and coming back on the clouds of heaven." (NLT)
- The death, burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is the way of reconciliation to God (salvation). 1 Corinthians 15: 2-4 And it is this good news that saves you if you firmly believe it--unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. I passed onto you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me-- that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said. (NLT) John 14:6 Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." (NLT) See also Acts 4:12
- Salvation is by grace through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, not of our own good works. Ephesians 2:8,9 God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (NLT)
- The reality of heaven, hell, angels, and demons (fallen angels) and the return of Jesus Christ as reigning king and judge of all. Jesus spoke often of heaven and hell as real places. Matt. 10:31, 32, Matt. 25: 41-46 He also often spoke of the angels and cast out demons, even telling his disciples to cast out demons. Matt. 25: 31, Matt. 17: 14-19, Mark 16: 15-18
Now many will surely argue that there are many of these doctrines are not essential to the true Christian faith, such as the trinity of God, the virgin birth of Christ, sanctification of the saints, abiding in Christ and others. Most Christian scholars and theologians agree that these are all s as essential to our faith, and that those churches that teach otherwise are either cults or teaching heretical doctrines.
While new Christians do not immediately grasp an understanding of all these Christian doctrines, rather they grow in their understanding as they read God's word in the Bible and pray for the Holy Spirit's help in understanding scripture.
After all, how many of these truths did the thief who died next to Christ understand, before Jesus told him, "Today, you will be with me in paradise."?
Let us look now at what the Bible says of the last times and the coming apostasy.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5; And now, brothers and sisters, let us tell you about the coming again of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered together to meet him. Please don't be so easily shaken and troubled by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Even if they claim to have had a vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us, don't believe them. Don't be fooled by what they say. (NLT)
For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed-the one who brings destruction. He will exalt himself and defy every god there is and tear down every object of adoration and worship. He will position himself in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God. Don't you remember that I told you this when I was with you? (NLT)
2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12; This evil man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction, because they refuse to believe the truth that would save them. So God will send great deception upon them, and they will believe all these lies. Then they will be condemned for not believing the truth and for enjoying the evil they do. (NLT)
It seems that the scriptures indicate that before Jesus returns and gathers his elect, there will be a time of apostasy or rebellion from the Christian faith and an embracing of Satanic deceptions or a false gospel. These verses point towards miracles and signs being used to convince people of this false gospel. Does this mean that all signs and miracles are counterfeit? No, there would not be counterfeit ones, unless there were also genuine ones.
Just as counterfeit money has to appear similar to real money, rather than monopoly money. These counterfeit signs and miracles appear as if they are really from God, in an effort to deceive people.
While there has always been false religions among the men on the earth, these scriptures are clearly talking about a demonic corruption of the true faith in Jesus Christ. All the false religions and apostate Christianity will likely come together to form a one world religion with the anti-Christ as it's god.
One need only look at the different versions of Jesus and the gospel that these false teachers promote to understand the difference.
- One view of Jesus condones all religious beliefs as equal or universalism, in direct contrast to Jesus stating that he is the only way to God. A prelude to a one world religion.
- Another holds that Jesus will return to execute Christians and Jews for their faith in him. And that Jesus had an angel take his place on the cross to fake his death on the cross.
- Another holds that Jesus' sacrifice wasn't sufficient, since he wasn't divine.
- Another views Jesus as just another good human teacher, not God.
- Another version of Jesus holds that he is just a "good conscience" state already in all of us.
- Yet another proclaims that Jesus will give us all riches and perfect health, if we only have true faith.
- That Jesus condones illicit sexual, sorcery, greed, and other sin, as opposed to empowering the believer to overcome sin in your life.
- Merging Christianity with other religions that are completely incompatible, such as Chrislam.
- None of these are the true Jesus Christ as revealed in the gospels of the Bible.
Can two statements that are so diametrically opposed to each other both be true? No, they could both be wrong, but both can not be true. If what is stated in the Bible isn't all true, then thereisn't any point in believing any of it.
Is lying a good thing ever? Yes, no, or only to protect yourself by lying? Which of these is a true statement? Can all three be true? No, all can't be true. Obviously, lying is never a good thing. It would be better to say nothing at all, than to tell a lie.
