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Apostasy, Book: Will You Be Found Faithful? Chapters 7-12

Will You Be Found Faithful?: Chapter Twelve

Will You Be Found Faithful?

As I look at the church, I see a sad thing. I see scattered sheep without a shepherd. They’re hungry and tired and often wounded and alone. They’re looking for a source of water that hasn’t been muddied. These little lambs have often been persecuted by being brought before church councils, rejected, cast out  cast aside, shut up, and ridiculed. They are wandering around in the wilderness looking for a faithful shepherd, to no avail.

They were once pillars (teachers, elders, deacons, worship leaders, etc . . .), but now they’ve been told that they’re no longer valuable; they’re only “holding things up.”[1] But God isn’t deceived. He sees everything, and he has declared once before that the shepherds were his enemies!

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them; saith the LORD. (Jer. 23:1-2, KJV)

The unfaithfulness of the shepherds is why so many Christians have heeded the call to “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins . . . ” (Rev. 18:4, KJV) Just as in Jeremiah’s time, ” . . . both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house I found their wickedness, saith the Lord.” (Jer. 23:11, KJV)

Perhaps this little scattered flock is being faithful to the Lord when they refuse to submit to shepherds who are unfaithful. Even though they were often humiliated by false religious leaders, on the Day of Judgment they will be found faithful.

Perhaps they are part of a remnant that won’t join with false religions to create peace and prosperity through a false unity. They’re waiting for a city whose “builder and maker is God.” (Heb. 11:10, KJV) They believe that “pure religion, undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27, KJV; italics added). They will not abandon the great truths and doctrines of the Word of God in order to blend in with the world’s religions to do good deeds.

If Jesus wanted the primary purpose of the church to be that of feeding the hungry, he would have turned the stones to bread, but Jesus overcame that temptation and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4, KJV) It isn’t the elimination of poverty and hunger that God is pleased with (Jesus said in Matthew 26:11 that the poor will always be with us). It’s trusting and living by the Word of God.

While all the heroes in the previous chapters did good works, that isn’t what they set out to do. They set out to preach the gospel, but the Holy Spirit in them also became jealous as they saw the corruption of biblical truth being preached in their era. Luther believed that the gospel message of grace had been obscured and corrupted, so he opposed the false Catholic message. Many of the abolitionists were saved during the Second Great Awakening, and they were preachers of the gospel, but they became jealous that the scripture in Acts 17:26 be upheld. The missionaries of the nineteenth century set out to share the gospel with the whole world, but they became jealous for the truth that all men were created, not evolved. The Confessing Church was made up of evangelicals who preached the gospel, but they became jealous for the Word as they saw so much of the church fall into the grotesque doctrines of Nazism.

These heroes weren’t motivated by a desire to make the world a better place (although that was a fruit of their actions); they were motivated by a desire to preach the gospel of salvation while upholding and standing fast on the Word of God alone. Their’s wasn’t a social gospel–their’s was the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ which produced the fruit of love, grace, freedom, equality, kindness, goodness, strength, wisdom, and courage–even to the point of death.

Like Jesus, their primary love wasn’t for their neighbor; their first love was the Word of God. But as a result, just like Jesus, who, even though he rejected Satan’s temptation to turn the stones into bread, still fed his five thousand hungry neighbors with bread and fishes, their neighbors had an advocate in them, persons who would die for them, who loved them, and were faithful to them.

Jesus didn’t compromise and bow down to Satan as though doing good deeds was the ultimate will of God, and neither should we. Good deeds are a fruit of the gospel, not its purpose.  In other words, to Jesus, creeds ARE more important than deeds. Yet Rick Warren said in an interview, that a reformation based on deeds, rather than creeds, was his dream:

I’m looking for a second reformation. The first reformation of the church 500 years ago was about beliefs. This one is going to be about behavior. The first one was about creeds. This one is going to be about deeds. It is not going to be about what does the church believe, but about what is the church doing. [2]

Members of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) say that we need a return to the apostolic ministry, which includes signs, wonders, and a global effort to “effectively accelerate the advancement of the Kingdom of God on earth.” [3] The emergent church is calling for a “new kind of Christianity,” [4] and Phyliss Tickle, who believes we are in the midst of a “Great Emergence,” [5] has even called Brian McLaren, author of Everything Must Change, and who recently presided as a pastor over the ceremony of his gay son’s wedding, [6] a “new Martin Luther”! [7] But I say the reformation we need is a return to the first Reformation. It was a move of God based on faithfulness and purity. Their theme: “scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, and Christ alone” must become the rallying cry of the church again.

