RELIGION

TURNED OFF BY RELIGION:

Gracethrufaith.com – Jack Kelley.

QUESTION:   I am trying to witness to my 86 year old die hard Catholic father. (he hasn’t gone to church in years but did meet the Pope during the war) He feels this church has changed since he was an alter boy and he has lost faith in the Church.

I grew up Catholic also, but found the Lord in college thru a Baptist friend and have been studying the bible & prophecy ever since. I explained I put my faith in Jesus, not a religion and at that point he won’t talk about it anymore and gets angry.

He is really hurt because his religion failed him and I don’t know how to reach him. Of course prayer is my only answer, but do you have any other suggestions. Every time I ask him if he ever believed in Jesus, he evades the question.

ANSWER:   Perhaps the greatest travesty foisted upon humanity has been organized religion. Countless millions have been completely and permanently turned away from a relationship with the Lord because of what deceitful men have done while claiming to act in the name of God. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 says, “Such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”

Since your attempts at discussion aren’t working, the best (and probably only) thing you can do at this point is pray that your father’s heart will be softened toward the Gospel while he still has a chance to hear it. I’m sure that thousands of us will agree with you in prayer, since we’ve all either already lost or fear losing loved ones who’ve been misled or turned off by the “church”.

FALSE RELIGION:

QUESTION:   My sister has been pursuing something she calls “her journey” which includes attempting to speak to her pets as well as to the Archangels Michael and Raphael, the virgin Mary, and several saints. She asks me where the Bible says this is not allowed? When I could not point to a biblical reference she took that as proof that what she is doing is just fine with God. She said she “takes Jesus alongside her every time she goes on a journey and claims to have lived two other times in different eras of history. I know “it is appointed once for man to die, then the judgment” but I cannot recall where that verse is either. I need to arm myself a lot better with the Bible to be able to give her solid testimony.

ANSWER:   The prohibition against communicating with the spirit world is in Deut. 18:10-12. The argument against re-incarnation is in Hebrews 9:27. Your sister is flirting with false religion and the Jesus she claims to take with her is an impostor. The real Jesus would not accompany us into areas He has forbidden to us.

The easiest thing to do when you can’t find a Bible verse is type a portion of the verse into a Google search box. Within seconds you’ll have the specific reference.

ANTI CHRIST RELIGION:

QUESTION:   Hello, I have visited your site for quite a while and wanted to ask you if it is too bold to say that any religion that does not except our Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as our one GOD is anti Christ? Thank you and GOD BLESS.

ANSWER:   The main reason people deny the Trinity is to deny the deity of Jesus. By definition, a religion that denies the deity of Jesus meets one of the three principal characteristics of a cult. The other two are the denial of salvation by grace alone and the denial of the existence of Hell. Certainly a religion that denies all three is anti-Christ. A Jesus who is not deity is also not the Jesus of the Bible, so those who follow such a Jesus are at least exhibiting the spirit of anti-Christ. (1 John 4:2-3).

ANTI CHRIST AND THE END TIMES RELIGION

QUESTION:   Someone has pointed out that the Anti-Christ will one day defect from his own religion, from the god of his fathers, and magnify himself to be a god. If the anti-Christ comes from Islam and magnifies himself above all including Allah, and demand the Muslims follow him, how will the Muslim crowd respond to his demand? Seems like he would be called a traitor to his own religion, and be killed.

ANSWER:   In Rev. 17 the one world religion is called the prostitute, the anti-Christ is called the beast and the 10 regional governments are called the 10 horns. Here’s what it says about them.

“The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.” (Rev. 17:16-17)

Although the anti-Christ will have come to power with the assistance of the one world religion, he will eventually do away with it to become the sole object of worship. Remember, at this point the anti-Christ will be indwelt by Satan. No one knows for sure how this will all unfold, but in effect Rev. 17:16-17 says that God will use the anti-Christ and his confederacy of kings to destroy the end times false religion because it will accomplish His purpose.

IS ISLAM THE ONE WORLD RELIGION?

QUESTION:   I just read your article on the Powerful Delusion. I personally don’t think that Islam is going to be the religion of the Anti-Christ. The one world religion of the Anti-Christ will accept all religions of the world, not just one. The Jews will accept the Anti-Christ, but the Jews will never accept Allah and the religion of Islam. This is one reason why Islam cannot be the One World Religion we know is coming.

A second reason everyone seems to be forgetting right now is that Islam is not the only religion waiting for a messiah, the man with all the answers to earths problems. The New Age is also awaiting their coming World Leader who will accept all under his wing.

We know that the Anti-Christ will come on the scene to bring the answers the whole world is looking for. He will bring false peace to the world and sign the 7 year covenant with Israel. The New Agers will accept him, the “false” Christians will accept him, the Jews will accept him, and all the religions of the world will accept him. This they will do willingly. We know that after the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, Antichrist will claim that he alone is God and whoever opposes him will die. This would include not only those who find true faith in Jesus after the Rapture, but also those of all faiths including the Muslims who believe there is no God but “Allah”.

