Daily News: "Rapture Ready News" Thursday 05 May 11

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05 May 11

Bin Laden Death Means Dollar to Remain as Reserve Currency
The death of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden means the U.S. military is quick and powerful and can do what it wants. It also means that since the U.S. military is that unrivaled, then the dollar will stick around as the world's only reserve currency. "History shows us that the country with the strongest military is always the reserve currency," Steve Cortes, founder of the Veracruz market-research firm, tells CNBC.  

EU wins super-observer status at UN
The European Union on Tuesday secured super-observer status at the United Nations after overcoming objections from small states that they could see their influence eroded.Ashton led behind-the-scenes talks that went on up to the final hours before Tuesday's vote which passed with 180 countries in favour and Zimbabwe and Nauru abstaining. Csaba Korosi, ambassador from Hungary, the current EU president, told the assembly: "The European Union wishes to bring its full weight to bear in supporting and strengthening" global governance.  

Grassroots Organization to Europe: Physician, Heal Thyself!!
The grassroots "Cities of Israel" organization has issued a strong message to Europe. It says that in light of how Europe treats Nazi-stolen Jewish property, it has no right to demand that Jews give up land in Judea and Samaria.  

Jerusalem's Indivisible Population
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat told international media Wednesday that his city's diverse population cannot be divided – nor can the city itself.  

All Eyes on the Mississippi River
The Mississippi River continues to rise, so much so that its tributaries are starting to flow backwards. At Tom Lee Park, preps for Memphis in May continue knowing that the worst is still yet to come. It's a site not often seen; the Wolf River and Nonconnah Creek are flowing backwards. The swelling river cannot take on much more water.  

Six Planets Now Aligned in the Dawn Sky
If you get up any morning for the next few weeks, you’ll be treated to the sight of all the planets except Saturn arrayed along the ecliptic, the path of the sun through the sky. For the last two months, almost all the planets have been hiding behind the sun, but this week they all emerge and are arrayed in a grand line above the rising sun. Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are visible, and you can add Uranus and Neptune to your count if you have binoculars or a small telescope.  

Fukushima workers enter nuclear reactor building
Workers at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant have entered one of its reactor buildings for the first time since it was hit by a powerful earthquake on 11 March, officials say. They are installing ventilation systems in the No 1 reactor to filter out radioactive material from the air. The quake disabled reactor cooling systems, causing fuel rods to overheat.  

Libya: International group discusses funding for rebels
An international grouping is meeting in Rome to discuss financial aid for Libya's rebels. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Libya Contact Group would also look at ways to put pressure on Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi. She said the desired outcome was an end to violence against civilians and a "democratic transition".  

Bin Laden: Publishing images poses 'US security risk'
President Barack Obama has said publishing photos of the dead Osama Bin Laden threatens US national security. "I think that, given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk," Mr Obama said. The al-Qaeda leader was killed by US special forces in northern Pakistan on Monday. His body was buried at sea.  

Obama to host Netanyahu at White House on May 20
US President Barack Obama will host Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for a meeting on May 20, the White House said on Wednesday. "The leaders look forward to discussing the full range of issues of mutual interest to the United States and Israel," the White House said in a statement.  

Syria: Troops storm Damascus suburb, make arrests
Hundreds of Syrian soldiers in combat gear broke into houses and made arrests overnight in the Damascus suburb of Saqba, scene of a mass demonstration against the president last week, a resident said on Thursday. "The soldiers did not say who they were. People think they are from Maher's Fourth division," the female resident, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters, referring to the president's brother Maher al-Assad.  

'France, Britain may recognize Palestinian state'
Hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with his British counterpart David Cameron and on the eve of his planned meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday, foreign sources said that both heads of state have threatened to support the Palestinians' statehood bid in the UN if there is no progress in peace talks. The Guardian quoted a diplomatic source as saying Cameron told Netanyahu that Britain would consider supporting a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians if Israel fails to join substantive peace talks to create a two-state solution.  