If the church chooses the reformations advocated by Warren, the NAR, or the postmodern emergent, [8] I believe the world will suffer again as the adulterous church continues to compromise and empower the one-world church, Babylon, that great prostitute who will give her support to the Antichrist.

Are you part of a compromised, adulterated church, or a part of the faithful church that has been washed in the blood of the Lamb alone? Have you been unfaithful? If you have, then simply repent of your spiritual adultery and stand on the Word of God alone. Leave any religious leader or organization that is impure and come out from them. Jesus has cleansed us by the Word, and he’s coming back for a church that is pure!

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Eph. 5:25-27, KJV; italics added)

The church at Thyatira had forsaken their “first love” and moved on to another lover. Paul said, “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity [love], it profiteth me nothing. (1 Cor. 13:3, KJV)

What is love?

According to Jesus, the first commandment is to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matt. 22:37, KJV) This is our “first love.” The second command is to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matt. 22:39, KJV) When we leave our first love and begin to make loving our neighbors our “first work,” rather than loving God with our whole and undivided heart as our first work, we become fallen. As Revelation 2:4-5 reveals, if you don’t repent, you may become part of the falling away, the apostasy, or another way of saying it might be “the adultery.”

To adulterate something means to debase or make impure by adding inferior, alien, or less desirable elements.” [9] In Hebrew (number 5003), adultery is na’aph. [10] It means “to commit adultery, to apostatize.” The Greek word (number 3431) for adultery is moicheuo. [11] Its root word is moichos [12], which means “a male paramour, apostate, and adulterer.” Apostates and spiritual adulterers are the same thing to God!

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV), it says: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” (italics added) The Greek word (number 646) for falling away is apostasia [13] which means “defection from truth, apostasy, falling away, forsake.” When we commit spiritual adultery by adding to the Word, we defect from the truth and fall away.

When the prophet Amos cried out, “Fallen is virgin Israel” (Amos 5:2, NIV), he was speaking of an adulterous and apostate Israel who had added idol worship alongside their worship of God. Isn’t this the condition of much of the modern church?

The only reason God allows for divorce is fornication/adultery (sex outside of marriage):

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery. (Matt. 19:9, NIV; italics added)

God divorced Israel at one time for her adultery.

And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. (Jer. 3:8, KJV; italics added)

Jesus called the Pharisees children “of hell” (Matt. 23:15, KJV) because of their adultery.

As I said before, the Greek word (number 647) for divorce is apostasion [14], which means “something separative, divorce, to cut off.” If your husband or wife is unfaithful and unrepentant about it, do you have an obligation to stay with them? Does God have an obligation to stay with those who are unfaithful, untrue, and unrepentant?

Please heed this warning! According to Strong’s Greek Concordance, the word for “fool” is moros [15]. It means “dull, stupid, heedless.” Don’t be a fool! Somebody who has been fooled is somebody who has been deceived. Remember, the Israelites were not able to enter into the Promised Land, even though they all drank of Christ (1 Cor. 10:4). Paul says these things were written as “examples” to the church (1 Cor. 10:11). And then he warns a person who thinks they stand to “take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor. 10:12, KJV; italics added)

Instead, be wise, and learn from Proverbs 5-7 about the dangers of joining with an adulterous woman. Her words are seductive, but her house is the way to hell.

For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. (Prov. 5:3-5, KJV)

Christians have to stop thinking that just because we go to church and worship and sing and give and pray that we are pleasing to God. The ancient Israelites also worshiped God, but they had become so unfaithful by adding the worship of idols alongside their worship of God that he didn’t even want to hear their worship anymore. It was hypocritical.

Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. (Amos 5:23, KJV)

An unfaithful woman can say all the sweet things she wants to her husband, but if he knows she’s sleeping with another man, how long will he believe what she’s saying? All of our passion and praise means nothing unless we are true worshipers and worship the Father “in spirit [the Holy Spirit!] and truth. (John 4:24, KJV; italics added)

Many Christians sense something is terribly wrong with the church. We also see that America is in a horrible state of financial and moral ruin, so we cry out in concern for our nation, praying for a revival. We quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) which says:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Oftentimes American Christians ask God to forgive the sins of our land, and we mention abortion and sexual sins, but God said his people needed to “turn from their wicked ways.” What were their wicked ways? The sin of the ancient Israelites was idolatry–spiritual adultery. Reading further in 2 Chronicles 7:19 (KJV), their sin is revealed:

But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them. (italics added)

Notice the wickedness God said they were committing was that of turning away from the Word of God (his statutes and commandments) and serving and worshiping other gods.

Perhaps instead of asking God for forgiveness for the sins of the unsaved (such as abortion and homosexuality), becoming more politically active, or making unholy alliances to gain more power to change society, the church needs to repent for her own sins, her corruption of the Word of God, her idolatry, and her seeking after other lovers.

The root sin is in the church–not in the world. The spiritual sins we commit in the church are reflected in the society at large. We need to return to the pure, simple, unadulterated gospel. We’ve lost our saltiness and we’re good for nothing except to be trampled underfoot. (Did you know the only way for salt to become less salty is if it is diluted or blended with something else?)

Yet there’s still time for us to repent. We may not be able to change the trajectory in which the world seems to be headed. The false harlot church will still develop, but you can still be “found faithful.” (1 Cor. 4:2, KJV) You can still hear the words, “well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matt. 25:33, KJV)

Abraham, Moses, Daniel, and many others were called “faithful.” (Hebrews 11) Many people in the New Testament are also called “faithful.” Tychicus (Eph. 6:21, Col. 4:7), Epaphras (Col. 1:17), and Silvanus (1 Pet. 5:12) were just a few of those who were faithful to God in their ministries.

In Revelation 14:12 (KJV), those who will be with God in eternity are those who keep the commandment of God and keep the faith of Jesus. They don’t work iniquity, and they remain faithful.

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandment of God, and the faith of Jesus.

This is in contrast to those who will be cast away from the presence of God:

Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name have done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matt. 7:21-23, KJV)

As I read the words “ye that work iniquity,” I can’t help but think of the adulterous church throughout history. I can’t help but think of the church that kidnapped and held slaves, even though the Word condemned the practice. I can’t help but think of the polygenists who denied Acts 17:26 in order to continue in their racial beliefs.

I can’t help but think of the medieval Catholic Church who sold indulgences, denying the atoning blood of Jesus. I can’t help but think of the Inquisitors who persecuted the saints and burned them at the stake.

I can’t help but think of the German “Christians” who placed swastikas on their altars and loaded humans into cattle cars so they could be exterminated in their gas chambers and burned up in their ovens.

These are the ones who called Jesus “Lord,” yet didn’t obey his commands. They won’t be called good and faithful because they were wicked and unfaithful.

I also can’t help but think of the modern-day churches which condone abortion (how many mainstream congregations have fundraisers such as “Chili for Choice” [16] in their fellowship halls?), even though the scriptures teach that even before they are in the mother’s womb, a person is capable of being known by God (Jeremiah 1:5). And finally, I can’t help but think of Christians who condone sexual sin, going against the scriptures in exchange for the own revelation from God.

If you carry the name of Jesus, you will either be found faithful or unfaithful when he returns to judge the world. I hope that this little book has helped you to discern which group you are in.

