The influence of Satan on the world and on the Church is so embedded in today’s environment that no-one escapes its influence. It goes without saying that all of the world’s political, social, religious and economic systems are totally corrupted so that there is no way Christians can escape the influence. And yet we must try not to be polluted by it all, if possible.
But the world’s influence is so thorough and so subtle that it has clearly entered the Church’s life and teachings to such an extent that often one would be hard pressed to recognise the difference between a worship service and a rock concert. Of course many in the modern Church love it that way – they are blinded by the world into thinking that differences in worship styles are cultural and optional. ‘If you want the young people to come the Church must change’, they say.
However, many other Christians understand that when you copy the world you may attract the young but you will definitely lose the age-old message of repentance, salvation and godly living which is stressed repeatedly in the New Testament. But who cares about the New Testament today when you can sit back and let your paid pastor interpret it for you in the way he wants it to sound – loving and not requiring judgment, easy and not requiring the renewal of your mind, exciting and not encouraging the quiet contemplation of the written Word of God?
There is a major deception occurring through the Churches today – no longer is divorce to be avoided at all costs (except under Jesus’ terms involving adultery), no longer is homosexuality sinful and may even be tolerated in some Churches, no longer are homosexuals prevented from ‘marrying’ their own sex, no longer is abortion of innocent babies avoided, and no longer are Biblical doctrines considered important. Many of these things are now being actively encouraged and not just tolerated.
In other words, the New Testament teachings are virtually irrelevant except for selected quotes from Jesus telling us to love one another – which in itself reveals a faulty understanding of what Jesus meant by love. Love desires the best for someone else, including their eternal salvation, not just their physical ‘happiness’ or their comfort.
Today, those who follow these trends are well and truly entrenched in many Churches – the pastors, leaders and the followers. The teachers I believe are mostly too far gone – their apostasy is too engrained in them along with the authoritarian attitudes they have and their lack of scriptural understanding. But the sheep love to have it that way because it makes things a lot easier. The apostates are getting worse and the sheep, who may sense something is wrong, are too lazy, too tired, too ignorant or too blind to study the Scriptures for themselves and stand up against it.
The great apostasy, or falling away before the return of Jesus to collect His Church (called the rapture), is clearly to be seen right across so-called Christendom.
The Lord told us to prepare for ‘that Day.’ “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” [Luke 21:34-36].
We are to be well aware of the times we live in and not get caught up in today’s world as we see the evil accelerating and growing. The warning signs are all around us: there is massive compromise, not the least with some denominational leaders with the Roman Catholic Pope. Francis recently has taken the initiative to bring back all the protestants to ‘Mother Church’, and apostate leaders like Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, Hillsong’s Brian Houston and others have taken the bait. And out of the other side of his mouth the Pope has also recently reiterated that salvation only comes through ‘his’ church. How blind are they? These so-called protestant sycophants will lead many of their sheep to the slaughter.
Our watching is to be accompanied by prayer. We should be praying that ourselves and others will not be swamped and drowned by the great apostasy now under way. In Revelation 3:2 Jesus said: “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain.”
I trust that those reading these words will stand firm to the end.