This Present Apostasy

The last days in the time of the return of our Lord Jesus will be a time of apostasy. We read in 1 Timothy 4:1; “But the Spirit saith expressly, that in latter times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.” By “doctrines of demons” is evidently meant teachings that evil spirits will promulgate through those men and women who are under their control, such, for example, as the teaching of modern “spiritualism,” which might more properly be termed “demonism.”

The marvelous growth of belief in the “occult” in our days seems to be a fulfillment of this word of prophecy. On every hand men seem to be departing from the faith once delivered to the saints and giving heed to all manner of evil spirits. We are further told by Paul in his second epistle to Timothy that those days shall be “grievous times.” He says, “but know this that in the last days grievous times shall come; for men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traders, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof” (2 Timothy 5:1-3).

These words present to us a remarkably accurate picture of our own time. If one should take up in detail each item in Paul’s characterization of the last days, he would find it marvelously fulfilled in our own day. This naturally leads many to suppose that the Lord’s coming is very near to hand. However, we should always bear in mind that earnest men of God and students of the Bible have often thought in bygone days that the coming of the Lord was very near. Luther, for example, thought this centuries ago. These men of the past were not mistaken. The return of our Lord was very near. Those who were mistaken were those who thought it so far away that they let it have no effect upon their lives. But at the present time, the multiplied iniquities of our day, the apostasy into damning error and unbelief of many professed and hitherto apparently sincere Christians, and of many professedly evangelical preachers, and of numerous professors of theology in seminaries built at great sacrifice by Orthodox men and women for the promulgation of truth and not for the breeding of error, the increase of lawlessness on the part of great corporations on the one hand and on the part of the oppressed poor on the other hand, the mutterings preceding the storm of wild anarchy that seems likely soon to break, all these things are signs of His coming which may be very near at hand. Men’s hearts are “fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world” (Luke 21:26).

Many of the greatest statesmen of England, America and Germany have forebodings which they scarcely dared to put in words of what lies just a little way ahead of the nations of the earth. But in such days as these our hearts should not faint nor fear. “When these things begin to come to pass” we should “look up and lift up our heads, because our redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). The darker the day grows, the nearer at hand is the dawn, and just at the moment when things seem unendurable, the brightest, gladdest day the earth ever saw is breaking.

Excerpted from: The Return of the Lord Jesus by R. A. Torrey, D. D. Copyright 1913

Words of Grace for Strength

Reading Torrey’s description of the apostasy he recognized at the time he wrote the words quoted above, Christians, true followers of Jesus Christ, should recognize how much farther the “church” has fallen into apostasy today. A century has passed since his writing, and with it once godly nations, which at one point contained countless local church bodies, have turned their backs on God because the truth of the gospel is no longer preached from the pulpits in those churches. The spiritualism and occultism which he recognized as invading Christianity in his day, have now so polluted the “church” that the message of the gospel is unrecognizable. The “church” has replaced repentance with tolerance and compromise; sanctification with indulgence and permissiveness; and righteousness with irreverence and outright blasphemy. The false prophets and false teachers which dominate the “church” pulpits today are offenders rather than defenders of the gospel, which are either twisting the Word of God for their own benefit, denying its sufficiency and authority, or ignoring it altogether.

Of the 85% of people in the US who claim to be Christians, research has shown that only 9% affirm a true saving faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, true biblical Christianity. So in truth the “church” is populated with “Christians” who really are not, because they have no relationship with the one who paid their sin debt at Calvary, Jesus who is the Christ, the son of man and the Son of God, and in fact, very God! Having no relationship with Christ, they certainly are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and therefore do not and cannot understand the prophetic Word of God. Therefore, many who populate the “church” today are operating under the false notion that what they “believe” or are “comfortable with,” will assure them a place in heaven without having to repent, confess, and turn away from their sin before God, acknowledging Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

As troubling as that is, it is not something unexpected, at least from the Lord’s perspective. Look at the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus proclaims to all those who made a false profession,  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:23). Even in the Olivet discourse He states many did not do for Him as they did not do for others (Matthew 25:45). Jesus Himself makes clear that there will be many who either proclaim the Lord or claim to serve Him who will hear the words of the Lord disavowing them and judging them in condemnation. No sadder words could be heard in that time of the Lord’s great majesty and power.

