Having spent much time in prayer over this, I’m convinced that the mainstream Christian community is approaching a crossroad. It is my firm conviction in the Lord that those of us in the Body of Christ need to begin to cry out to Him, as His Church, for His direction because it certainly seems that we have sought the high ground for refuge from the storms long enough. Beloved, we just can’t stand still any longer because we have no more time to rest.

May we begin to pray that Jesus will cause His true children to rededicate ourselves to God—and to each other—in our local church families, in whatever room of our Father’s house we might currently worship in. And then pray that we can move forward together into a time where we would receive renewed boldness for preaching the genuine Christian faith. Do you still remember when you were first saved; how you just had to tell everyone about Jesus?

Well, if we humbly ask Him, our loving God will send us this kind of renewal in each of our spirits. O yes, our Lord will graciously restore us to our first love; if we will but believe (cf. John 14:23; 1 John 5:14-15). So many in the Body of Christ today are agreed that we are near the end of an age, if not at the very end of this Age of Grace itself. If this is so, then the sands of the hourglass are fast running out, and we just don’t have much time left to proclaim the gospel to the whole creation (Mark 16:15).

Nor do we have the luxury of slowly and casually growing up in our faith; and especially not for those in our churches who have recently come to Christ. What I have been trying to do here at this online apologetics and discernment work Apprising Ministries is to lay a solid foundation—to revisit what we believe and why we believe it—as the Lord is bringing more people to work together through this outreach. This is all just to make sure that each of us is on the same page as these writings find their way out to new people in Christ.

And there is just no other way to encourage the Lord’s languishing visible church here in this pouty postmodern world than for all of us to go back to what the Bible actually says. So you see, my ministry isn’t so radical after-all is it? I have simply been trying to show you how much false doctrine has crept into the evangelical community while we weren’t looking. I’m not attempting to be judgmental and to say why false prophets like Brian McLaren [1] or Rob Bell [2] teach what they do, that’s for the Lord.

Rather I’m only pointing out, from the Scriptures themselves, what is counterfeit about a given teaching. And this is the mandate that all pastor-teachers are given; for it is written:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:1-2)

Let me take you quickly through this passage;  preach the word; be ready in season is to tell people the Truth God has stated in His infallible and inerrant Word in the Bible, when the historic orthdox Christian faith is in a rare time of acceptance. Then — and out of season would be like now when people simply do not want to hear the real truth; and that, unfortunately, includes many in the church visible. Even so, we must still reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

While I don’t agree with everything he taught, most specifically his favorably quoting of mystics of apostate Roman Catholicism, A.W. Tozer [3] was dead-on-target here:

Great industrial concerns have in their employ men who are needed only when there is a breakdown somewhere. When something goes wrong with the machinery, these men spring into action to locate and remove the trouble and get the machinery rolling again. For these men a smoothly operating system has no interest. They are specialists concerned with trouble and how to find and correct it.

In the Kingdom of God things are not too different. God had always had His specialists whose chief concern has been the moral breakdown, the decline in the spiritual health of the nation or the church. Such men were Elijah, Jeremiah, Malachi and others of their kind who appeared at critical moments in history to reprove, rebuke, and exhort in the name of God and righteousness…

Such a man was likely to be drastic, radical,…and…[those that] gathered to watch him work soon branded him as extreme, fanatical, [and] negative. And in a sense they were right. He was single-minded, severe, fearless, and these were the qualities the circumstances demanded. He shocked some, frightened others and alienated not a few, but he knew Who had called him and what he was sent to do. His ministry was geared to the emergency, and that fact marked him out as different… [4]

Now here is the next verse in 2 Timothy chapter 4, verse 3For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions; well, guess what, we’re here. That will explain e.g. the popularity of people like Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren; but folowing Tozer did bring out the critical point:

There is a great decision that every [church] has to make sometime in the development of its history. Every denomination also has to make it either at its beginning or a little later-usually a little later. Eventually every board is faced with the decision… Every pastor has to face it and keep renewing his decision on his knees before God.

Finally, every church member, every evangelist, every Christian has to make this decision… The question is this: Shall we modify the truth in doctrine or practice to gain more [members]? Or shall we preserve the truth in doctrine and practice and take the consequences?

A commitment to preserving the truth and practice of the church is what separates me from a great many people who are perhaps far greater than I am in ability. This is my conviction, long held and deeply confirmed by a knowledge of the fact that modern gospel churches, almost without exception, have decided to modify the truth and practice a little in order to have more adherents and get along better.

