Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Survival Strategies For Apostate Times by John MacArthur



H/T to Job at Jesus Christology who posted this series this evening. John MacArthur is one of my favorite preacher/teachers and once again in this series Pastor MacArthur "unleashes God's truth one verse at a time" as he answers these questions: "How do we contend for the truth? How do we preserve the truth? How do we protect the church and the people that are coming to the church desiring to know the truth? How do we protect ourselves? How do we survive in increasingly apostate times? And Paul, of course, told Timothy at the end of his life that evil men will grow worse and worse. And Paul indicated in his letter to the Thessalonians that the apostasy would escalate as you got closer to the end. How do we survive? How do we protect the truth? How do we engage in a triumphant battle in the midst of apostasy?

He discusses the lack of discernment within the church:"Why is there such a lack of discernment? Reason number one, because there's a weakening of doctrinal clarity and conviction. A cheap gospel, as it's called, easy believism, tolerance, unity, openness, there is a negative attitude toward being narrowed toward being doctrinal. There's even a negative attitude towards saying this is a true interpretation and that is not. It seems like everybody is entitled to his own spin on everything. The church has been invaded with liberalism, psychology, charismaticism, politicism. It's forced its way into the church and, of course, whenever error wants to find a place in the church, it has to find a way to get rid of dogmatism. The only way that error can be accepted in the church is if people are no longer going to hold a doctrinal standard. And so that's what happens. These forces that are outside the Bible demand acceptance, demand a place in the church and so they push dogmatism aside. The emphasis in the church then goes from preaching doctrine to the mind for the purpose of people giving greater glory to God through His Word, to inducing pleasant emotion, pleasant feeling, good feeling, fun, personal comfort, etc. Worship descends from singing truths about God, lyric-centered music full of theology, to that Seven-Eleven music, seven words repeated eleven times which is dominated by volume, rhythm, harmony, to induce warm, fuzzy and sensual moods. So you have a weakening of doctrinal clarity and conviction. People don't know what doctrines they believe, they're not clear on them and they don't have convictions about them. (this is why so many in the body of Christ support Barack Obama-CBW's words not John MacArthur's)

Pastor MacArthur aptly describes this as "Spiritual Terrorism" he says: "Failure to confront spiritual terrorists destroyed the church at Pergamos, they allowed some who held the teaching of Balaam, they allowed some who held the teaching of the Nicolaitans and it destroyed the church and the Lord says, "If you don't repent, I'm going to come quickly and make war against you with the sword out of My mouth." It destroyed the church at Thyatira because they tolerated the woman Jezebel who taught the people to commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. As I told you, it destroyed the church at Sardis and soiled their garments. And on the other hand, there was the church of Smyrna in Revelation 2 that maintained its purity and the church at Philadelphia that maintained its purity and God promised them a blessing. Churches that stop spiritual terrorism at its border by profiling them, understanding who they are, protect themselves and then face the incredible responsibility to give those same terrorists the gospel. To this we are called, to this great challenge."

What a powerful message. What are you going to do? Pick up your cross and follow Christ or mind your business as you strive for tolerance and political correctness?

4 comments:

Linda said...

This is an incredible lesson for all of us. I would like to put in my 2 cents worth and bring out one of the reasons our church (speaking of Christians, and not any particular denomination)is not strong anymore is because of the watering down of the Scriptures.

It has been said on more than one occasion that satan has more Bibles than God. So many Christians are content to use the 'new' versions, which leave out so many of the truths, and put in so many lies, that a Christian really doesn't know what they believe. It is really sad that 'Bibles' say different things with different versions.

Anonymous said...

We can consider this a time of purging for Christians. We need to pray for each other and ourselves that we might hold fast to God's teaching, and for the courage to speak up for truth regardless of the costs. Spiritual discernment tells us the hour we're in.
I have a friend that says she's a christian, but honestly can't see anything wrong with Obama's worldview(actually the leftist worldview). She's undisciplined, doesn't want to "get too deep" with scriptures and says she'd rather be in a club on New Year's eve instead of a church. Church attendance on New Year's Eve isn't mandatory, but you see the priorities there. I can't continue to befriend her, it's one thing if she wasn't saved, but she calls herself a christian. I tried telling her about prophecy and she said it was overwhelming and didn't want to hear it.
We should also be wary of these pastors who have written books that have become popular with the world. We know that Osteen and T.D. Jakes have backtracked when asked whether Jesus is the only way to get to heaven. They gave the nice comfortable answer, "only God knows the heart".
We are living in a time that is really going to prove whether we are who we say we are.

Conservative Blog-unclogged said...

I recently made a decision to stop sitting on the sidelines. I decided the risk of losing popularity (which I am not popular anyway), the risk of being ostracized, the risk of being ridiculed, labeled, jeered, threatened...are all worth it; the "it" being following Lord Jesus Christ and confessing He is the only way to the Father. But again, here is where I may fall on my face just as Peter and the Apostles. But thank God for his Loving Son Jesus....He forgives me in spite of my failures.

Anyway, my point is this; all who are truly in Christ Jesus must put aside all differences, including race, culture, socioeconomic status and countless other dividing factors. We must purposely decide that we are bound by Jesus, never backing down from that simple truth. He is the Way, He is the Truth, He is the Life. It is really indisputable, unless of course one is trying to ride the fence in order to please men. Of this, I am afraid I have been guilty as well. Thanks be again to Jesus for His gentle way of revealing to me what is desperately screaming hypocrite in my own character. I trudge on, testing the spirits as I am told to do so. This very thing requires time, attention, thinking, critical analysis and above all prayer. Perhaps therein lies the answer as to how so many Christians can be duped by mainstream culture.

Just my humble observation.

Jen

Kim M said...

Hi CBW!

I "accidentally" found your blog while doing a search for the phrase "slavery is freedom" ... And the reason I did that search is because I am outraged by John MacArthur's new book: "Slave." I skimmed through the book while I was at the bookstore recently & saw that MacArthur actually promotes the idea that "slavery is freedom" (it's a chapter subtitle) &, as far as I can tell, he does not even acknowledge that the idea is Orwellian in nature. So, long story short, I find it ironic to come here & discover that you are a fan of MacArthur ...

What do you think of him NOW?

My background (as brief as I can make it): I am white & currently attend a black church (COGIC). Back in '07 I "accidentally" discovered Alex Jones & woke up to a lot of painful stuff (to say the least). In the process, I got involved with Ron Paul's Presidential campaign, segued over to "End The Fed" when the Presidential run was over & then ended up starting my own group called: SoCal Martial Law Alerts. We keep an eye on police state & martial law type stuff from a lot of different angles & so we recently made a YouTube video called "Propaganda From The Pulpit: Government Talking Points" ...

Needless to say, we're highly aware of government infiltration of the church & so that's why I almost yelled out loud when I saw MacArthur's new book, "Slave," being featured at our local Christian bookstore! It just has all the earmarks of being the latest government talking point (do a search for "slavery is freedom" on Ixquick.com & you will actually see SERMONS pop up! =:O) & I also find it suspicious that the book is being released right as our economy is getting ready to completely implode ... Is MacArthur's book part of a pre-conditioning campaign to get the flock to meekly march off to the FEMA camps?! Speaking of FEMA camps, have you seen Jesse Ventura's recent "Conspiracy Theory" episode where he confirms the existence of FEMA camps -- the same episode that was not allowed to re-air & has been completely scrubbed from TruTV's website?

Interesting times. I hope you have time to write back!