Thursday, July 10, 2014

I have a deep concern for the body of Christ

I have a deep concern for the body of Christ. My concern is the constant and steady drift I see taking place in the body of Christ as she moves away from divine revealed truth. I see human logic and gut-emotion reigning and squeezing out the authority of God's absolute truth.

As I reflect on this drift, it dawns on me that this is nothing new. The revealed truth of God as revealed to the Church has been under attack from the time the canon of Scripture was compiled. God's authority was under attack way back in the Garden of Eden, as we hear the serpent whisper in the ear of Eve "hath God said."

I remember back in 2008, while earning my masters degree in an evangelical college the professor's opening statement to the class was that some in this college think that I'm dangerous. I thought, "What an odd statement to make." As I sat in this professors class...Theological Foundations for Christian Ministry, he told the class that he believed in limited inerrancy.

As the class progressed it came time to start work on my position paper, can you guess what I did my position paper on? You got it, "the inerrancy of Scripture." The paper was one of my few B's, I only got two paper was marked up with the professor's ideas and soft rebukes against holding to the inerrancy of Scripture.

Two views  that seem to be making a strong resurgence today among evangelicals is Annihilationism and Universalism. In Annihilationism there are slight variations that are held by those who put forth this erroneous teaching, but it essentially teaches God will eventually snuff every unbeliever out of existence. Some Annihilationists make room for divine wrath, but they don’t allow it to extend beyond the lake of fire. In other words, they won’t allow God the full force of His judgment, which is eternal, conscious torment. For them, the lake of fire is what completely consumes and finally destroys sinners. Whether they see death as the end, or whether they see hell’s torments as limited in duration, the result is the same—a denial of the endlessness of hell .1

In the false and erroneous teaching of universalism we have all men being saved and being guaranteed heaven; since Christ died for all men, then all men will ultimately be saved. This teaching is based on Christ's merits, but they miss the mark in that Christ did not die for all men ... they assume that a loving God will not condemn any man to an eternity in hell to suffer for his sins.

Rob Bell the popular writer and author came out with a book recently titled "love wins." Bell pushes this notion that in the end a loving God will rescue all men from hell. There are many others who teach that in the end all men will be brought into heaven through what Christ did on the cross.

In Christianity Universalism can be traced for the most part to an early church father named Origen (182- 251 AD). Much like today’s Catholic purgatory, he taught that the unsaved are tortured in Hell temporarily, with a series of graded punishments. When they are sufficiently cleansed they can be accepted into Heaven. He believed that God would receive all people (even demons) into heaven. This is the historical Universalist belief. It was condemned as a heresy in the early church and should be condemned today.2

Christian, study, study, and study a little more. Pray, pray, and pray some more. Seek out Godly men who love God' word and hold to Sola Scriptura and discuss the truths of God's word with them.

"I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock" Acts 20:29.


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