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The Apostate Church
March 28, 2008
We are beginning a study of the epistle of Jude. This is the small book of the Bible that can be found just before the book of Revelation. Norbert Lieth wrote an excellent study of this very short book in the May 2007 issue of Midnight Call. It is an excellent article. Norbert points out that this book gives six examples of apostates followed by the good example of Enoch.
About Enoch we read "Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,- to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." Jude 1:14 -15
Enoch was translated to heaven without dying. He is a picture of the rapture of the church which will occur, I personally believe, before the judgments of God depicted in the book of Revelation take place.
Who will be left behind? The book of Jude gives us 6 examples of those who cannot inherit the kingdom of God:
Example #1 - The People Of Israel
"But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe." Jude 1:5
The first point I want to make is that every Jew who lived in Egypt was led out of slavery by God through Moses. All of the Jewish people knew of the miracles God performed. They had seen the plagues that terrorized the Egyptians but somehow never harmed them. Not one of those Jewish people had an excuse for not believing and trusting in God.
When they were facing the Red Sea with the entire Egyptian army hot on their tails intent on killing every one of them, did the Jews cry, "Those foolish Egyptians..how dare they think they can harm God's people? God will smite them for what they are doing."? No, they turned to Moses and cried, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?" Exodus 14:11
We all know the story. God parted the sea, allowed the Jewish people to pass, and then drowned Pharaoh's army. Now surely these people would put their trust in God. Many did and many did not. They built an idol when Moses went up Mt. Sinai and spent a few days away from his people. The people of God created their own god in Mose's absence.
What does 1 Corinthians 10:1-6 say about this? "Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer."
The whole point of this story is this: The Israelites were God's chosen people but not all the Israelites were children of God. They were an example to us of what being an apostate is. An apostate is someone who once believed in the truth of God then rejected it.
Christians are God's chosen people but not all Christians are children of God. How can this be? There are many people who call themselves Christians but they have never been truly born again. They have no relationship with Christ. They are not really Christians at all, they are just pretending to be. These will experience the judgments of God instead of His blessing.
Here are some Bible examples of people who claimed to follow God but did not know him:
The sons of Eli were priests of God but the Bible says, "Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the Lord." 1 Samuel 2:12
Jesus said in Matthew 7, "22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"
What is the characteristic of these last day "Christians" that will prevent them from going to heaven? They will abhor the offering of our Lord. What is that offering? It was Christ dying on the cross to pay the penalty of all of mankind's sin.
What church today will tell you that if you fail to receive the gift of Christ's pardon you are going to share space in hell with Satan and his angels? They would rather talk about the "positive" messages of the Bible such as how God will bless you with great wealth if you just send your money in to "name your thief" ministry.
1 Samuel 2:17 states, "17 Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord."
Here are some examples taken from recent online news articles of Apostate Christians in our day who despise the offering of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross:
Toronto's West Hill United Church on Easter did this: "The words "Jesus Christ" will be excised from what the congregation sings and replaced with "Glorious Hope." Thus, it will be hope that is declared to be resurrected - an expression of renewal of optimism and the human spirit - but not Jesus, contrary to Christianity's central tenet about the return to life on Easter morning of the crucified divine son of God. Generally speaking, no divine anybody makes an appearance in West Hill's Sunday service liturgy. There is no authoritative Big-Godism, as Rev. Gretta Vosper, West Hill's minister for the past 10 years, puts it. No petitionary prayers. No miracles-performing magic Jesus given birth by a virgin and coming back to life. No references to salvation, Christianity's teaching of the final victory over death through belief in Jesus's death as an atonement for sin and the omnipotent love of God. For that matter, no omnipotent God, or god."
If any follows the teachings of this so called "Christian" church, then the only "glorious hope" the followers will have is a less severe punishment in hell.
Barack Obama had this to say about Christianity: "although he believe Christ died for his sins, those who reject that teaching can also be children of God. During a campaign stop yesterday in Greensboro, North Carolina, Senator Obama told the audience that he believes he "can have everlasting life" because Jesus Christ died for his sins. But he then told a questioner that he believes Jews and Muslims who live moral lives are just as much "children of God" as he is."
Barack publicly claimed you can be a child of God even though you do not put your faith and trust in the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.
The unbelieving Israelites believed the same thing until God destroyed them. Apostate Christianity is but one of several spiritual conditions existing on planet earth that will cause God to bring on the judgments of Revelation. Next issue we will talk about Hell's Angels.
Copyright 2008 by Gary Goodworth
Article sources from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080322.CHURCH22/TPStory/National http://www.onenewsnow.com/Election2008/Default.aspx?id=73553
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