 

 

 

  
   


 

 

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Prophecy Article Today: "The Temporal Delusion Part 3"- T.A. McMahon

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The Temporal Delusion Part 3

January 2011 Newsletter Cover

T. A. McMahon

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip [away].                 --Hebrews 2:1

The importance of knowing what the Bible teaches and making sure that our thoughts and actions conform to God's Word is underscored by warnings given throughout the New Testament. Consider 2 Timothy 4:3-5:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

The Apostle Paul's prophetic exhortation speaks of a time when those who profess to be Christians will not "endure sound doctrine." Incredibly, they will actually refuse to regard the teachings of Scripture as their authority. They will "turn away their ears from the truth" of the Bible and look to the perspective, opinions, and speculations of men. Not only has the Bible ceased to be their authority, but they are denying its sufficiency as well. Has that time come upon us?

Although some teach that we are in the Millennium, that Satan has been bound, Christ is ruling mankind from heaven, and things are getting better and better daily, neither the Scriptures nor experience confirm this Amillennial temporal delusion. There is, however, much evidence to support the belief that we are in the "time" of Paul's warning to the church. These are days of increasing apostasy, a stunning abandonment of "the faith" (Jude).

Over the last two decades, "the Church Growth Movement" has had an enormous influence in leading the evangelical church into apostasy. For centuries, "evangelical" described the conservative part of Christianity that believed the Bible to be inerrant and the sole authority in matters of faith and practice. "Evangelical" Christians regarded the Bible as sufficient in all things that pertain to life and godliness. Though many evangelicals still claim to hold to those beliefs, their numbers are decreasing drastically due to recent trends in Christendom.

The Church Growth Movement (CGM) in particular has been a major catalyst in the demise of biblical faith among evangelicals today. In its attempt to attract non-Christians and nominal Christians to its churches, the CGM has implemented worldly concepts and methods to achieve its goal--primarily by employing marketing techniques. Central to this approach has been the development of "seeker-friendly," "seeker-sensitive," or "purpose-driven" churches. We have written about this movement extensively (See TBC2/053/05,9/084/09, etc.), so we will only address here the devastating effect that it has had on "sound doctrine."

Marketing has its place in the business world. When applied to the church, however, it is terribly destructive to biblical teaching. The obvious problem is that the chief focus of marketing is on the customer, or consumer: he or she must always be pleased with what is being offered. This has caused thousands of "evangelical" churches that have subscribed to the seeker-sensitive approach to filter out those things from the Bible that are offensive to the unsaved people who have been attracted to their churches. From a marketing standpoint, certain teachings found in the Bible (even though they constitute sound doctrine and include conviction of sin--not to mention the gospel itself) may offend the consumer. Thus, they must be disregarded in order to ensure that "the customer" will keep coming back.

The CGM has infected thousands of churches around the world and has contributed greatly to the fulfillment of 2 Timothy 4:3-5. The result is an "evangelical" church that has been weaned away from the Word of God. Such a spiritually anemic condition has created hundreds of thousands of weak and biblically shallow Christians who, like dumb sheep, have been relegated to being spoon-fed by marketing-oriented shepherds. Not only will they not "endure sound doctrine," but they will no longer be capable of discerning biblical truth from error. Moreover, the call to be like the Bereans and search the Scriptures to see if what one is being taught by Christian leaders is biblically true (Acts 17:10-11) has been functionally silenced for multitudes of evangelicals.

The CGM is just one of the religious trends in our day that has caused the church to "slip away" from the Scriptures. The drifting away process itself is Satan's primary strategy of turning humanity away from the Word of God, which he effectively accomplished right from the beginning in his seduction of Eve in the Garden of Eden: "Yea, hath God said...?" Planting seeds of doubt and using deceit are obviously his means, but what is his goal and where is all of this heading?

According to the Scriptures, the world is moving toward a one-world religion headed by Satan's man of lawlessness, the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). His religion will be an apostate Christianity that will be a great distortion of what the Bible teaches yet will maintain a "positive" Christian veneer. Although the Antichrist will not be revealed nor will his apostate church be officially recognized until after true believers have been removed from the earth in the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18), his religion and church have been developing for millennia. It doesn't take great insight to see it taking shape before our eyes.

