The Great Apostasy

My thoughts today keep wandering to two distinct thoughts – the Great Apostasy, and the absolute horror of people who think they’re Christians, but aren’t – and their eventual end.

I’m speaking of course of the people who say things like, “We need to re-interpret Christianity in light of today” – as if today is somehow different from yesterday! As if today, we are so high and mighty that God needs to (God forbid…) bow to us!

Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt and Brian McClaren are three such examples.But there’s many, many more. In the Bible, the word Apostasty comes from ἡ αποστασία, hē apostası́a, “a standing away from” (more literally, a combining of the words apo “from” and histemi “to stand”. I remember Histemi, it was a test question).

Christianity in my lifetime has stood away from its beliefs. It has moved from ALL of the cardinal doctrines.

Belief in the Bible? Most of Christianity has abandoned it. Oh sure, they preach from the Bible, but the fact that two entire denominations in the 19th and 20th century could have changed their stand from “Is the Inerrant, Inspired Word of God” to “contains the inerrant, inspired word of God”… and NOBODY raised a stink… tells me that people were falling asleep a hundred years ago. David Cloud’s Timeline of Apostasy should be taught on in EVERY pulpit in America! Now we have pop stars in pulpits telling us, “well the Bible doesn’t even say that!” “Uh, but Pastor Rob, it says right here…” “No, that’s not really what it means! If you were on a trampoline…”

Christians should be pointing fingers, and loudly decrying “You are a heretic, a false teacher! You are not a Christian!”  to these men! We should be holding entire denominations accountable! If all the members of every SBC Congregation were to hold a massive event where we all got together, and made demands for explanations of these men, we might be able to expose them!

(I’ve lived in the South too long… I almost wrote “Might could…”).

Belief in the Virgin Birth? Christianity is abandoning it. I guess belief in miracles is embarrassing the liberals.

Belief in the Godhood of Jesus Christ? Christianity has been tiptoeing away from it. If you don’t believe Jesus Christ is God, you are not a Christian. Bottom line. You’re not saved. You’re doomed to eternity in Hell if you don’t get saved.

Belief in substitutionary atonement? This is Christianity. This is what it’s based upon. Yet Christianity is running from this. Everyone’s in love with the Cross, and Jesus in agony… and everyone loves the “Jesus died for me…” but what Christians are abandoning is that Christ had to suffer and die for you, in order for you to escape hell! We are bought with a price… and we are not our own! we need to understand that.

Belief in Eternal Punishment? Christianity began sprinting from that back in the 1800’s. Nobody likes the idea of Hell. I don’t like it. But it’s a fact. Since I got saved, 179,894,000 people have entered Hell. That’s 179,894,000 people who no longer have any doubts Hell is real. What kind of answer will we give God when He asks us why so many people have gone into Hell? We’re supposed to be spreading the message that “Jesus Saves from Hell” – and 179 million people either never got that message, or they took one look at us, and said, “Why should I join you when you guys can’t even get it together?” We don’t have a good answer for that.

I mean, I’ve got one – “Well, unless you want to burn for all eternity, I’d repent and believe in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior”! But as for why they should join the church? That’s getting harder and harder to answer. Unless you paid attention to Scripture and noticed a barely discussed doctrine – that if a church abandons correct doctrine, they risk Christ “removing their candlestick”. They’re no longer a church.

I don’t have a problem with a lot of Emergent congregations calling themselves names like “The Rock” or “Red Sea” or “Mars Hill” – at least they’re not putting the word “church” in the name!

Belief in the Preservation of Scripture? Wow. Precious few of us believe in that today. We get nicknames like “fundy” or “Bullhorn”, and people make snide comments about “those King James Only whackos”… and then they read their modern translation with entire doctrines deliberately removed, and they wonder why Christianity is “standing away from” the truth. Why is the church so much in error? Why is there so much apostasy and backsliding, and denial of biblical Truths? Look at your modern Bible. “He was Manifest in the flesh.” (1 Tim. 3:16, RSV). That misses the mark. I’m manifest in the flesh! The RSV, NASB, NIV, The Message, Living Bible, and others all deny the incarnation of God in the flesh.

And when a Unitarian, Presbyterian or Methodist denies that Jesus is God, you gasp in horror! And yet, he (or she) is just quoting the modern (mis)translations! And when I cite this as an example of a conspiracy to keep people from becoming saved, or keep Christians from being fruitful or learning correct biblical doctrine, people tsk at me and say, “well, according to the oldest and best manuscripts…”

Everyone except a few believes in MVO – Multiple Versions Only. Now, even if I never spoke out against the modern perversions, MVO believers would still lecture me, and look down on me, because I, by conviction, will only use a King James. Ask yourself why. Be that honest, ask yourself why. Is it because I’m a fundamentalist? Brother or sister, the Bible demands that you be a fundamentalist.

Paul commanded Timothy to instruct doctrine to his Church, and present it without spot (1 Tim. 6:14). Read all of 1 Timothy 6 – you’ll see verse 14 is a continuation of thought of Paul’s as he discusses doctrine.

I think about a spot on my suit, from coffee, or food. A spot isn’t a huge stain on my suit. The Bible would say “stain” if it was talking about something big. It says “Spot”. That by definition is a small thing!

So, when we begin challenging all the heretics, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the false teachers, and begin demanding all the other denominations get right with God and with right doctrine, we need to continue that until we’ve nobody left to address except Baptists.

And let’s not stop there. Let’s keep going until we’re all fundamentalists.

Better yet, let’s start right in our own pew. And purge our way from there. Let’s get all the Baptists right with God.

Southern Baptists used to mean fundamentalist. Let’s get back to that. We all want to hear “Well done!”

Rob Bell

Rob Bell

And… it’s no surprise to me that Rob Bell abandoned his church to pursue a career in television. He’s been pretending to be a Christian for years, so acting should be easy for him.

“They [the New Testament epistles] aren’t first and foremost timeless truths. … (Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis)

Did his church feel happy for him, that he’d gotten his dream? or did they feel shocked, betrayed, dismayed? I’d love to hear from a Mars Hill church member and see how they felt.

Rob Bell is toxic. If I’d heard him say to me face to face as a Christian what he’d written in Velvet Elvis and in Love Wins, I’d have disagreed with him and chalked him up as just a lost person who thinks they’re saved.

But he wasn’t. He was a pastor. I guess the sheep costume got too itchy for him, or too hot over all that wolf fur.

And worse, he was an influential pastor. His NOOMA series is a big seller at Christian Book Distributors, as are Love Wins and Velvet Elvis. I wish I could get every God-Fearing Baptist to write a warning review of it and tell people “DO NOT BUY THIS! IT WILL LEAD YOU ASTRAY!”

We’ve entered the Great Apostasy period before the Rapture. It’s time the Church woke up, and began a major evangelistic campaign to get people saved… and a major Warning ministry to warn those who are being led astray. We need to be lifting up David Cloud, and not bashing him.

Rob Bell is not a saved man. If he is, I’d be astounded, and very relieved. Because he talks and acts like an unsaved man, and I pray he gets saved before he finds out how wrong Love Wins really is.

Cancer Group for Christians?

Every church should have a program in place for helping people with Cancer. It’s so rampant nowadays. The old days of not telling anyone have got to go.

There should be people in the Church offering to help with all the little things someone going through chemotherapy is facing…everyone can get two or three friends to volunteer and help out. So if you’ve got four people in the program, they by extension can get another 12 people involved.

Things the program can help with:

  • Picking up meds from the pharmacy
  • taking care of dry cleaning
  • grocery shopping
  • errand running
  • taking care of pets/ clean litterbox/walk dogs
  • pick up mail
  • cook meals
  • do laundry
  • clean house
  • visitation
  • do dishes
  • mow the lawn/edge garden

It’s not really a hard thing. People at churches are more than happy to cook a meal! But… how’s this person who’s weak from Chemo going to wash the dishes? Or wash the clothes? Pick up their prescription?

A person in charge can take the shopping lists, split them up among two or three people, they all bring the items to the group leader, and then the group leader can take care of delivering it. This can of course be adjusted as needed.

In addition, with so many people in America coming down with Cancer, churches should be prepared to “adopt a bill” and try paying off at least one of the patients bills. How can this help? It’s obvious. Even with good insurance, chemotherapy is hugely expensive. Without it, a person can quickly spiral into despair. A church assisting by paying for one bill… that can help a person greatly.

Tares and Wheat

I sit here thoroughly (or “throughly”) amazed, having read a module that was prepared for Esword by some well meaning Quick Prayerism person that completely confused the elements of salvation.

I cannot just put this aside without comment. There are some topics that although weighty, are not as important. Separationism to me is very important, I’d classify that as very important.

But a true Salvation understanding is crucial. If you don’t have a true understanding of salvation, the odds are good – you may not be saved.

I suspect that this person who wrote this is saved, but a very immature Christian. The fear of lack of salvation means one of two things – you’re not saved, or you’re looking in the wrong direction.

If you’re looking to your own self (“I don’t feel saved”) or your works (“I did all that in the beginning, but now I don’t know…”) that’s the wrong direction. Look to God. Look at Calvary. What do you see at Calvary? Nothing. An empty spot where three crosses stood 2,000 years ago. And underneath it, the most famous empty tomb in the world. Jesus is risen.

