The Apostle Paul often began his epistles with the salutation
“To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Chris” – Col. 1:1
The Apostle Peter wrote –
“To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:” – 2 Pet. 1:1
In those days it cost something to be identified with Christians; they had to exhibit faith in Christ. They were faithful to His word as well. Today, the Church is filled with Sunday Saints who have bought their way into the Church with their tithes. Or they were born into it by infant baptism but, their faith means little to them and has even less affect on the culture. So, we have homosexuals in the Church, and women and men pastors marching for abortion, Democrats, many of whom claim to be Christian, vote against a House motion calling unborn babies members ‘of the species homo sapiens’. Women’s rights advocates, such as Oprah Winfrey, declares “Jesus Isn’t The Only Way To God” and she claims to be a Christian. But Jesus said –
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6
Other leaders in the Church are claiming the God of the Bible and Allah are the same and have come up with a new doctrine known as Chrislam. This is nothing but heresy and is evidence of the great ‘falling away’ Paul talked about.
“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 Thes. 2:1-3
What precedes this great falling away of the faithful? Those that fall away did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. The Bible is the revealed word of God, a God who says of Himself –
“Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” – Isa. 45:22
and His word is absolute. But, many seminary teachers deny this, approving of Homosexuality and denying the virgin birth of Jesus. As “the love of the truth” wanes in America and the world, the day of the Antichrist is drawing close.
Christians need to re-read the book of Hebrews about the Hebrew deliverance from Egypt and their trip through the wilderness and what it takes to become true followers of Jesus Christ.
“For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” – Heb. 3:14-19
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. ” – Heb. 4:1, 2
Faith is more than just a mental acknowledgement. Faith requires action. The word of God did not benefit the Hebrews who escaped Egypt (a type of the world) because they did not act on it but, they wanted to go back to Egypt in their hearts. They had one foot in the camp of God and one foot in Egypt, even though they were in the wilderness.
That is where the Church is today – one foot in the Church and one foot in the world. The majority of Democrats claim to be Christian but they are the ‘abortion’ Party, they embrace Homosexuality and pornography. Many churches have now approved abortion, divorce and remarriage, even among their pastors. Now, I recognize that some divorce is inescapable, especially with the No-Fault laws many states have but, the Church is failing to teach about the sanctity of marriage in the eyes of God thus making the problem even worse. In fact, many so-called Christians make the important decisions in life without even asking God what He thinks about it. Prayer is many times just an after thought. These are the actions that cost the Hebrews who escaped Egypt the Promised Land and these are the actions that will keep Christians out of heaven as well.
I have also been guilty in times past of making important decisions without consulting God first in prayer but, I have repented and hopefully, I do a better job at that now. The writer of Hebrews concludes the warning about missing the rest of God with this encouragement –
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Heb. 4:15, 16
We are called to obey the word of God and He will give us the grace we need make the right decisions in life. The day of the Antichrist is near and the pressures of ungodliness and lawlessness are growing exponentially but, his time will be short, only 7 years, and then we will enter into God’s Rest if we “if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end”.