Ecumenism, which originally meant a process of unifying Christian denominations, aberrant groups, and "Christian" cults, has been expanded today to include "people of faith" (i.e., any and all faiths). This is the chief means of developing a one-world religion and church. Since most biblical doctrines are a stumbling block to ecumenical accord, they are dismissed in the interest of harmony. As indicated above, the prophesied rejection of sound doctrine has paved the way for ecumenical unity. With the doctrine of Christ and of God distorted or negated, God himself has been effectively abandoned: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son" (2 John 9).

For those who profess to follow Christ, the void left by removing sound biblical doctrine as the discerner of God's instructions has been seductively filled by ways that seem "right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12). Death involves separation. In physical death, this means the separation of the soul and spirit from the body. Yet it also refers to the separation of oneself from the truth by turning to man's ways. This condition is rampant in Christendom and has fostered agendas that indeed seem right but will have dire consequences in their advancement of apostasy.

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, we presented examples from church history of various attempts to set up the Kingdom of God or Christian utopias, or to impose a Christian dominionism upon the earth. The fact that all have failed in fulfilling their unbiblical agenda has not deterred further efforts, which seem to be all the more zealous in our day. What is even more striking about such efforts, as we've noted in Part 2 ( See TBC 11/10), is how separate movements that claim to be Christian have come together in support of the "fix," "restore," "redeem," "take dominion of," or "solve the problems of" the world prior to the return of Jesus. Some declare that Christ cannot return until His servants (i.e., Christians) have fulfilled the "Great Commission" of restoring and establishing God's Kingdom on the earth.

As we've seen, much of what has been proposed above is taught by widely diverse Christian groups and movements that nevertheless claim to adhere to the Bible: the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God and the Kingdom Dominionism of Pentecostals and Charismatics, the Amillennialism of Roman Catholics and Lutherans, the Reconstructionists and Preterists of Calvinism and Reformed theology, the global P.E.A.C.E agenda and the Green and Environmental movements of neo-evangelicals, and the earth-bound promotions of the Emerging Church movement. Not coincidentally, Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses have related eschatological views. What, then, of the liberal and left-leaning "social gospel"-oriented Christians who show little interest in biblical truth but are a very large and vocal part of Christendom? Amazingly, they too fit comfortably into this unbiblical "fix the earth" religious unity.

A recent book that demonstrates this clear connection is titled The Hole in Our Gospel, authored by Richard Stearns (Thomas Nelson, pub., 2010), president of World Vision U.S. (see p. 8 for a review). Bill Hybels's Willow Creek Church purchased 10,000 copies, and churches that are part of the Willow Creek Association have likewise ordered thousands of the books. Five pages of endorsements include Chuck Colson, Kay Warren, Bono, Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Max Lucado, Ron Sider, Eugene Peterson, Alec Hill, and Leighton Ford, among others. This volume (on which we are planning an extensive critique) is sprinkled with quotes from Catholic saints and mystics along with Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa (the "poster child" for Stearns's message). An alleged quote from St. Francis of Assisi sets the theme of the book: "Preach the gospel always; when necessary use words" (p. 23).

Stearns's thesis is that Christians have a hole in their gospel if their lives don't demonstrate good works. The "good works" that Stearns has in mind focus mainly on meeting the physical needs of the poor and correcting social injustices throughout the world. Whether or not this is feasible, few could argue with his sincerity--or doubt the nobility of his objective. But is it biblical? From beginning to end, Stearns misuses and abuses Scripture in his attempt to prove his case. For example, he is at the very least confused about the biblical gospel. He erroneously speaks of Matthew 25:31-46 as the Final Judgment of the saved and the lost: "Those whose lives were characterized by acts of love done to 'the least of these' were blessed and welcomed by Christ into His Father's kingdom. Those who had failed to respond, whose faith found no expression in compassion to the needy, were banished into eternal fire" (p. 53). Although he attempts to qualify his works-gospel by saying, "This does not mean we are saved by piling up enough good works to satisfy God" (p. 59), he tells us elsewhere that in the example of Lazarus and the rich man, "The plain conclusion is that the rich man went to hell because of his appalling apathy and failure to act in the face of the gross disparity between his wealth and Lazarus's poverty" (p. 187).

