It has become of increasing concern why false doctrines are flourishing, and why some resort to witchcraft within the fold of the faith and why are more people turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to so many false prophecies, which are nothing more than divination. After all, it says God is power, so why look for any other power? Why add or subtract from a Faith as already established by God?
What has been happening in churches is of concern, and forms part of the great falling away, also labeled as the apostasy in 2 Thessalonians 2 which sparks the coming of the lawless one, thus the last earthly figure to work with the devil to establish hell’s agenda on earth. And the apostasy is quickening. The falling away is rapidly transpiring in front of our eyes. It is in line with what Peter wrote about in 2 Peter 2, as written in the Book of Jude, and in 2 Timothy 4 where it speaks of a time that will come “when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold (verse 3).” These are the days of 2 Timothy 3, where it speaks of perilous days and the rise of wickedness.
Granted, God has in place a wonderful remnant of believers. It is they who truly walk in God’s ways, in His Presence, in His Spirit and truth. They seek only God. They have not compromised. They have not gone astray. They are standing boldly at the gates and on the watchtowers and in the market places and on the pulpits declaring the Gospel of the Kingdom. They shall be saluted in such times of deception. They shall receive their just reward, according to Revelations 2 and 3. Of them God has said He will birth His glory in the remnant, refined by the Lord and purified to walk in God’s Spirit and power like never before, even greater as in the days of Acts. Yes, they have cried out to God, and they seek God as the cleaning Shekinah fire. Purity and holiness is their desire, and their quest and motivation remain to glorify God.
Jesus said in “Revelations 22: 11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” In this world and in the church a decision needs to be made. Where do we stand? Do we stand for holiness, righteousness, and justice, or do stand for all things unnatural and immoral? For indeed, the remnant that seeks God will know the purity and holiness of an awesome God, and they shall behold and hold onto His Glory as the world shakes and crumbles. Yes, the remnant will continue to seek to defy Babylon and every philosophical and secular movement and counter religion that defies God. They will stay true to 2 Corinthians 10 and Matthew 28. Yet as some danced before the golden calf, the reality is that some will be deceived and will continue on such a path. And such a path holds great spiritual danger and perilous consequences.
Jesus said in Matthew 24 that because lawlessness has increased, the love of most people will grow cold (verse 12). And we have seen according to 2 Thessalonians 2 that lawlessness will be the outflow of the great falling away. So the great falling away will also be accompanied by a love that grows cold. Ephesus after all the Church that had abandoned its love for Christ and his teachings (Revelation 2:1-7). Christ’s letter to the Ephesian church praises the congregation for its “deeds…hard work…and perseverance,” and for its rejection of false apostles (Revelation 2:2-3). Despite its hard work and doctrinal integrity, Christ faults the community for having “forsaken the love [they] had at first” (Revelation 2:4). This “forsaken love” can mean that the Ephesians had become less devoted to Christ or that the work they did was no longer motivated by love for one another. The letter to the Ephesian church does offer the community hope if they repent and rekindle their love for Christian living (Revelation 2:5-7). The lesson in the letter to Ephesus teaches that truth and love must go hand-in-hand. A church that upholds doctrinal purity at the expense of showing love is just as flawed as a church that upholds congregational harmony at the expense of truthful teachings. Instead, Jesus reveals that a church fashioned in His image must teach God’s Truth in love.
But the love that will grow cold will also be the love of Truth. It will be love for God’s holiness and God’s ways. How can we truly love God if we have abandoned His truth? How can we truly love Him if we are still seeking after our own will, and not the will of the Lord? And churches, particularly in the West, are in deep trouble because the will of man has become, it seems, more important than the will of God. Do we truly love God? Jesus said in “John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Do we still see obedience in churches to God’s word and His will? If not, where is the real love? And if we begin to wonder if we are truly loving God as our First Love, then we begin to ponder the greatest commandment of loving God above all else, from which the second commandment of loving others flows. And yes, if we are not true to the greatest commandment, then we face the danger of walking in idolatry. Thus a love that grows cold indeed sparks and fuels idolatry and rebellion.
But the flip side of the coin is also true, that these days in your more friendly-seeking churches we love people more than God, thus a form of humanism and thus have flipped the two commandments around. Yes, first love God, and then because of that love, love then others! But now we preach that first love man, no matter what, and then this will prove you love God. This is a warped doctrine. This is exalting Creation above the Creator, thus idolatry where man is idolized and worshipped. And such a reality we see in the worship of celebrities in the form of sports stars, entertainers, and yes, even pastors and spiritual leaders.
Without a doubt, these are perilous times of great deception. Jesus said in “Matthew 24: 13 But the one who endures and bears up [under suffering] to the end will be saved.” In the Book of the Revelation in the seven churches, seven times it is mentioned there is a reward for those who overcome, thus endure. And what must we overcome? Yes, deception and everything that exalts itself against God’s Kingdom, including the pseudo-Christian movements! We need to overcome the dangers within the church where false doctrines and gospels are taught. We need to overcome the persecution in the world, but also the resistance in the church from those who resist the Truth of God, thus the remnant, just as the Pharisees and Sadducees resisted Jesus. Yes, there are already those who resist the truth of God, “who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction (2 Peter 2:1). Of them in the same chapter, it says “by covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words (verse 3). The Scriptures have thus warned about such deception, for yes the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4)
Yes, to those who OVERCOME, thus endure in sound doctrine and in the truth and love of God will be granted to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God (Revelation 2:7), will not be hurt by the second death (Revelations 2:11), will be given hidden manna and a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it (Revelation 2:17), will be granted power over the nations (Revelation 2:26), to be clothed in white garments (Revelations 3:5), will have a new name (Revelation 3:12) and will be granted to sit with God on His throne (Revelations 3:21). Yes, great is the reward to OVERCOME, but this calls for great perseverance, diligence, and faithfulness to God’s Kingdom, and of resisting the world, the devil, and everything carnal, false, and an abomination.