Apostasy in the Church

The Bible teaches in 1 Timothy 4 that in the latter times many will DEPART from the truth - meaning they were once in it - and will teach destructive heresies. It started with people teaching that preachers had to be celibate and that it was ok to bow down to statues and it got more diverse from there. I mean we now have a pope who thinks atheists might enter heaven and won't speak against homosexual sin. And we have protestants who support "gay marriage" and some charismatics who open the door to kundalini spirits, while others prefer straight out money grabs by making false promises to those who send them money or buy their religious merchandise with donations.

With the advent of modern communication technology and things like youtube, we can see what people are teaching. It is important that we know the Scriptures very well and that we have sought out the mind of the Spirit on the issues that are paramount. Otherwise, if we don't have that kind of love for the truth, we are very likely to be deceived.

One form of deception is to hold back important elements of the message of God's word, downplaying them, or denying them. One of the most popular preachers in the United States, Joel Osteen, exemplifies this approach. He steers clear of anything the people of the world would not really want to hear - anything like God's requirement to forsake sin, for example. You also get popular pastors like Rob Bell who suggest that hell is not the eternal destination of Christ rejecters. Or the many liberal "ministers of religion" in the Anglican, United Methodist, Presbyterian and Lutheran churches who suggest that God accepts homosexual marriage and even want such a"marriage" themselves. These are all examples of people in my view who may have been raised in truth but at critical points departed from it.

The doctrine that you cannot lose your salvation comforts people and would make many think that these things are not such a big deal. But the Bible says this
"But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does[a] not slumber." (2 Peter 2:1-3 NKJV).

It is therefore possible for people to bring on themselves destruction by rejecting the Way of Truth and teaching others to do so. Because we don't want anyone to steal our crown, and because we don't want to lose our true connection with Christ, we must be vigilant about these things, warn others, and take heed to ourselves that we do not follow the crowd in following wrong teaching. Studying and praying about these things takes some effort, and you will only do this I suppose if you love the truth enough to pay a price to have it.

2 Timothy 4:3 says: "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."

This prophecy is being fulfilled today. Many contrary things are being spoken about the gospel, and most people are voting with their feet to hear those preachers who tell them what they want to hear.

If you want to enter life, keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and make sure it is the same Lord that is revealed in the New Testament. Many imagine they can avoid the hard work of this by trusting their favourite preacher who assures them and makes them feel comfortable in exchange for a donation. But in the light of what Scripture says above, this could be an extremely perilous approach.

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