The entire tenor of the book reinforces a social gospel that exhorts the reader to work at restoring our planet to righteousness: "Jesus seeks a new world order in which this whole gospel, hallmarked by compassion, justice, and proclamation of the good news, becomes a reality, first in our hearts and minds, and then in the wider world through our influence. This is not to be a far-off and distant kingdom to be experienced only in the afterlife. Christ's vision was of a redeemed world order populated by redeemed people--now" (pp. 243-44). He chides Christians for being "so heavenly minded, you're no earthly good," (p. 2) and adds, "if Jesus was willing to die for this troubled planet, maybe I need to care about it too" (p. 2). Scripture indeed teaches that believers are not to abuse this planet, but that's a far cry from the delusion of trying to renovate it morally and physically through one's "good works." The epistle to the Hebrews, honoring the saints of old as models of faith whom we should emulate, tells us that they saw themselves as "strangers and pilgrims on the earth" and that their desires were for "a better country," i.e., heaven (Hebrews 11:13-16).

Nevertheless, Stearns declares: "The gospel itself was born of God's vision of a changed people, challenging and transforming the prevailing values and practices of our world. Jesus called the resulting new world order the 'kingdom of God'...and said that it would become a reality through the lives and deeds of His followers" (pp. 2-3). In contrast to the title of his book, there is more than a "hole" in the gospel Stearns is fostering. It is clearly "another gospel" (Galatians 1:6-7), a "social revolution" (Stearns's term) that will mislead many and save no one, though it shall bring many together. Stearns quotes Rick Warren: "The first Reformation...was about creeds; this one's going to be about our deeds. The first one divided the church; this time it will unify the church" (p. 51).

This book, even more than Warren's immensely popular Purpose Driven Life (which was a platform for solving the world's problems through his Global P.E.A.C.E Plan), will rally professing Christians and the followers of the world's religions, as well as atheists bent on demonstrating their morality sans God--by doing good works. Works-salvation is the faith system for all beliefs but biblical Christianity. Furthermore, the various programs promoting such a faith and practice are gaining the respect and financial support of the world--as long as it accommodates the social welfare of the masses without proselytizing.

According to the Scriptures, there is something terribly wrong when the world is championing the church and its programs. We have seen examples of this throughout the centuries regarding ministries that had wonderful beginnings but now have drifted away from the faith. When was the last time you were exposed to anything remotely Christian at the Y.M.C.A. (Young Men's Christian Association)? When did you last receive a gospel tract from that Salvation Army "bell-ringer" at the shopping mall? Moreover, try to find the gospel or an exhortation to directly share the gospel in World Vision U.S.'s mission statement. It's simply not there--by design. These organizations have all succumbed to temporal delusions.

These delusions are manifested when the ways of man are implemented in order to satisfy physical needs at the expense of what God desires for us for eternity. Nothing is to take precedence over the proclamation of the biblical gospel, for it is not just mankind's only hope but his eternal hope. Any approach to presenting the gospel that does not clearly and directly reflect the Bible's true content will be a perversion of it, no matter how right or practical it may seem. Any person who participates in programs, practices, or beliefs that dismiss prophetic warnings of the Word of God regarding Last Days events may well become an unwitting contributor to the apostate religion of the Antichrist.

