How to Know if Your Church Leadership is Grounded in God’s Word

preach Christ

Months ago, I wrote about a pastor from a Southern Baptist church in Richmond. He has gone the way of the Emergent church. He pastors a church of over 1000 people. He believes and teaches that the God of the Bible is the same as Allah. He is also bringing teachings and practices of the RCC into his church.  I spoke to him on the phone, and that did not go well at all. He was enraged with me that I would question his beliefs.

I had such a burden for his congregation. I wrote to his deacons and staff members. I showed them clearly that our God is not the god of the Qu’ran.  I never heard back from any of them. Now, I just pray for them.

I spoke with a board member of the Southern Baptist Convention. He told me that each Southern Baptist church is autonomous, and that they cannot control individual churches. I must say that his words saddened me greatly. I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the people who trust their leaders in churches, when their leaders are not following Jesus. How many are destined for hell because they trusted the pastor?

The Apostle Paul said:

“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

WHAT CAN WE DO?

If you are looking for a church home, it is imperative that you set up a meeting with the head pastor, and even some of the elders or deacons, and ask questions. It has never been more important to know what a pastor and his team believe about the Word of God.

If you are a part of a church, and you have a feeling that something is just not right, you too should speak, one on one, with your pastor and ask questions.  The believers in the church of Berea never simply believed what they heard. They searched the Scriptures to make sure that what they were told matched the Word of God.

“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:10-11)

DEMONS IN THE PULPIT

Taken from blogos.org

“Today, Satan and his entourage of demonic helpers stand unchallenged in many church pulpits around the world. Deception is Satan’s most powerful weapon against believers and would-be converts. He cloaks himself in the liturgical vestments of the clergy while using smooth oratory to win over undiscerning believers to doctrines of demons. He is an accomplished speaker, liar and deceiver. He is the master of disguise. From the very beginning of creation, he is the enemy of our soul and has used deception to change the truth about God into a lie. His burning passion for deception and destruction is relentless. His tactics are deadly and carry the sting of eternal ruin. The church needs to learn and understand just how skillful he is at deceiving believers through false doctrines, half truths, and counterfeit spiritual experiences.” [1]

I am placing a list of questions that should be asked. This is in no way an exhaustive list. Go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to show you important things to discuss with the leadership.

  • Do you believe that the Word of God is perfect and inerrant?
  • Do you believe that the Word of God is God-breathed, yet penned by men who were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?
  • Do you believe that the Bible is sufficient and that words should never be added to it, nor taken away from it?
  • Do you believe that God is not Allah?
  • Do you believe that there is only one way to get to heaven, and that is through Jesus Christ?
  • Do you believe that Eastern mystical mediation has no place in the church?
  • Do you believe that Yoga is not for the follower of Jesus Christ, since it is grounded in Hinduism?
  • Do you believe that the miracles in the Bible truly happened, and are not allegorical?
  • Do you believe that men and women are born into sin, and therefore need to repent and trust Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins?
  • Do you believe that homosexuality is an abomination unto God, and that we are to love the homosexual, but reject the lifestyle as sinful?
  • Do you believe that abortion at any stage of gestation is murder?
  • Do you believe in a literal hell, and that all of those who reject Christ will be in hell eternally?
  • Do you believe that Christ’s death on the cross was sufficient as payment for our sin, and that we, who believe, are no longer under the curse of the law; but that we are under the better Covenant of Grace?
  • Do you believe that Israel is still under the Abrahamic Covenant, and that a follower of Jesus Christ should not hate Israel, or the Jewish people?
  • Do you believe and teach the heretical belief in “Replacement Theology” – that Israel was replaced by the Church?
  • Do you believe that Jewish people need Jesus in order to be saved?
  • Do you believe that extra-Biblical prophecy is against God’s will, and that the Bible is sufficient and contains everything a follower of Jesus needs to know?
  • Do you believe and teach pre-tribulation Rapture, that the Lord Jesus will return in the clouds and take His people (the Church) to heaven with Him? (this is not the Second Coming)
  • Do you teach about End Times prophecy, and about the Tribulation?
  • Do you believe that we who follow the Lord should be sharing salvation with the lost?
  • Do you believe and teach that the Bible instructs that women should not be in a position of authority over men in the church; and that women should never be a pastor?

If you are a serious follower of Jesus Christ, and want to be sure that you are worshiping in a church whose foundation is the Word of God, then you will be proactive in this process. A true born-again Bible believing pastor will be overjoyed that you are being careful. He will gladly answer all of your questions.

