Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. (Psalm 102:25-26)

The Bell Tolls For The Heavens And The Earth

In Part One we began with the above text of Scripture. This time we have it from the King James Version. Passages from the Bible like these truly make it very difficult for those who read Holy Scripture at “face value,” meaning for what it says, to come to any other conclusion than at some point this present heavens and earth will perish – or be destroyed. However, the predominant view within new evangelicalism is that the Church is here in the Kingdom of God right now to prepare this particular world before its King can come back. This is especially so in the doctrines of soteriology (salvation) and eschatology (end times) for the neo-pagan cult of the Emerging Church.

As an example of simply letting the text of the Bible speak for itself and using the critical reasoning ability that our Creator chose to place within us to separate mankind from the animals we present the following from Matthew Henry:

They shall perish; they will not last so long as we shall last. The day is coming when the earth and all the works that are therein shall be burnt up; and then what will become of those that have laid up their treasure in it? Heaven and earth shall wax old as a garment, not by a gradual decay, but, when the set time comes, they shall be laid aside like an old garment that we have no more occasion for. (Matthew Henry Commentary, E-Sword version)

This is an insightful comment from Henry, and even more so because it is based on what the text throughout the Bible is telling us. So this is what we are saying: If this is what Holy Scripture says, then it follows that this is what God says. The logic is inescapable and there is simply no amount of man-centered wishful thinking that is ever going to change this. Which is precisely the point I have trying to make the Church aware of when I speak of the Purpose Driven Church, the Emerging Church and the Word Faith Church as one entity within the twisted new spirituality of the new evangelicalism. We’ll return more specifically to Bell’s skewed teachings about the Kingdom of God based on his warped and toxic view of the Bible in a moment.

The True Christian Witness

Here though is a good place for me to make clear something that is apparently misunderstood about my writing by people who are not hearing the Voice of the Great Shepherd. I have had people say that I don’t know what I am talking about by “carelessly” lumping together such disparate religious systems together. It’s been asked: “Don’t you know that these movements have nothing to do with each other?” Ah, but this is only more of those “salvation fantasies.” I couldn’t care less that individual adherents don’t see that in God’s eyes they are all the same, people following seducing spirits and believing doctrines of devils. You see my first responsibility is to my Lord Who sent me, and this is a major issue that His true ministers will be trying to show you today.

Each of these major movements within new evangelicalism have this in common, they are violating a very old Biblical mandate. To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn (Isaiah 8:20). Each of these movements deny the Protestant Reformation which is then misrepresented (albeit in different ways) as something that was largely men who simply decided to teach some things–specifically the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible–which are just not that important to our culture today. However, as Dr. John MacArthur has correctly stated recently in his highly recommended series on discernment, today the new evangelical PDL/EC/WF church is all about “love and unity” and so the doctrines of the Reformation become irrelevant to them.

I suggest here that if you find yourself among the “frogs” in the Purpose Driven Church or the Emerging Church or the Word Faith Church–the major “kettles” the Devil is slowly bringing to a boil–then you are ever so subtly being indoctrinated into thinking about the Christian faith exactly backward. The messages you hear from their pallid pulpits will invariably be about the “worth of man,” the critical importance of “saving our environment,” and how the “King’s kids” should expect health and financial prosperity in this world. When the truth is that men sent by the Lord–and yes, pastors will be men–will tell you about the worth of God, the critical importance of obeying Him, and how as unworthy servants we should expect absolutely nothing from our Lord and Master.

No, in gratitude for a salvation we didn’t ask for and don’t deserve, our love for Christ should constrain the true Christian to help his fellow man see he is worthy only of death. Our love for our Creator should compel us to do what we can to make this world as good as it can be while we share the Gospel with those staggering toward destruction. Then by learning from the mistakes of God’s chosen Israel in the Old Testament, we should joyfully be sharing our Lord’s incredible generosity to His children with others God places around us. This would be the inevitable result that would come from a Body of Christ that adheres fully to the doctrines recaptured from the apostate Church of Rome when God the Holy Spirit raised up men willing to sacrifice their lives in the Protestant Reformation.