The prophetic words of the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 5:1-3 have indeed come to fruition. Those things which Christ prophesied would “soon come to pass” in His Olivet discourse in Matthew 24 are indeed doing so. The convergence of all of these End Times prophecies should indeed cause us to “look up and lift up our heads.” While only the Father in heaven knows the “day and hour” (Matthew 24:36) in which Christ will return for His True Church, certainly we are nearer to that day than was Torrey, and exponentially nearer than was Paul.

Those of us who are true followers of Christ in these last days, those of us in the 9%, have a responsibility to be obedient servants of the cross of Christ, proclaiming the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, with absolutely everyone who will listen. While we are not all called to be Preachers or Teachers, we are all called to be ministers of the gospel. The fact that we see the convergence of End Times prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes, should be the impetus for a growing urgency within us to do just that. The Rapture of the Church is imminent, and soon to follow that, the return of Jesus Christ in judgment.

EvenSoCome

Life, In Christ!

Humanly speaking we are all born with an innate fear of death, no one really wants to die, yet the Scriptures tell us; “it is appointed for men to die once” (Hebrews 9:27). Why is this? I am fairly well certain that everyone is familiar with the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis, and their disobedience to God by eating the forbidden fruit. Adam’s disobedience to God brought sin into the world and caused sins curse to fall on all men for all time. Romans 5:12; “Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” So then, inherent within all of us is a sin nature, we are all predisposed to sin. Romans 3:23; “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And because of that sin nature we are condemned to die. Romans 6:23; “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” So even though we are condemned by our sin, through the shed blood of our Savior Jesus Christ at Calvary, we have the opportunity to experience eternal life.

The Word of God teaches us in Hebrews 9:22; “without shedding of blood there is no remission,” and in 1 John 1:7 we are told that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. So Jesus paid our penalty, our sin debt; He died our death. Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice for every sinner who was ever born or will be born into this world. So then the only way to experience eternal life is by accepting the free gift offered to us by Jesus Christ. The gift cannot be bought, we can only come into possession of it by accepting it freely from the giver, and it is Christ’s gift of grace to us.

In Ephesians 1:7 the apostle Paul tells us; “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” And again in Colossians 1:14; “in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.” The very reason Jesus Christ was born into this world, was to become the perfect sacrifice before His Father so that we might be redeemed from the sin debt of death we owed and given the opportunity to accept His free gift, which is eternal life. Ephesians 2:8-9; “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”

The Scriptures tell us;

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

John 1:12-13 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

1 John 5:11 “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”

There is only one way to be saved from eternal death, and given eternal life, and that is through Jesus Christ. In John 14:6 Jesus himself said; “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jesus also said in John 5:24; “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

This brings us back to the beginning of our teaching in this article, fear of death. In understanding the truth of Scripture, it is obvious why men fear death. Without a relationship in Jesus Christ, having accepted His free gift of salvation, man condemns himself to eternal death. But in Christ Jesus we are given the promise of eternal life, through His gift. We read in 1 John 5:12; “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” So, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we have life and therefore have no need to fear eternal death.

In fact even temporal death should hold no mystery or fear for those who are in Jesus Christ. Because as Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” Did you catch that? We should be “confident,” and in fact “well pleased” if we no longer inhabit this earthly body, because we get to be with Jesus.

Now then, because we have been given life by Christ, and have no reason to fear death, we ought to live our lives In Christ. Living our lives In Christ means that rather than fearing death we embrace it in that we are dead to the world. In other words the things of the world are not important to us and should have no influence in our lives.

What things are these?

Read to the words of Jesus to the rich young ruler in Mark 10:17-22; ‘“Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”’

Luke 9:57-62 records the words of Jesus to others in regard to what is required of us In Christ. ‘“Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”’

Also in Luke 9:23-25 this is written; ‘“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”’

So in the words of Christ Himself we discover what is required of us In Christ. The list of things which we are to be willing to give up not only includes material possessions, reputation, and even family, ultimately it includes our very lives. Daily taking up your cross is literally daily putting self to death so that the life which you live, is life In Christ. The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20; “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” In his letter to the Romans he also wrote; “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

If we are dead to self, and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, then we are given life by God through the Holy Spirit. Read Romans 8:1-11; “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Life, In Christ, is evidenced by the willful subjugation of our will and our very lives, to the will of God and the call that He places on our lives. Obedience to Jesus Christ through the instruction of His written Word gives us the boldness to live life In Christ. It is only through living our lives boldly In Christ will we be able to Stand for Him in these Last Days (Ephesians 6:10-13).