Brethren, heretical teaching abounds, and it’s going to get worse. I pray that the readers of this piece will take this to heart.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Timothy 4: 3-4

Blessings in Christ.

MARANATHA

(read rest of article on blogos.org)

[1] http://www.blogos.org/keepwatch/apostate.html

Featured

How Can I Be Saved?

The Simple Plan of Salvation

I am asking you the most important question of life. Your joy or your sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. The question is: Are you saved? It is not a question of how good you are, nor if you are a church member, but are you saved? Are you sure you will go to Heaven when you die?

God says in order to go to Heaven, you must be born again. In John 3:7, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.”

Born again

In the Bible God gives us the plan of how to be born again which means to be saved. His plan is simple! You can be saved today. How?

First, my friend, you must realize you are a sinner. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

For all have sinned

Because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death. “For the wages [payment] of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This includes eternal separation from God in Hell.

“ . . . it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Judgment

But God loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin and die in your place. “ . . . He hath made Him, Jesus, Who knew no sin to be sin for us . . . that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

He who had no sin

Jesus had to shed His blood and die. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11). “ . . . without shedding of blood is no remission [pardon]” (Hebrews 9:22).

Lamb

“ . . . God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Christ died for us

Although we cannot understand how, God said my sins and your sins were laid upon Jesus and He died in our place. He became our substitute. It is true. God cannot lie.

My friend, “God commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). This repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross.

In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: “ . . . ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ’ ”

Believe on the Lord

Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior.

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

Whosoever

Whosoever includes you. Shall be saved means not maybe, nor can, but shall be saved.

Surely, you realize you are a sinner. Right now, wherever you are, repenting, lift your heart to God in prayer.

In Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed:
“God be merciful to me a sinner.” Just pray: “Oh God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him as my Savior. I thank You for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of Your merciful grace. Amen.”

Just take God at His word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church, no lodge, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it!

God’s simple plan of salvation is: You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and His gift of eternal salvation by faith.

You say, “Surely, it cannot be that simple.” Yes, that simple! It is scriptural. It is God’s plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as Savior today.

If His plan is not perfectly clear, read this tract over and over, without laying it down, until you understand it. Your soul is worth more than all the world.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Be sure you are saved. If you lose your soul, you miss Heaven and lose all. Please! Let God save you this very moment.
God’s power will save you, keep you saved, and enable you to live a victorious Christian life. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Do not trust your feelings. They change. Stand on God’s promises. They never change. After you are saved, there are four things to practice daily for spiritual growth:

Pray — you talk to God.
Read your Bible — God talks to you.
Witness — you talk for God.
Join a Bible Study — You will grow in your faith.
Develop relationships with other believers – Fellowship is so important!!

https://www.facebook.com/notes/geri-ungurean/the-simple-plan-of-salvation/10150559168742131?pnref=lhc

All Text taken from:  http://www.godssimpleplan.org/gsps-english.html

Catholicism and the Word of God

CATHOLIC 3After I was born-again from above, I was approached by a Catholic woman who had heard about my conversion. Actually, I don’t call it a conversion. I am Jewish, and when the Lord saved me, I became a completed Jew. Anyway, to this Catholic woman–I was a convert.
The mission of the woman was to help me see the light–in other words; she wanted me to become a Catholic. We went round and round, mostly about “Mary.” It became so obvious that this woman was worshiping Mary!

She called Mary Queen of Heaven, Mother of God, Blessed Mother, Immaculate Mary and Virgin Mary. Everything the woman was saying to me came straight from the Roman Catholic Church. Everything that I said to her came from the Bible. She did not feel that the Bible was a good source of information about Mary or Jesus. I was STUNNED!

I used Scripture whenever the woman made false statements. When I would say the name of Jesus, she would go right back to talking about Mary. She told me that this is what Jesus wanted; for people to go through His mother to get to Him. I told her that Mary had other children. I could hear her breathe in, as if she had been slapped.

“Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus” (Matthew 1:24-25).

Before I became a Christian, I had always thought that the holiest people in the world were Catholics. God opened my eyes to see that this was a facade in the Roman Catholic Church, which Satan used to his advantage. Everything was so beautiful with stained glass windows, statues of their saints, purple velvet, golden chalices; I could go on and on.

How could this NOT be the true church of the Lord?

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

As I thought about the birth of our Lord Jesus in a lowly stable, something about all of the obvious riches in the Roman Catholic Church did not seem genuine to me. Would Jesus want millions of dollars spent on huge, ornate buildings? It became apparent to me that this church had little to do with Jesus Christ, and everything to do with Mary and worshiping her. The more I learned about the Roman Catholic Church, the more it reminded me of the synagogue; traditions of men being taught as the truth–replacing the Word of God.

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

The devil takes a little bit of truth (Word of God) and twists it to deceive us. He did this to Eve in the Garden of Eden. He even tried doing it to our Lord Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus simply corrected and rebuked the evil one, using the written Word of God.

After the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, Satan did not waste any time building his own institution (the Roman Catholic Church), to make sure that people would remain lost in their sins. Before Lucifer was cast out of heaven by God, he was exalting himself to be like the Lord Most High. He wants worship!

He demands worship.

Graven Images

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Exodus 20:4).

The Roman Catholic Church is filled with statues of people who they claim did at least two or more miracles. These canonized people are called saints.

How does the Roman Catholic understanding of “saints” compare with the biblical teaching? Not very well. In Roman Catholic theology, the saints are in heaven. In the Bible, the saints are on earth. In Roman Catholic teaching, a person does not become a saint unless he/she is “beatified” or “canonized” by the Pope or prominent bishop. In the Bible, everyone who has received Jesus Christ by faith is a saint. In Roman Catholic practice, the saints are revered, prayed to, and in some instances, worshipped. In the Bible, saints are called to revere, worship, and pray to God alone. [1]

Salvation

In Catholicism, Mary is the co-redeemer along with Jesus. The people are taught that Mary participated with Jesus in His painful act of redemption. We know Who redeemed us–Jesus the Christ and no one else:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).

No mention of Mary in that passage of Scripture. Not once.

In Catholicism, Mary is the co-mediator, whom we can trust with all of our cares. The Bible says this about our mediator:

“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

Extremely clear, wouldn’t you say?

In Catholicism, salvation is sought after by good works and participation in the sacraments. I’ve never met a Catholic who has said that they are sure they going to heaven.

The Bible says this:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We are saved by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ on the Cross. It is a gift of God. It has nothing to do with our works. Good works should come naturally to a redeemed soul, but being redeemed is the work of God. We must believe Him.

The Bible

The priests in the Roman Catholic Church do not encourage the reading of the Word of God to its members. Well, I can see why! If the people begin to read God’s Word, they will see that the Roman Catholic Church is teaching doctrines contrary to the Bible. Then a Catholic person would need to make a choice: To adhere to Catholic doctrine and tradition or believe what they read in the Holy Word of God.

After my last article, I received an email from a woman who seemed frantic. She told me that she was a Catholic Christian. She said that her priest told the congregation that Allah is the same as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I assured her that is NOT the truth. I sent her two articles addressing this lie that is being perpetuated by false teachers.

In June of this year, the Vatican invited a Muslim cleric and a rabbi to pray together with the Pope. This smacks prophetically of a one world religion, and should alarm Christians everywhere.

I have to think that the priest telling his congregation the lie about Allah, is not a fluke. Perhaps the Vatican is telling Catholic priests to preach that Allah and the Lord God Almighty are one and the same.

Satan knows that the end is near.

Corruption in the Vatican

Anyone can search the history of the Vatican and find appalling corruption with each new pope. But nothing can compare with the Vatican during the reign of Hitler in Nazi Germany:

Why, it has been asked repeatedly, did the Pope not utter a solemn denunciation of this crime against the Jews and against humanity? . . . Why, it has been demanded, did he not give a clear moral and spiritual lead to Catholic priests throughout Europe? In June 1941, when the Vichy French government introduced “Jewish laws” closely modeled upon the Nuremberg Laws, the Pope responded to appeals from French bishops by stating that such laws were not in conflict with Catholic teaching. Later efforts by the British, Americans and Poles to persuade the Vatican to publish a specific condemnation of Nazi extermination of the Jews fell on deaf ears. The Pope, came the reply, could only issue a general condemnation of wartime atrocities. “A strong and openly voiced papal line might have silenced those Catholic bishops throughout Europe who actively and fervently collaborated with their Nazi masters.” –Ronnie S. Landou, The Nazi Holocaust, pp. 216-217

I cannot understand how a person who has been saved by our Lord Jesus, and begins to read the Holy Word of God, could remain in the Roman Catholic Church. The only reason I could see a person remaining there, would be if they felt the leading from God that they were to share the message of salvation with other Catholics. I still think that a person such as this should seek out a place of worship where God’s Word is preached boldly.

Brethren, we are to obey God. He has given us all that we need in His Word. We are to be as the Bereans were–searching the Scriptures to see if what we were told is so.

The evil one is always standing by to confuse and lie to us!

“But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

MARANATHA!

Blessings in Yeshua.

Endnotes
[1] gotquestions.org