Can all religious paths lead to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of all creation? Can all of man's religions be worshipping the same God? In order not to hurt anyone's feelings, one might say yes. That each is just worshipping the same god in their own way. But how can that be a true response, when the world's religions are all so different? Isn't that just lying to protect someone's feelings?
While I'm not attacking the religions of others, Jesus Christ did indeed state in John 14:6, Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
Rather than myself making this bold statement of exclusivity, I'm just the messenger. Jesus Christ makes this bold statement that sets him apart as the true way to reach God the Father. Either his statement is true or it's false, don't just hate him for making the statement. If there's a possibility that his statement is true, don't you owe it to yourself to search out the reality of this issue.
Christianity is the only religion with a savior who died a excruciating death on a cross as the sacrifice for all of our sins. Not only did he die, but he rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven, as attested to by the disciples and many others in the Bible.
If he didn't rise from the dead, why didn't the Jewish leaders or the Romans expose this by producing his body, thus putting a quick end to this religion. Jesus Christ presented himself as the Son of the Living God, he died for your sins and rose from the dead, to make you and I right with God. Since he did do just what he said he would, we should accept what he said at face value.
The apostle Paul states that those that preach or teach another Jesus or gospel will be cursed by God. Where does that leave those who were deceived by these other gospels?
Galatians 1:8,9 Let God's curse fall on anyone, including myself, who preaches any other message than the one we told you about. Even if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him forever be cursed. I will say it again: If anyone preaches any other gospel than the one you welcomed, let God's curse fall upon that person.
In this day of so many false preachers and false gospels, truly seek to know the real Jesus Christ. Make sure that you know Jesus, the Son of the Living God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob as depicted in the Bible. Make sure that those that you fellowship with and worship the same Jesus. The world is on the edge of a great falling away from the true faith in the biblical Jesus Christ, and many that turn away will betray others to those who will persecute them.
There are many churches who teach false doctrines, who no longer talk about sin, the need for repentance, that remove all references to the cross and the blood of Jesus, that deny the need to receive Jesus as your Savior, that deny the deity of Jesus Christ; without which his death on the cross would have been insufficient. It's imperative that you know what the Bible does teach, so that you won't be deceived and can verify what is being preached.
John 8: 31, 32 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you follow my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Jesus wants you to believe in him, obey his word, and to know his words of truth. There is a false messiah coming that will deceive many. Get to know the Lord of Glory now by reading the Bible, while there is still time, so that you aren't deceived.
Are 501-C3 Churches Teaching Biblical Doctrine or Government Propaganda?
Churches that are 501-C3 or exempt from taxes on tithes and offering are limited from preaching about doctrines against marriages or lifestyles that are in opposition to Biblical views. They also are limited in what they can say about hot topics like opposition to abortion, the right to bear arms and self-defense, and cannot talk about promoting political candidates that support their Biblical views, without losing their tax exempt status.
More recently, pastors of large congregations are being brought into DHS organizations such as the Clergy Response Teams prior to more natural disasters or martial law to counsel their congregants to obey the government in all things in a perverted interpretation of Romans 13. This was a similar tactic that the Nazis used to control Christians ahead of WWII and the genocide of Jews and others who stood against Hitler, or were despised by those in power.
While we are told by God to obey those in authority over us, at least until their dictates go directly against God's universal laws. Martin Luther King understood this very well, and tried to explain it to his fellow clergymen in "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."
This government issued interpretation of Romans 13 is in contrast to what the Apostle Peter stated to the Jewish leaders in Acts 5:29 But Peter and the apostles replied, "We must obey God rather than human authority."
George Soros's and other liberals funding for churches influence their far left-wing stances on many issues. His Nazi background growing up is cause for concern itself. While all church members may like to have a say in what direction their church is going or what it believes, the Bible should be the first and foremost basis for both. Now is similar to other times in Jewish history for the church as we do whatever is right in our own eyes.
God forgive us for following our own agendas, please bring us in line with your will and Holy Spirit.