Apostasy in the Churches: 10 Observations

Something to consider…the signs are everywhere…

End Times Prophecy Report

OBSERVATIONS: On Apostasy, the Churches and the End TimesOBSERVATIONS: On Apostasy, the Churches and the End Times

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
2 Timothy 3:13

INTO THE BELLY OF THE BEAST

Some observations gleaned from a recent trip to the apostate churches.

1- A trip into the apostate churches is always undertaken with the hope that a pocket of believers might be found. However, these hopes are always tempered with the expectations of what the Bible proclaims will be happening in the end times.

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do”
Revelation 13:11,14

God’s Word clearly states that a second beast system will rise that will look like a…

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Time to cease giving provision to the flesh

Romans 13:11-14
“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

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The Pressure is ON!

1 John 2:18

“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”

It seems like today, more than ever, we are being forced to conform, to be accepting, to bow down to the gods of this world. And the gods of this world may be different for all of us, but many are the same and they are so controlled by these three things…the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.

1 John 2:16

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

It seems like today, more than ever, we are being force-fed the delicacies of this world via television, cable, internet and print media. In this last hour we should be, more than ever before, taking precautions to avoid this seduction.

2 Timothy 3

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

If the scriptures tell us that things will only get worse, why do we talk as if anything else were possible?

We can learn much more from reading Genesis 19 and the story of Lot.

“Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”

3 But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

4 Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”

6 So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him,7 and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! 8 See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”

9 And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here,and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door. 

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”

14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.

15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.

And the story does not end there. There are still more lessons to learn. Still, the Lord will pull His people out to safety, even if we piddle. However, peace is the last thing we should be expecting in this world, at least not more than is dependent on us to create as we try to live peacefully with each other.

1 Thessalonians 5:3
While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Rich Mullins wrote it well…almost twenty years ago.

The Lord in Heaven laughs
He knows what is to come
While all the chiefs of state plan their big attacks
Against His anointed One
The Church of God she will not bend her knees
To the gods of this world though they promise her peace
She stands her ground
Stands firm on the Rock
Watch their walls tumble down when she lives out His love.

What should our role be as believers…not pursuing the things of this world in whatever manner, that’s for sure.

2 Cor. 5: 17-21 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Now then, we are “ambassadors for Christ”, as though God were pleading through us: we “implore” you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Be Blessed.

Is Your Conduct Holy?

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“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy (1 Peter 1:13-25).” Read the rest of the passage.

As I was reading the scriptures, a couple of nights ago, I came upon this verse. I have read it before. I have meditated on it before, but somehow it kept gnawing at me. I prayed and ask God to give me some understanding. The idea of being holy in all your conduct threw me. I believe that as believers our conduct should be above reproach as we are representatives of God in this world. Not that we won’t sin, but that in our daily lives we should not allow sin to overtake us. Then I thought, what is holy conduct?!? I do not refer to a self-righteous, pious type attitude that we often see portrayed in movies and television. How do we as true believers conduct ourselves in a holy manner on a daily basis? If holy conduct has anything to do with the movies we watch and the music we listen to we are in a world of hurt.

As ambassadors of Jesus Christ our daily mission should be to implore unbelievers to be reconciled with their Creator. However, does our way of living, our way of interacting with the world convey the importance of reconciliation? Every second of every day, the enemy walks about trying to trip us. Praise God for His grace and mercy that He so sufficiently provides.

God is so good to give understanding when we don’t understand His word. And the thing is… sometimes we do understand and we are confident in the knowledge that we have. It’s like recognizing, admitting and accepting. Recognizing you have an addiction is not necessarily the same as admitting and accepting you have an addiction. And still, there has to be some kind of carthesis, or epiphany to actually bring about the desire to be reconciled as the bible speaks about in the parable of the Prodigal Son.  It becomes a sense of urgency to do God’s will.

So, how do we live holy?

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 

As obedient children, the scriptures say. Children learn obedience. They don’t come prepared to live in this world. They must be trained in obedience and parents are responsible for their training. Children are socialized to conform to the ways of our society. Some children get gentle training and others receive harsh training and others through the school of hard knocks learn lessons the hard way. Gentle training, as we often see, does not always produce an obedient child. It is, however, all about conforming. We are conformed to the ways of our culture.

Children need to be trained and nurtured.
Children need to be trained and nurtured.

In Christ, we are not to conform to the ways of our old lusts, those lusts that we learned along the way in obedience training. In ignorance we did a lot of things that were not holy, things that only those that knew better ever took notice, yet rarely spoke out, because most of our friends and family were doing likewise.

So we learned obedience, at first because of fear, fear of mom, fear of dad, fear of authority, fear of consequences, fear of rejection. As we mature we learn to put fear in perspective. Fear makes us obey. It makes us conform. Fear can make us cower. Fear makes us slaves. However, fear does not have to rule our lives. Yet, fear makes us do things we would not otherwise do. Fear compels when God delays.

And God tells us not to fear. Isaiah 41:10 tells us…”Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Psalm 56:3 tells us…”When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us…”Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” I take it as…most everything we learned, we must unlearn. 

When we recognize our sinful nature, we tend to admit we are sinners. We then accept, or reject the need for salvation, that can only come through Jesus Christ. When we accept that we are new creations in Christ, it does not really sink in right away. I dare say, most believers don’t truly comprehend what it means to be a new creation in Christ. I say that because many continue in their old ways, in their old lusts, living to satisfy their carnal needs. To understand what God did through Jesus when He went to the cross reconciling us to Himself literally takes a spiritual understanding. It takes a spiritual understanding to bring about the transformation from the carnality of man’s religion and the world, to the holiness of God and the things of God.

In 2 Cor. 5 the scriptures tell us …

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

As ambassadors for Christ our conduct should not mimic that of the world. We should be mimicking each other, but finding a needle in a haystack would be easier than finding believers that actually live holy, or live a surrendered life. I dare say, many a believer would be hard-pressed to define, or agree on holy conduct, much less the notion of living a surrendered life.

The world walks in arrogance. It puffs itself up. It worships anything silver and gold, shiny and glittery. It makes idols of the walking dead. It loves things bigger, better and bolder. We are in the world, but we are not of this world, yet most of us straddle the fence. Our desires should not mimic those of the Jones’s. Our conduct should not be as that of the world, that judges others based on outward attributes. As ambassadors of Christ we should mimic Christ, because as Jesus knew what was in the heart of man, so God looks at the heart of every man and not on his outward appearance. And I know that can be difficult, as we can’t tell what’s in a man’s heart.

Samuel 16:7 NKJV
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 

Now then, as believers, as new creations in Christ, we are ambassadors for Christ. God is pleading through us: on Christ’s behalf, we implore others to be reconciled to God. We have not be saved for our own purpose, but for God’s will. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Does our conduct, our daily living, speak as if we are imploring others to be reconciled to God? I am still examining my daily living. So far…it does not look good. I am thankful that God’s grace is sufficient.

Be holy, be God’s, be blessed.