Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Church in the End Times: Confusion and Worldliness

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

There is much talk going around these days about how unified, triumphant and glorious the Church will be in the end times right before the return of Jesus, but it does not correspond with what the Bible prophesies. Already we've looked at how apostasy and cultism have ravished Christ's Bride, now we'll look at the third and fourth set of prophecies that characterize the Church in the end times.


Confusion

A third group of prophecies indicate that in the end times the Church will be assailed by doctrinal error. These are doctrines that do not damn the soul but which confuse and weaken the spirit.

In II Timothy 4:3-4, Paul says: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths." There are many popular myths in Christendom today that either rob people of the power of their faith or else deceive them into practicing a presumptuous faith.

Among Fundamentalists there is a myth that God retired in the First Century and that with Him went all manifestations of the supernatural, including angels, demons, spiritual gifts, and miracles. Among Charismatics the doctrinal abuses have been epidemic, including the following myths:

  1. Faith is to be placed in your faith and not in God.
  2. It is always God's will to heal.
  3. The believer has the authority of Jesus.
  4. It is God's desire that believers be financially prosperous.
  5. Believers can have what they want through positive confession.

The winds of doctrine (Eph. 4:14) are blowing through the Church at gale force and believers are being tossed here and there by the waves, all in the fulfillment of prophecy.


Worldliness

A fourth characteristic prophesied about the Church in the end times is that it will be compromised and corrupted by worldliness. The prophetic picture of this worldly church is found in Revelation 3:14-22, where the church at Laodicea is described.

The seven churches depicted in Revelation 2 and 3 are symbolic of seven periods of church history. The church at Laodicea, the last to be presented, is representative of the type of church that will prevail in Christendom at the end of the Church Age.

The picture is a pathetic one. The Church is apathetic, neither hot nor cold. The apathy is a product of the Church's adoption of a worldly attitude expressed in the words, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing." Jesus responds with a scathing rebuke: "You don not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked."

In fulfillment of this prophecy, our churches today are filled with cultural Christians who have accepted Jesus as Savior but not as Lord. They are schizophrenic Christians who walk with one foot in the Church and the other in the world. They are carnal Christians who shout "Hallelujah!" on the weekend but who live like pagans during the week. They are greedy Christians in pursuit of health, wealth, and power. The Cross and its message of sacrifice is as offensive to them as it is to the world.


Judgment

Because of the apostasy, heresy, cultism, and worldliness that the Bible says will characterize the end time Church, the Bible prophesies that the Church will come under judgment. In Revelation 3:19 Jesus says to the church at Laodicea, "Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline."

The glitzy, overindulgent church of the last few decaces is now tasting the judgment of God. Sin is being exposed. Religious empires are being dismantled. The Lord is calling us from the Cadillac to the Cross. Through discipline, the Spirit is motivating us to humility, righteousness and holiness.

Judgment has begun in the House of the Lord, where it always begins (Ezek. 9:6 and I Peter 4:17). The Lord is disciplining His Church as a prelude to the pouring out of His wrath upon the world.


In the third and last part of this series on the Church in prophecy, we'll look with hope at what good news there is about the Church in the end times and conclude with an exhortation.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

“Christians who have accepted Jesus as Savior but not as Lord”
Hmm! Factually Jesus Christ is ONE as Lord /Savior! Cant split em up. This sounds like salvation by faith PLUS a work to me! OR - Do you mean they are saved but don’t obey His Word and are lawless rebels? Like antignomes sp?

Otherwise I concur that the visible church is in a mess and deserves a good shaking.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dr Reagan for being a voice of truth and faithfulness. May your tribe increase the church has lost its life and is now a weak useless source of confusion and delusion. The church has not stood its ground and in cooperating with the world become what Christ called the Laodicean Church. We have been infected by the world instead of bringing the world to the Lord, we have pursued all types of things to make the church more attractive to the world and have lost our purity and purpose.

Doug Reutzel

Anonymous said...

then pray tell what is the church suppose to be instead of telling what it shouldnt be tell what it is iam more confused by all this not enlightned ??????????

Anonymous said...

"then pray tell what is the church suppose to be instead of telling what it shouldnt be tell what it is iam more confused by all this not enlightned ??????????"

The Great commision is to preach the gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the sinner can be saved from the wages of sin by putting their faith in Jesus to cleanse them from all sin.

Instead of the social gospel that has replaced the genuine with another Jesus, another gospel and another spirit.

Also to make disciples which is by teaching and studying God's Word and obeying the Doctrines of Christ and applying them to life and to die to self that WE might decrease and Jesus increase.
ONLY the Holy Spirit can convict of sin and the need for a Saviour

Not try to make 'converts' and try to keep them by entertainment and call them part of the kingdom.

Unless they are born again they cannot even see the real Kingdom of God. Its all smoke and mirrors religion, not faith in Christ to save from sin and be changed day by day by the Holy Spirit to become like Jesus.

Thats the bare bones of how the Church should be growing and isnt.

Anonymous_2 said...

Anon who said "Hmm! Factually Jesus Christ is ONE as Lord /Savior! Cant split em up. This sounds like salvation by faith PLUS a work to me! OR - Do you mean they are saved but don’t obey His Word and are lawless rebels?"

Yes, it does come across as work theology to me, too.

Anonymous said...

thankyou for your comments on what the church should be I really apprecitate it and see that religion vs Christ gospel is the area that is the problem in the churches now. I hope I can stay the course and continue to grow and understand what is true as to what it means to be a christian. the waters seem so muddy on this. thanks again and God Bless!

Anonymous said...

"I hope I can stay the course and continue to grow and understand what is true as to what it means to be a christian. the waters seem so muddy on this."

DOCTRINE!!! This is being scoffed. They dont mind people reading the Bible, even Satan quoted Scripture. It is DOCTRINE that is the framework that every Word hangs from giving a right course to follow with the Holy Spirit.

Its the same thing as COMMANDS. Jesus said that if we love Him we shall follow all His commands. No this is not legalism. Legalism is thinking our works can add to what Christ has already done and thats a no, no!

2John 1:9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the DOCTRINE of Christ does NOT have God. He who abides in the DOCTRINE of Christ has both the Father and the Son.

1tImothy 4:6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, NOURISHED IN THE WORDS OF FAITH and of the good DOCTRINEwhich you have carefully followed.
V.7. But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.

1John 2:3to5 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

2John 1:9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the DOCTRINE of Christ does NOT have God. He who abides in the DOCTRINE of Christ has both the Father and the Son.

Jesus is the Word, so to stay close to Him we need to stay close to his DOCTRINE, that’s the only way to be sure we are led by the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is grieved or quenched by our disobeying DOCTRINE; then another, lying spirit will happily lead astray even using Gods Word to do it. (see that you are not deceived – but TEST the spirit 1John4:1.)

Barry said...

Another one is that if you don't pay 10% of your income then you are robbing God. I follow 2 Corinthians 9:7. The word "purposeth" means "perfers" or "chooses". I believe in giving but it should come from the heart, not by some scare tactic by using Malachi 3 by saying if you don't tithe you are robbing God. By saying that preachers are taking Malachi way out of context, and causing a contradiction. God Bless

Anonymous said...

By saying that preachers are taking Malachi way out of context, and causing a contradiction. God Bless

Agree Barry. The Lord much preferes a 100% cheerful giver :)

Anonymous said...

schizofrenie is not a split personality!

Anonymous said...

Joel Olsteen comes to mind...