Presentation on theme: "The Church In The Last Days. There are a number of prophecies in the New Testament that predict what the church will be like in the last days. These descriptions."— Presentation transcript:
The Church In The Last Days
There are a number of prophecies in the New Testament that predict what the church will be like in the last days. These descriptions of the church are strikingly similar to the current condition of the church.
The Bible clearly prophesies that the Church of the end times will be characterized by apostasy. Paul said that the Antichrist will not be revealed until "the apostasy comes first" (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Jesus prophesied that "many will fall away" and "most people's love will grow cold" (Matthew 24:10, 12).2 Thessalonians 2:3Matthew 24:1012
2 Thess. 2:3 - "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;" (KJV)
In other words, before Christ returns, there will be a "falling away" or an apostasy (the Greek word used here is apostasia).apostasia
2 Tim 4:3-4 - "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."
Most people today do not put up with sound doctrine. Many believe that the Bible has been corrupted over time and is no longer trustworthy. For those who do believe that the Bible is God's word, most do not live according to it. Today's churchgoers have surrounded themselves with preachers that tell them exactly what they want to hear.
Mat. 24:9-11 - "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people."
The Christian church has become divided, and hundreds or even thousands of denominations have been formed. Most of these denominations preach a gospel far different than the one presented in the Bible.
Mat. 24:37-39 – As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Many churches today believe that we are currently in one of the best church ages yet, however, in Mat. 24:37-39, Jesus compared the time of "the coming of the Son of Man" to the "days of Noah."
The Days of Noah Gen. 6:5-8 – The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
The Days of Noah So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earthmen and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the airfor I am grieved that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
2 Tim. 3:1-9 – But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self- control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truthmen of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
2 Tim. 3:13 - "while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived."
New Study on Pastors Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts UniversityCenter for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University They did a new study on Pastors – and their results are sickening… There are many imposters – Pastors of Churches who do NOT believe in God! These are leaders of a dark apostasy from faith.
Quotes from these imposters: Wes, a Methodist, lost his confidence in the Bible while attending a liberal Christian college and seminary. "I went to college thinking Adam and Eve were real people," he explained. Now, he no longer believes that God exists. In his rendering, God is a word that "can be used very expressively in some of my more meditative modes" and "a kind of poetry that is written by human beings."
His church members do not know that he is an atheist, but he explains that they are somewhat liberal themselves. His ministerial colleagues are even more liberal: "They've been de-mythologized, I'll say that. They don't believe Jesus rose from the dead literally. They don't believe Jesus was born of a virgin. They don't believe all those things that would cause a big stir in their churches."
John Spong, Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey, has written books in which he denies the virgin birth, denies the miracles of Jesus, denies the resurrection, denies the Second Coming, and argues that Paul and Timothy were homosexual lovers. Bishop Spong has become so enamored with other religions that he has announced he will no longer witness to those caught up in the spiritual darkness of pagan faiths! 1
Rick, a campus minister for the United Church of Christ, perhaps the most liberal Protestant denomination, was an agnostic in college and seems to have lost all belief by the time he graduated from seminary. He chose ordination in the UCC because it required "no forced doctrine."
He says he doesnt believe in the incarnation of Christ or the need for salvation, but he remained in the ministry because, "These are my people, this is the context in which I work, these are the people that I know." In the pulpit, his mode is to talk as if he does believe, because "as long as... you are talking about God and Jesus and the Bible, that's what they want to hear. You're just phrasing it in a way that makes sense to [them]... but language is ambiguous and can be heard in different ways."
Darryl is a Presbyterian who sees himself as a "progressive-minded" pastor who wants to see his kind of non-doctrinal Christianity "given validity in some way." He acknowledges that he is more a pantheist than a theist, and thinks that many of the more educated members of his church hold to the same liberal beliefs as his own. And those beliefs (or unbeliefs) are stated clearly: "I reject the virgin birth. I reject substitutionary atonement. I reject the divinity of Jesus. I reject heaven and hell in the traditional sense, and I am not alone."
Adam ministers in the Church of Christ, a conservative denomination. After years in the ministry, he began to lose all theological confidence. After reading a series of books, he became convinced that the atheists have better arguments than believers. He has moved fully into an atheist mode, yet he continues to lead his church in worship. How? "Here's how I'm handling my job on Sunday mornings: I see it as play acting. I see myself as taking on the role of a believer in a worship service, and performing."
Jack is identified as a Southern Baptist minister who has primarily served as a worship leader. He was attracted to Christianity as a religion of love, but his pursuit of Christianity "brought me to the point of not believing in God." As he explains, "I didn't plan to become an atheist. I didn't even want to become an atheist. It's just I had no choice. If I'm being honest with myself."
Similar apostate thoughts were mouthed by Norman Vincent Peale in 1984 on the Phil Donahue program. Peale announced, "It's not necessary to be born-again. You have your way to God; I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine... I've been to Shinto shrines, and God is everywhere." Phil Donahue was so shocked that he actually came to the defense of Christianity. "But you're a Christian minister," he retorted, "and you're suppose to tell me that Christ is the way and the truth and the life, aren't you?" Peale replied, "Christ is one of the ways. God is everywhere." 2
Schuller "I don't think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and, hence, counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition."
Another modern day apostate is Robert Funk, a New Testament scholar at the University of Montana. He is the founder of the notorious Jesus Seminar which began operating in 1985. The avowed purpose of the Seminar was "to renew the quest for the historical Jesus. They reject most of the Bible!!!!
Only fifteen sayings of Jesus made it into The Five Gospels in red! In Matthew's account of the Lord's Prayer, the only words that made it in red were, "Our Father." Only one saying in the entire book of Mark was colored red. It is the statement of Jesus in Mark 12:17 where He told His disciples to "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." Likewise, only one statement from the Gospel of John qualified for the red coloring: "A prophet has no honor in his own country" (John 4:44).Mark 12:17John 4:44
What about the Churches Early in their report, Dennett and LaScola point to a problem of definition. Many churches and denominations have adopted such fluid and doctrineless identities that determining who is a believer and who is an unbeliever has become difficult. Their statement deserves a close reading
They found ecumenicalism The ambiguity about who is a believer and who is an unbeliever follows inexorably from the pluralism that has been assiduously fostered by many religious leaders for a century and more: God is many different things to different people, and since we can't know if one of these conceptions is the right one, we should honor them all. Unity no matter the cost
Amos 8:11 - "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord God, "That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord."