Jesus warned us about the results of the deception that would define the end times before His return. 9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13 7“And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:7-8 These verses paint a very bleak picture for the tenor of belief during these end times. Those who are faithful will suffer persecution, many false prophets and false teachers will arise, lawlessness will abound, and as a result, many will lose their love for the Savior and for the brethren. It will be so bad that Jesus Christ asked the rhetorical question, “Will the Son of Man really find faith on the earth when He comes back?” One of the precipitating factors for these conditions is the loss of esteem for the Word of God. We can catalogue the false doctrines that have led to the discounting of the Bible in the life of the believer.
Fallen man will always disparage the Bible, what else can he do? There are those who have been embraced as believers who have actually led the attack upon the Scriptures from within the church. Last post, we saw that Augustine not only spiritualized prophecy rejecting its true interpretation regarding the return of Jesus Christ, but he also placed the opinion of the church and councils over the Holy Scriptures and above the Holy Spirit’s work in revealing the truth to us from God’s Word. During the Reformation, rather than rejecting this heretic, the heroes of this movement embraced this evil worker. This movement continued apace to Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) who divorced faith in God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ from the Scriptures, and also helped to evolve the school of Higher Criticism which debases the Bible to be a mere work of man that can only be truly discovered and “revealed” by “biblical scholars”. Based upon this attack upon the Word of God most “conservative evangelical pastors and scholars” do not believe in the providential preservation of God’s Word, and so believe that we do not have the inerrant Word of God extant today. If you look at the doctrinal statement of the majority of “conservative evangelical” churches regarding the Word of God, the statement will say they believe the Bible to be the infallible, inspired, inerrant Word of God in the original manuscripts. We do not have the original manuscripts so they are saying in essence that we do not have the Holy inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God. And so to even know what the Word of God is, requires “biblical scholars” to uncover it from the available manuscripts. Therefore, based upon these false assumptions, the logical assumption is that we can’t really know what God has said clearly mirroring Satan when he said to Eve: “Has God indeed said…?”(Genesis 3:1), thus throwing off confidence in oracles of God. This has brought in the distressingly destructive situation that we have today where vast numbers throw off studying the Scriptures and instead eat up myriads of books which promote unbelievably blasphemous heresy. I would like to consider two of those destructive doctrines that are espoused and held dear by such people as Robert Schuller and Billy Graham.
Robert Schuller has taught for many years that our actual problem is we have low self-esteem and therefore Jesus Christ delivers us from low self-esteem and restores to us a proper positive view of ourselves. I have personally seen the destructive results of this false doctrine in the life of a former family member. Those who hold to such error consider their ideas, thoughts, and feelings as supreme in their lives and are so glad that Jesus Christ is there right alongside of them to support them in their quests for self-actualization. They have no heart for humble belief and dependence upon Jesus Christ as He is revealed to us in the Scriptures nor do they desire to thankfully obey God’s Word. These are the ones that Paul warned us about in the Scriptures in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 1But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
If we investigate what God’s Word has to say about our need for the Savior, we will see that He saves us from our sinful rebellion against the Lord God Almighty. If we do not acknowledge ourselves as sinners we can never be saved and will only inherit eternal damnation for all of our efforts. 7But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:7-10 This sin is not merely low self-esteem or mistakes, it is a willful wicked refusal to believe in and obey God. 9What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. 10As it is written: “There is none righteous, no not one; 11There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is no one who does good, on, not one.” 13Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”, The poison of asps is under their lips”, 14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” 15Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17And the way of peace they have not known.” 18There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:9-18 This is the condition of all of mankind. Our great God and Savior sent His Son Jesus Christ to deliver us from sin and reconcile us to Himself for His glory.
4But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 This is the only way for sinful people to be reconciled to our holy God, through faith in Jesus Christ. Rejection of the doctrine of sin, leads to rejection of God’s solution. Rejecting the doctrine of sin leaves the door open for all to be saved or the false doctrine of universalism. Both Robert Schuller and Billy Graham embrace the false doctrine of universalism.
That Billy Graham has taught universalism, all the while paying lip service to the gospel, for decades is a matter of record. In an interview in McCall’s magazine, January 1978, Graham stated that he no longer believed that pagans in other countries were going to hell and needed the gospel preached to them, he said there were other ways of saying yes to God. He continued to express this belief in universalism in subsequent interviews with the most famous being his television interview with Robert Schuller in 1997, where he said, “ And that’s what God is doing today, He’s calling people out of the world for His name, WHETHER THEY COME FROM THE MUSLIM WORLD, OR THE BUDDHIST WORLD, OR THE CHRISTIAN WORLD OR THE NON-BELIEVING WORLD, THEY ARE MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST BECAUSE THEY’VE BEEN CALLED BY GOD. THEY MAY NOT EVEN KNOW THE NAME OF JESUS but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they’re going to be with us in heaven”. The fact that not all will be saved, and that salvation is only through faith in Jesus Christ, through belief in His name, is clearly taught in the Scriptures does not deter those who preach and teach universalism. They have rejected the Bible as being the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God and elevate their mere opinion as the truth. However, this is what Jesus Christ said in Matthew 7:13-14 & 21-23 13“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. & 21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many 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? 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Jesus warns us not to be deceived thinking that we are saved and know Him, when in reality we are lost and bound for destruction. If those who claim to know Him are rejected, how much more so are those who do not believe in His name. Notice that faith includes obedience to His Father; what is the will of the Father? And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. 1 John 3:23 & 3We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 We are commanded to believe in Jesus Christ, putting our faith in His gospel of salvation. Love for our brethren and joyful anticipation of Christ’s return are the hallmark of our faith. We will and do suffer persecution from those who disobey the gospel because we are not of this world. Unbelievers can only expect the righteous judgment of God upon them for eternity because they do not know God and reject the gospel of Jesus Christ. There isn’t an escape clause for unbelievers, and God does not wink at the wicked allowing them into heaven through a backdoor. Beloved brethren, these false doctrines are the direct result of the devaluation and dismissing of God’s Word, the Bible.
If you would like to do a more thorough study into the attack upon the Bible that has caused so many leaders in the visible church to reject the biblical doctrine of the preservation of God’s Word then please click the link below for excellent and informative teaching about this destructive doctrine. God bless you as you stand true for the Lord and hold fast to His Word, the Bible.