PROPHECY UPDATE — OCTOBER 2006
STATUS OF THE
TIMES OF THE SIGNS?
I pray you will take a moment to read this. Here is
another sign that our Lord's return is very soon:
The lukewarm, Laodicean Church (Rev 3). This may be
offensive to some. Why? There are many so-called believers
who are in a state of rebellion. Rebellion to
what? First, some startling statistics:
Jesus himself noted
that a segment of end-times Church (that is, all of
Christendom) would become wealthy and lukewarm, leading to a
wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked state (Rev.
14-17). This has taken place exactly as Jesus
said. Some scholars suggest the large number of
Christian denominations worldwide (30,000+) is the primary
reason for this spiritually bankrupt generation. With
so many denominations, people are disillusioned as they see
churches like competing institutions, apostate and morally
corrupt. Sadly, this is generally true, as many
denominations have liberalized themselves and have rejected
the commandments written by God. Church attendance in
wealthy western nations (North America, Europe, Australia,
etc) has been declining rapidly since the 1980s, while
agnosticism, atheism, occultism and secularism have grown
significantly. If you want to be where the Church is
growing, then visit India, Asia or Africa.
While there appears to be a major
increase in interest in spirituality among North Americans,
this has not translated into greater church involvement.
In the U.S., from 1992 to 2003, average church attendance
dropped by 13% whereas the population increased by 9%.
If this trend continues at the present rate of change, most
Americans will be non-Christians by the year 2035.
Europe is a vivid example of the Church's decline.
Though 53% of Americans consider religion to be very important
in their lives, compare that with 16% in Britain, 14% in
France, 13% in Germany, and 11% in the Czech Republic.
While the Church in Europe seems non-existent, the
Church in North America is like one big marketing
campaign. The likes of Benny Hinn and
Paul Crouch (TBN) teach doctrines of "God wants you to be rich
and healthy" (what I like to call charismania); big
mega-churches offer impersonal concert-style worship and
feel-good self-esteem sermons (watch Joel Osteen sometime),
and more recently, churches have become
obsessed with growth, paying thousands of dollars for
intensive marketing fix-it programs (google church
marketing sometime—shocking). This is mostly
unique to North America.
The result has been a
growing rebellion amongst U.S. Christians. Many
believers refuse to attend an organized church (of any
denomination), having left their congregations and formed
house churches (small groups meeting in homes or public
places). This rebellion against institutional churches
is a very clever trick of Satan. There are still many
Bible-centered, sound churches that offer a place to worship
and receive instruction. We are commanded to meet
together regularly (Hebrews 10:19-25; 3:12-14), or in other
words, go to church! Don't agree? Then you
aren't disagreeing with me only, but the Word of God.
This "meeting together" command is for the purpose of
worship, praise and instruction (and financial giving for
the support of the Church, 1 Cor. 16:1-2). As well,
belonging to a church body keeps us accountable, is a place
to take our burdens (Gal 6:1-2), and
where we can participate in well organized missions
(locally and globally). There are
many other scriptural reasons for Christians to attend a
local church, including God's promise of blessings and
protection, a place to pray with others, reach out to the
community, discipleship and evangelism, and to fulfill our
need to hear the preaching of the Word
If believers do not attend a
Bible-based church that has sound teaching (yes, again, there
are still many out there) then guess what happens? Lack
of spiritual discernment, self-directed doctrines and eventual
apostasy. This apostasy includes accepting other
religious teachings as compatible or equal with the Bible, and
in some cases, incorporating Christian doctrines with new-age
teachings (very popular today). In fact, it isn't
uncommon for believers to acknowledge an interest in
necromancy (black magic or divination), witchcraft (white or
black), or universalism (all religions lead to the same
Many Christian households regularly accept
these doctrines in direct opposition to Scripture.
Guardianship of God's truth in doctrine is one of the most
important instructions for the Church, and it is brutal
warfare. We are told to constantly and diligently guard
against doctrines of demons (I Tim. 4:1), false teachers whose
heresy spreads like "cancer" (II Tim. 2:17), wolves in sheep's
clothing (Matt. 7:15), all ungodly men who teach "strange
doctrines" (I Tim. 1:3), and not to be yoked together with these
people, either friends or spouses (2 Cor. 6:14). Too often
unsaved friends or spouses can be the source of heretical
doctrines. Believers who aren't going to church where sound
doctrine is taught easily succumb to false doctrines.
Without realizing it, believers can get trapped in the beginnings
of a cult. Defined theologically, a cult is a "religious
group with a doctrine heretical according to traditional
The Bible sternly warns of these doctrines. If a believer
chooses to water down what he or she teaches, or avoids teaching
things like sin and repentance, regardless of his or her sincerity
or motivation, it is called "tickling the ears" and is evil (2
Tim. 4:3). It would be far better for a believer to attend a
small church where a humble pastor knows everyone's name and their
spiritual gifts while making it a priority to nurture each individual's
spiritual growth and formation. This is exactly what happens
at the church I attend. It's amazing how many people I've
seen find a sense of belonging and move toward a mature
relationship with Christ. If you are not attending a
Bible-based church regularly, then get going!
Pray for those you know who are not
attending a local church. The Church
in these end-times is experiencing significant spiritual
warfare, and confusion abounds. The signs before us!
Keep looking up,
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