Friday, July 13, 2018
In this world and its known and unknown cosmos, there is only one infallible and unchangeable truth – God’s Word in the Holy Bible; not to be confused with man’s progressive, revisionist versions and liberal commentaries in circulation today. To the eternal praise of God and His Christ, a few in holy fear revere the former but refuse the latter.
“Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar” (Prov. 30:5–6); for, “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone” (Rev. 21:8). The Spirit also said of God, “You have magnified Your word above all Your name” (Psa. 138:2).
God’s Word, then, being the highest authority, why would a professing Christian pastor, teacher or author, add to, subtract from, undercut or change His Word? Well, the possibilities are many: the deceit of tradition, the deceit of position, the deceit of political correctness, the deceit of culture, the deceit of money, and the deceit of fearing man above God, just to name a few.
When you hear a Christian change God’s Word, you should discern the Serpent’s hiss, saying, “Has God indeed said” (Gen. 3:1)? If we profess to love God through faith in Christ, we must disallow ourselves participation in, or acceptance of, changing any of His Word. If not, we become like many, being wide open to “deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13).
Note the following examples. When the 2007 heretical book by William P. Young, “The Shack” was published, it swept the evangelical church like wildfire. And having read it, I discerned its deceit. My dissension, however, was lost to the many voices who loved the book. But I warned then, and I continue to warn now of Young’s apostasy. Today his deception continues to deceive.
I like a good novel, but when a professing Christian writes an alleged Christian novel depicting both God the Father and the Holy Spirit in the feminine gender, and further purports the unsaved being saved without going through Jesus Christ, he mocks the Godhead and Christ’s work at Calvary! Yet, many in the evangelical church applauded The Shack’s heretical theme.
What’s brought this to the forefront, again, are the apostate views Young continues to sow into the lives of unbelievers, new converts, the biblically ignorant and non-discerning. The 6/26/2018 Christian News headline, says, “’The Shack’ Author Claims Unsaved Can Still Be Reconciled to God After Death”. In his recent book, “Lies We Believe About God”, Young says “people are still given chances to receive Christ’s sacrifice after death”. But that’s a lie, its total heresy!
The one who dies in his sins and unbelief cannot thereafter repent and be saved, for, “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). The gospel according to Young encourages unbelief, to live life as you will, and get saved after death! But Jesus said, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3), which occurs before death; and that “If anyone does not abide in Me, [present tense] he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:6).
Why produce apostate teaching? Follow the money! By 2009 The Shack sold over 10 million copies. (Wikipedia). “In July 2010 the Los Angeles Times reported that The Shack had ‘spawned a tangle of lawsuits over royalties and even the book’s authorship. Young claimed that he was owed $8 million in royalties…’ In January 2011 the court was advised that the case was settled or in the process of being settled.” (Wikipedia).
But Young is not alone in teaching apostasy. Rob Bell, another progressive having written a book entitled “Love Wins”, wherein he denies the existence of a literal hell, is also in his camp. Books that promise another way to God, or reject the promise of judgment for sin and unbelief satisfy the natural unbelieving mind of flesh. That’s why such books are #1 best-sellers.
If Young is correct that an unbeliever can be saved after death, then Christ died for nothing. If Bell is correct that there’s no hell, why suffer for Christ? But we who believe the truth know that Christ suffered the cross to save sinners from an eternal hell “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Though Jesus taught more about hell than anyone, progressives dislike, even refuse, to talk about sin and hell and that sin and unbelief separates us from God.
Today, many progressive Christians fearlessly change God’s Word to suit themselves and the culture. But in truth, men have been changing God’s Word long before Young and Bell were even born. Many gained license from those in the 19th and 20th centuries who liberally changed God’s Word to advance traditions of man and gain popularity.
If one pays close attention to why best-selling authors change God’s Word, it always satisfies the flesh, it never denies the flesh, nor calls one to live by faith the difficult path Christ promised. False teachers regularly teach people how to get around the difficult things Jesus taught.
There was a time when the Church taught the Lord’s return and the resurrection rapture of saints “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31) just as taught by Christ Himself. But today, the large majority of evangelical Christians have been deceived by false teachers who changed God’s Word to say that Christ gathers His elect saints before the tribulation!
Why? Because Christ doesn’t suit them in their tradition. It’s difficult, it doesn’t preach well, so in keeping with dispensationalism’s 19th century liberal changing of God’s Word, church leaders have galvanized the pre-trib rapture lie into the Church while Jesus’ post-trib rapture is silenced.
There was also a time when the Church obeyed God’s Word and disallowed women from offices of authority and teaching. They believed God who said, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” (1 Tim. 2:12–14). But today the leaders that honor God in this are indeed few. In fact, most pastors resolutely reject it.
Consider Jesus’ saying, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and He who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matt. 12:30). Many in the Church are not with Christ because they do not agree with Christ’s teachings as applicable to them. But true faith in Christ defends His Words.
Marlin J. Yoder