Life, In Christ, is living without fear of death, temporal or eternal, because we have been given the gift of life through Christ. In fact, like the Apostle Paul we should be willing to say; “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)

Life, In Christ, may involve ridicule, derision, persecution and suffering (2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:15-16; 1 Peter 5:10) but if we endure it we are promised the “Crown of Life.” Revelation 2:10; “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

Do you know Jesus? 1 John 5:20; “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”

Do you live; Life, In Christ? Settle the matter with Him today!

The Rapture is imminent, Tribulation and the Day of the Lord are near, and;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

A church structure, or the Structure of the Church!

Everywhere you turn today you see incredible buildings where people assemble once a week to “worship.” In fact for the past 1800 years or so, men have been building edifices for people to gather in, purportedly to honor God. The civilized world has continually sought to build physical places for God, without scriptural understanding. God doesn’t want a house to “dwell” in, He seeks the hearts of men for His dwelling place. As we continue to study the Church established in the book of Acts, and the formula and pattern established in Acts 2:42, we will look at what God desires of us as compared to man’s actions. The church built by Jesus Christ, established in Biblical Doctrine, has evidence of three more characteristics, Fellowship, Breaking Bread, and Prayer. Doctrine having been covered in a previous article, we will look at Fellowship which I believe is incorrectly practiced and understood in most “churches” today.

In Acts 4:46 we read that the believers worshiped together daily in the Temple, and from “house to house.”  The Church established in the book of Acts met in the homes and the courtyards of homes of the believers in Jesus Christ. This arrangement continued for the first two and a half centuries of the Church’s existence. But, by the latter half of the second century AD, doctrinal error began to enter the Church. The Gnostics and Nicolaitans and other false prophets (warned about by John, Peter, James and Paul) had spread their false doctrines and had also embraced many pagan practices so that many “churches” gradually departed from New Testament Doctrine. Local “churches” became institutionalized by uniting under the direction of regional “bishops” and unscriptural organizations. The simple worship arrangement initiated in Acts was being replaced by ritual, system and practiced religiosity.

In 312AD, Roman Emperor Constantine was said to convert to Christianity (The veracity of this can be debated in another article), and after having done so began the process of organizing the “church” for the benefit of the state. Under this religious system specialized places of worship began to be built which separated the worshipers from the “clergy” in yet another example of unscriptural practice. While Constantine is said to have helped establish and grow the “church,” in reality his introduction of paganism into “Christian” worship, in fact and effect caused the True Church to virtually go underground.

Today, meeting to worship in a building constructed for just such purpose is the norm, however this was not in the original design for the Church. In fact, I believe for several reasons, it is antithetical to the mission of the Church. First of all, it is ludicrous to believe it is right to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions, to construct buildings which are utilized once or twice a week while there are millions of people who have physical and spiritual needs. In order to construct and maintain these places, the financial resources which should be used for missions or church planting are swallowed up by mortgages and salaries which usually display greed and excess rather than love and hope. Spiritual growth is replaced by growing “membership” numbers to feed the financial monster that is the “church.”

Secondly, the mission of the Church is to develop the body by feeding them spiritually. Discipleship is the primary responsibility of the Church as they meet together. Evangelism is supposed to happen continually in our daily lives, and once someone becomes a follower of Christ they are brought into the fellowship of the Church Family to be fed and fortified. This is the example of the early Church in Acts 2:42-47. Building impressive buildings and “programs” to attract men to attend is antithetical to the pattern found in this passage. It has been my experience in ministry that people are hesitant to attend “services” where they feel like they must meet the expectations of the “membership” or fit in to the formality of the practices. Additionally there is a strong perception in these mega churches that they want you to attend to solicit you to “give sacrificially” to their work. People have the thought that “they only want me for my money.”It has also been my experience that people are more willing to attend an informal Bible Study in someone’s home or horse barn than a fancy “church” structure because they do not have to impress anyone.

