God's love... "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (Joh 3:16)


We see churches falling away form the truth of the Bible

Everywhere we look, we see that the churches are increasingly falling away from the truth of the Bible and following their own wisdom. They are departing from the rules of the Bible and developing their own rules. Also, we see that there are very few in the churches who are concerned about the faithfulness of their church or their own doctrines. There may be concern that "those liberal churches" are unfaithful to God or that this "cult" is bad. However, we do not see individuals looking at and analyzing their own doctrinal positions or the positions of their church. In many churches, effectively, the confessions are the highest authority. The confessions have been around so long the church leaders will not change them. Any new idea is tested against the confessions rather than the Bible. If the idea does not square with what the church believes or the confessions, it is rejected.

A few believers in a church may get nervous and speak with their pastor or an elder, but their suggestions do not have much impact. In fact, these people will probably find that their church continues to depart further in doctrine and practice from the truths of the Bible.

If we honestly examine our own church or the churches in general, we find many areas in which the truths of the Bible have been set aside. If we had made the same examination 50 or 100 years ago, we would have to conclude that most of the churches then were much more faithful. Here are a sampling of areas in which the churches have departed from the Bible. A careful examination could add many more items to this list. 

(a) Divorce and remarriage. The Bible clearly commands that the wife is bound to her husband until death (I Corinthians 7:39, Romans 7:1-3). Therefore, there is not to be divorce and remarriage. Passages like Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 are being used to teach that divorce and remarriage are permissible. However, a careful study of the Bible shows that this is not the case. The church traditionally has correctly understood this, but in the last 50 years, this rule has been completely set aside, so that the divorce rate is as high in the churches as in the secular world. Virtually every denomination has made provision for divorce, and the result of this has been great damage upon society. There are broken homes, mixed-up children, single parents, etc.



However, no denomination is dealing with the root problem, namely, how can we stop the divorce plague and return to the sanctity of marriage? The solution is to go back to the Biblical rules of no divorce and remarriage, but we do not see this happening. (For more information about the Biblical rules for marriage, please contact Family Radio and ask for the booklet, "What God Hath Joined Together.") 

(b) Sunday Sabbath. God has established Sunday as the New Testament Sabbath day. It is the Lord's Day, a day to be used entirely for the things of the Lord. It is a day for worship, evangelizing, training our children in the things of the Lord, Bible study, visiting those who need encouragement, etc. The churches have historically kept this day exclusively for the Lord's things. They may not have fully understood the Sunday Sabbath, and confused it with the seventh-day Sabbath of the Old Testament, but nevertheless, it was kept pretty much according to the Bible. However, in the past 50 years, this day has been turned into a day of pleasure, a day for our pleasure, and not for God's pleasure. God warned about this in Isaiah 58:13-14. Virtually every church has departed from God in this area. (For a detailed explanation of the Bible verses that explain the Sunday Sabbath, please contact Family Radio and request the booklet, "Sunday: The Sabbath.") 

(c) Gospels of signs and wonders. In the past 50 years, the churches that feature "tongues" as described in I Corinthians Chapters 12, 13, and 14 have increased enormously, to the point that almost every denomination has been impacted. Tongues are frequently a part of those churches that are the fastest growing in our day, and it is very difficult to find pastors who will say definitively that this is not from God. Tongues are a world-wide phenomenon, showing up in the fastest growing churches worldwide. In addition to tongues, many of these churches also feature other kinds of miracles, including the miracle called "falling down backward."

However, God completed His divine revelation when He completed the last chapter of the last book of the Bible. In Revelation 22:18-19, God indicates that there is not to be any addition or removal from this "book." The "book" in view can be only the Bible (Revelation 22:9-10, Hebrews 10:7). Therefore, once the Bible was completed in approximately A.D. 95, that ended all divine revelation. This means that the phenomenon of speaking in tongues in the church at Corinth would have ended. And of course, the other signs and wonders that occurred during Bible days would have ended.

