Friday, March 7, 2008

The Apostasy Has Begun!

If you haven't noticed, our world has slipped into a new phase the last nine or twelve months! It is as if a paradigm shift, not slowly but suddenly, has come upon the world. This shift is touching on politics, social and cultural thinking, and of course spiritual attitudes. Evangelical churches are shifting being led by the liberal congregations and denominations. The shift is also taking place in our seminaries and Bible colleges. And the changes are not coming slowly but with great and breath-taking rapidity! Something drastic is happening in our world!

The apostle Paul warns of the coming apostasy that would tumble onto our world before the rapture of the church. He writes:

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from THE FAITH, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Tim. 4:1)

Notice that Paul uses the definite article THE before Faith! Belief in the God of the Scriptures and faith in Christ will have virtually disappeared. Not completely, of course, but to a large extent. People will be fooled in that there will always be a form of religion but the truth of Scripture will be lost and buried. This happens just before the rapture of the church, followed by the beginning of the terrible wrath of God, the tribulation, that touches the entire world.

To my amazement I found Christ saying almost the same thing as Paul when He speaks about the disappearance of THE FAITH. The Lord's reference has to do with the end of the tribulation just prior to the dramatic coming of Christ from glory to reign on earth in the millennial kingdom. He said: "When the Son of Man comes will He find THE FAITH on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). The question demands a negative answer: No, He will not find it upon the earth! Of course there will be some at the end of the tribulation, a remnant left, of both Jews and Gentiles but the vast majority will be unbelievers and those who mock the truth.

Though Luke 18:9 begins a new thought, it is interesting to note that Christ points out that even in His day, the unbelievers are those who "trusted in themselves that they were righteous." There is no accident that this statement follows verse 8. Humanism will replace biblical truth and will supplant the knowledge of THE FAITH.

What is also profound is that back in 1 Timothy 4, where Paul is discussing the issue of the prophesied apostasy, he points out in a continuing paragraph that even today, in our times, as good servants of Christ Jesus we are presently to be "nourished on the words of THE FAITH and of sound doctrine which you have been following" (v. 6).

In the present Emerging Church scene, there is a galloping away from the teaching of the Word of God exegetically, verse by verse, from the pulpit. Evangelicals are becoming more and more ignorant of doctrine and biblical truth. Yet it is our mandate from the apostle that sound (healthy) doctrine (didache) is supposed to be taught. I find it interesting that many of the classical dispensationalists I know are holding tightly to exegesis in order to explain the Word of God to the sheep. Unfortunately, not all, because it is so easy for sincere believers to be brainwashed by the thoughts of the culture and drift from the moorings of the Bible.

I urge everyone reading this article to purchase Roger Oakland's book Faith Undone. The book is right on as to what is happening in our day!

Dr. Mal Couch