If you’ve been unfaithful, won’t you be tenderhearted like King David, who committed adultery and then turned back to God? Even though David was unfaithful, the scriptures say he was a man after God’s own heart. He cried out, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10, KJV)

God will also forgive you. He’s such a loving father. He looks down the road and longs to see your face as you return to him like the prodigal son. He will run to you, hug you, kiss your cheeks, and put a robe on your back and a ring on your finger, crying out, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found!” (Luke 15:24, KJV)

God also longed to get unfaithful Israel to come back to him. Through the prophet Hosea he expressed his heart. He said he loved Israel so much that he refused to abandon her even though she was still a harlot. Like a husband who fantasizes that if he could just take his adulterous wife away and plead with her and show her how much he loves her, God said he wanted to beckon Israel and speak tenderly to her, calling her back to him.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. (Hosea 2:14, KJV)

And if we will turn from our spiritual adultery, he says he will take us back, and we can know him.

I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.” (Hosea 2:20, KJV; italics)

Those believers who cried out, “Lord, Lord” were cast away from the Lord because they were wicked, and he said he never knew them, but if we come to the Lord in faithfulness, we’ll know the Lord, and he’ll be pleased with us.

We must realize that unholy, unfaithful, defiled persons–even if they carry the name of the Lord–will not enter into the New Jerusalem.

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of Life. (Rev. 21:27, KJV)

There will be no harlots in heaven. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is for those who have prepared themselves to meet the Bridegroom by remaining pure and undefiled through loving the truth. They’ve been washed in the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and they’ve been found to be faithful stewards.

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (1 Cor. 4:1-2, KJV)

Will you be found faithful?

I leave you with the words the prophetess Huldah spoke to King Josiah, who pleased God by cleansing the temple and land of idols:

Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD. (2 Chron. 34:27, KJV; italics added)

[1] Rick Warren, “Building a Purpose Driven Church” seminar, Saddleback Church (January 1998), quoted in Denis Costella “The Church Growth Movement: An Analysis of Rick Warren’s ‘Purpose Driven Church,'” in Foundation magazine (March-April 1998).

[2] “Rick Warren’s Second Reformation.” BeliefNet. October 1, 2005. Accessed 16 Feb, 2015. http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/Christianity/2005/10/Rick-Warrens-Second-Reformation.aspx.

[3] John P. Kelly. “A Word from John P. Kelley, Convening Apostle.” International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders. Accessed 16 Feb, 2015. http://www.coalitionofapostles.com/.

[4] Brian D. McLaren. A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith. (New York: HarperOne, 2010).

[5] Phyliss Tickle, The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why (Ada, MI: BakerBooks, 2008).

[6] Melissa Steffan. “Brian McLaren Leads Commitment Ceremony At Son’s Same-Sex Wedding.” Christianity Today, September 24, 2012.

[7] Adam Walker Cleaveland. “SBA/AAR Day 2/3 & What is Emergent?” Pomomusings. November 20, 2006.  Accessed 16 Feb, 2015. http://pomomusings.com/2006/11/20/sblaar-day-23-what-is-emergent/.

[8] A special note: Beware of the Antioch School, written by Jeff Reed, and BILD International. Its curriculum is being used to equip and unify those who follow Rick Warren and his P.E.A.C.E. Plan, those in the postmodern, emergent church, and even those in the New Apostolic Reformation.

[9] Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary. S.v. “adulterate.” Retrieved 23 Feb, 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/adulterate.

[10] James Strong, na’aph (#5003), “Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary Accompanying the Exhaustive Concordance.” In The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. (Nashville: Abingdon, 1980), 75.

[11] James Strong, moicheuo (#3431). “A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament; With Their Renderings in the Authorized English Version.” In The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville: Abingdon, 1980), 49.

[12] Ibid., moichos. (#3432), 49.

[13] Ibid., apostasia. (#646), 15.

[14] Ibid., apostasion. (#647), 15.

[15] Ibid., moros. (#3474), 49.

[16]  Carol Novielli. “Kansas Church to Host Planned Parenthood Abortion “Celebration.” EAGnews, January 3, 2015. Accessed 22 Feb, 2015. http://eagnews.org/kansas-church-to-host-planned-parenthood-abortion-celebration/.

