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APATHY AND ERROR

 

We have heard numerous times that we are living in the last days before the Rapture, before Christ’s return, and we really are. If you are familiar with the Scriptures and understand what they say, you have but to read them and see that what has been foretold is coming to pass:

 

1 Timothy 4:1-5:  Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will 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. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

 

2 Timothy 4:3-4:  For 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.

 

Matthew 24:12:  “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

 

These and other Scriptures are both a picture and a roadmap of the world in the last days, which we are in. Now remember what I just said at the top, “If you are familiar with the Scriptures and understand what they say…” Are you? Do you know the Word of God, fellowsaint? Unfortunately, many Christians do not. And that is part of the problem. Even though our freedoms are in increasing danger of being taken away, at this time we still have a relatively high degree of freedom in this country, and that includes being able to own Bibles. But instead of taking advantage of this freedom for spiritual edification, a lot of believers choose to go with what their pastor said about a Scripture passage or else take their Bible readings piecemeal with the reading of daily devotionals instead of the whole Bible. Others rely on fellow believers’ discussions of the Scriptures to learn instead of studying the Word of God for themselves.

 

But that isn’t all; it gets worse.  There is a veritable plethora of compromised, lukewarm churches cluttering up the religious landscape, filled with feelgood preaching and worldly views. Many preach from corrupted Bible translations, and a whole lot of Christians cannot tell the difference between a good Bible and a bad one because they do not investigate Bible translations, and when someone does, most believers dismiss them as cultists and pseudo-intellectuals.

 

Other churches are so dry, legalistic, and tradition-bound that they serve better as cures for insomnia than as edifiers of the body of Christ. Whatever the type of dysfunctional church out there, there are believers drawn to them. Like the Bible says, their ears are itching. They mistake such-and-such and so-and-so as Biblical truth and then proceed to seek out pulpit showmen who will stuff them full of whatever it is they want to hear. It is legitimate to blame these corrupt preachers and teachers for the mess the Church is in today, but if there were not so many apathetic believers out there, these folks would be out of business. Some of the responsibility also falls upon churchgoers.

 

To give you several examples, here goes: Prosperity preachers would not have such a big following if so many believers did not have such a strong interest in becoming rich. Tradition-bound preachers would not be able to dose their congregations with spiritual chloroform week in and week out if so many Christians did not want to stay behind their church and denominational walls without checking to see that the Bible contains more truths than what they are being taught. Those who teach errantly about spiritual gifts, particularly the gift of prophecy these days, would not have so many Christians following them if there were not so many of them with an underlying hunger for power, titles, and prestige. And on it goes.

 

What is in persons’ hearts is evident by what they are interested in and what they spend their time and/or money on. God is aware of this and so are the flesh and the beings in the spirit realm, including demons. What is in you will determine whether or not you get pulled off the path of righteousness:

 

Matthew 6:19-21:  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

Mark 7:20-23:  And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.

 

James 1:13-15:  Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God” for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

 

The apathy and error present in the modern Church is troubling. What is even more disturbing is when we and others warn our fellow Christians about these things and they brush us off. They say we’re fundamentalists (we are, by the way), we’re legalistic, uptight, behind the times, judgmental, critical, know-it-alls, malcontents, and so on. Iniquity is indeed abounding in these last days. Fewer and fewer lost people are repenting except in certain areas where the body of Christ has experienced revival. Outside of such places it is like preaching to stone when talking to the lost and when admonishing our fellow believers. The image that comes to my mind is drying concrete. When concrete is wet it can be molded and shaped. As it dries it becomes less and less malleable until, when it is fully dried, it is hardened. Its form is set. Is this what is happening to the lost and to the majority of professing Christians alike? I do not know. However, I get chills up and down my spine when I think of this passage from Revelation:

 

Revelation 22:11:  “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”

 

There comes a time in every person’s life when God decides whether or not He will continue to deal with a lost person’s heart. For those of you who comfort yourselves with thinking it is okay to just drift along as believers, if you are not diligent to grow in the Lord you will drift away from your covenant relationship with Christ until finally, at a time He decides for each individual, He will have had his fill of you and will neither instruct nor warn nor chastise you anymore:

 

Revelation 3:16:  “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

 

Knowing from the Scriptures the times we are living in, there will be many believers who, even after receiving solid Biblical teaching and being made aware of the false doctrines and teachers out there, will be led astray and thus shipwreck their faith. There will be many false teachers who will never repent, not willing to let go of the chicanery which is making them so rich and famous. But there will come a time like, when God’s Law became a deadly poison to apostate Israel, the things of God will become a snare and a dealer of damnation to them:

 

Hosea 10:4:  They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant. Thus judgment springs up like hemlock in the furrows of the field.

 

2 Peter 2:1-3:  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. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

 

No one can make a blanket statement about who is going to make it till the end and who will forfeit their salvation along the way. What each of you out there can do, however, if you are not already doing it, is become diligent readers and students of the Word of God. Quit being apathetic and lazy. Pray more. Grow close to the Lord so you can better discern when the Holy Spirit is guiding you and speaking to you. As the Spirit reveals the truths in His Word to you, hang on to them and do not let them go. Regularly ask God to keep you from being deceived. In these last and evil days, deception is everywhere!

 

Learn who the false teachers and preachers are out there and, if you have been duped by any of them, cut them off. Get rid of their teachings, walk away, and never let any misguided believer talk you back into returning. The more Christians who wake up, the less power and influence the false teachers and their ministries will have. As for the lost, we must keep witnessing to them but not beg and plead with them to believe. We are the messengers. The rest is between them and God. Wake up, Church! Even if you have to go by yourself, go. All throughout history God has had a remnant of believers who were true to Him and His Word. Be a part of God’s remnant today:

 

1 Kings 19:18:  “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

 

Matthew 7:21:  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

 

 

 

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