When it comes to discerning truth these days, it would appear most so-called Christians prefer to have the poisonous drip of error and deception, without a hint of concern. I shouldn’t judge perhaps, given I’m sure I would be just like them myself, had the Lord not rescued me out of a heretical church many years ago, and provided me with a desire to ensure I didn’t get duped so easily in the future. But it is He and He alone who has granted me the desire and opportunity to seek Truth and to learn discernment, so I can understand why there are those who’ve not yet tasted that desire or sought it.
But seriously – I am shocked when I listen to some of the US so-called Pastors who appear to do nothing other than enjoy the fact that they have a captive audience each week to listen to their tales of their family life, movies they’ve watched, places they’ve visited, their opinions on all and sundry – in essence, pretty much everything but actual scripture or teaching. They throw in an odd verse here and there to justify their title of Pastor, but pretty much the church members get a pep talk on how to live their lives better, how to manage their finances, how to view the future, and how to work their way to heaven by doing as many things as possible to please God. Well, I’ve got news for them – it ain’t going to happen. You can’t please God in any sense aside from how He has stated it in His Word i.e. by faith in Jesus alone for forgiveness of your sins.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Is it any wonder the Church is in the worst state it’s been in for centuries, as Pastor after Pastor pulls away from scripture to teach their own doctrines and thoughts, and heresy after heresy slides into the pulpit unnoticed by the membership? No wonder then that we’re now watching the most incredible transition whereby Truth is replaced by error in spades, and few voices are heard standing up and stating that fact, and if they do, they’re rapidly shot down by those who don’t want to be confronted with the reality that they are sinners and need the Gospel of Jesus, not the social gospel or the prosperity gospel, or any other man-made flavour of gospel that’s floating around currently.
I marvel how so many of these heretical preachers not only have an audience every week to listen to their inane warblings, but that so many of those who listen are actively soaking up the rubbish being spouted at them as if it were golddust being thrown around. I’ve listened to so-called sermons where sin hasn’t been mentioned once, not even a mere hint at it, nor any hint of the Good News of the Gospel either. Church members are exhorted to look inside themselves and contemplate their navels basically, work towards their future, and be generous to the Church (i.e. the “Pastor”) so God will be generous to them. Rarely do you hear one of these types of preachers suggest to their members that they should consider opening up their dusty bible and actually read some of it for themselves. That would be truly too scary as they might actually discover they’re being deceived and leave the church entirely!!
But the poison of deception is very subtly provided – after all, it only takes 1% arsenic in a glass of water to at the very least make you extremely ill, and at worst, kill you over time, yet you can’t see it or taste it, but it’s there. Deception is the same. Mixed with enough truth many times to cloak it wonderfully, and very easy to provide to those who’re unwilling to verify what they’re being taught against scripture. Remember the Bereans!! But Paul recognised these dangers even in the 1st Century and warned heavily against them then:
2Ti 4:3-4 For the time will come, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts will they multiply to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they will turn away their ears from the truth, and will be turned to fables.
Discernment is a dirty word these days, as is fundamentalism, yet both are absolutely essential to any true Christian wishing to be able to stand firm against the rampant apostasy sweeping the Church currently.
2Th 2:3-4 Let no one in any way deceive you, for that day cannot come without the coming of the apostasy first, and the appearing of the man of sin, the son of perdition, who sets himself against, and exalts himself above, every so-called ‘god’ or object of worship, and goes the length of taking his seat in the very temple of God, giving it out that he himself is God.
Don’t be mistaken – these are absolutely the end days, and they may be shorter than any of us could anticipate, thus we have to wake up to the dangers all around and start cleaving to scripture alone for our teaching, and not the words of men. I can highly recommend solid teachers like John MacArthur, Chuck Missler, Paul Washer, and Erwin Lutzer if you want to get to know what the Truth actually sounds like. And if you want to learn how to be more discerning about your Pastor’s sermons why not check out Chris Rosebrough’s radio show – Fighting for The Faith, where he pulls apart heretical sermons and explains why they are so. You’ll also get to hear solid teaching on the difference between the Law of the Old Testament, and the Gospel of the New. Few of us ever get to hear teaching on this important aspect of our faith, thus I think it’s vital to seek it out and spend time learning how to be discerning.
If you are in a church where sometimes you’re sitting listening to a “sermon” and feeling something’s missing (biblical teaching!), then please, PLEASE, don’t allow friendships and commitments within that church to hold you there when you’re not getting fed properly. Pastors are akin to shepherds – and how many of the latter do you know who happily go out to check on their flock and do everything for them but feed them??! How long do you reckon the sheep would survive? No different with us – we’re allied to sheep in scripture, and Jesus is our Shepherd, and He will feed us but only if we go to Him. He has entrusted our welfare to proxy shepherds here on earth who have a job to pastor us and care for us spiritually, and when they fail in that job, we are under no obligations to support them by continuing to provide them with money they are not earning! Their job is also not to make you financially rich, but spiritually so, and thus if nobody will bring them to account for their errors, you absolutely don’t need to continue to waste your precious life sitting listening to their poisonous watered down arsenic every week. Don’t delay making that important decision to leave if God is speaking to you about this matter but pray hard for Him to open up the doors for you to get fed in a solid biblical “fundamentalist discerning” church!! I pray He will bless ALL of us with a mighty measure of discernment and wisdom in these late days.
If you want to understand more about what Apostasy means to the Church currently – head to CARM’s website where you can read plenty of articles on the subject.