By Mike Oppenheimer
The great rebellion is upon us; we see this in both the world and the church.
If we are in the middle of an apostasy—“the great apostasy”—as many of us believe, the only ones who survive are those who adhere to the Word, who love the truth (2 Thess. 2).
These are called the remnant. So who are the remnant?
Those who hold to the Word of God and try to live by it through the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s not about how successfully they do this, but it is a matter of their hearts and their willingness to press forward and resist the spirit of deception that is gaining strength in the world.
We are also told that at this time the love of many will grow cold. It’s many, not all. We see this taking place in every facet where people no longer have care for each other. They don’t listen to other people’s views, what they are going through. They have their minds made up before you say a word (this is especially seen in politics, a religion unto itself). Respect is gone as Paul wrote in his list in 2 Tim. 3 of what will be lacking or changed.
Love also contains within it doing good. That takes effort; doing sin and evil take no effort because it comes naturally to man.
True love protects; it takes action; it speaks out when it sees something is wrong. It does not turn away. Love that sacrifices the truth is not real love. It pretends to care, having kindness and compassion, but it is only “tolerance” disguised as love—a fake substitute.
Saying good is evil and evil is good will be indicative of the end times. It’s not like this has not happened before, for it has many times. As Isaiah says:
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isa. 5:20-21)
Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment? (Malachi 2:17)
And perhaps that is what “tolerance” is really all about. We can sum up this matter of tolerance as, seeing wrong but doing nothing about it. It’s like watching a crime taking place right in front of you, and you do nothing to lift a finger or say anything. Why? Because tolerance protects self. It allows one to make excuses that can be harmful to others. Those who hold to this philosophy of life believe they are acting in love in that they see themselves as accepting others.
How did we get to this point of mass confusion and having evil accepted and good scrutinized as bigoted and evil? Tolerance.
Today’s ecumenical tolerance in the name of love has caused many to depart from the truth, which has subsequently left it with little strength. One has to first be aware of what is taking place to be part of the solution. What the Lord said to the church in Sardis is applicable:
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die. (Revelation 3:2).
We may not be able to bring some things back to life, but we certainly can concentrate on what is left and protect it.
In a human body, each organ is dependent upon the others. If one organ gets unhealthy and shuts down, the other organs are affected. If left alone, not only will that organ shut down, but death many be imminent. Then, it becomes an emergency situation. It could have been treated earlier, but it was neglected. We are to defend Christ, protect His body (His church) from attacks without and within.
Mankind was created in God’s image and was therefore intended to bring this likeness to God into the family unit and to be a cohesive to the society that would be built around the family. But it did not make it past the first family as Cain killed his brother Abel.
The Dark Against the Light
Christianity, as a belief and as a way of life, is strong. It has lasted through the persecutions. It has endured what the enemy has used against it for centuries. There is always a remnant that withstands. Though fragile as individuals, they stand up against the enemy though they may lose their lives. As said, the seed of the church is built on the blood of the martyrs. For those in the faith, the world presses against them to acquiesce to not doing things God’s way; this is why so many of the faithful are facing suffering and death today.
There are so many open minded “believers” who say we can do other religious practices and still be “followers of Jesus.” Tolerance. They do not know that they have transported themselves onto the broad road. This is not like choosing to try a new ethnic dish of food from another country. Tolerance is like a sweet poison to one’s palate. We are to spiritually eat from the book God gave us—our bread of life is the Word. Not adhering to it makes one wishy washy—as the Bible says, lukewarm.
We live in the days of shadows where both light and dark mix, cold and hot as in the stream of Laodicea. This is what tolerance does to those who adopt its ways.
Tolerance brings compromise, which changes us. To be “tolerant” means one cannot hold to absolutes and must accept the statements of all others as valid. Tolerance synthesizes all beliefs as legitimate. This disengages one from truth, which is absolute. For worldly peacemakers, it is the way of least resistance in order to avoid any conflict in life.
As in the beginning, it will be in the end. Jesus said it will be like in the days of Noah for the second world judgment (the Tribulation) to occur. As in Noah’s day, all but one family was in rebellion to God and His ways. In like manner, first comes the apostasy.
As Paul writes:
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him. . . . Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2: 1, 3-4)
This falling away has begun, and as Paul describes, it will escalate until its zenith in the Tribulation when the Antichrist goes into the temple declaring himself God. In the meantime, we can choose whom we will serve. As for your house, whom will you serve?
Mike Oppenheimer is the author of several books and booklets as well as numerous lecture DVDs. You can read and order his materials on both www.lighthousetrails.com and his site, www.letusreason.org.
(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)