[Churches are] under constant pressure to have more [members], more numbers. [And in the Lord we pray that we will] never…modify or compromise to achieve that, but to tenaciously hold fast to [our] core beliefs and priorities.” [5]

And the main way that our local fellowships, those still standing for the truth of God’s Word, are going to grow is to leave the comfort zone to which we have become accustomed and to be willing to move in whatever direction our Lord will lead us in. As I get set to close this out, for now, let me show you something. Turn with me in your Bibles to 1 Kings, chapter 17 and verse 2. I’m not really going to exegete this, I just want to show you a secondary application.

And the word of the Lord came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan.

And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him, “Arise, go… (1 Kings 17:2-9)

In this historical account of the great prophet Elijah, maybe we can also see a spiritual picture of our own local fellowships. Many of our churches have been by “the brook” for a while now and the Lord has tenderly and mercifully taken care of us. Jesus has sent us people to feed us, just as He once sent the ravens; and our Master has sent some outreaches which, have allowed us to drink His spiritual water as we rested and we healed. But now the time has come to leave the “brook” and to enter the fray.

May we arise into Christ’s fierce battle with Satan, the mortal enemy of the souls of men. And I pray that you can understand what I’m saying to you as I have shared my heart with you here. Today I tell you that we must move forward together; and we must leave our brook of rest, and we must, Arise, go at once. The time has come for us to leave our brook and to get dressed for battle. Ah, what a great Master we serve that our Lord should have us born for such an important time as this.

Do you remember Acts 17:26 — And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place. You are here now—at this critical time in history—because Jesus wants you here. It’s His plan that you have the glorious opportunity to join us in this war for the souls of men! Will you take your place alongside, and stand shoulder to shoulder for the defense of our Lord’s Gospel in this new Nineveh?

You say: “But I cannot fight, I don’t know how.” Well, can you pray; for the Bible says — For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). Right now the Lord is looking for those in His Church we have the intestinal fortitude to handle the mightiest weapon that He has given to us in the Body of Christ—the prayers of the saints.

Today I encourage you to be willing to leave the brook, and go at once to join the battle, as Christ sends forth His Army in these last days for us to join Him in loving dead people into life. However, the great Scottish Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843) also warns:

“The end of all things is at hand”—”The fashion of this world passeth away.” A believer stands on a watch-tower—things present are below his feet—things eternal are before his eyes. A little while, brethren, and the day of grace will be over—preaching, praying will be done.

Soon we shall give over wrestling with an unbelieving world—soon the number of believers shall be complete, and the sky open over our heads, and Christ shall come. His parting cry was: “Surely I come quickly.” Then we shall see Him “whom, having not seen, we loved.”

A little while, and we shall stand before the great white throne: a little while, and the wicked shall not be—we shall see them going away into everlasting punishment; a little while, and the work of eternity shall be begun. We shall be like Him—we shall see Him day and night in His temple—we shall sing the new song, without sin and without weariness for ever and ever.

In a little moment, brethren, all this shall be: “For a small moment have I hid My face from thee; but with everlasting mercies will I gather thee” (Online source)

Yes, it does appear that the time draws nigh; let’s be arising, and let us go at once…

End Notes:

BACK TO POST 1 – Living Spiritual Teacher and leading Emerging Church guru Brian McLaren forms the unholy trinity of the Emergent Church along with heretical quasi-universalist EC pastor Doug Pagitt, who heads the emerging gathering Solomon’s Porch, and his equally heretical friend Tony Jones, who happens to be his progressive/liberal “theologian in residence.”

BACK TO POST 2 – Rob Bell has reached iconic stature in the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church has now been upgraded to the Emerging Church 2.0. It now has a newer, more clearly delineated, postmodern Progressive Christian theology, which these rebels against the final authority of the Word of God will often refer to under their circus “big tent” as Emergence Christianity. This is what Bell is arguing for in his Love Wins mythology.

BACK TO POST 3 – I read almost all of the works of A.W. Tozer early in my relationship with Jesus Christ; while he did quote Roman Catholic mystics in a postive light, he condemned the false gospel of the Roman Catholic Church and consisdered it apostate. Unfortunately, Tozer’s mystic bent—though there’s no evidence that he praticed mysticism—and his pietistic teaching of a “deeper life” have tarnished his legacy to the point that I can only recommend his work with this qualification.

BACK TO POST 4 – Leonard Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries [Bloomington: Bethany House, 1987], 11, 12.

BACK TO POST 5 – A.W. Tozer, Tozer On Christian Leadership [Camp Hill: Christian Publications, Inc., 2001], July 19.

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