Recently my youngest daughter was doing the typical teenage thing and stayed out to late, did not sleep enough and hung around some friends who had strep…guess what?
She came down with strep.
We got her some antibiotics and after a rash and some sleep she was fine.
It began to illuminate to me something I see happening in the body of Christ, that frankly has been going on for a long time, and its time we looked at the sickness and the cure…there are some rather poisonous teachings that have become part of the current expression of Christendom and frankly it looks a lot like a teenager with strep
There is one particular theological virus that I have come to detest, and I see it affecting vast segments of the body of Christ in very detrimental and unhealthy ways…I call it the “the bad ending virus”…
There is a particular set of fictional books that ten years from now the majority of Christians will consider as demonic heresy, books whose primary focus is a really bad ending of the age.
There is also a very predominant heresy that describes the ending of Gods gifts be they spiritual (pneumatikos) or personages (Apostles/Prophets), an ending that supposedly happened somewhere around AD 100 when the last Apostle died.
One other strain of this particular doctrinal virus is what I would describe as “eschatological strep” that manifests as the infected see conspiracy’s, new world orders, the mark of the beast, and an intense fear of what might be coming any day now, and on and on etc…
I will make it plain:
Tim Lahaye (and his partner in fictional crime) needs to repent, the entire “Left Behind” series is a gross study in negligent theology, and Hal Lindsey needs to join them on his face for the inconsistent nonsense he’s been spewing out at a great profit for over 20 years.
The mismanagement of eschatology and the consequential theology that must be embraced in order to buy into the “Left Behind” series, as well as just about any Hal Lindsey book should make any clear thinking believer shake their head in embarrassment, a simple reading of New Testament eschatology will clear the air right quick as long as the believer is willing to trust that what is written by the early Apostles is what God meant.
But it isn’t simply bad eschatology that these works of fiction create, they also contribute to a general weakness in the challenge to disciple nations, which is what Christ has commanded us to do.
Jesus was quite clear about when the end would come he said in Matthew 24:14
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come”
…notice the little word “this” it is the Greek word “touto” and it is a demonstrative pronoun, referring to a specific and demonstrated “this”…in other words the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached and NOT SOME WATERED DOWN TRACT AND FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS kinda gospel that we’ve been dispensing for several hundred years.
If you are of the mindset that we have “preached the gospel as a witness to all nations” already, well I beg to differ, Jesus made it clear that there would be a “witness” to all nations that was based on the preaching of the gospel that HE preached…which included raising the dead, healing the sick, setting captives free and challenging the religious elite and political power houses of his day…we have yet to preach that gospel to every nation…but its coming.
It would be a very convenient deception to convince the church at large that the assignment Jesus gave us was impossible and that events would over-ride his mandate to disciple the nations…as I read the words of Jesus the end depends on a message not an event, the message being the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached, and as long as your escatology makes the ending depend on an event rather than a message you will fail to engage in the assignment with anything like real faith.
Let me say that again: According to the words of Jesus the end depends on a message that WE preach, NOT an event.
How can you declare that the kingdom of God is here the way Jesus declared it if you don’t believe it?
Simple answer is you cannot, and if you don’t believe it you will not demonstrate it.
I learned a long time ago that if you don’t believe in something , as a general rule you never experience it.
The denominational “Cessasionists” need to repent for filling the flocks ears with unbiblical positions that have no basis in biblical theology or historical accuracy, there is absolutely no evidence that the gifts of God, be they individual expressions of the Holy Spirit or be they ascension expressions of Christ’s victory as demonstrated in Apostles/Prophets/etc have ever or were ever designed to cease until He returns.
Again if you do not believe that Apostles and Prophets exist how will you ever experience them? Funny how the role of Pastor/Teacher/Evangelist (which comes from the exact same verse) did not cease to exist when the Apostles died off.
The same verse that validates the ministry of a Pastor validates the ministry of an Apostle and there is no biblical record that either office has ceased to exist, anyone who suggest it is being dishonest and they know it.
The same goes for the gifts of the Spirit, great movements have conveniently picked and chosen which gifts would remain, and damaged the scripture to prove it.
You don’t get to keep the gift of knowledge, or wisdom and reject the gift of tongues or prophesy…not without twisting the scriptures to meet your own unbelief.
If the thousand year reign of Christ in Revelation is literal, then so is the chain that binds the devil, because its in the same passage (Rev. 20:1-3) we don’t get to pick and choose as we like what part of the scripture applies to our view and what part does not, either the Word of God is the Word of God or it isn’t.
Which brings me to the final expression of this virus, the “escatological strep” version…I call it that because when you have strep everything you swallow hurts, and this particular strain of heresy sees the anti-christ in everything from innoculations to water supply. You can’t drink a soda or play video games since these are “of the world” and don’t even think about going to a movie or you will lose your salvation the minute you pay for the ticket, because as we all know the mind control of hollywood and the secret society that runs the world is so much greater than one who resides in you.
I am not making fun here, and I am also not saying that the anti-christ spirit does not exist, it does, but it is probably a lot different than we realize, it is primarily “against the anointed one”…and did you know that you have been anointed?
There is a simple cure for this virus…and it cures all strains…
Charis…(the greek word for grace) is also used for the gifts…and really Charismatics should be known as “Grace-a-matics” unfortunately we are not.
1 John 2:27 “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”
The word “anointing” is the word “chrisma” which is rooted on “charis” or grace…in other words you have received a gracing that teaches you ALL things…even things about the end…you already have the anti-body to the “bad ending virus” right inside you from the Holy Spirit…so stop believing in a really bad ending and start believing in the anointing inside you…
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
We have an assignment, Jesus told us to disciple NATIONS…did you get that?
Notice how long this assignment last…it takes until the “end of the age”…in other words Jesus gives us an anointing and an assignment with a promise that he would be with us until the very end…if your belief is that the assignment is optional to the end of the age, or that perhaps events are greater than the assignment and the anointing to accomplish it, I suggest that we believe the words of Jesus before we throw them out in favor of Hal Lindsey, Tim Lahaye and our own personal fears…
If you are suffering from some “bad ending” virus I suggest you take a little grace and get back in the game…nations are waiting to give glory to Jesus…and He is with you…especially when you are on assignment.