Jesus gives the antidote and the preventive measure that will protect a believer from being influenced and "taken captive" (2 Timothy 2:26) by an increasing number of temporally oriented trends and movements today: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).           tbc


 

 

 

 

Prophecy Article Today: "The Temporal Delusion Part 2"- T.A. McMahon

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Prophecy Article Today

The Temporal Delusion Part 2

November 2010 NL

 

T.A. McMahon

 

 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him....And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.  --(1 John 2:15-17)

This series addresses a troubling trend within Christendom today. Our concern is that if professing believers in Jesus Christ are hung up on the temporal aspects of life on earth, then they are caught up in a delusion at best. They are missing the heart of what God wants for them, and, at worst, they could be unwittingly contributing to the kingdom and religion of the Antichrist.


As was indicated in part one of this series, this earthbound focus is not a new condition in the history of the world--or the church, for that matter. From thetower of Babel on, humanity has attempted to create a utopia and build a kingdom, either independent of God or, allegedly, in the name of God but for its own end. For those who call themselves Christians, there is a simple test to discern whether they have fallen prey to such a delusion: are their thinking and actions consistent with what the Word of God says about the kingdom of God, the rapture of the church, the prophetic end-time warnings of the Word, the final plight of the world in rebellion, and the eternal destiny of those who love the Lord?


The mark of a true Christian is that he or she conforms to what the Scriptures teach. Those who conform to the goals or agendas of the world, either personally or by participating in organized programs that compromise what the Bible teaches, although they may indeed be believers, are nevertheless drifting away from the faith (Hebrews 2:1). This means that one's temporal fruitfulness in Christ and  eternal rewards will be adversely affected--but not one's eternal future with Jesus, which was secured by our Lord's full payment for all our sins.


The Bible doesn't make an esoteric issue or a cryptic mystery of what lies ahead for life on this planet. It simply and clearly informs us as to what has taken place in ancient times and what will take place in the future.


From the time of man's first sin against God in the Garden of Eden to our present day, the effects of that sin spawned a progressive evil among mankind. Early on, in response to the proliferation of wickedness, God destroyed all but eight people in a worldwide flood (Genesis 6). Sin has not abated as it continues to separate man from God. Since the days of Noah and his family and their repopulation of the earth, there have been few instances of collective obedience to God. Even among a people chosen of God to whom He would send His Messiah to save the world from sin's consequences, obedience was only sporadic, concluding initially with the rejection and crucifixion of God's anointed Savior, Jesus Christ.


All of that was known to God before the beginning of time, as well as what He would do for mankind in keeping with His unfathomable love for His created beings. His solution for reconciling man to Himself was first indicated after the fall in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15,21) and then foretold by the prophets throughout the Old Testament. God's Savior would become a man through a virgin birth. He would be the God-Man and a suffering Servant, whose sacrificial death would pay for the sins of mankind. His resurrection from the dead certified that the infinite penalty He suffered for a condemned humanity was acceptable in satisfying God's perfect justice.


In the Book of Acts, after commissioning His disciples to share with the world the good news of His salvation, we read of Christ's ascension from the Mount of Olives to heaven and of His future return to that same place (Acts 1:8-11).Both Old Testament and New Testament prophets tell us about significant events that will take place here on earth prior to the Lord's return--and afterward: the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish people (Deuteronomy 28:64Leviticus 26:33); the re-gathering of the Jews to the land of Israel from their worldwide dispersion (Isaiah 11:11-12; 43:6;Ezekiel 20:33-38; 36:24) the return of Jesus for His bride, the church, and His catching believers up to Himself to take them to the wedding in heaven (John 14:1-31 Thessalonians 4:16-18); the seven years of the Great Tribulation, involving worldwide catastrophes that will follow the Rapture of the saints(Jeremiah 30:7Matthew 24:21-22); the Antichrist's rise to dictatorial leader of the world (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4Revelation 13); the pouring out of God's wrath upon the earth during the seven years of tribulation (Revelation 6-19); the nations of the world turning against Israel to destroy it (Joel 3:1-2,9-15;Ezekiel 38); the return of Jesus from heaven with His saints, and the destruction of those who have sought to annihilate Israel (Zechariah 12); Jesus' setting up of His throne in Jerusalem and ruling the earth from there for 1,000 years (Revelation 20Isaiah 65:17-25), and the healing of the earth from the devastation that took place during the Great Tribulation (Isaiah 11:1-10Ezekiel 47:1-12). At the close of the Millennial reign of Jesus, He will put down a worldwide rebellion led by Satan (Revelation 20:7-9). All those who have rebelled will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:2020:10, 14-15; 21:8). The heavens and the earth will dissolve, and God will form, in perfection, new heavens, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem for those who love Him, and where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:7,10-13).


