Alan Vincent

PropheticAlert - Exposing Deception In The Church

                           Profile of a False Gospel

 

           The Problem: Preaching a Gospel of Unbelief

There is a big problem in the Christian Church. It seems that Satan himself is trying to infiltrate and subvert the Church by coming as an angel of light in the form of Freemasonry, New Age, Humanism, Seeker-Friendly church, Decisional Evangelism, preaching a watered down social gospel, and the omission of sin and hell.

In essence, a false gospel and a false Christ is being preached. The level of subversion in the church is massive. This in turn is leading to false conversions, shallow Christianity, and an impotent church. The seeker sensitive gospel being preached today, is driven by humanism and relative truth, rather than adhering to the absolutes of the teachings of the Bible. It seems that church leaders are driven by money, power, status, the need for social acceptance, and reliance on worldly methods, rather than the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The church today has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof. 2 Timothy 3:5

Having a form of godliness: That is, they profess religion, or are associated with the church. This shows that the apostle referred to some great corruption in the church. There can be little doubt that he had his eye on the same great apostasy to which he refers in 2 Thessalonians 2 and 1 Timothy 4. All these things to which he refers here have been practised and tolerated in that apostate church while being  zealous to maintain a 'form of godliness', that is, the keeping up of religion. 

But denying the power thereof: In other words. opposing the real power of religion; not allowing it to exert any influence in one's life. It imposes no restraint on one's passions and carnal dispositions, but in all respects, except in the form of religion, we live as if we had no religion to adhere to. This has been common in the world. The most regular and bigoted adherence to the forms of religion furnishes no evidence in itself that there is any true piety at heart, or that true religion has any actual control over the soul. It is much easier for people to observe the forms of religion than it is to bring the heart under it's controlling influence. 

From such turn away; have no contact with them as if they were Christians; do not acknowledge their 'religion'; do not associate with them. Compare 2 John 1:10-11. See also 2 Corinthians 6:17

                Characteristics of an Apostate Church

  A.W Tozer prophetically declared before his death: 

"Evangelical Christianity is now tragically below the New Testament standard.
Worldliness is an accepted fact of our way of life.
                                  Our religious mood is social instead of spiritual."
 
  • The presentation of a gospel of unbelief. This manifests in the absence of preaching hell, the consequences of sin, sanctification, righteousness, the basic doctrines of the Bible, and a poorly defined salvation message. 
  • Hell is no longer being preached. It seems that hell is now Satan's best kept secret and the church is promoting this secret by failing to preach it. This is a sin of omission.
  • Truth has become relative rather than absolute.
  • Social relevance is more important than presenting the truth of the gospel.
  • Social programs are replacing evangelism.
  • Designer Christianity. Christianity is seen as a life-enhancement option, whereas the Bible portrays it as God's rescue plan for a lost humanity. Designer or 'Yuppie' Christianity is the by-product of preaching a gospel devoid of sin and it's consequences.It is a gospel of self and therefore it promotes idolatry. 
  • Teaching and promoting the humanistic ideals of happiness, freedom, economic, cultural and social progress for all mankind. Ironically these are not the ideals promoted in the Bible.
  • Less and less focus on the Bible as the central point of reference for Believers.
  • More and more focus on the teachings and writing of men.
  • A general belief that there are many ways to get to heaven and that Jesus is not the only way.
  • The mission of the church, as defined by humanistic thought, can be almost anything except winning people to Christ and discipling them.
  • An emphasis on 'decisional evangelism' and shallow 'conversions' rather than making disciples (as taught in the Great Commission). 

             Factors that make a Church more pure

  • Biblical doctrine – right preaching of the word
  • Proper use of the sacraments/ordinances
  • Right use of church discipline
  • Genuine worship
  • Effective prayer
  • Effective witness
  • Effective fellowship
  • Biblical church government
  • Spiritual power in ministry
  • Personal holiness of life among its members
  • Care for the poor
  • Love for Christ
Taken from:  Systematic Theology, An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, Wayne Grudem, p 876 

               Factors that make a Church less pure

  • Classical liberal Protestantism is man centred rather than god centred.
  • When churches begin to stray away from faithfulness to Christ this will be evident not only in the shift to impure doctrine (which can sometimes be concealed from church members through the use of evasive language), but also in the daily life of the church, its activities, preaching, and counselling. 
  • Even casual conversations amongst its members will become more and more man centred and less and less god centred.
  • There will tend to be a repeated emphasis on the typical kinds of self-help advice given in popular journals and by secular psychologists.
  • There will be a horizontal orientation as opposed to a vertical or God centred orientation.
  • There will be fewer and fewer extended times of prayer and less and less emphasis on the direct application of direct scripture to daily situations, but more emphasis on simply being a caring and sensitive person, and on affirming others and acting in love towards them.
  • The conversation and activities of the church will have very little genuine spiritual content, little emphasis on the need for daily prayer for individual concerns and for forgiveness of sins, little emphasis on daily personal reading of scripture, and little emphasis on moment-by-moment trusting in Christ and knowing the reality of his presence in our lives.
  • Where there are admonitions to moral reformation, these will often be viewed as human deficiencies that people can correct by their discipline and effort, and perhaps encouragement from others. These moral aspects of life will not be primarily viewed as a sin against a holy God, sin which can only effectively be overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit working within. 

When such humanistic emphasis becomes dominant in the church, it has moved far towards the less pure end of the scale in many of the areas listed above, and it is moving in the direction of becoming a false church. 

Taken from:  Systematic Theology, An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, Wayne Grudem, p 876

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