Peas In A Doomed Pod

I must warn you that the Lord Jesus Christ is close to spewing this shallow, superficial and nauseating brand of self-centered American “Christianity” right out of the mouth (see–Revelation 3:15-16). Let not the Warren-ites and McLaren-ites and Osteen-ites be so foolish as to think that just because they claim to be Christian they might continue on in their foolish fantasies unscathed. Compromise and self-ish living by those who claim to be among God’s chosen–just as was the case in Christ’s first time on His earth–is all the same to the LORD God Almighty. Hear the Word of the Lord:

“Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Luke 3:7-10)

And…Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness. (Isaiah 8:21-22)

Prayerfully this will clear up any further misconceptions as to why I write as I do in regard to these various movements, which is really one doomed ecumenical movement marching in line with the other antichrists right back through apostate Rome. And the principle was laid down very clearly by Christ Himself when He said – “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters” (Matthew 12:30). The Purpose Driven Church obviously follows Rick Warren’s seeker sensitive model and his man-pleasing interpretations of Scripture. In reality much of what Warren regurgitates is simply repackaged Robert Schullerisms. The Emerging Church is a schismatic rebellion against authority period, but most specifically against that of Holy Scripture. And the Word Faith Church is deeply rooted in the Gnosticism of the metaphysical Mind Science Cults as first taught by Essek W. Kenyon, and which penetrated evangelicalism by way of Kenneth Hagin.

Each of these movements has this is common; by what they are teaching regarding the nature of man and essentially paying lip service (at best) to Sola Scriptura, they are in fact denying that the Protestant Reformation was a move by God the Holy Spirit to return the Church to what Dr. Walter Martin often referred to as “the historic orthodox Christian faith.” Just the other day I was encouraging a brother via email that someone who is a part of the Emerging Church had blindsided with the old chestnut: “By you denying what we are doing is of God you are blaspheming the Holy Spirit.” What I explained to him was that the reverse is also true; by these groups actively seeking to consider the apostate Church of Rome as legitimate Christians, and to join them in fellowship, they are themselves denying that the Reformation was a move of the Holy Spirit. So you see, this “blasphemy” works both ways and as this Age comes to an end with increasing rapidity you will have to decide which side you are on.

Bell Rings In The Here And Now

As we saw last time Rob Bell’s salvation fantasies originate in a universal atonement by Christ, which is the prevalent view within the mystic Emerging Church movement, and through the link of “contemplative prayer,” this is also becoming true for most of new evangelicalism as well. And this itself has to do with a backlash against so-called Calvinism. I’m not going to wrestle with the serpent about that here, but what I do want to point out is that the fallacious philosophy of Robert Schuller that mankind is allegedly of such incredible worth is actually permeating all three of these movements. However, this twist of demonic doctrine itself can very easily be traced back through his mentor Norman Vincent Peale, then back even further through those aforementioned Gnostic Mind Science cults, and from there all the way back to its actual origin in Genesis 3:5 where the Devil himself tells Eve – “you will be like God.”

Here in a nutshell is where Rob Bell stands in regard to what the Cross of Jesus Christ means in his soteriology. As we look at this quote from his book Velvet Elvis: Repainting The Christian Faith (VE) and Bell articulates the doctrine of salvation in the Emerging Church movement you will be able to see why they would have such a high emphasis on saving the environment. We are already aware of Bell’s disdain for Biblical authority, and in typical fashion among EC writers, in VE Bell first sets up an incorrect definition of Reformed soteriology as a straw man for him to knock down. Then Bell says that the “point of the cross isn’t forgiveness. Forgiveness leads to something bigger: restoration” (108) As he elaborates further the EC doctrine of a universal salvation of the kosmos (world) clearly emerges:

The Bible paints a much larger picture of salvation. It describes all of creation being restored. The author of Ephesians writes that all things will be brought together under Jesus. Salvation is the entire universe being brought back into harmony with its maker. This has huge implications for how people present the message of Jesus. Yes, Jesus can come into our hearts. But we can join a movement that is as wide and deep and big as the universe itself. Rocks and trees and birds and swamps and ecosystems. God’s desire is to restore it all (ibid., 109,110, emphasis added)

Once you understand that for Bell, and for the Emerging Church movement, salvation is virtually entirely focused on the here and now it will then help you to understand why these predominantly young people approach their version of the Kingdom of God as they do. For the Emergent the universe itself, and as you see above, everything in it was redeemed by Christ on the cross when He took “punishment” so that God could “restore” it. Exactly how He is doing so isn’t clear, but the main point is that in EC soteriology all of mankind has been forgiven and they only need to become “followers of Jesus” (or not as in McLaren’s AGO).