Just as all the prophecies related to the first coming of Jesus were fulfilled in the smallest detail and with 100 percent accuracy, we can be absolutely sure that the biblical prophecies regarding the future will be just as accurate. Furthermore, they spell out spiritual and physical conditions that will take place. One thing that should be obvious from the prophetic scenario above: this world has a temporal purpose that is incredibly brief compared to eternity. To miss that is to lose sight of the fact that a believer is a "sojourner" here whose "[citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20).


Our responsibility then, as Bereans (Acts 17:11), is to search the Scriptures and compare the movements, programs, agendas, and so forth, that are being promoted today in the world--and especially in Christendom--with what is foretold in God's Word. That will tell us what we may support and what we need to disregard--or even stand firmly against (Ephesians 5:11)


Certainly the world is all about solving its problems without the God of the Bible. Yet many professing Christians are rushing to remedy the world's troubles in ways that are without the support of Scripture, some even in contradiction to what the Scriptures teach. Rick Warren's global P.E.A.C.E. plan is one of many programs and teachings that, for the most part, cannot be reconciled with God's prophetic Word. It is Warren's "50-year plan" to cure global issues such as "pandemic diseases, extreme poverty, illiteracy, corruption, global warming, [and] spiritual emptiness" (see www.thebereancall.org). He claims that his social-works agenda developed from his reading of the Gospels--that Jesus gave him the model that was the antidote to the five biggest problems on the planet (see www.thebereancall.org)Warren subsequently expanded that model from an exclusive endeavor of Christianity to one requiring the support of all religions. The "P" in his P.E.A.C.E. plan originally stood for "Planting Churches" as the key antidote for curing the world's ills. Later, however, before a panel and audience of representatives of the world's religions, he changed the "P" from "Planting Churches" to "Promoting Reconciliation" (see www.thebereancall.org).


Warren announced unequivocally that the universal problems cannot be solved "without including people of faith and their religious institutions" [Ibid.]. He told his audience at the World Economic Forum at DavosSwitzerland(1/24/08) that the various houses of worship are needed for distribution centers of resources to help eradicate global problems. His shift, however, to an ecumenical program that includes Islamic mosques, Hindu temples, Jewish synagogues, and other religious establishments as participants in meeting social needs may impress the world, but it is contrary to what God says in His Word. The God of the Bible is an exclusive God: "I am the Lord, and there is none else, and there is no God beside me" (Isaiah 45:5). There is to be no participation with the purveyors of false gods. The Apostle Paul tells us we are not to be "unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).


Rick Warren's "ill-curing" ecumenical agenda is illogical as well as unbiblical. How can his game plan for remedying "spiritual emptiness" work with those who promote a false spirituality? Peter tells us, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name [Jesus Christ] under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).  Jesus himself declared, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). If there is no other true God but the God revealed in the Bible, and if salvation comes only through Jesus Christ-as the Scriptures declare-then all other gods and all other ways of salvation are false, with no hope for their followers. Yet Warren told his Davos religious audience that he was not concerned about their motivation in doing good, "as long as you do good." Tragically, he reinforced the very lie that keeps billions of religious people blinded to the truth and from turning to Jesus Christ: works salvation.


The influence of this fix-the-earth program is staggering. Warren's best-sellingPurpose Driven Life (30 million copies- plus sold worldwide) introduced his "50- year" global P.E.A.C.E Plan and has been translated into 52 languages. According to his website, more than 500,000 evangelical churches are partnering with him in his unbiblical ecumenical effort.


