Michael Gungor is the latest Christian celebrity to denounce Christ, part of the unfortunate fulfillment of a prophetically-inspired question I posed nearly a decade ago announcing the great falling away is underway.
The popular Christian alternative rock musician is a full-blown atheist now. And his wife has followed him into his apostasy. A meme is circulating around Instagram in which Gungor insists, "Jesus was Christ. Buddha was Christ. Muhammad was Christ. Christ is a word for the Universe itself. You are Christ. We are the body of Christ."
Blasphemy! This is a doctrine of demons! He's not the first. A growing number of "visible" Christians have turned their back on Christ—and for all those with name recognition, there are likely thousands upon thousands more who have strayed from His heart.
Don't ignore the signs of the times. In His discussions on the end of the age, Jesus warned us not to let anyone deceive us (Matt. 24). If it weren't possible to get caught up in the great falling away, Jesus wouldn't have issued such a strong warning to His followers and left a record of it for you and me.
Discerning Doctrines of Demons
Paul wrote, "Now the Spirit clearly says that in the last times some will depart from the faith and pay attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth" (1 Tim. 4:1-3).
Some have indeed departed from the faith because they have engaged with deceiving spirits and embraced doctrines of demons. We've witnessed more than one man of God with a major ministry platform bow a knee to doctrines like universalism, deceiving and being deceived with this deadly heresy. Despite many in the church lifting their voice against heretical teachings, these deceived ministers hold fast to their demonic doctrine.
We've also watched famous pastors speak lies in hypocrisy—lies that left many hurt, wounded and disillusioned—and yet they remain adored and adorned in the megachurches that made their name great. Clearly, the conscience of some influential church leaders has already been seared with a hot iron (see 1 Tim. 4:2). Some have become the proverbial blind leading the blind.
And would you believe it? Some modern-day, Spirit-filled churches even reserve the right to tell you whom you can or can't marry (along with many other details of your personal life). I've known folks who have nervously gone to ask the pastor for permission to marry another congregant, hoping that their request wasn't denied and their love wasn't dashed. And this wasn't during the Shepherding movement but recently.
The Great Falling Away
Victorious believers will overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony—and the fact that they do not love their lives even unto death (Rev. 12:11). I fear there may be fewer victorious believers at the end of the age than some may think.
The Bible tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12). We need to get at it because this is sure: Jesus is coming back for a glorious church without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27). I believe the spots and wrinkles will fall away before His return. The gates of hell are trying to prevail against the church and will ultimately fail, but not before enticing some believers into heresy, idolatry and other sin.
I don't believe in once-saved, always-saved doctrines. I believe you can lose your salvation. I don't think it happens overnight. I think it's a slow progression down the slippery slope of deception.
I often ask people who are deceived this question: "How would you know if you were deceived?" I've never met one who was deceived find an answer for the question. Rather, they insist that they cannot be deceived or that they would know if they were. If we don't think we could be deceived, we're deceived already. And if we are deceived, we wouldn't know it unless the Holy Spirit broke in and opened the eyes of our heart.
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Jennifer LeClaire is senior leader of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founder of the Ignite Network and founder of the Awakening Blaze prayer movement. She is author of over 25 books. Find her online at jenniferleclaire.org or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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