By Ron Graham
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
I Corinthians 3:11
Cement building blocks, mortar, and rebar do not a house make. Building a home takes great planning and knowledge. Anyone can build a home if they have the essential building blocks such as the tools, abilities, finances, and if married, a very strong marriage. Once the home builder has all the items mentioned above, including professional architectural drawn plans for the house, he must know how, and where to begin. For example if he begins with building the walls the house will have a tough time standing. First there needs to be a foundation for all else to be built upon. Once the homes foundation is established and the cement or bricks cured, the walls, roof, and all the rest go up. If any of the first steps are skipped the house will not last very long. There is no skipping the essentials when building your house.
Similarly, God being the grand architect laid the plans for building His Church. God had to start with a foundation. Of course we know that that foundation is Jesus Christ. God entered His creation and became a man. Even though He was fully man, He was also fully God. Jesus our Savior took on the responsibility of becoming the foundation of His Church. Without Jesus Christ as our foundation, the body, that is the Church, would crumble. No foundation, no firm underpinning, no stability, will eventually lead to a complete collapse of the structure the home builder is attempting to construct. Be it a house or the Christian Church the collapse is inevitable without the foundation.
In the days when Jesus walked the shores of Galilee He explained to His disciples that others would come claiming to be the Christ, claiming to be that foundation, and that they weren’t to believe or follow them. “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many,” Matthew 24:4, 5. Matthew records Jesus repeating this warning, which was actually a command, four times. Do you think it’s important? Christ’s admonishment here is also directed to His end times Church.
Well, we all know what has happened over the past two thousand years; many false Christ’s have come and many are with us even now. They’ve all declared that they alone are endowed with the truth, deceiving many as they go about their destructive teachings. Today the Holy Bible is printed in just about every earthly language. Bibles have been printed and distributed to all four corners of the globe. Bibles are available in all free countries and have been smuggled into every communist country. But where is the end times deception more blatant than right here in the U.S.? For a country with all our resources, with the intelligence of the populace, and the Bibles that are so readily available we are one of the most deceived nations in the world.
It’s remarkable to me that people here in our country are still being deceived and led away from the true foundation. It’s difficult to watch and keep silent about the deceptions as they become more and more blatant, and even though many see the false teachers for what they are there are still multitudes more being led right into the great apostasy seemingly unaware of the consequences.
We can watch the charlatans on TV, or listen to them on the radio, or even watch them on YouTube now on the internet. It seems everywhere we look fraudulent evangelists continue to spread their deceptions over the entire world. There are those who are trying to expose these false teachers, bringing into the light the one true foundation, but many would rather believe a lie than the truth. Recently I’ve read some scathing indictments by those who are being deceived as they stand up for their false teachers and vigorously defend them. When I say vigorously, I mean they pull no punches with their attacks aimed at fellow Christians who are only trying to remind them of Jesus’ words.
Jesus is the foundation of our faith. We are nothing without that foundation. Born again believers should be more than willing to study the word of God to show themselves approved, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” 2Timothy 2:15, “For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 1Timothy 2:3. We are here on this earth as a witness to the ones who fail to see the truth, but also as watchmen on the wall to be diligently speaking up against the unbiblical teachings no matter from what direction they come. Surprisingly, we see many Christian leaders today being deceived and in turn deceiving others.
This deception isn’t just on television programs where some evangelist is performing various weird gyrations, which we don’t see Jesus or the Apostles doing. No, this same deception is coming into our own community churches. We must be diligent to watch for subtleties that can come in and go undetected. Suddenly we arrive at church one Sunday morning to find unbiblical changes have been made, such as prayer labyrinths, prayer stations, and prayer mantras being chanted by strangers. Worst of all this deception has replaced our Lord Jesus as the center of our worship. When Jesus is no longer welcomed in our building alas, no more foundation, and when we have no foundation, what happens to the Church? It crumbles and disappears.
Does this scenario scare you? Does this seem impossible for you and your church? Over the last couple of years I have read of many instances where the above scenario has happened in once Biblically sound churches. Men I once had the utmost respect for have turned out to be some of the biggest disseminators of these falsehoods. Just today as I am writing this commentary I was on a website that I frequent. There was a question posed about the emerging church and contemplative spirituality. The person wanted to know if they should leave their Church because of the deceptionthey saw coming in and being taught. The answer was a resounding yes. Did the poster of that question ever think that such false teachings would at some point enter their Church? Probably not. They had enjoyed the fellowship with that congregation for seven years. The attachments that have grown out of that fellowship would be very difficult to dismiss, but the warm fuzzies we acquire from being with our brothers and sisters in Christ on Sunday mornings, is only secondary to our service to Christ. We must be true to the true foundation of the Church. The new false teachings in that congregation will eventually result in the replacement of the true foundation which of course is Christ Jesus our Lord.
The warnings are numerous in the word of God. Remember God sees the beginning and He sees the end of all things and He sees these two ends at the same time. This is because God isn’t restrained by the dimensionality of time as we humans are. He put these warnings in His word so when they began to raise their ugly head we (born again believers) would be completely familiar and ready to combat them “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine,” 1Timothy 4:13. The problem is many Christians have moved away from a routine of studying their Bibles and have replaced their routine with other things that are more exciting, more fun, which has created a more laissez-faire attitude towards the word of God.
Only by being diligent in our Bible studies can we offset this cancer that seems to be infiltrating many congregations today. I say cancer because, just like cancer in a person’s body, it is usually so far advanced when discovered that there is no stopping it short of some extreme measure such as cutting out an entire section where the cancerous body is entrenched.
Jesus taught us about false Christ’s, and Paul instructed us to always be watchful for the false doctrines that will creep in, “Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day [about the great apostasy] with tears” Acts 20:31, as did the Apostles Peter, James, Jude, and John. As a result, what we see happening in this country as well as many other countries around the world can’t be blamed on anyone but those who have eliminated the foundation, which is Christ. They have been led astray by what Paul describes as those who seek after teachers who will teach them what they want to hear instead of adhering to sound doctrine. “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
ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables,” 2 Timothy 4:3, 4.
In my humble opinion the Christian Church is coming apart at the seams. Jesus Christ is our foundation, but if the foundation is removed from the Church what is left to base our faith and belief on? Many Christians today would rather sit back and wait for the rapture of the Church than to get involved in a Biblical ministry that would be beneficial to the body of Christ. We’re told to occupy until He comes. Yes, we are only sojourners in this world not earth dwellers; this world is not our home. Certainly though, we can do more than just sit back and wait for things to either get better or for someone else to pitch in and straighten everything out. We can get involved, we must get involved. Christians who don’t speak out against the evil and satanic falsehoods attacking the Church will reap what is being sewn.
Of course there is always the opposite side of the coin. There are those believers who expect a great revival to usher in the New Church Age with a new world mostly made up of Christians. They expect this to be the strongest and most influential Christian Church of all times as they usher in a utopian kind of new world order where all violence, hatred, and manner of sin will be eliminated. This utopian age theology is better known as Dominion Theology and the main problem with it is it’s not Biblical. When we study our Bibles we see a completely different scenario unfolding in the last days. The true Church with its foundation in Christ in the end times will become quite weak, almost pathetic in its abilities to influence the culture around us, “…for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name,” Revelation 3:8.
The big influence in the end times will be the apostate Church – the Church of Laodicea if you will. This Church will not include Jesus Christ in any of its programs of works and unbiblical teachings. The reason will be that Jesus is too exclusive, too ridged, too old fashioned, and way too single minded for the new Church of the apostate. In the Book of Revelation Jesus address seven Churches, some with exaltations and condemnations, some with exaltations only, and others with condemnations only. The last four Churches He address are the Churches remaining at the end of the age and just before the 70th week of Daniel begins. The true believers remaining in the Church will be few and far between.
The true Church belonging to Jesus Christ will probably be forced underground as we move ever closer to the end; it’s the generation of the apostate Church that will occupy the buildings above ground. Be assured there will be a remnant holding fast to the faith and standing firm on the true foundation that is Jesus Christ our Lord. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity,” 2Timothy 2:19.
It seems I’ve painted a very depressing picture of the last days Church and the remnant occupying until He comes. When we neglect our Bibles we neglect our God. When we neglect our God, we neglect our station as believers. When we become so negligent in standing up for the Gospel of Christ that the false doctrines of the Nicolaitans (the clergy that lords over their flocks) overtake the Church, we then have no one to blame for the demise of our society but ourselves. The apostate Church will become as fools, instead of followers of Christ watching tirelessly for the coming evil.
When we stand before our Lord after it is all said and done, what will our excuse be as we are wallowing in a flood of tears and lying completely prostrate in the presence of our Lord Jesus? Will we hear the awesome words, “Well done my good and faithful son, enter into the rest of your Lord” or will Jesus remind us of how we failed Him as defenders of the foundation of His Church?
When you and I remain in that state of ignorance concerning His word, we give rise to all forms of falsehoods entering into the body of Christ. It’s Satan’s agenda to destroy the foundation of the Church, and those who are proclaiming these falsehoods are ultimately, knowingly or not, in cahoots with God’s enemy himself. All I can say is shame on us for our lack of discernment through our deplorable lack of knowledge concerning His word.
God… please forgive us for our ignorance when it comes to your word. Forgive us when we remain silent as the false teachers take over, and God please forgive us for allowing this generation to become the generation that ushers in the apostate Church.