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About Diana Lesperance

I'm passionate about Jesus and I love to defend the gospel of grace and truth. I have a large and active family that keeps me busy and overwhelmed on a daily basis.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Will You Be Found Faithful?: Chapter Twelve

  1. First, let me say that your 12 chapters of this little book gets to the bottom-line of what is most important to all of us in life…Salvation…and how to keep it. And you hit all the highlights, apostasy, double-mindedness, legalism, false gods, etc, that we need to avoid but understand better as they relate to faithfulness or unfaithfulness to Christ our beloved and betrothed.

    Is it possible to get a copy of all of your 12 chapters in book form? Yes! Just found it on Amazon (seek and ye shall find..it’s true! ha) I really want you to know that your book means everything to me, for some very personal reasons and I cannot be more thankful that I stumbled across it!

    I need to mention this…I know there are so many that believe their once uttered profession of faith secures them eternal life forever with God. Well, the very point of the word ‘apostasy, which God utters at 2 Thes 2:3, is to show that people who were given the faith and believed it for a time, can afterwards choose to reject it instead of keeping it. That’s the whole meaning of ‘apostasy’. (If ‘once saved always saved’ is true, then there is no such thing as apostasy, as all meaning is drained from that word.)

    But…the apostle Paul did not apostasize. Instead, he is a great example of one who chose to not only believe the faith freely given to him, but to KEEP it! And what good did that do him? Let him answer: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7,8). Paul got his reward for ‘keeping the faith’ once delivered to the saints, including himself. Here’s a pretty convincing verse for keeping the faith of God/Christianity… and for rejecting one of the various ‘faiths of men/Catholicism’.

    “And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Luke 11:27,28)

    I don’t believe there was anything that you left out of your book that needed to be said to show what faithfulness and unfaithfulness to Christ means. You simply said it all, and did it in short order, and because of that I purchased several copies of your book, to give especially to my loved ones that I believe have fallen or are currently falling from the faith. I simply want them to know clearly where they stand, and your book gives them just enough of God’s truth to show them where that is, whether they are with or without God. At least I do believe if they read your book, then they will be left with no alternative but to either revitalize their faith, return to the faith, or to reject it outright. I believe your book will leave them with no excuse to claim that they were ever deceived into losing their faith, but that they in fact threw it away all by themselves. And of course my prayer is that they will either be strengthened in or returned to the faith of God (the Bible). For all this I cannot thank you enough.

    Now I look forward to reading more of your writings. 🙂

    Posted by wpmember7 | November 11, 2016, 4:25 pm
    • I love your two scriptures on “keeping” the faith! I hope my little book will bring glory to God and the beauty and trustworthiness of His Word. I’m so glad the book was a blessing to you…because the time you took to read it and comment certainly blessed me. ❤

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | November 12, 2016, 9:20 pm

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Books

Why am I WAITING for “Shalom?”

"They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven . . ."
(1 Thessalonians 1:9b-10a)

The word "shalom" in the Hebrew has many meanings which indicate restoration, renewal, friendship, peace, safety and so on. At one time, God placed his creation in a perfect garden--a place of safety, security, provision and peace--and we disobeyed God, losing 1) our relationship with God and 2) paradise.

Since that time, we've attempted to bring back both of these losses in our own way. Religion is our attempt to gain back our relationship with God, and politics is our attempt to gain back paradise.

The solution to both of these losses is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet the world refuses to believe the good news! Instead they try to attain the restoration--the shalom--in their own way through their own effort.

I believe that the kingdom of God is restored in the hearts of men as they receive Christ's finished work, but the kingdom of God doesn't come physically to earth until Christ comes.

Any effort to bring about the promise ahead of time in our own strength is akin to Abraham going to Hagar for fulfillment of the promise instead of waiting with Sarah for the birth of the promised child through whom the nations of the earth would be blessed.

The evangelical church is rushing en masse to bring about shalom through their own effort, power, and influence. Men like Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Jim Wallis, and Donald Miller are losing their faith in the promise of Christ that he would prepare a place for them and they're attempting to restore paradise now.

I want to let it be known that I'm WAITING for shalom. I won't be a part of their dream. They are moving ahead of God rather than waiting on God and they will create another Ishmael as a result.

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