Jude’s Warning, the Corruption of “Christian”

This morning as I reread the book of Jude, I was once again reminded that not only are we living in the Last Days, we’re living in days of incredible deception within the “church” especially as it relates to those who call themselves “Christian.” In a recent article I mentioned a Barna research study which stated that 85% of people in America identified themselves as “Christian.” However when asked a series of questions about what they believed to be True or Truth regarding the Deity of Christ, the inerrancy of Scripture, or the Biblical truth that through the completed work of Jesus Christ at Calvary lies the only pathway to eternal life, only 9% could affirm a true Biblical Christianity. Understanding this, it is quite apparent to me that in the world today, the majority of “Christians” aren’t and the “church” they may or may not attend isn’t. This comes as no surprise because even from the time of the inception of the Church, Jude warned of this very condition.

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:3-4 

Jude’s warning here is that certain men have crept in unnoticed and corrupted the “church.” Who are these men? Unfortunately they are men (and women) who purport themselves to be ministers of the gospel. They hold positions of leadership in churches, denominations, and seminaries with titles such as “bishop,” “apostle,” “pastor,” “evangelist,” “doctor,” or simply “minister.” Nevertheless, the one thing they all have in common is that they have corrupted the Truth of Scripture and have invented a liberal theology and a liberal “Christ” denying His authority, deity, dominion, and power.

These false teachers and preachers who have “crept in unnoticed” are no more than self-serving charlatans who use the name of Jesus for self-glorification, and to line their own pockets with what the Scripture calls filthy lucre, by promoting their own agendas and encouraging their faithful to give sacrificially to build their “church.” This is what Jude meant in verse 4 when he said they “turn the grace of God into lewdness.” The “church” of these false prophets and false teachers has no resemblance to the Church in Acts 2:42-47, and they seem only to exist for the purpose of “doing church.” Emotion has replaced Doctrine, Function has replaced Fellowship, Programs have replaced Discipleship, and sadly what passes for Prayer these days sounds more like a “give me” list to God rather than adoration, thanksgiving, and supplication. No longer do they point people to the Cross of Christ where His blood was shed for the remission of sins, but instead teach a false Christ whose inclusive love places no emphasis on their need for repentance. The Cross of Christ has become an ornament to wear rather than a symbol of the pain, suffering, and death which accomplished our Salvation. Again, Jude describes this in verse 4; they “deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Most “churches” today celebrate the humanity of men, pointing to the man (or woman) who leads them, rather than recognizing the sovereignty of God. “Christians” are no longer Christ’s ones as they were so designated in Antioch because of their desire to be like Christ, but instead today the name seems to apply to just about everyone. The name “Christian” has been opened up to so much deception that it is absolutely astounding to me. Many consider themselves “Christian” because America is supposedly a “Christian” nation, there are a plethora of cults that call themselves “Christians” and the majority of institutional and denominational “churches” as well as “Emergent” and “Mega-Churches” are dead or corrupt in their religiosity while still calling themselves “Christians,” yet they do not truly follow Christ!

In the little book of Jude, verses 5-15, God’s attitude toward these apostates who call themselves “Christians” or the “church” today is described. Their sin is defined in verse 8; because they “defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.” And in verse 10; they “speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.” Verse 11 summarizes their sin in examples from the Old Testament with a stinging indictment; “Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” Very simply stated, the way of Cain is the rejection of a blood sacrifice, in other words, they reject the blood of Christ in favor of self-improvement. The error of Balaam is the desire to attain personal wealth by making a business or profit out of the service of God. And those who perished in the rebellion of Korah did so because they rebelled against the leadership of the Lord. Verses 14-16 tell us that God will enact judgment on these false prophets, teachers, and preachers.

Friends, verses 17-23 of this wonderful little book tell us what the believer’s role is in the midst of all of this End Time apostasy. Jude instructs us to be; “building yourselves up on your most holy faith” we do this through being people of the book, studying and obeying the Word of God. He then instructs us to be “praying in the Holy Spirit” which means to be guided by the Spirit in our prayers seeking the Will of God for our lives, And then we are to; “keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” and we do this by living lives of holiness and godliness before Him as we look for and anticipate the imminent return of Jesus Christ for His True Church, those of us who really are “Christ ones” True Christians.

In the darkness of these Last Days where Satan, the ruler of this world, has taken control of so much, having invaded the “church” and its leadership, we True followers of Christ must heed the warning of the Apostle Paul and “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-18). We must Watch, Stand Fast, and be Strong (1 Corinthians 16:13) until we see Christ. It is our responsibility to be light in this world of darkness (Ephesians 5:8), and we must Watch and Pray (1 Peter 4:7), because;

Jesus is coming soon!

EvenSoCome

America You’re Too Young to Die!

