We recently were on a cruise from Australia to New Zealand, and it was a blessing to have met on that cruise a reader of Rapture Ready. That is the first one I have met.
I am finding more and more that there is a decay in biblical standards and the theology of the Bible. This erosion is in line with the turning away prophetically spoken of by God for the last days of the church age. The disease seems to have overtaken many churches and theological institutions. I might add that some of these presentations were strongly attacked by the wider “church” community, and I think it was because I have mentioned the word “Rapture.” Later on, after this series, I want to address that matter and the increasing hostility to rapture teaching.
These dangerous ideas and teachings are surfacing in all church areas, nationally and internationally, so where possible, we must warn the Christians of the dangers of Liberal Theology. These messages were revised after speaking on the subject in England.
These articles contain a number of quotes and references. Some of it may be a bit technical; however, I think you will follow, and I hope it will be useful as a background to this destructive trend called Liberal Theology.
SECTION 1 – THE TIMES WE ARE LIVING IN
[A]. 2Timothy 3:1-7 “Realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come, for men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, [and] HOLDING TO A FORM OF GODLINESS, ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE DENIED ITS POWER. Avoid such men as these. Among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
We are in the last days, that is, the last days of the Church age. The Church age ends with the Rapture, and the age the disciples asked about in Matthew 24 ends at the Second Coming in Revelation 19. We see in verse 5 above (which I emphasized in CAPS) that men/teachers/people, in general, will have some sort of Christian profession, but it will be false because it is not connected to the truth of a relationship with God. We are in those days right now. I call it a spurious Christianity or spurious profession.
[B]. 2Peter 3:3-7 “Know this first of all, that IN THE LAST DAYS MOCKERS WILL COME with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation?’ When they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
Mockers – scorners – are everywhere today. The outside world is ever-increasing in its hatred of God and of His followers. We see it everywhere – on television, in godless homosexual Mardi-Gras, in Parliament, and so on. However, within the church system, there are men in high positions who are mockers of the fundamental tenets of the Bible, such as the virgin birth and creation and miracles, and so on. These are the liberals of the faith.
[C]. 1Timothy 4:1-3 “The Spirit explicitly says that IN LATER TIMES SOME WILL FALL AWAY FROM THE FAITH, PAYING ATTENTION TO DECEITFUL SPIRITS AND DOCTRINES OF DEMONS, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.”
That statement is so true. Many have fallen away and ascribe to fundamentally wrong doctrines, such as the loss of salvation if one sins, there is no hell, and the blood should not be mentioned. In the beginning, Satan corrupted the innocence of Adam and Eve, and after that, spread corruption through all God’s work. It is no surprise that the demons are at work negating the Bible and causing division through wrong doctrines.
SECTION 2 – THE SCRIPTURES ARE FUNDAMENTAL TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
Firstly, I will take you to a passage to try to establish the authority of scripture. Paul and Silas had spent probably not much more than 3 weeks in Thessalonica, and a fellowship was established. Then the Jews stirred up trouble, so – Acts 17:10-11 “The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.”
That is a crucial passage because we learn that even the words of Paul were put under the microscope to test their veracity, but what was the microscope? It was the Scriptures. That is inherent proof that the final arbiter was the Scriptures and that everything would stand or fall according to the inspired word of God.
The Bible must be our foundation, for it is sure and certain. As it is the very basis of our doctrine and faith, it goes without saying that Satan will attack the Bible, and liberalism is just one nasty aspect of that. The Bible is the foundation of our faith.
In my teenage years, we learned a chorus that has remained with me, though I have not heard it sung for over 50 years – sadly! This is it, first stanza and chorus –
The Bible stands
like a rock undaunted
‘Mid the raging storms of time;
Its pages burn
with the truth eternal,
And they glow
with a light sublime.
The Bible stands
though the hills may tumble,
It will firmly stand
when the earth shall crumble;
I will plant my feet
on its firm foundation,
For the Bible stands. (Thomas Haldor)
Because it is the FOUNDATION, then God uses the New Testament writers to confirm that to us. Three notable passages are these –
2Timothy 3:13-14 “Evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (These are understood in context to be the deniers of the scriptures. They will get worse with the passage of time. It is also true that there is an application to the secular world where men and women will become more reprobate and will proceed from bad this year to worse next year.
We see this very much now in politics worldwide.)
2Timothy 3:14 “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them.”
(Let us never forget that the Scriptures of the early church were the writings of the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi, so what is now being spoken of in Timothy covers that part of the holy word. The Old Testament is as relevant to us as it was to the early church. Reject the idea completely that the Old Testament is not important anymore. Paul says we must become convinced of those things, and surely the “major things” are original sin and death through sin, and the provision of redemption, and that takes us to Genesis. [Adam and Eve]).
2Timothy 3:15 “and that from childhood you have known the SACRED WRITINGS which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
(Paul calls Genesis to Malachi “sacred writings,” that is, “holy writings,” which is a correct term because the holiness comes from the Author of the Scriptures [see in Point 2, the Peter passage]. The only basis we have for our salvation and faith is the Scriptures, and if anyone starts to whittle away at God’s word, then everything ever written in the Bible is on uncertain ground because the will of man is deciding what is fact and what is myth. That is what liberals do – they arbitrarily choose what they want to accept and what they want to dismiss. Many of them will readily dismiss passages that speak of the roles of men and women, and of homosexuality, because they have seared consciences and hate the truth. Rather than face the truth of God, they take scissors to the Bible to satisfy their own sinful desires.)
2Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
(Verse 16 is the most highlighted verse in the Bible for the divine inspiration of Scriptures. We cannot fool around with God’s expressions. In that verse, He says “ALL” Scripture, not “SOME” Scripture. Genesis to Malachi was accepted by the early apostolic church without question as the fully inspired word of God, and everyone understood “ALL.” Only in the past 200 years have the liberals risen up like truth-eating termites, inspired by Satan, to oppose and deny the word of God. Before that, enemies added fanciful inventions to God’s word or misinterpreted it. We see that in all the additions of traditions that have entered the Roman Church.)
You remember that God told Adam that in the day (if) he ate the fruit, he would surely die (Gen 2:17), but a bit later, we have Satan telling Eve, “You shall surely not die” (Gen 3:4), a direct contradiction of God’s spoken word. It is of importance to note than when Satan approached Eve, he did not come out with a direct contradiction of the word of God but rather gained her trust, and then planted a doubt with a question. When Eve had entertained that, then he directly contradicted the words of the Lord. Liberals do that also. They use the same approach Satan used with Eve. That is one of the platforms of liberalism – subtle entry at first, and later on, a direct denial and contradiction.
The other thing they do is to truncate the word. Remember when the Lord was being tempted those 40 days in the wilderness, Satan came to Him in the 2nd temptation and said – Luke 4:10-11 “for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge concerning You to guard You,’ and ‘on their hands they will bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.’” However, Satan deliberately alters the emphasis of Scripture by omitting crucial words, for this is the quote from Psalms – Psalms 91:11 “He will give His angels charge concerning you to guard you IN ALL YOUR WAYS.” “In all your ways” is so important, for it is fully comprehensive. Satan deliberately alters the emphasis of Scripture by omission, and that is what liberalism also does. If you omit Adam and Eve from the Genesis account, then you destroy the matters of obedience to God’s word and the sinful corruption of the old nature, that man is a fallen creation.
POINT 2 – THE PART THE HOLY SPIRIT PLAYED
This second point, alluded to earlier, showed the part the Holy Spirit had in the formation of the Scriptures – 2Peter 1:19-21 “and so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, BUT MEN MOVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT SPOKE FROM GOD.” Although Peter mentions prophecy, it would cover all the Scriptures. And don’t forget that Moses was also a prophet and wrote the Pentateuch. Acts 3:22 “Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.’”
Moses’ writings are included in the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is beyond doubt that all Scripture is inspired by God, and the Author was the Holy Spirit. Any denial of any part of the Bible is to call God a liar when He has written for us all that was inspired by Him. That means the whole lot, Genesis to Revelation. God said He inspired it. The liberals say He didn’t!
POINT 3 – JESUS OPENS UP HIS OWN WORD
We need to go to the Emmaus Road to see this special passage – Luke 24:25-27 “He [The Lord] said to them, ‘O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in ALL the Scriptures.”
On that road, Cleopas and maybe his wife had the greatest Bible study in history. The Lord opened to them the Scriptures. He began at Moses, explaining to them all the things in Scripture concerning Himself. I have no doubt that he covered the fall of man through Adam in Genesis 3 and the redemption of man that followed after that, drawing all the teachings out of the Old Testament. Who better to do that, for He was the Creator and created all things, which included Adam and Eve, of course. Which man, true to the word of God, could deny these things?
Who better to explain the function of a house from the drawing board than the architect who designed the house. He knows every wall and every space. That is what the Master Architect has done. He knows every single word that makes up our Bibles because He was the divine Author. What a Bible study that was on the Emmaus Road!
PART 2 will follow.
The post Liberal Theology in the Churches Today: Part 1 :: By Ron Ferguson appeared first on Rapture Ready.