I am afraid, however, that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may be led astray from your simple and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims a Jesus other than the One we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the One you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it way too easily. – 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 BSB
With the “Church” moving closer to the world and further from the full Gospel of Jesus Christ, many are wondering if we are experiencing the GREAT APOSTASY. It is written: Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3) But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:1-3) We are definitely experiencing a great falling away. However, it seems to be less subtle than many considered. What if the ‘falling away” is not actually walking away from God, but bastardizing His Word? What if the Gospel of Jesus is being diluted, into another Gospel, with the flesh-driven ‘Social Gospel’? What if making Jesus into a ‘Social Warrior’, instead of THE SAVIOR- is the GREAT APOSTASY? To bastardize something is to reduce from a higher to a lower state or condition: to DEBASE. To modify especially by introducing discordant or disparate elements. Paul was stunned, “I am amazed how quickly you are deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is not even a gospel. Evidently some people are troubling you and trying to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be under a curse! As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be under a curse! (Galatians 1:6-9)
Leader, this is nothing new. It is a pattern of the enemy. Jesus was never at an anti-slavery meeting. Jesus never attended a ‘woman’s rally’. Jesus was always about HIS FATHERS business, not the world’s bitterness. Social Justice is about the temporal, the Good News is about the eternal. Social Justice is about the flesh; getting even, getting justice, getting compensation. Redemption is about mercy, grace, forgiveness, humility, brokenness, long-suffering…about turning the other cheek. The book of Mark spoke strongly about the coming deception. Mark recalls Jesus speaking of the coming deception in that it will be so intense that even the elect might be deceived. This will happen when “false messiahs and false prophets … appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Mark 13:22) Although that is a fearful thing, God has given us the key to avoid being deceived- The Word of God. “So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time,” Jesus said (see Mark 13:23). We are to be prepared. A.W. Tozer in a sermon titled, ““How we Can Prevent The Devil from Taking Advantage of Us”: The Bible tells us to not be ignorant of The Devil’s devices. Satan is a criminal, and every criminal establishes what is called an unconscious pattern. Every expert on crime, that is, every criminologist knows, and every cop knows if he’s been on the beat any time, that crime has a strange way of repeating itself. If a man is a burglar, he always burgles in the same way. It’s very rare that he changes his MO, modus operandi, or method of operation. And The Devil is the criminal of the universe. But he isn’t quite wise enough to escape his own pattern. So, God says, if you will read this Bible and pray, I’ll teach you the pattern so you will never need to fall into it. You’ll know The Devil when you see him and smell him. We’re not ignorant of his devices, for in all of his tricks there’s a certain sameness. We defeat him when we know what they are, and then by the grace of God, avoid them. How can we know them? By the light of the Word, by prayer for wisdom, and by the Spirit’s illumination. I don’t want to give aid and comfort to The Devil. Do you?” Then get prepared! The U.S. Army taught the 6-P’s of Preparation’ as, Proper Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.
Conduit, If you are going to fight the good fight then you need to have a good offensive weapon and solid footing. First; Build good foundations. Hear the Word of the Lord: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27) The Word of God is the only good foundation wherein we should anchor ourselves upon. Like engineers that carefully and precisely build foundations, we should carefully examine the teachings we build our lives upon. Nothing can ever beat the Word of God – it is inerrant, God-breathed, instruction and preparation. When life squeezes you, the only things that can come out of you is what is IN YOU! Get the WORD IN YOU, so it can come OUT OF YOU. Next; Use the Word of God as your standard. It is written: For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. (Hebrews 4:12-13) Using the Word of God as your standard in every thought, choice, plan, and desire will protect you from being deceived, and free you when you are misled. Lastly, you must BELIEVE the battle is REAL! Do you really believe in the Supernatural and the Spiritual battle that is waging all the time, for all of time? We must take this battle seriously! Don’t take deception with a grain of salt. We must REMEMBER, and DO NOT FEAR, otherwise we can all be deceived! “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on your guard and stay alert! For you do not know when the appointed time will come. It is like a man going on a journey who left his house, put each servant in charge of his own task, and instructed the doorkeeper to keep watch. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know when the master of the house will return—whether in the evening, at midnight, when the rooster crows, or in the morning. Otherwise, he may arrive without notice and find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Keep watch!” (Mark 13:32-37)