When a writer starts off by saying “I love Joel Osteen”, it worries me. Yes, I listened to Joel Osteen when I first was seeking God. But listening to Joel never got me saved. Joel presented an empty Gospel, a carefree lightweight, “fill the church with Tares” gospel.

To read in the next sentence that Joel Osteen is preaching an unBiblical Gospel made me want to shout “Hallelujah!” until I read why: The author said, “Joel Osteen preaches Lordship Salvation because he tells sinners they need to repent.”

Um… wow. That’s so far from an Biblical understanding of Salvation that I can only want to climb on the Rooftop of my house and shout to the World, “Avoid the Esword module ‘I never know you’ !”

The author is motivated by good intentions. And once he gets a good, mature and Biblical understanding of the Bible and the Salvation message, I think he could be greatly used by God to have a warning ministry like David Cloud.

But to hear him say Joel Osteen preaches Lordship Salvation…? I thought my brains were going to explode when I read that! I think I frantically looked around for cotton to plug my ears to prevent exactly that.

Who else by his definitions teaches Lordship Salvation, then? Me. David Cloud. John R. Rice. John the Baptist. The Apostle Paul. The Apostle Peter. The Apostle James. The Apostle John. Whoever wrote Hebrews. Jesus Christ. and God.

To command people to repent is not Lordship Salvation. It’s Biblical. A word study on Repentance, and reading the verses in context will show that preaching anything else will fill churches with the unSaved. Kind of like …Mars Hill church.

If you’re saved, your attitude changes. You begin wanting to honor God, and you get convicted on “hey, this is a bad thing on TV…” and you turn from it. You begin dressing more modestly. You try to stop drinking. or Stop altogether, as is most often the case. You begin to pattern yourself more after the model presented in the New Testament, and start studying to shew thyself approved. You begin to start asking yourself “what is the Lord’s will for my life?” Before you were saved, did you ever truly worry what was the Lord’s will for your life? It’s a good high-water mark to know if you’re saved or not!

Those are manifestations of a changed life. “Works meet for repentance” is how the Bible describes it. This is not Lordship Salvation! This is Biblical Repentance. Godly sorrow worketh repentance.

Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

If you’re born of the Spirit, you want to change. You need to change. The things you were doing every day as an unSaved person suddenly begin to bother you.

That’s not Lordship Salvation. That’s not works-based salvation. And the Lord Jesus Christ will not say to you on Judgment Day, “You gave tithe and you dressed modestly and stopped listening to rock music, and stopped watching unGodly movies – Away with you! I never knew you!” Instead, the Lord Jesus will commend you for trying to live a more godly life.

The key is the focus. Are you depending on your works to give you added grace and merit? That’s works based salvation, which is the essence of Lordship Salvation. “I sinned today, so God will kick me out of heaven.” That’s Armenianism, which is unBiblical. The Bible teaches once you are saved, you are saved forever.

A true Salvation message must begin by confronting the sinner with their own sinfulness, and a reminder of the judgment to come. As Baptist churches began to cease speaking of Hell, they began filling the pews with bright shiny tares. And nicely dressed wolves, whose suits are made of wool. As they stopped confronting people with the sinfulness of their condition, the number of unSaved increased. We even began wetting the tares down nicely in Baptismals. After all, God has a wonderful plan for those tares! It’s called “damnation.”

Once the sinner understands that their sinfulness is so great that a Holy and Righteous God cannot even look at them, and they will have to answer on Judgment Day, then you can finally tell them the Salvation message. “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe…”

I pray the author of that module will come to understand this. and then at last the issue of if he is saved will cease to bother him. And quickly, because if he’s writing this early in the game as a Christian, then he’s got a great ministry ahead of him!

The Crisis of Hell

I’ve realized I need to redouble my efforts to complete Bible College soon.

My thoughts turn today to the thought of Evangelism. We’re in the midst of a Crisis, soteriologically (if that’s a word). More than 143,000 people a day enter into Hell. I’ve got to truly think of a way to Evangelize people. How to get past objections, hurt feelings, “I don’t want to believe that” and other stupid objections?

I want to lessen that 143,000 a day. Since I started Bible College, over 65 million people have entered Hell.

We don’t have time for niceties, worries about hurt feelings, offending people – this is an emergency.

David Cloud’s Ideas for Evangelism becomes one of the most important books of the 2000’s.

It’s time to stop thinking about soulwinning and do it.

Question of the day… could I have saved even one of those 65 million souls?

‘it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment’ (Heb. 9:27)

‘There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death’ (Prov. 14:12).”

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’ (Jer. 17:9)