The Great "Falling Away" is Upon Us!
The New Gospel Is Not Just the Cart Before the Horse, It Ignores the Horse Altogether.
What's Wrong With the Song "Everyone Needs the Lord"?
(Editorial: I usually will not listen to today's Christian music as I find the majority of it an affront to Christ.) But...
Within the last week or so, I was flipping radio channels as I was commuting to work and I came across a Christian station playing the above song. It was just ending and the station's DJ began commenting on what a beautiful song it was and how powerful the message. Like a lightning bolt, something struck a chord within me as being very wrong with the song and the DJ's sappy comments. The song was a half-truth and as Alfred Tennyson once wrote; "...a half-truth is the blackest of all lies..."; the proverbial cart-before-the horse half-truth. It is a song befitting of the new gospel and for those who frequent the halls of their local beloved institutions of easy believism; kind of a Christianized folk song.
Think of the hackles that will be raised for my making such a cold, heartless comment. Surely, a person needs the Lord if they are ever to see heaven's shores...but what is it that the lost really need? They need to see that they are the blackest of all sinners, they are deserving of hell and they must repent. I am not going to go into a detailed doctrine of repentance, except to say the following: the Scriptures record three heartfelt prayers of men acknowledging their wickedness before God, followed by His unconditional forgiveness.
- David - Psalms 51:
- The publican - Luke 18:13-14
- The thief on the cross - Luke 23:41-43
What do they all have in common? Their sin was a burden their soul's could not bear. I have been to countless baptisms in my nearly 50 years as a Christian and the one thing I have not heard in many years is the testimony of the agony of one who struggled with an unbearable sin problem. They may have got wet but whether they have been baptized with the Spirit remains to be seen.
What do we hear today? A kinder, gentler message of needing a friend in Jesus to make your life more rewarding and fulfilling. Repentance, hell and damnation are avoided topics as being too harsh, divisive and attacking the self-esteem of the individuals.
What do we see today? Crowds that put their high priest, I mean pastors on pedestals and leave the work of the Gospel to the professional holy men. People without discernment in doctrine, dress, music, media and friends. Lack of faithfulness in marriage, love for the wealth of this world, without a vision (Proverbs 29:18) and no hunger for the Word of God.
We Are the Frogs Being Slowly Boiled in the New Gospel.
Today's New Gospel - God's Trying the Hearts of Mankind.
First things first: my God is absolutely sovereign and this new age Gospel being perpetrated upon mankind has not taken Him by surprise but is according to His purposes to separate the wheat from the chaff.
For most of my Christian life, I have heard the above passage in 2nd Thessalonians being taught, preached and written in many a commentary, that this great falling away (apostasia 646 -to stand away) was a rejection of the Gospel, causing an exodus from the church. The truth of the matter is quite the opposite: the unbelieving, those who reject the Truth or have bought the lie of easy believism are flocking to the churches. We have apostles, prophets, evangelists, healers, prosperity teachers and products of the sacred seminaries called pastors, reverends and the like heaping to themselves millions of people who love to have their ears tickled. We have a generation of men and women who believe that they are entitled to the worldly benefits that their new found profession affords them in both mammon and social notoriety. They are also blind to the fact that large portions of their followers are dead in their sins and those who names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life are suffering famine.
What is also common in the exposition of the Thessalonian's is the lack of attention the phrase "...except there come (erchomai 2064 ). The form of this Greek word is found in three other passages.
- John 18:4 "Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come ..."
- Philippians 1:12 Paul stated "...that the things which happen unto me have fallen-out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel; ..."
- Revelation 3:10 "Because thou hast kept the Word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."
We have lost the flavor of the passages spoken by our Lord that address the difference between the many and the few.
- Matthew 7:13-14 "Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadth to destruction and many there be which go thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadth to life and few there be that find it."
- Matthew 7:22-23 "Many will say unto ME in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in they name? and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
This great falling away is not an event but a painful process to those of us who have seen the Truth become of minor importance within the fellowships in America and abroad. People, leaders and the lay alike, have become social club addicts, enjoying the fact that nothing is required of them but attendance and tithing; how convenient. Toe the line, question not authority, go with the flow and all things will work out in the end; they hope. Over the years, I have at times wished I was dumb and clueless, so that I could enjoy the fellowship and ignore the questions that would gnaw at my soul caused by some teaching or preaching. What can a Christian do in today's religious world?
A True Refuge for Like-Minded Believers.
This Is Where I Have Turned For Genuine Fellowship and Worship.
The epistles of the New Testament were largely written to home based fellowships and the world was changed forever. Where do we see the Gospel today spreading like wildfire? In Asia, the Middle East, and Africa where a majority cannot afford the luxury of meeting publicly. It is in Europe and North America where the freedom to meet publicly still exists to a great extent but the church has grown to mirror the culture that surrounds it. It has become worldly, money oriented and cold. The real Gospel is handed over to missionaries for foreign consumption and sadly much of this is an attempt to perpetuate the Western form of Christianity; build church buildings, train the leadership in Western style management and create a dependence upon Western generosity.
Our small group which has been meeting for the past couple of years has experienced what would seem to others as negative events, but the Truth is becoming very apparent. We have had one requiring a spinal fusion, another a very successful brain procedure and as for myself, I spent five days in a hospital due to a misdiagnosis. Is God's hand against us? Quite the contrary; I received a thank you letter from one for turning them into Bible flippers (cross referencing their studies) and others inquiring to join us for the same reasons we all came together. What also is interesting is the excitement everyone has when meeting together; Bibles at the ready, questions galore and the time taken to leave no one behind. Do we all agree on every topic? Don't I wish; but everyone is being stretched and everyone keeps coming back for more.
The more I hear about home churches and the growth they are experiencing in this country, the more I am becoming convinced that apostasy for growth requires a formal and public setting to reach the masses. Are there some heretics that meet in small private settings; of course and they will never disappear until our Lord returns. The tragic side of the American church scene has been the denominational influence through their colleges and seminaries. They have left the Gospel of the Scriptures and have evolved into a user friendly religious business; teaching their own how to live off the backs of the lay and in turn rule as lords over God's heritage rather than by example, negating 1 Peter 5:2-3.
As Wycliffe stated prior to his execution for translating the Bible into English (my paraphrase), "If the curators (pastors) will neglect the Gospel, then it is the duty of the believer to take Bible for themselves and let God be the teacher."
You and I will stand on our own merit before God, and the teachings of our pastor or priest will have no bearings as to our personal heresies. Look no further than the one in the mirror; he or she will be the one accountable in the end. May God bless in these perilous days.