The Jews will be horrified when he enters their temple which the Anti-Christ allows them to build. The Muslim Allah would never permit a temple to the God of Israel to be built.

I would like to know what you think about these four reasons why I don’t believe that Islam will be the One World Religion.

ANSWER:   You might be right. I presented my view as a possibility based primarily on the similarity between Christian and Moslem prophecies, but here are a couple of other factors for you to consider.

We know from scripture that true believers of both Judaism and Christianity will not accept the anti-Christ as the Messiah. The Book of Revelation speaks of their persecution and martyrdom. It also speaks of believing Jews being protected in the desert during the anti-Christ’s reign from his attempts to wipe them out.

Jesus said, “I have come in my father’s name and you did not accept me. Another will come in his own name and you will accept him.” (John 5:43) He was speaking to unbelieving Jews then, about the deception that would come upon unbelieving Jews at the End of the Age.

The title of my article was “The Powerful Delusion” a reference to 2 Thes. 2:11. There Paul says that God Himself will actually cause those who have rejected Him to be deceived into believing in the anti-Christ. To me that means whatever the anti-Christ’s background, the unbelieving world will accept Him. And let’s not forget that he’ll have all the supernatural power of Satan at his command with counterfeit miracles and such to help convince them.

And where the Temple is concerned, whether he’s Moslem, New Age, or any other religion, the anti-Christ only wants it built to further his own goals, and that’s to stand in the House of God and proclaim that he’s God. No matter who he is, he’ll see the Jewish religion as the means to that end. What we know for sure is this. In Ezekiel 44:7-8, God’s first complaint to Israel after He returns is that they let a foreigner, uncircumcised in Flesh (not Jewish) and Heart (not Christian) have charge of His Sanctuary.

I presented the Moslem view because Islam is the fastest growing religion on Earth and after the Church leaves it will be the largest. Most non-believers think Allah is just another name for the Judeo-Christian God, would have no trouble accepting the Moslem path to salvation, and think Islam is a religion of Peace that’s been hi-jacked by a minority of terrorists. If a Moslsem “messiah” were to come on the scene as a peace maker following a period of intense warfare and the disappearance of the Church he would already have the world’s biggest following. I don’t think the rest would have any trouble at all falling into line behind someone who promises them peace and a return to life as they knew it, regardless of who he is.

THE ONE WORLD RELIGION. FOLLOW UP:

QUESTION:   Regarding your Q&A titled “Can Islam Really Become the One World Religion”, you stated in your answer that you believe that a great leader from the Islamic faith will emerge to restore peace and order. How can this future leader emerge from Islam since he’ll have no regard for any god including the god of Islam as it states in Daniel 11:37?

ANSWER:   This demonstrates the danger in building a doctrinal position on the strength of one verse. Taking Daniel 11:37 by itself one could conclude that the coming world leader will have no use for any religion. But in several places the Bible speaks of the important part religion will play in his rise to prominence.

His lack of regard for any religion stems from the fact that he will eventually proclaim himself to be God (2 Thes. 2:4). But in the meantime he will use religion to consolidate his power. 2 Thes 2:9 says he’ll use counterfeit miracles, and signs and wonders to deceive the people. Rev. 13 says he will garner the worship of the entire world through a religious leader we call the false prophet. In Rev. 17 John explains how he will tolerate the one world religion until he has no further need of it and will then will destroy it.

Following the departure of the Church in the rapture, Islam will be the most popular religion in the world by a wide margin, and would be the obvious group for this leader to align himself with. We shouldn’t be surprised at this kind of deception. It’s one of Satan’s signature strategies.

ONE WORLD RELIGION WHY?

QUESTION:   What is so important about having a one world religion? I understand one world economics and government for the coming new world order, but could you give me an explanation of why there is so much effort being put into gathering religious thought into one paradigm? What does religion have to do with anything?

ANSWER:   Like government and economics, religion is a powerful means of control. But Satan doesn’t just want to control Planet Earth, he wants everyone to worship him as if he was God (Isaiah 14:12-14, 2 Thes. 2:4). Remember this fight is really between Satan and God, so if Satan can persuade people to worship him, then in effect he will have replaced God (Rev. 13:4) or so he thinks.

ANTI CHRIST RELIGION:

QUESTION:   Hello, I have visited your site for quite a while and wanted to ask you if it is too bold to say that any religion that does not except our Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as our one GOD is anti Christ? Thank you and GOD BLESS.

