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Nevertheless, if we want to be faithful followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in this day and age, we must be alert and ready to boldly stand against the spirit of the age. Nevertheless, if we want to be faithful followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in this day and age, we must be alert and ready to boldly stand against the spirit of the age. (Public Domain)

Since that very moment in the Garden of Eden when a single bite shattered the harmony of the world, man has tried to make his own way, be his own master, and set up his own kingdom. It's nothing new.

Nevertheless, if we want to be faithful followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in this day and age, we must be alert and ready to boldly stand against the spirit of the age that seeks to modify the message of Christ, undermine His power to set us free from sin, repaint Christ's picture to make Him more acceptable to a wayward generation and rewrite the gospel to remove the offense of the cross.

For the last 2,000 years, the church has been plagued with heresy after heresy seeking to tame the gospel, and today is no different. Here are just a few of the popular beliefs in our current culture that threaten to infiltrate the church:

  1. Universalism: the belief that all people will be saved or that all ways lead to God and eternal life. Many who subscribe to this theology claim that, for instance, Christians and Muslim worship the same God.
  2. The Prosperity Gospel: the belief that God's primary concern is for believers to be healthy and wealthy. If Christians are sick, suffering or poor, it is because of sin or a lack of faith.
  3. The New Age Movement: a belief system of Eastern influence that emphasizes universal tolerance and doing what feels good (moral relativism). It contends that man is divine and can create his own reality and identity. 
  4. Legalism: the improper use of the law described in Scripture to try to attain or maintain salvation. Legalism also fosters judgment of fellow Christians for not adhering to one's own ideas of holiness rather than encouraging them to imitate Christ, obeying God's standards as explicitly outlined in Scripture.
  5. Hyper-grace: the overreaction to legalism, resulting in abuse of God's grace. Believers find themselves drawn to the modern hyper-grace movement because they are looking for freedom not just from legalism, but also from God's standards.
  6. The Emerging Church: a movement that claims to be Christian but employs culturally sensitive methods to make the gospel more palatable to a postmodern culture. Jesus' life is treated more as an allegory or narrative rather than a true event. Of particular concern is the inclusive approach to various belief systems, an emphasis on emotions over absolute truth and the notion that there is no hell, judgment or need for forgiveness. The Emerging Church movement also glorifies honesty and confession, but without repentance.

Behind all these false ideologies is the belief that Scripture is not infallible and truth simply changes with the times. A 2014 Gallup poll revealed that:

  • 22 percent of Americans believe the Bible is the actual Word of God and should be taken literally
  • 28 percent believe it is the actual Word of God, but with multiple possible interpretations
  • 28 percent believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God but should not be taken literally
  • 18 percent believe it is an ancient book of legends, history and moral precepts written by man

How do we respond to such false teachings as they arise within the church? We preach Christ. We reinforce biblical doctrine, clinging to the highest authority—the Word of God. For "The god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord" (2 Cor. 4:4-5a). 

We preach Christ who was promised by God back in Genesis. We preach Christ, who was born of a virgin. We preach Christ, who healed the sick, raised the dead, made the lame to walk and set the captives free. We preach Christ, who chose to die a criminal's death on the cross in order to set us free from sin. We preach Christ, who rose victoriously from the grave, never to die again, thus assuring everyone who places their trust in Him of eternal life with Him in heaven. We preach Christ, who will come again to judge the living and the dead.

So we can say:

  1. To the universalists: No one will be saved apart from Jesus Christ. Only those who choose to repent and call on the name of Jesus will have eternal life (see Acts 4:12Matt. 25:46Heb. 9:27John 14:6). 
  2. To heralds of the prosperity gospel: Jesus promised us that we will suffer, but that He is with us and has overcome the world (see John 16:33Rom. 5:3-52 Tim. 3:12Luke 14:27).
  3. To the new agers: There is only one sovereign God, Creator of all things (see Is. 55:8-9Job 12:10Heb. 2:5-10).
  4. To legalists: If righteousness were attainable through the law, Christ would not have had to die (see Matt. 7:22-23Gal.2:21Rom. 3:10-1228James 2:10). We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ's singular work on the cross, and even this faith is a gift from God not achieved by our own efforts (see Rom. 4:5Eph. 2:8). And we are not to judge our brothers and sisters in Christ on debatable issues (see Rom. 14:1-12).
  5. To proponents of hyper-grace: God's grace has freed us from the bondage of sin, but we should not receive His sacrifice in vain (see Rom. 6:23Heb. 10:26-29). We must repent and seek to live under the lordship of Christ, seeking holiness through the power of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Pet. 1:13-162:11-1216Rom. 5:20-6:18).
  6. To the emerging church: If we dilute the gospel, then we no longer have Good News to share (see Gal. 1:8-91 Cor. 15:1-4Ex. 20:3-6John 8:24). Only Christ can break the chains of sin, set the captives free and conform us to His image (see 1 John 5:3-5Phil. 3:7-9Gal. 5:16).

Brothers and sisters in Christ, arm yourselves with the Word of God. Know your Bible and speak the truth in love. In this way, may we remain faithful by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This article originally appeared on Leading The Way. 

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Replies

  • That's a very safe list, picking on things that are very much fringe, rather than things deeply rooted in the modern church.  Walk into any "Bible Believing" church and you'll get practically 100% of the people to agree with you on that list.  If everyone agrees, then those things aren't spreading much darkness in the church.

    The things really causing darkness in the church are the things that you won't get complete agreement on.  For example, the doctrine of God's unconditional love of everyone spreads darkness in the church.   Which universalist believed in universal salvation without first believing God loves everyone?  Would you throw someone you love into a lake of fire?

    If you say God loves everyone, you invite the unbeliever to slam you as a hater for upholding biblical values.  Is not  universalism, the decline of American morality, and many other bad things not fruits of the teaching God loves everyone?  