However, mankind by nature is not satisfied with the Gospel of just trusting the Bible, he seeks something more, something such as a miraculous message from God. God will not accommodate this desire, but Satan, as he is seated (his rulership) in the corporate church body, will provide supernatural messages (II Corinthians 11:13-14, II Thessalonians 2:1-4). God warns that one of the signs that we are near the end is the appearance of these false christs coming with gospels of signs and wonders (Matthew 24:24). We will cover this subject in much more detail later on this study. 

(d) Rulership and the place of women in the church. Women's place in the church is another example of the decision by the church to change God's law to suit man's ideas. There is tremendous pressure to accept women in the pulpit and allow women to rule and have authority in the church. This is absolutely contrary to the law of God (I Corinthians 14:34, I Timothy 2:12). God has given strict rules regarding the leadership in the church (I Timothy 3). Not only must the leaders be men, but they must be married with children, giving evidence that they can rule their own home. Also, many other qualifications are given for these rulers. Therefore, most men do not qualify for leadership, and yet, churches today are appointing single men and married men without children. This, the churches have chosen to go their own way and to disregard God's law. 

(e) Music. For hundreds of years, the church was blessed by Godly Christian music in which both the words and the music were God glorifying. The words of the music expressed important spiritual principles. These words helped encourage believers in the truths of the Bible. As believers would think about these words, they would be built up in the Word of God. However, today, it is different. There is much less substance to the words today. Often times anthems are sung that just repeat short phrases. These phrases tend to be very shallow in spiritual content. Also, the sound is patterned after the music of the world. Very often worldly music is chosen, such as rock-and-roll, and just the words are changed to words from the Bible. One has difficulty telling the music of the world from the contemporary Christian music since it is difficult to understand the words. The Christian music effectively has become the music of the world because you cannot tell the two apart.

However, the Bible indicates that music is associated with worship and should reflect the holy nature of God. In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, the word "worship" identifies with bowing down. That is, when we worship God, we are bowing down before God, we are acknowledging His rulership over us. We are showing that we should be trembling before God because He is holy God. This is the proper setting for the music of the church. Christian music should reflect the holy nature of God. It should be music thatreflects the idea of "bowing down" before God, the idea that God is His eternal majesty who is to be feared and held in awe. The music of the church through the ages has generally reflected this in both its lyrics and melodies. However, today the music of the church is closely patterned after that of the world. 

(f) Salvation is by grace alone. The law of God has been changed in that it is widely taught that salvation is not altogether dependent on God's grace alone. It is taught that God has provided for the salvation of every individual in the human race and that salvation thus depends upon man to be the decision maker. Of his own free will, some say, man can accept or reject salvation. Thus, salvation ultimately would be a joining of Christ's work on the cross and man's work in accepting Christ, both, it is taught, would have contributed to the individual's salvation. 

This perverse teaching disregards all kinds of laws of the Bible. No recognition is given to the Bible's teaching that man is spiritually dead and has no desire to seek God (Ephesians 2:1-5, Romans 3:10-11). It denies the truth that Christ went to the cross to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21), and the rest of the world will be destroyed on the final day of judgment. This teaching fails to face statements such as Revelation 17:8, which teaches that only some people have their names written in the book of life from before the foundation of the world.

Moreover, the Bible tells us to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, we are to trust Him for all that He has done for our salvation, and that includes the fact that from before the foundation of the world, God chose those whom He would save, and therefore, He has obligated Himself to save those whom He has chosen (Ephesians 1:4-10).

Those, however, who believe that man has a free will to choose salvation, effectively are indicating that they do not trust Christ to save them in His time and in His manner. They want a salvation in which they, themselves, are the guarantor, that is, they can become saved any time they wish by simply reaching out and accepting Christ. In this way, they do not have to wait for God to act. Thus, effectively, they do not trust God at all. But if they do not trust Christ who is eternal God then they are not saved, for they do not believe on Him. The result of God saving us is that we believe on Him, our will has been broken, and we trust everything in the Bible that God has declared concerning salvation.