In the 1970’s a ministry was born under the leadership of Del Fehsenfeld Jr. whose message is to call God’s people to repentance, restoration, and revival; especially here in the USA. From 1980 to 2000 the primary program of the ministry was entitled “America You’re Too Young to Die” and was a call for spiritual renewal and revival in the church and its people to ensure God’s continued blessing on the church and the United States of America. The ministry continues today under the able direction of Byron Paulus who was named national director, after the Lord called Del home in 1989. In the late 1970’s I was a member of the “Action Ranch” staff which at that time was the youth camp ministry of Life Action. While I was not a member of the revival “Teams” or even the counseling staff of the camp (I was the resident “Real Cowboy” overseeing the trail ride horses and barns), I did experience firsthand the powerful message being delivered to churches and individuals alike. The revival message which called for the real and essential need to return to a true biblical understanding of what a relationship with Jesus Christ is, and that a failure to do so would in fact doom America as a nation to an ungodly future.

There are three things which I gained during my short time with Life Action which remain with me today. First, Del Fehsenfeld taught me how to pray. During a road trip, as I drove him from headquarters to meet one of the teams for a revival, he asked me to pray with him for the revival. I learned from his example on that trip, that prayer is part adoration, part thanksgiving, and part supplication; all accomplished in a conversational manner which can be done anywhere anytime. The second thing I learned from Del (though it would be years before I fully embraced it) is a passion for the calling of God in your life. He literally lived every day filled with passion for God’s people to be revived and have a restored, living, obedient, fruitful relationship with Jesus Christ. And the third thing I learned from Del, may have been wholly unintentional on his part, but fully intentional by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. During another road trip Del explained how God in His sovereignty blesses nations or destroys nations depending on their obedience to Him (he used Nineveh in the Old Testament as example). This of course was in reference to the United States and whether it would continue under God’s blessing. My take away from this conversation was that God in His sovereignty has always had a plan, and that plan has been laid out in His Prophetic Word.

My passion is Bible Prophecy. Understanding the Prophetic Word of God, and then to the very best of my ability, in subjection to the Holy Spirit, teaching that Word so that others in the Body of Christ can understand it as well, and then act on it in their lives. As much as 30% of the Bible is Prophetic in nature, yet most mainstream churches seldom teach prophecy, and the majority of pastors in the pulpits of these churches could not begin to explain the significance of the book of Daniel to the Revelation of Jesus Christ as recorded by John. Even worse, their poor theological training or willful ignorance of a literal translation of Scripture, causes, even enables, them to disseminate un-biblical teaching, such as ascribing the promises to the nation of Israel falsely to the church. It is a fact that seminaries have turned from a literal translation of Scripture, and embraced un-biblical liberal theologies that are rife with secular humanism, humanistic psychology and pluralism. Of the literally hundreds of so-called evangelical seminaries, it would be far easier to name the few who remain true to Scripture than to name the vast number of those whose liberalism relegates them to a place of opposition to the teachings of Christ and His Apostles.

We are as a nation, plagued with a form of Christianity which has a “form of godliness” but is “denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). Recently at his Bible conference, Dr. David Reagan shared the results of a Barna research study which said that 85% of Americans consider themselves Christian, and approximately 40% as evangelical Christian; but when asked a series of questions as to whether they were “born again,” or believed Jesus was the Son of God, or that the Bible was God’s inerrant Word, only 9% could affirm a true Biblical Christianity.

My passion for Prophecy brings us back to the plea, “America You’re Too Young to Die!” which was the revival message of Del Fehsenfeld. Unfortunately, in the 40+ years since his call to revival began, America has continued its moral and Spiritual decline into ungodliness. Understand, it is not for lack of dedication on the part of Life Action or the many other ministries (such as our own) who continue “rightly dividing” (2 Timothy 2:15) the Word, and calling for revival, but it is actually rooted in the Prophetic Truth of God’s Word. I believe the United States of America, like many other nations before it, as well as other nations extent, is under God’s judgment. As a nation we have turned from the very things which brought God’s blessings on us, and embraced those things which bring about our own condemnation by Him. Many have twisted and turned and tried to find in God’s prophetic Word, the United States in End Time Prophecy. It isn’t there. That doesn’t mean that the continent is gone, or that the country is gone, or that society is gone, or that there are no people there, but what it does mean is that it has no relevance in the world of the End times.

America isn’t too young to die, but there yet remains millions within her borders who need not face an eternal death. Spiritual revival is still possible in America and in the world. In order for that revival to take place the 9% who have a True Faith in Jesus Christ must be willing to pray for personal revival in their own lives, keeping their sins confessed before God. The 9% must be willing to make a spiritual stand for Jesus Christ. The 9% must find a true passion in their lives for studying the Word of God and applying it to their lives. The 9% needs to understand and affirm that Scriptures which speak to Israel are for Israel, and those which speak to the Church are for the Church. The 9% must develop a distinct prayer life which involves adoration and thanksgiving before supplication; which is both continual and effectual. The 9% must embrace the need to understand, teach, and defend the prophetic Word of God because of the times in which we live. The 9% needs to be actively sharing the importance of biblical prophecy with their children and grandchildren. It is quite probable in my mind that those who are described as being a part of the millennial generation today, or “millennial’s,” who do not come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ may in fact experience the Tribulation and could survive to see Jesus Christ return in power and great glory to establish His Millennial Kingdom. How tragic that would be, to survive in unbelief only to be destroyed at His return.

Pray for revival, pray for it to start within your own life, to start within your family, within your local church, within your community, within the United States of America. Pray for revival because the Rapture of the Church is imminent, the time of Tribulation and the Day of the Lord are near, pray for revival because;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome