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The Great Evangelical Nightmare

By David Sheldon

"Aling! Aling!" The alarm clock is sounding. It's time to wake up. Nobody appreciates the annoying alarm clock, until the day they forget to set it and are late to work or an important appointment. So, the sound goes off for a reason. If you didn't wake up to it, you might not wake up at all.

"Aling! Aling!" There is a "Great Evangelical Nightmare" occurring and we must awaken to it! The setting of this nightmare: Many Western Churches. The plot: A Weaning Away From the Word of God. The climax: Worship of a Mystical Christ. Our enemy, Satan, has wrapped this nightmare as though it were a blissful dream in a "passion" package with a "feel-good" bow. Do not be fooled! This supposed dream is actually an evangelical nightmare steadfastly marching forward. Let me explain.

Over the course of time the church has been lead to believe that it is not sensitive to those who have come in to visit. The church thinks that visitors/seekers will only come and continue coming if they are engaged properly, if they feel welcomed. The concept then is to meet visitors where they are, to tell them things with which they can relate. This is a problem because they are certain to stop short of offending, short of preaching the whole truth. The church is still sure to preach "sound-bites" of truth as to appear Biblical, but they have neglected the fact that the seeker is really a sinner, an enemy of God, in need of conviction and a call to repentance.

Romans 5:6-11 says, "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation."

This weaning away from the whole Word is a huge problem! Why? Because then the people making up the churches are still lost. They have not even been converted from their sinful nature! Romans 10:17 says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." The only thing that's been converted is the commitment to solely preaching the gospel, which in and of itself has the power to save! Church members may appear godly and embrace certain Biblical principles, but the cornerstone of that church, the Savior Christ, and His Word has been removed. How dreamy? No, how nightmarish!

Since the real Word of Christ has not been heard, seekers have thus been presented with a fake "christ/god." They are accepting of this god because he caters to their feelings, emotions, inner self. What does that mean? It means the object being worshiped has shifted from the God of the Bible to the god of self, the god of "me" and "I". This is a slow and subtle shift, but a deadly shift nonetheless. Ultimately, they are worshipping what they're experiencing and how they feel at that moment. It is exceptionally deceptive because it has been titled "Christian." The post-modern world we live in where everything is subjective to one's inner thoughts and where there are no absolutes encourages this "new" object of worship, this "new" gospel. Destructive Heresies and Doctrines by Mike Ratliff Instead of engaging a post-modern culture and post-modern church on its terms, it needs to be confronted. Their thinking needs undone! Yet this lack of preaching the whole Word that has resulted in the worship of a mystical christ is baptized as God-pleasing. Again, do not be fooled! Abandoning Jesus Christ and His Word and actually doing it in His Name is demonically conceived.

Driven by a false sense of making a mystical christ palatable to seekers, it is the "Posh Leaders" of this nightmare who encourage this immersion into sensual worship! These leaders permeate the American Church stages with their stylish spirituality and are committed to religious mixture - "All are welcome! All is ok!" Rather than boldly proclaiming the offense of the cross of Jesus Christ, they have resolved to thinking "why come to a cross and worship the Savior when you can come to this church and be entertained?! You'd be silly not to jump into this new and improved style of worship!" They feed the people with this new idol of self and call it "passion." Sadly, a self-absorbed generation is more concerned with appearing "cool," and so they eat up what these leaders tell them is "Christian" rather than embrace a scandalously preached Jesus crucified as the only way to be a Christian. The leaders have removed the stumbling block and it appears to be acceptable with the people. Does it even cross the mind of one in the pew "What is being taught? Who am I worshipping? Am I worshipping the Jesus of the Bible or an 'internal christ'?"

2 John 9-11 NASB "Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds."

Not only should we and our leaders abide in the teaching of Christ, we are to test the spirits. Yes, this nightmare, as with all false religions and practices, is energized by seducing spirits. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 says, "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, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth." (Understanding the Seducing Spirit by John MacArthur) These spirits have flooded into the church through "spiritual" music, "spiritual" worship, "spiritual" stories, etc. These spirits want people to "open themselves up" to anything spiritual. This is extremely dangerous! Regardless of the "Christian" label, if we remove thought, succumb to our emotions, and allow for something that's been added to or neglected from the Word, is that God or Satan to whom we are giving ourselves? Who are we really worshipping?! Satan is the angel of light and so he is not easily recognized. That is why discernment and the testing of spirits are so necessary. I John 4:1 says, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." Discernment should be a test according to the truth of the Word. Unfortunately, the only test for many has become whether it seems good to their senses and emotions. Alas! A churched generation is actually lost because they long for self-experience and satisfaction over truth.

Because of this great folly, because Existentialism has replaced the true gospel, God Himself has abandoned these visible churches. But that does not mean God is no longer God! This abandonment is really God's judgment upon us. So why does this judgment feel so good to so many? Well, Satan has created a "feel-good energy" toward his own end. For example, many are currently drawn to Dr. John Piper and what he has to say. He says it is okay to fellowship with and follow "Pastor" Rick Warren. This is the same Warren who delivered a different gospel during his 40 Days of Purpose campaign! (MacArthur on the Purpose Driven Life - Video) Who can speak some truth to you and at the same time make you feel good about going down a seducing path of lies! What spirit is that? Is that the real Holy Spirit of the Bible or a seducing spirit of Satan's? Further, it is obvious that God has given the visible church over to its own destruction because the world (those outside of the visible church) is enamored with the church's "fresh and new view of spirituality." For instance, Oprah loves "Pastor" Rick Warren. For instance, millions are infatuated with the television miniseries "The Bible" which has been "touched" by a catholic Roma Downey version of Christianity. Do not be fooled! It is the apostate church's object of worship, not the real church of Christ's object of worship, which the world loves.

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 NASB "Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be save. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness."

What if this nightmare were an apostasy? It seems we are sinking in a false commitment, a falling away from The Faith. But even in the midst of this, there is hope for those who are richly indwelt by the Holy Spirit and the Word of Christ. They will realize that this is God's judgment upon the earth and defend His truth. As God calls His own out from this "antichrist" version of "Christianity," the path of obedience will only become more difficult. Hold fast! We must be true witnesses to the real Lord Jesus Christ of the Holy Scriptures. Jude 1:3 says, "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints." (Will the Antichrist Appear Before the Great Tribulation By David Sheldon)

Copyright 2013 David Sheldon, all rights reserved.
Can be copied in its entirety for personal use or to be distributed, but not for profit.

Theological Studies
Contemporary Concerns
Deception in the Visible Church