My interest in Christian church history started after taking several Bible study classes. I wondered, how did we get from the church that started in Acts 2 to what we have today? See, growing up Catholic, I was deprived of studying the Bible and the truth about the Salvation of Jesus Christ. After being a prodigal for about 17 years, I wandered into a very Progressive church (UCC) not knowing any better. At that time, I was trying to figure out the difference between all the denominations. At first, I thought it had to do with how each one worshiped God compared to the Roman Catholic Church and didn’t really pay attention to the teachings. I didn’t know that what I was hearing was a twisted, watered-down Gospel. In fact, it wasn’t the Gospel of Jesus Christ at all.
Since I became born again and was baptized 15 years ago, I’ve learned the truth. I also learned that to be able to resist the temptations of culture, I had to immerse myself in God’s World every single day. I have to start and end each day with God. Besides that, I’ve learned to rely on the Holy Spirit as my warning beacon, my internal deception monitor to stop me from watching, reading or listening to false teachings. And, friend, the false teachings are EVERYWHERE!
What is Apostasy?
Apostasy is when “Christian” churches stop teaching the truth and make up their own religion. I can’t even use the word “gospel”. Gospel means “Good News”. It’s the Good News of Jesus’ true salvation and that we’re saved by Grace not by works. Apostasy is the false teachings of false prophets and teachers that Paul, John and Peter warned us about. It’s…
- Taking Christ out of Christianity — then it’s just religion and idol worship.
- Abandoning the Truth — one of Jesus’ “I AM” statements is, “I AM THE Way, THE Truth and THE Life. No one can come to the Father except THROUGH Me.” He didn’t say I am a truth! He’s THE TRUTH!
- Molding Jesus to fit into society.
- Preachers not teaching the full Bible, but just picking and choosing what won’t offend anyone. Jesus offended A LOT of people — especially the religious leaders who thought they were perfect.
- A church service that’s a rock concert and light show followed by a Ted talk.
- Preachers teaching “good thoughts”.
Both Jesus and Paul Warned Us
One of the many signs of the end times is the Apostasy of the Church or its “falling away”. Jesus told us about it in Matthew 24…
10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.Matthew 24:10-11 NLT
2 Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. 3 Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction.2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 NLT (bold emphasis mine)
Friend, that great rebellion against God is happening now! Paul wrote to Timothy…
Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.1 Timothy 4:1 NLT
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.2 Timothy 4:3 NLT
A Prediction of Today’s Church
William Booth (1865-1912), founder of the Salvation Army, wrote…
The church in America, by the end of the 20th century, would be preaching…
- Christianity without Christ
- Forgiveness without repentance
- Salvation without regeneration (new life)
- Heaven without hell
Here we are in 2021 and it’s worse than either of them could have ever imagined!
How do You Know if What You’re Hearing in Church is the True Gospel?
That’s easy! Read the Bible daily! A Barna study found that…
- Only 19% of American Christians read the Bible daily
- 18% don’t read it at all!
- 20% read it just once a week — probably in church or in preparation for a Bible study or a simple devotional.
Don’t get me wrong. Short devotionals are good to boost your mood, confidence and give you a taste of the Word. But why have one bite when you can enjoy a whole banquet of nourishment for your soul?
What’s Your Excuse?
- I don’t have a Bible
- I don’t have time
- I don’t know where to start
Guess what? There are free Bible apps available for your phone or tablet or you can access sites like BibleGateway online.
Through The Word has a Bible app that goes through the Bible chapter by chapter with 9-10 minute audio teachings that you can listen to anywhere and any time. Plus, they have special starter plans that guide you through the Bible explaining everything to help you get to know God and discover the truth about Jesus.
Look at that! No more excuses!
The Truth about Salvation
The 5 Solas
- Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
- Sola Fide (“Faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
- Sola Gratia (“Grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
- Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Savior, Redeemer, Lord and King
- Soli Deo Gloria (“to God alone be the Glory.”): It’s all about God not us.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.