To some degree, the pernicious teaching of free will has plagued the church throughout New Testament history, but in our day, it has invaded almost every congregation. Thus, these congregations do not have God's salvation plan. The salvation they offer is designed by men and will save no one from the wrath of God. What a terrible situation the church has come into. (For more information, contact Family Radio and request the book, Baptism: The Washing Away of Our Sins, or the booklet, "God's Magnificent Salvation Plan.") 

(g) Today's gospel - a social gospel.  All people have three aspirations: 1) political freedom, 2) economic security, and 3) freedom from disease. All of mankind desires these blessings, and pastors and teachers increasingly incorporate these desires into their gospels. The social gospel, which has great concern for the physically hungry, is becoming the number one priority. Preachers say that the Christian ethic demands that all men have political freedom. It is believed that the church must do all it can to provide medicine and doctors to the world, and it is also believed that the church can expect God to provide good health (even miraculous healing), to those who claim the name of Jesus.

These aspirations have nothing at all to do with the Gospel of the Bible. This is proven by the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke Chapter 16). The rich man with all his money could buy many, many freedoms that were denied others. He could afford the finest doctors and medicines. Certainly, he had economic security.

Lazarus, on the other hand, was a beggar. He had sores that were licked by dogs. He had no economic security, and he had poor health. His political freedom was of no consequence. Which of these two men most badly needed the Gospel? According to today's social gospel, it is obvious that Lazarus had the greater need, but did he? Both the rich man and Lazarus equally needed the Gospel. God strips the curtain of eternity aside and the rich man is seen in hell and Lazarus is in Abraham's bosom, a figure which signifies heaven. The beggar, Lazarus, had everything in this life because he was saved. The rich man had nothing because he was unsaved. Surely this teaches that the social-political gospel has nothing to do with the Gospel of salvation.


The Church Falling Away from the Truth

The Gospel is concerned with the spiritual needs of mankind. 

The Gospel is concerned with the spiritual needs of mankind. Only within the congregation does the Gospel concern itself with physical needs.

Many doctrines and practices that are prevalent today present evidence that the church has rewritten the laws of the Bible. Indeed, congregations are being encouraged to follow a salvation program different from that which is found in the Bible.

(h) Preaching the full counsel of God, including God's wrath. One frightening thing is that there is so little preaching about the wrath of God, and the final penalty for sin. All kinds of salvation messages are being presented with the general theme of God's love, the idea being that it would be salutary and wise to become identified with the Lord Jesus Christ. These messages imply that by accepting Him, things are going to go well and life will have purpose and meaning.

How can anyone even begin to understand salvation if he does not know from what he is being saved? How can he know what he is saved from unless it is thoroughly discussed and diligently taught that because of his sins, he is under the wrath of God. He is subject to eternal damnation. He ought to be taught what he needs to be saved from.

One can rightly fear eternal damnation only if the Bible's disclosures of the awful nature of eternal destruction are taught. God did not give multitudinous Biblical references to the awfulness and certainty of His wrath just to fill up space. These warnings are to be read, taught, discussed, and should instill fear in mankind. If these passages are neglected, it is not the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:2627). It is man's gospel and not the true Gospel.

These are just a few of the many areas in which churches have fallen away from the truths of the Bible. If anyone makes a close examination of their own church, they will see other areas in which their church has departed from the teachings of the Bible. 

Does the Bible speak about this Falling Away? 

We have seen some of the areas in which the churches of today have departed from the Bible. There are many more items that could be added to this list. We are seeing that the Bible is no longer their final authority. When a concerned church member comes with a verse that disagrees with something that his church teaches and asks his pastor or an elder about the verse, the response is not encouraging. We might expect that pastors and elders would tremble before the Word of God if they discovered that they are holding a doctrine contrary to the Bible. But, generally, we do not find this.

So, the question is: Does the Bible speak about this falling away? Does the Bible predict what we are seeing today? The answer is, Yes! The Bible definitely speaks about this falling away. The Bible definitely predicts that this falling away would come.

As we will see in this study, Matthew Chapter 24 as well as many other passages are definitely discussing this time. We read in verses 21 and 24 of Matthew Chapter 24: