St. Paul forecast a time of apostasy prior to Christ's coming. This apostasy would actually be the final action that would give rise to the satanic world leader.
"Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed]" (2 Thess. 2:3, AMP).
Defection from the faith will increase. Jesus warned that the first sign of His return would be deception (Matt. 24:4, 23). Deception leads to delusion. Delusion leads to apostasy, and ultimately an abandonment of the fundamentals of Christianity. It was Israel's apostasy throughout history that brought God's judgment. Judgment begins in the house of God.
The influence of the church on our nation and the world depends on solid Bible preaching and teaching from our pulpits, and God's people reaching out to their loved ones and neighbors with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Good News of his kingdom.
Some professing Christians today cry, "I'm not interested in doctrine; I'm only interested in unity." But unity with false doctrines and systems has never brought true revival. Unity among believers is admirable, but unity with the theologically aberrant is unacceptable. Instead we must point out and expose works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). Eternity is at stake here.
Corrupt theology today travels at lightning speed because of the internet. It then quickly makes its way into our pulpits, seminaries and schools. Again, it was Jesus who said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven (Matt. 7:21, MEV).
The nature of deception is such that you think you're right when you're wrong.
I acquired a book about the most evil dictators of all time and discovered that 99 percent of the evil done in the world is carried out by deluded people who are convinced they are absolutely right and believe they are right all of the time. There is no thought or repentance about the evil they perpetrated, because they are right.
Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15).
The good news is this: When we stay connected to Jesus Christ, His Spirit and His Word, we will develop supernatural discernment and find true hope in these last days (Col. 1:5, Ps. 119:49, Heb. 5:14).
Discernment is our divine defense against deception, delusion and apostasy.
Is there really any hope? Yes, but only in Jesus Christ.
God promised a blessed hope for those who walk with Him as Enoch did.
"We await the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
"By faith Enoch was taken to heaven so that he would not see death. He was not found, because God took him away. For before he was taken, he had this commendation, that he pleased God" (Heb. 11:5).
Jesus is coming for His bride, the church, and in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. We shall meet Him in the clouds. That's a great hope.
In these last days, there will arise some who will possess great understanding of the times and will actually perform miracle exploits in the name of Christ. You can be one of these amazing last days' giants in the faith.
How Do You Prepare for the Final Hours?
- Spiritually: Know the Lord and walk with Him daily. Intercede for others. Make sure your family knows Jesus.
- Attitudinally: Be at peace in Christ, trust Him implicitly. Even in the worst times imaginable, He encouraged, "See that you be not troubled." I know it can be scary, but God hasn't given us a spirit of fear.
- Practically: This is where you take action steps, putting on the armor of God daily and doing something daily to help others in their journey of faith. Fellowship with like-minded believers.
"But the people who know their God will be strong and take action" (Dan. 11:32b).
Dr. Dave Williams served for over 30 years as pastor of Mount Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan, with over 500 outreach ministries around the world. Dave led the church in giving over $40,000,000 to world and local missions. His leadership training course, The Art of Pacesetting Leadership, is credited with catapulting one church from 226 to over 4,000. Another church went from 8 to over 1,000. His all-time best-selling book, The New Life: The Start of Something Wonderful, is a practical, step-by-step guide to help new believers become established in their Christian walk and has sold over 2.5 million copies. His latest book, Hope in the Last Days, is published by Charisma House. Dave now focuses on helping young ministers whenever he has an opportunity.
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