In much of the undeveloped world this is where you will find the Church meeting today, and actually the house church is God’s ideal for every culture. In contrast to today’s magnificent cathedrals, mega churches, and church campuses, not to mention the institutional “churches”, denominations, para-church organizations, and ministerial associations, the New Testament records no attempt by the Apostles to form an organization of any kind for building the Church of Jesus Christ. God’s unit on earth for transmitting the faith was the local church and the Apostles were content to work within that framework, and to the early Christians the congregation was the divinely ordained unit on earth through which God chose to work. The model Church in Acts is the only unit to which God promised perpetuity.

The “church” has gotten far away from the model in this respect. Fellowship happens when people worship together as family. Church happens when believers are united together is such a way as to care about one another rather than the facility in which they meet. In these Last Days we need to be aware that people need Jesus, the body of Christ needs to grow in the Word together, the Church is Christians obedient to the Word and;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

Silence In The Church

The Bible teaches that there will be a one-world government during the Tribulation Period (Dan. 7:23; Rev. 13:7). It will be led by a blaspheming Satan worshiper that many call the Antichrist (Rev. 13:5-6). His reign will be marked by war and multitudes will perish (Rev. 6:2, 8). The unbelievers who follow him will be caught up in idolatry, murder, sorcery, sexual immorality and theft (Rev. 9:20-21). Those who become believers during the Tribulation Period, including many women and children, will be subjected to the most intense persecution the world has ever known (Rev. 13:16-17).

I know the Word of God must be fulfilled, but it seems to me that a Holy Spirit indwelt church should try to restrain this approaching evil. It seems to me that the church should warn people loud and clear about the dangers of Globalism and its much-desired world government. If Christians are the light of the world, why don’t we shed light on the darkness that is descending upon the earth (Matt. 5:14; Zeph. 1:15-17; I Thess. 5:5)? I know that there are many Spirit-filled light-shedding preachers doing that, but the silence of most of the church is very troubling.

In a recent article, I wrote about Pres. Obama’s desire to fast track a new trade agreement (treaty) with the Pacific-Rim nations called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This treaty would surrender the sovereignty of the United States, subordinate the United States Constitution to other documents, integrate the politics and economies of about a dozen nations, create a trading block of nations patterned after the EU, fast track the North American Union and be a major step toward world government. I mentioned that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was blocking a vote on the treaty at the request of union leaders who believe the TPP will cause their members to lose jobs to other countries.

Just recently, I read that Hollywood and the Gay Lobby are expressing strong opposition to this treaty. As I understand it, their concern is not the loss of American sovereignty, the destruction of the U.S. Constitution, Satan worship, persecution of believers or anything like that. Their concern is that the list of participants in the TPP includes the tiny nation of Brunei and the fact that the sultan (he is also the Prime Minister) of Brunei recently announced the implementation of Sharia Law.

You see, Sharia Law is anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, anti-women’s rights, etc. Adulterers, rapists and sodomites (homosexuals and lesbians) can be stoned to death. Women who get an abortion can be flogged and women who get pregnant outside of marriage can be jailed. Some can even be beheaded.

I can understand the outcry of union leaders about the TPP because they are rightly concerned about the loss of jobs. I can understand the frantic protestations of Hollywood and the Gay Lobby about the TPP because they are rightly concerned about being flogged, stoned, jailed or beheaded. But I can’t understand the lack of concern in the church. A government worse than Hitler’s is rising, some of the unchurched are complaining, but most of the organized church is totally silent.

Oh, I know some will say the organized church doesn’t know about the TPP because NBC, CBS, PBS and others are not reporting it. True! But since the union leaders, Hollywood and the Gay Lobby knows about the TPP, wouldn’t you think someone in the organized church would know about it? Shouldn’t the organized church oppose the TPP because it will lead to a satanic world government? Shouldn’t the organized church oppose the TPP because it includes a nation that has implemented Sharia Law and that allows for the persecution of Christians, the abuse of women, the kidnapping of children, the destruction of Bibles, anti-Semitism and more?