You need to understand that even though Bell says “Jesus can come into our hearts,” in VE he has just spent the previous part of this chapter speaking against what the Christian Church means when we use that phrase. In VE the postmodernist Bell never specifically speaks of being born again as in his thinking it seems that only some type of decision to believe is all that is needed. Which is rather odd when you realize that the philosophy of postmodernism itself actually discourages believing in something objectively. One is left to wonder how would these people even be able to believe in the first place? As Dr. Doug Groothuis has pointed out in his book Truth Decay:

This raises the perennial question of the nature of truth. What does it mean for a statement, a belief, a philosophy or a religion to be true? This has been the subject of much debate in postmodernist circles, where the traditional view of truth as objective and knowable is no longer accepted (23).

Everything Will Be Destroyed

As with any who depart from the faith as they begin to follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons there are the half-truths and the confusion of issues. I’ve stated numerous times that there certainly is a secondary facet of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which does focus on making this world (for the time we each have left) a better place for mankind. The goal for the true Christian however, is that such activity is designed by the Lord to lead us into opportunities to share the Gospel of forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ and eternal life with God “there” until He reveals the new heavens and the new earth when His Kingdom will fully come to a new “here” (see–Revelation 21:1-2). That the Emerging Church is way off track here becomes obvious when we look at a few things the Bible says that are de-emphasized, or simply re-imagined in their warped and toxic theology.

It is true that many adherents to the historic orthodox Christian faith which was once for all delivered to the saints could improve on their efforts in the secondary phase of the Gospel. However, the EC has gone way too far in the opposite direction, which would not be surprising when one considers the denial of the vicarious penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the Cross by virtually all of its leaders. The Church of our Lord must seriously begin to examine this question: How can someone even be saved by Christ who is denying the very means that God has established for being born again in the first place? And in 1 John chapter 2 God the Holy Spirit quite clearly tells the true follower of Jesus:

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. (vv.15-17)

There is very good reason for this beyond the obvious. That obvious would be that Jesus taught for one to even be born again in the first place he must “repent,” which is to turn away from “the world.” Another reason not to love the world or anything in the world is for the literal fact that everything in the world will pass away. This is what we read in The Old Testament, as evidenced by our initial text, and in Isaiah 51:6 – Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. And this is further confirmed by the Apostle Peter, whom we must understand received this information from the Creator Himself. Whether taught in Person or by revelation Peter tells us with crystalline clarity:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. (2 Peter 3:10-12)

Undoubtedly we can see here that everything will be destroyed. The only way to ignore this truth is to follow men like Rob Bell and Brian McLaren who allegorize texts such as this. However, to do so is to think as a child who covers his face with his hands and exclaims: “You can’t see me!” The fact is no matter how loud an untruth is told, it will always remain an untruth. Better that we grow up and face the real world that is passing away and let those like Rob Bell who choose to ignore warnings such as this go where they will. In The Expositor’s Bible Commentary while discussing those who cause divisions in Romans 16:17 Dr. Everett Harrison makes the following perceptive comment: “As a practical measure, it is necessary to ‘keep away from them,’ giving no opportunity for inroads into the congregation. Religious errorists covet opportunities for ‘friendly discussion’” (Romans, CD Rom, emphasis mine)

I find it quite telling that the Emerging Church happens also to refer to itself as “the conversation.” No, how much wiser that the true Christian turns away from convoluted conversation and determines to follow men like the Apostle Paul whom the Lord urges you to imitate (see–1 Corinthians 4:16). It was also Paul who gave us the ultimate example of the mature Christian when he wrote:

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far (Philippians 1:21-23).

Men and women, let us not forget that twice in the Gospels it is recorded as Christ Jesus tells us in terms impossible to miss –Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 5:18; Luke 21:33). And O what the LORD God Almighty could do with a Church full of true Spirit-filled followers of Jesus who love the Lord enough to ride to the sound of the guns…