    • It very much depends on your denomination system as to what you believe.  You see truth is actually variable, it is only facts that are set in stone.  What one believes as truth another sees as heretical lies, what the Christian sees and believes as truth, the Moslem rejects, and adopts their own truth.  To us the truth is the teaching of God's Son Yeshua fully man and fully God, but to the Orthodox Jew, what Jesus said was the good teaching of a minor prophet.  If you take the list to a hundred different churches, all of which claim to be Bible Beliving, you will get at least one of the ten items rejected at every one.

      There are no grey areas, I have found that almost every church would claim to be a Bible Believing church, but it's about believing in the literal sense of the Bible, and that is not to say being legalistic.  There is just too much interpretation of the scriptures, we don't need to reinterpret the Bible, we need to re-read it.

  • I guess I'm seeing the heart of the worl infecting the church.  I have no problem with any style of music, however, I see cravings for rock-stardom.  I have no problem with people just being themselves, however, there seems to be no temperance with many.  Also, I have no problem with the use of drama being used to spread the Gospel of Christ,  but the world's standards are blurring the lines of decency.   Also, the "gate-keepers" of ministry aren't always in tune with the master gatekeeper (Revelation 3:7  ...These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;).  I'm also seeing the revival of ancient heresies like post-trib, replacement theology and cessationism gaining prominence.

    That'll do for starters.  (blog site:  pastormikie.wordpress.com)

    • A friend from a ways back, who was/is an evangelist in the UK has a true saying, "If the church does not impact the community, the community will impact the church."  Substitute the word 'world' for the 'community' and it fits the global issue as well as the local, and that's what has happened.  The church has been weakened by men who who wish to please the world more than they wish to please God.  It happened seventeen hundred years ago and it is still happening today.  The church is weak, it is made the butt of jokes and is the laughing stock when it decides to speak out.

      We need to get back to the values of the first and second century 'ecclesia', a people set apart as a kingdom of God.  One body, one Spirit, one Saviour, one God.  

  • Hello, Pastor Rolf,

    I really enjoyed your post.  Personally Im starting to see more of a "hyper grace" movement within the Church.  it seems to be extremely popular with the (millennial) crowd.  it seems to be a movement going around such as "God's not concerned with a persons sin, he is only concerned if the person accepts him." ( they connot accept Christ without a lifestyle change or a heart of repentance)  this pains me because I am seeing Christians become passive.  they utter strange falsehoods such as well it does not matter if i sleep around with random men / women God loves me and i am forgiven, therefore it does not matter what i do.  im still in Gods good graces." another belief is "God created a person to be a homo-sexual and and because his grace is so strong he it will not effect your salvation"   

    this all sound great in theory but it is not the truth.   1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NASB) States, Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. "  also 1 Peter 2:16 "Live in freedom, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God."  and Galations 5:13 "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another."

    Im not shaming anyone whom may struggle with these kind of sins.  I am just calling for a wake up call! This hyper grace movement is scary church.  People are blinded by the truth because of their selfish, sinful desires.  this hyper grace movement insists on a call to prayer! as well as rebuke.  Let us not be Timid church for God has given us a Spirit of Courage.  2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  As a pastor I hate seeing the Church so manipulated I pray we will see a great revival 

    In Christ,

    Pastor Robert Tucker.

    • I am with you here Robert, things should work the other way around; when we accept Jesus as our God and Saviour, the indwelling Spirit should prompt us, and our love of God should make us want to, obey God's laws.  Our salvation is not dependent upon the law, but if we continue to believe that we have a free ticket to sin, there is something very wrong.

    • This conversation, Grace vs. the Law, was gone over quite thoroughly just recently in a very long discussion here-  http://www.christianslikeme.net/forum/topics/replacement-theology . The discusssion started about being about the Jews and the problems in the Christian church and society  they face, but it morphed into a long discussion of the Law vs. what you call Hyper Grace. Check it out!

  • Sometimes prophecy isn't what you hoped God would say. There's a lot of false doctrine and prophecy going on right now. It gets difficult to discern. The only place I know to go is to God's Word like you said.

    I had a teaching where the pastor said, and if this does not come true, then I'm a false prophet. I couldn't believe he said that either. Of course, I checked my Bible and marked my calendar. It was easy to figure out just mark the date and watch. I don't expect satan to make it that simple for me to figure out all the time. I check my Bible and take a step back and watch. I like to say...God, just exactly what is going on here? Just wait, God will answer.

    God's Love,
    Mary

    • Mary, I think God is staring to speak, I believe that as we close in on the end and Jesus' second coming He will speak more and more.  I believe that the time of the coming has been set by God, an immovable feast, sort of speak.  When Jesus told His disciples that He didn't know the time of the end, and said that only the Father knew it, He was telling them that the date had already been set, otherwise God would not have known.  I also believe that time is short and as the the time grows shorter, I think we will hear more from Him.  More prophesies will be received, prophesies that will express God's anger and sadness.

  • Have you read anything by or about Apostle Jonas Clark? I find his teaching to have a lot of depth. He talks about some of the snares Christians can stumble into.

    http://www.jonasclark.com/

    I also have read some of Rabbi Jonathan Cahn's books. The Harbinger is thought provoking. He talks about 9/11 and America. America has been given a lot. To whom much is given much is expected. He also talks a lot about Isaiah 9:10. Israel had a breach. Instead repenting and turning back to God, they set out on their own and decided to rebuild. It didn't help false prophets were giving a bunch of untrue fluff (false prophecy).

    The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. (Isaiah 9:10 KJV)

    Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where [is] the daubing wherewith ye have daubed [it]? Ezekiel 13:12 KJV)

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=rabbi+jonathan+cahn&qpvt=ra...

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