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The Falling Away

 There are many disturbing doctrines being taught in churches today. Here is a couple:

 Universalism: a doctrine that says all beings, regardless of their religious affiliation or creed (even lack thereof) will ultimately make it into God’s Kingdom. This is reflected in the saying, all roads lead to heaven.

 The Prosperity Doctrine: This states that if you live a good and dedicated life to God you will be rewarded with physical things because God wants you to be happy.

 These doctrines are very dangerous because they twist the inspired Word of God and apply the worldly desires of people. In Universalism its believers are essentially saying that Christ’s sacrifice for our sins was useless because everyone will go to paradise anyway.  It takes Jesus’ actions and makes them void. The Prosperity Doctrine creates an earthly incentive for following Christ when Christ himself said that we should want heavenly riches and not earthly where rust and moths can destroy. These two doctrines not only discredit the entire Bible when preached but they also allow the church to be brought down to the level of the world.
 
 I write these words to you from Africa, a place that is one of the front lines in the battle between Christianity and Islam. The northern parts of the continent are devoted to Allah and his prophet Mohammed and the southern parts of the continent are devoted to God and His Son, Jesus. Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda are just a few African countries that battle in the physical and spiritual realms against this threat on a daily basis. Christians are bombed, abused, and murdered for simply believing. Islamists have even started cutting out the tongues of our Christian brothers and sisters so they cannot spread the gospel. For them the time of tribulation is now and they experience no rapture to save them. Pastor David Platt, in his book entitled “Radical”, says that while on a mission trip in Africa he encountered a group of Christians that were very poor, as most African’s are. They told him that they didn’t think that they were very good Christians and he asked them why. They said that because they are poor they must not be in the favor of God. When questioning their line of reasoning he discovered that they listen to American ministers on their one television and that they preached the Doctrine of Prosperity and that since they do not have anything they must be hated by God. See how dangerous this is? A group of very devoted Christians halfway around the world honestly believed that God didn’t like them because they were poor. Friends, this is a DANGEROUS doctrine and I will go as far as to say it is the doctrine of demons. Anytime we place worldly possessions as a sign of faithfulness we are treading on dangerous grounds. A matter of fact Christ told the rich man to sell all he had acquired and follow him. The love of money is the root of all evil and the church and Christians today love money. It is evident all around us.

 Why do churches preach such things and why are God’s people so accepting of them?
 
 It really comes down to two issues. First, the devil has infiltrated mainstream Christianity and second, God’s people do not have true knowledge of the Bible. In reality the first and second go hand in hand. Due to the average Christian’s lack of biblical insight the devil can institute his will upon the church, and friends this is evil and has resulted in a great falling away. Christians also believe that by making the church more acceptable to the world we will fill the pews and create more Christians. Let me be straight with you, quantity does not mean quality. God wants us to reach people but he wants us to reach people using the principles He has established. We are not salesmen peddling snake-oil; we are disciples showing people a path to grace and eternal life.

 That is where the Commandments of God come into play. I firmly believe that we are at the place in our society where physical joy and blessings outweigh the spiritual because we have let our foundation be built upon sand instead of the rocks that are God’s Laws. If we, as Christians, knew and studied God’s Laws, as given to us in the Old Testament and broadened in the New Testament by Christ, then none of this would be an issue today. We need to return to God, and leave the world, as we are new creatures in Him.

 As ambassadors of Christ and members of The Church we should be propagating correct doctrine and informing the world of its evil ways. Instead, what has happened is that the church doesn’t even know what correct doctrine is and has accepted evil ways. If we really want to know what right looks like we only need to open our Bibles and take an unbiased look. Unbiased in that we need to clear our minds of what man has told us our entire lives and discover what God is telling us today.
 
 The 10 Commandments are a great place to start. This is God’s Law that was written in stone by God himself. Only twice did God write something Himself and that was on Mount Sinai when He gave the commandments to Moses and in Babylon when he pronounced His judgment. When God writes something in stone that means it is permanent and not based upon any conditions. I have been to Babylon, and even though I didn’t see the writing on the wall I can tell you that God’s judgment on that place still stands.

 The next place I will tell you to go is Matthew 5. In these verses Jesus not only tells us what type of people we should be but also reinforces the 10 Commandments of God. Actually, he not only reinforces them but broadens them to include the spiritual aspect of things, such as it is not enough to stay away from physical adultery but also adultery of the heart. By really studying Matthew 5 and other such passages, and relating them to the 10 Commandments, you will start to learn something, and that is the correct doctrine of God.

 After you have studied the 10 Commandments and Matthew 5 I want you to think about something. God, through the 10 Commandments, and Jesus, through his sermon, are not only showing us how to live our lives but they are also telling us what sin is. In reference to the example above, if we are not to commit physical adultery and adultery in our minds (or hearts if you will) then that means both forms of adultery are sins. If we are guilty of those sins we need to seek forgiveness and if we are sincere then it will be given to us. So not only are we suppose to live adultery free lives it is telling us adultery is a sin. Got it? Let’s try another.  The 10 Commandments say “thou shall not murder (or kill)” and Christ takes it a step further and says that anyone who is angry with his brother or sister is guilty of the same crime. He broadened the commandment. So we are to live a life that is murder free and murder is a sin. This is pretty easy right?

 Folks, the basics of our lives as Christians as found in the 10 Commandments and in New Testament passages such as Matthew 5 are not hard to understand. As some people say, it’s not rocket science. We just need to take the time to study them and make the correlations. So why do some people preach against the Commandments of God and say that they are no longer to be looked at as part of our Christian life? I will tell you why, the spirit of lawlessness has entered our church.

 In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Paul tells us, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

 We are, right now in our churches, experiencing a falling away from God and his Holy Law, as evident by what we already discussed. So now the “man of sin” is to be revealed, “the son of perdition”. Let’s look at the term “man of sin”. What is sin? 1 John 3:4 gives us the answer, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” Sin is the transgression of the law. Yes, you heard that right. So for there to be sin there must be a law that is still adhered to and that law is The Law of God. Let’s look at the second part, “the son of perdition”. This title was only given to one other person in the Bible, and that is Judas, the disciple who betrayed Christ. John 17:12 says, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” Obviously Jesus was speaking of Judas, one of the twelve.

 So looking at 2 Thessalonians 2:3 we are starting to get a picture of who the man of sin, also called the son of perdition, is. Ready? It is the church who commits transgression against the law. A church that preaches against the law is in transgression of the law my friends. Are you in one of these churches? Are you one who believes that the Law of God is void to Christians? Do you agree with those who preach that sin, IE the transgression of the law, is acceptable because we do not need to follow the Law of God?
 
 These are questions I want you to seriously ask yourself and I want you to pray about it. Ask God to show you the right path. Study your Bibles and meditate upon God’s Word. If you already agree with this important principle then just don’t say “that was nice” and move on about your day. People, listen, there are Christians who honestly believe that because we are covered by grace we do not have to worry about the Law of God. As Pastor Doug Bachelor alluded to, that is like receiving mercy from a policeman who pulled you over and could have given you a ticket and then breaking the law as you pull away by speeding again. We are under grace this is true, but our foundation is God’s Law. 

 I live by a sort of slogan and it is this: Grace because God loves us; Commandments because we love God. Doesn’t the Bible say that if you love God to keep his commands? Friends, follow the Bible, accept only godly doctrine, keep the Law of God, and reject all others. Christ will be returning soon to this world and He will not accept, “I was only doing what the Pastor said”, as an excuse. For he will say depart from me, I never knew you.

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