“…so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.” Philippians 2:15 (HCSB)
Sadly, today so much of the church is not shining brightly like stars in a dark world. We are clearly told that in the last days many will fall away (Matthew 24:10, 1 Timothy 4:1. 2 Thessalonians 2:3), that people will seek teachers who will tickle their ears and say what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3-4), and there will be a great deception over even those professing to be Christians (Matthew 24:24). Should we be surprised to see a great many church leaders being led astray and as a result leading others astray?
Church of England is now pressing toward neutering God in the Bible. The Lord’s prayer might go something like this, “Our parent who is in heaven, loving is your name…!” The United Methodist Church is being torn apart by apostate leaders, and demonized bishops who have totally disregarded the Word, especially as it talks about sexuality. Other churches of various denominational or non-denominational affiliation are loudly affirming the homosexual lifestyle, as if God’s standard has changed for our culture! Compromise, deception, disregarding God’s word (or portions of it), wolves in sheep clothing and now not even pretending, false prophets, false teachers… but guess what? God’s word still warns that those who lead, teach and influence will come under stricter judgment (James 3:1). Though the FBI is now literally going after Christians (as revealed by a recent FBI whistle blower), our greatest threat comes from within! God warned us regarding a way that seems right to man actually leads to destruction (Proverbs 14:12).
Btw, it appears that the denominations, churches, pastors and leaders who are falling away, who are compromising, are all resistant to or deny the Holy Spirit working today. And that seems a bit suspicious! When we deny the Holy Spirit, we lack discernment and ultimately open ourselves up to deception and more! Jesus Himself told His disciples to listen to and follow the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-14), that the Holy Spirit would actually extend His ministry!
Pray for Holy Spirit discernment. If you are in a church where the Holy Spirit is resisted, or denied and there is compromise of the Word in the leadership, run as fast as you can! You are not in a safe place. Otherwise, ask God to protect your pastor, to keep him on the narrow road of purity of doctrine and faith. Ask God to reveal any place where the enemy is wearing down the walls of truth in your church. Once these walls come down, your church is easy prey for the doctrine of demons (1 Timothy 4:1) and compromise. The devil doesn’t need Christians to fall away, just get off track, distracted and compromised. Pray for the fear of God to increase across our city and for pastors and churches who preach the solid word of God to shine brightly in this dark hour (Philippians 2:14-16)!