Could it be that the organized church has been taken over in part by highly educated people with much learning and little knowledge of spiritual matters? Could it be that even though the Holy Spirit revealed this coming wicked world government (Dan. 7:23; Rev. 13:7) these highly educated leaders don’t even know what the Bible says on the subject? Could it be that many of them have made themselves willingly ignorant of some things in the Bible and they are not being led by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9)? Could it be that their silence means they are unknowingly aligned with the future goals of the Antichrist? Whatever it is, concerning the TPP, I have found myself aligned with Harry Reid, the labor union leaders, Hollywood and the Gay Lobby. That is a scary thought to me and I sure wish some of the leaders in the organized church would speak up.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymondduck@bellsouth.net

The Church and Sound Doctrine!

Continuing our teaching on the Church built by Jesus Christ, we examine examples of what are considered by most to be representative of the “church” in the world today. Comparing them to the True Church formula, pattern, and appearance (meeting place), we will examine their effect in the world and affect on their members. In doing so I believe we will gain a better understanding of the concept of His Remnant Church, which consists of the faithful believers remaining true to the Doctrine of the Church built by Jesus Christ.

In order to compare these “churches” to the Church, let’s look again at Acts 2:42. As the Church these early believers, followers of Jesus Christ, continued steadfastly in four areas; the Apostles Doctrine, Fellowship, the Breaking of Bread, and Prayer. In Acts 2:43-47 we find some things which resulted from their obedience to Christ in following His divine plan; there was a new respect for the authority of God, the Holy Spirit was active, there was unity in the body, everyone’s needs were met, they worshiped together continually (from house to house), they were thankful and shared meals together in fellowship and praise, and the result was that the body grew.

Are these things evident in the “church” today? Are the four areas the early Church “continued steadfastly” in still being continued in the same way today? In our next few posts we will look at each one in turn and evaluate how the “church” today measures up.

We will begin with the Apostles Doctrine:
Simply put the apostle’s doctrine is those things which they were either taught by Jesus Christ Himself, or had revealed to them by His Holy Spirit. During the days recorded in the book of Acts, these doctrines were of course predominantly given to the Church orally. Since the close of the first century, we have the infallible Word of God which the Holy Spirit breathed into the writers of the New Testament Scripture. Peter testified of this in 2 Peter 1:16-21 and in fact in 2 Peter 1:2&3 he wrote that; “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,” which knowledge is that given to us in the written Word of God. The Apostle Paul encouraged both Timothy (2 Timothy 4:2) and Titus (Titus 2:1) to Preach or Speak the Word (Sound Doctrine).

Doctrine therefore is found within the Scripture, the Holy Spirit breathed Word of God. And from the time the Apostle John completed recording The Revelation of Jesus Christ in 95 A.D., there has been no additional Scripture given by God. However, Paul warned Timothy that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” 2 Timothy 4:3&4. He had also warned Timothy that men would “depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” 1 Timothy 4:1-3.

Unfortunately today we are living in the day which Paul anticipated. Today many “churches” are led by men whose only goals are self-promotion and the accumulation of wealth, others have become institutionalized through an un-biblical structure of priesthood and catechism or are following denominational instruction and dogma, all of which supplant the Word of God with writings, edicts, and creeds written by men. Many of these who identify themselves as “men of God” claim “new” inspiration or that they have received a “fresh” prophetic word from God. These so-called “preachers” are at best charlatans, with most actually fitting into the category of false prophets.

These are able to deceive their followers because most “church members” are woefully ignorant of the Word of God. If they do have a relationship with Jesus Christ, they are certainly not following the example of the Bereans who “searched the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11) to verify whether or not what they are being taught is biblical. This puts them in the position of those described in Ephesians 4:14 as being “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting…” Christians must be people of the Book, willing to take responsibility for themselves and their relationship to Jesus Christ. In these Last Days, deception will only continue to grow as Satan’s influence compromises the teaching of the Word of God, turning the hearts and minds of men away from Sound Doctrine, to the humanistic, socialistic, narcissistic doctrine of demons.

The Church built by Jesus Christ is one which stands on the Sound Doctrine delivered to us through the Word of God, and only through the Word of God. Again, I implore you to examine your heart, and the place in which you worship, the “church” which you attend. Be Bereans, be people of the Book, study the Word of God, ask the Holy Spirit to help you prove through it, what is Truth and what is false. Do not be followers of men, follow God through His Son Jesus Christ. Because;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

to be continued…

To preach the Word is to preach the Second Coming of Jesus!