Although Warren's attempt to solve the world's problems is more than misguided, it's not the only prophecy-denying, earthbound enterprise that's gaining followers today. Rob Bell, in his book Velvet Elvis, reflects the "fix the earth" eschatology of nearly all EmergingChurch leaders: "Salvation is the entire universe being brought back into harmony with its maker....But we can join a movement that is as wide and as big as the universe itself. Rocks and trees and birds and swamps and ecosystems....God's desire is to restore all of it....The goal isn't escaping this world but making this world the kind of place God can come to. And God is remaking us into the kind of people who can do this kind of work."


Brian McLaren, arguably the best-known emergent leader, has a low, if not distorted, view of biblical prophecy, as do most of his peers in the Emerging Church Movement. He regards the Book of Revelation as "literature of the oppressed" to inspire "each generation," rather than God's warning of future events and judgments to come upon mankind.


Those future events and judgments are clearly at odds with the agenda of solving the world's problems and turning it into a paradise. McLaren declares: "In this light, [that is, removing the prophetic aspect of the Book of Revelation] Revelation becomes a powerful book about the kingdom of Godhere and now, available to all." He believes, as does Rick Warren (who also has a low view of prophecy), that it is necessary for all the religions of the world to work together for the greater good of society: "I think our future will also require us to join humbly and charitably with people of other faiths--Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, secularists, and others--in pursuit of peace, environmental stewardship, and justice for all people, things that matter greatly to the heart of God." That sentiment, although pleasing to the flesh, is far removed from the "heart of God" and His Word.


Restoring or preserving this planet as a rallying cause in the church has far exceeded the biblical principle of stewardship today and has become anearthbound mindset. Scripture is quite clear that any abuse of what God has provided for mankind is sin. Yet some are using the Bible erroneously to support their unbiblical agendas. Eugene Peterson, in his 10-million-bestsellingThe Message Bible, has no qualms about distorting the Scriptures for "the cause." He translates John 3:17 to say that Jesus "came to help, to put the world right again," rather than "that the world through Him might be saved" (meaning the salvation of souls-KJV). He then promotes the ecological Green Movement by adding the adjective "green" to Romans 15:13: "Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy...."


Marketing Bibles is big business today, and where there's a "cause," there's usually an attempt to come up with a Bible that implies that the agenda is supported in Scripture. The Green Bible is just one example. It is presented in conjunction with the Sierra Club, The Humane Society, and the National Council of Churches' Eco-Justice Program. It features an introduction by arch-heretic Archbishop Desmond Tutu and contributions by emergent leader Brian McLaren and theologian N. T. Wright, both of whom preach "redeeming the earth." Sales promotions claim that because the Bible mentions the earthtwice as often as "heaven" and "love," it "carries a powerful message for the earth." That rationale is both delusionary and deceptive. The "powerful message" of the Bible is the "good news" of what God has accomplished to reconcile man to Himself that we might spend life everlasting with Him. This present earth plays a very minute part in God's eternal plan.


The next issue in this series addresses other promoters of the temporal delusion such as Shane Claiborne, Jim Wallis, and Glenn Beck, as well as The Hole in Our Gospel, a very popular book advancing the cause of the social gospel.


Sadly, increasing numbers of believers are attempting to secure their lifeboats to our Titanic--like earth for the purpose of redeeming it. Instead, our "agenda" needs to line up with the biblical mandate of evangelist and soul winner John Harper (see TBC Extra, p. 8). We are told that he was guided of the Lord to change his passage and sail a week later to America on theTitanic, knowing that that was where God wanted to use him. Remembered as "the true hero of the Titanic" and "God's minister to the perishing," he ran to and fro on the deck helping those in need, giving up his life jacket to another, and asking all that he encountered to turn to God for salvation through Jesus Christ. As the huge ship began to slip beneath the icy Atlantic waters, Harper leaped from the deck and began swimming toward everyone within sight, pleading with them to come to Christ.


 There is no redemption for this earth--only for its people.


Lord, give us that same love for the perishing that You gave to Your servant John Harper, and, by Your grace, use us according to Your Word.

 

 

 

 

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