Since creation, Satan has done everything in his power to confront, mislead and nullify those who are faithful to God’s word. Sadly, Satan has made his most effective advance in the church during our era. The church today is only a fragment of what it might have been. How could this have happened? The early 1900 – 1930 showed the church had grown over 150%. Weak leaders and indifferent members can both be blamed. But the biggest culprit in the disaster that has struck the church is those that have abandoned the respect they once had for the silence as well as the statement of the scriptures.
Apostasy (abandonment of biblical doctrine) is nothing new. The New Testament abounds with warnings of apostasy. Jesus warns about men who departed from the faith and drew away disciples (Matthew 15:6-9).
v II Peter 2:1-2 - But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who secretly shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth shall be blasphemed.
Apostasy is a cancer within the church. And, just as in the first century, men who profess to be servants of God are spreading this cancer today. Unfortunately, there is more material on the subject of apostasy and the effects it is having on the church than I could possibly cover in a hundred lessons. Therein lies the problem. We must begin to understand what these men are teaching and why it is wrong, for out of ignorance of them and their teachings; they are able to make progress in the church. Some unfortunately hold the position of Elder, some are ministers. They introduce such false doctrine under the guise of change, the ‘wind of change’ as some have put it. I submit to you that the wind of these ‘change agents’ is nothing more than hot air, with no substance, and no Biblical doctrine backing them up. And while they pervert God’s word to try and justify their cause, it is something we can’t ignore because it has tremendous repercussions on us, as individuals and a congregation. Matthew 7:15 describes them as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Paul warns us of their type in Romans 16:17-18 when he states:
I beseech you, brethren, mark them, which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine, which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the innocent.
Some of the more liberal of our brethren in the church will tell you that they have come to their “increased” understanding of the Bible because of the advanced degrees they have earned from prestigious universities. But the last time I checked, a Ph.D. did not stand for Preach Human Doctrine.
One of the many reasons we need to study and renounce these changes and show ourselves separate from them is because the congregations that have allowed false doctrine to penetrate their understanding, beliefs, and teachings still call themselves, “church of Christ” and portray themselves as the church of the New Testament. How will the world know the difference unless we are separate and apart?
The gap is growing ever wider between the self-appointed brotherhood change agents and those who are remaining unshaken by the winds of doctrinal change.