If the man in the pulpit is God’s man, a preacher of the Word, his message will be well seasoned with the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The hope of this age is the return of the Lord to catch away His Church. I declare unto you on the authority of the Word that a man who does not believe in the return of the Lord is not saved! No, I am not judging. I am simply inspecting fruit in the light of the Bible: “For by grace are you saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8) “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13)

We are saved by grace, we are taught by grace… taught to deny the world, taught to live righteous lives, taught to look for Jesus! Therefore I declare under you that the person who is not looking for Jesus does not possess the grace of God.

The hope of this age, the hope of mankind, is the coming of the Lord Jesus. We will never have peace; we will never have lasting world order until Jesus comes. Man has tried everything in his power to bring about peace and world success; but as I write these lines, the world is in terrible chaos. Why? Sin is the answer… and sin will never be put down to stay until the Lord Jesus comes.
“Preach the Word!” My prayer today is that the Lord will help me to remain true to His Word and preach it in all its fullness and power until Jesus comes. God forbid that I should ever compromise with the world and the devil in my preaching. I trust as I send out this message that if you dear reader, have not met the Lord in a born-again experience you will do so today. Do not gamble with “religion.” Religion is no good unless it is the blood bought religion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you have been attending a church where the pastor is a blood-denying preacher, then search the Scriptures and see if what I have told you in this message is not true. God has not changed His mind about sin. The wages of sin is death, as it always has been and always will be. The sins which damned men centuries ago will damn men today. Do not be led astray by every wind of doctrine, but stand for the blood-bought redemption of Calvary.  Stand by the Bible, live by the Bible, make sure you have had a born-again experience.

If you are not a Christian, I beg you to bow your head right now and let the Lord Jesus come into your heart. He is the way, the truth, and the life. There is no other way, no other door to heaven. “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9, 10).

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23).

Claim this promise made by our Savior: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

Excerpted from: “The Word Above All” by Oliver B. Green 1971

Words of Grace for Strength

What more can be said? What more should be said? As we continue to post these excerpts from the writings of great Teachers and Preachers of the Word from the past, I am continually amazed at the relevance of their words today. Truly as the Word of God itself says “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Just as the Word of God is relevant for today, so is the understanding and teaching of the prophetic Word from these authors.

The amazing truth, so simple and yet so deeply profound is that a never-changing Word of God is always relevant, always as if freshly written, for an ever-changing world. These authors have grasped that truth, and held to it steady. And so, their words live for us today.

In these Last Days, we need to be continually reminded that our “blessed hope” is the return of Jesus Christ for the redeemed, His Church. Unfortunately, for many “religion” has taken the place of True Christianity. The “prosperity gospel” or the “self-help gospel” or the “papal gospel” or one of a myriad of other cultic systems of religiosity has replaced the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These false religions focus on worldly pursuits and personal satisfaction in this life and not the eternal rewards to be gained by living a life in Christ; seeking to come up with something new and exciting, while all the time ignoring the eternal truth as written in the Word of God.

We would do well to remember the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Simply put, while we remain on this earth our lives should serve Jesus Christ, and should we face death before Jesus raptures His Church, we get to go be with Him. As Jesus has won the victory over sin, we cannot lose as we stand by His side.

Just as Oliver B. Green has done in his writing; if you truly have a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, we implore you to examine the “church” you attend to see if it is truly one which preaches and teaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And, if you have never accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation through His shed blood at Calvary, there has never been a better time than now to make Him Lord of your life.

If you need more information, or would like to talk to someone, about accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please send us a message by filling out the form on the “about us” page here on our blog site. And, if you’re looking for a church to attend in your area which is still teaching the True Gospel of Jesus Christ, we may be able to help with that as well. Please contact us through the form and we will make every effort to help you find a place to worship and grow in Christ Jesus. Because;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

Two Kinds of Christianity?