ANSWER:   The main reason people deny the Trinity is to deny the deity of Jesus. By definition, a religion that denies the deity of Jesus meets one of the three principal characteristics of a cult. The other two are the denial of salvation by grace alone and the denial of the existence of Hell. Certainly a religion that denies all three is anti-Christ. A Jesus who is not deity is also not the Jesus of the Bible, so those who follow such a Jesus are at least exhibiting the spirit of anti-Christ. (1 John 4:2-3).

THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTI-CHRIST:

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. (1 John 2:18-19)

These days, any kind of teaching about the coming anti-Christ is very popular.  But less than 60 years after the cross John was already writing about the spirit of anti-Christ being evidenced in the false teaching that would later come to be known as “gnosticism”. The fact that those false teachers had come from among believers gave them a certain credibility in the growing church, but in John’s view the error of their doctrine proved that they had never been true believers. “For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us” (1 John 2:19)

What’s New?

We’ll explore the power of that observation in a minute. But first let’s review the basics of gnosticism as it was being presented in John’s time. In essence gnosticism held that all spirit was good and all flesh was evil. They further believed that good and evil cannot exist together, so neither can spirit and flesh. Therefore God, being Spirit, could not dwell in Jesus, with His body of flesh.  Jesus, being a man and therefore evil, couldn’t have been sinless,  so He couldn’t have qualified to be our redeemer. Because of this, they claimed, the path to salvation was not through His death on the cross, but through the progressive attainment of secret spiritual knowledge (Greek: gnosis).  This same idea permeates Freemasonry, Scientology and the New Age religions, demonstrating that gnosticism in various forms is still around today.

Now back to John’s amazing declaration. “For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” If these proponents of gnosticism had truly received the Gospel in their hearts, they wouldn’t have begun propagating false doctrine. Their belief in the truth would have prevented this. The fact that they were teaching lies proves that they had never believed the truth.

Think about that. The fact that they were teaching lies proves that they never believed the truth. Ever hear a speaker who sounded so good and was so persuasive, but put forth a view that you knew to be at odds with Scripture? I’m not talking about ancillary things like how old we’ll be in Heaven, or what the Millennium will be like on Earth, but basic components of the Gospel.

Let’s take the Doctrine of Grace for example. “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this not from yourselves it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast” (Ephe. 2:8-9).

According to the way I read 1 John 2:18-19, any teacher who denies that salvation is by grace alone is teaching a lie. If he says we have to do more than believe and receive in order to qualify for eternal life it means the truth is not in him.  Remember, grace plus work is no longer grace.

Can You Believe That?

And what about those who believe the false teaching? But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth” (1 John 2:20). Here John explained that just as those who have the truth in their hearts would be constrained from teaching lies, so also we who believe the truth will be constrained from believing those lies. Those who claim to be Christian but then join a religion that rejects the truth in favor of lies, demonstrate that they never really believed the truth in the first place.

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thes. 2:9-10)

The implication here is that those who are perishing knew the truth but refused to believe it. Their unbelief was willful and intentional. Many scholars believe these people will not get a second chance to believe the truth after the rapture but will be deceived by the false teaching of the anti-Christ and will perish.

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers who say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (mythology).” (2 Tim. 4:3-4)  Again, the notion here is of willful and intentional rejection of the truth in favor of more palatable lies. I’m convinced John was of the opinion that the people Paul was writing about here didn’t just stray away, they never believed in the first place.

A Tale Of Two Gates

In Matt. 7:13-14 Jesus said,  “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Some religions promote a way of salvation based on works.  Others try to combine grace and works.  They may claim to be Christian or they may claim a different God.  But they are all on the broad road heading for the wide gate.  The small gate is labeled “grace” and the narrow road is called faith alone.

This is what led Jesus to issue the warning that not everyone who calls Him “Lord” will enter the Kingdom.  Even if they drive out demons and perform miracles in His name, He will deny ever knowing them (Matt. 7:21-23).  They’re on the broad road.

He said only those who do the will of the Father in Heaven will enter the Kingdom.  And what is the will of the Father? Listen to the Lord’s own words.

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:37-40)

Our Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life.  It’s the shepherd’s job to keep the sheep, and it can never be said that the Good Shepherd saved us but then couldn’t keep us. If we present ourselves to the Father as sinners in need of a Savior, and ask that the death of His Son be considered as payment in full for our sins, the Father will place us under the protective care of His Son and no power in Heaven or on Earth can ever can ever steal us away.  If we happen to wander off for some reason, He will track us down and bring us back because it’s the Father’s will that the Son should lose none of us.

As I understand 1 John 2:18-19 then, believing that trusting in Jesus alone can’t save us is evidence of the spirit of anti-Christ. If someone thinks they have to do even part of the work, or that even though He did save them He could subsequently lose them, that’s the spirit of anti-Christ. Those who believe these things may have come from among us, but they never really belonged to us. Selah 05-05-12

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