by Understand the Times with Roger Oakland
The emerging church movement has the potential to reshape or redefine Christianity, as many of its leaders claim it will. While some say these changes are comparable to those that took place during the 16th century reformation, the emerging church reformation is actually a reversal of what occurred in the past. Rather than pointing the lost to the Word of God and out of an apostate church, many are being led to dogmas, traditions, and extra-biblical experiences.
While there will be a remnant that will hold true to the Scriptures, these Bible-believing Christians will be a minority. As has always been the case throughout the history of the body of Christ, persecution and ridicule await those who refuse to accept Kingdom Now and utopian theologies. As the world prepares for the man of peace, those who hold fast to a biblical view of the end times will be seen as trouble-making oddballs and a menace to society and world government.
As the world becomes more and more resentful toward Israel, the view that the church takes the place of Israel, leaving Israel no prophetic significance (replacement theology), will become increasingly accepted within Christianity at large. Those who believe the Book of Revelation predicts an apocalyptic future will be considered a danger to society and the well-being of this new kingdom of God.
The ecumenical nature of the emerging church indicates the process to reunite with Rome has already begun. As many embrace experience-based spirituality through the promotion of contemplative/mystical prayer, what we know right now as the Christian faith (based upon God’s Word) will transform to a faith based on subjective experiences.
Manifestations of the spiritual dimension will appear, and deceptive signs and wonders will abound. More attention will be paid to Mary, the Mother of the Eucharistic Jesus. Appearances of this Jesus will manifest around the world accompanied with healings and other miraculous phenomenon.
Finally, these lying signs and wonders will be so effective, and the majority of the world’s people so seduced through meditative states, that the world’s religions will come together for the cause of peace. The new Christ, or as Alice Bailey calls him, the “Coming One,”1 will be established in the name of God, and he will expect all to bow down to him and worship him.
While we live in spiritually dark times, and it appears the majority of people do not discern the signs of the times or the magnitude of the deception, the Lord is faithful to His church. Though what is happening may seem overwhelming, we have the Bible and the Holy Spirit to guide us in all wisdom and truth. The light of God’s Word penetrates the darkness, and those who are being delivered from deception see what is taking place. Those of us who see must continue to proclaim the truth in strength and with love. As Paul instructed Timothy:
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (II Timothy 2:24-26)
There are still pastors and churches dedicated to proclaiming the truth. Find out where they are and support them. If you are in a location where this does not seem to be possible, seek out materials that are available from solid Bible-based Christian ministries and hold Bible studies in your homes.
When Jesus returns, He will not find a utopian world filled with peace but one in shambles, unrest, violence, and war for having forsaken the Word of God, the true Gospel, and the One true God. Rather than being a time when He will praise the world for discovering its christ-consciousness, He will come as a Judge and powerful King….
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (II Timothy 4:1-5)
The Lord, through His Word, warned us that perilous times would come. But He also made it clear that the church of Jesus Christ would survive in the midst of great deception and attack on the Christian faith. In a profound discourse between Jesus and His disciples, Jesus assured them of this very thing:
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:13-18)
The Lord is faithful to uphold His church. Keep looking to Him–He is coming soon!
1. Alice Bailey, The Reappearance of the Christ, p. 5.