1 Corinthians 15:1-3 “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures”

There are two kinds of Christianity. There is a Christianity of social improvement, of economic amelioration, of civic betterment. If Christ is preached at all, He is presented as a great humanitarian, a noble reformer, a magnificent martyr. If its disciples use the word “salvation,” they mean a reconstruction of the social order. Confucius was a great teacher, contributing to the welfare of society. Socrates was a great teacher, contributing to the welfare of society. Aurelius and Justinian were great teachers, contributing to the welfare of society. And Jesus was a great teacher, contributing to the welfare of society. He was nothing more, except possibly the best among many peers.

There is, also another kind of Christianity. It is a Christianity of redemption. In this message God in heaven was moved by the tragic plight of a lost human race, a race condemned to die by judgment upon their sins. In mercy and in love God came down in human flesh and took upon Himself our sins and died in our stead. Through faith in this atoning Christ we are forgiven our iniquities, we are restored to God’s favor, we are saved from eternal penalty of our transgressions. Simon Peter spoke of that marvelous salvation like this: “Christ also suffered for us,… who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree,… by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:21-24) And again he wrote: “…ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold… but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:18-20).

In the Christianity of social improvement, the death of Christ is but an incident, though a moving devotion. In the Christianity of redemption, the death of Christ is the cardinal truth around which all other truths revolve. Take away the death of Christ from the first type of preaching and the preacher is not particularly troubled. In fact, he would like to rid the volumes of theology and the hymn books of any reference to such blood and suffering. To him the preaching of the cross is an offense, a part of a religion of the shambles and the butcher shop. Take away the death of Christ from the second message and there is nothing left. The preacher no longer possesses the “good news,” the evangel of the forgiveness of our sins. There no longer remains any hope of heaven nor any promise of the world to come.

Which of these two kinds of Christianity is the Christianity of the New Testament? Undoubtedly, it is the Christianity of the cross.

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Galatians 6:14).

At the heart of the Christian faith is the cross; the cross in all its naked hideousness, as the Roman would have it; the cross in all its philosophical irrationality, as the Greek would have it; the cross in all its shame and offense, as Paul describes it. “I declare unto you the gospel… by which ye also are saved… how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-3). “And, I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:1-2). If it is the Christianity of the book, it is the Christianity of the cross.

Excerpted from “In Defense of the Faith” W.A. Criswell 1967

Words of Grace for Strength

“He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”  (John 19:30b)

Dr. Criswell’s thesis is that without the Cross there is no Christianity, that the Cross is central to our faith because it is where our redemption was assured. As certain today as it was when Dr. Criswell penned the words in his book, there seems to be two kinds of Christianity being preached from pulpits around the world. This apostasy is more grievous than all of the other false religions and cults combined, because there are countless numbers of souls being led away from God the Father, because false teachers and false prophets have abandoned the cross. It should bring deep pain to any Christian to see anyone throw away the only thing worth keeping, the only thing that cannot be earned, the only thing that is freely offered, the only thing that once accepted cannot be lost.

As our Lord Jesus was crucified, hanging there suspended between heaven and earth He cried out “it is finished” and with that statement, the work His Father had sent Him to do (the work which none in the history of the world before or since could do, only Jesus), was done. It was the work of atonement and redemption, He poured out His life as an offering for our sin and then bowed His head before His Father. The Scripture here says “He gave up His Spirit”, no one took it from Him, He willingly dismissed His spirit and died, His death was voluntary, He was completely in control and again, did what no other man could do. These three words “it is finished” were His announcement that victory over sin and death were assured, that Satan’s fate was forever settled, for he willingly died and placed Himself into His Father’s hands. The certainty of His burial, resurrection and ascension would soon be accomplished, but with these three words the way of atonement for all men had been provided, redemption was assured for all who would believe, for all who would accept the gift provided, and make Him Lord of their life. This is Christianity!

Today I plead with you to examine the preaching and teaching in the place where you worship. If the message is on social justice, if the message is on prosperity, if the message is on civility and tolerance… ask… Where Is the Cross?

The message should be about what Christ Did for you, not what He can provide for you… Atonement, Forgiveness, Redemption, are all at the Cross of Christ! For if you understand that message of what He did, you know with certainty that you do not need Him to provide anything else.

Run to the Cross, Cling to the Cross, for at the Cross is where you find True Christianity!

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Turn to the Cross because the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His Church, True Christianity, is imminent.

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome