If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.(Revelation 14:9-11)
One of the nightmares of living in this age, is the burden of having to witness the steady accommodation of the seeming leaders of the Evangelical and Pentecostal movements to the world spirit.So much of evangelicalism has allowed pastors who value “relevance”, to the point of actually denying Christ.
To many faithful members of the churches, it must seem as though the former verities have collapsed, one after another, as so many of the notable leaders have accepted and defended the unthinkable and indefensible. Hell and Judgment are being denied, as ‘relational evangelism’ replaces the old “courtroom model” of the book of Romans. (Everything is about ‘relationships” right?)!
Feminism has long been accommodated in the churches, in the ordination of women, as has humanistic psychology in the teaching, counsel and qualifications for ministry.
Recently spectacles such as the joint services between Christians and Islamics, (Chrislam), have become almost common place in some circles. Willow Creek church which has impacted tens of thousands of evangelical churches around the world, allowed an Imam to speak in the pulpit following 9-11, Who would have imagined that twenty years ago?
There is also a trend among toned down “hipster” churches, for pastors to speak “frankly” about sexual matters, in a way which would have been unthinkable 30 years ago among christians. The public language and humor of these ministers has gone beyond what once could have been considered marriage counseling, into what can only be considered coarse, vulgar, and even lewd.
Who would have dreamed that one day evangelicals would form outreach to practicing homosexuals, such N.A.L.T.? (Not At all Like Them, in other words we are compassionate Christians who accept practicing homosexuals, and not at all like the anti gay Christians of old)!
This isn’t an outreach to get those struggling with the sin of homosexuality, rather it is an evangelical project to show empathy and acceptance of Gay, Lesbian and Transgender people, in the name of Jesus!
We are warned in the book of Revelation 13 that a time would come when the “Beast” would be allowed to “make war on the saints and to overcome them”. Jesus warned that “if possible, even the very elect would be decieved…”.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.(Matthew 24:24-25)
Who would have ever imagined the mockery and denial of Hell in a christian church? Christian and Muslims worshipping together? Christian pastors apologizing for ‘judging’ homosexuals? Where does it end?
One wonders, wearily, What next? How could once thriving churches have possibly succumbed to such evil in the face of clear warning? What does this tell us about what to expect?
If it would have been unthinkable thirty years ago to predict that evangelical churches would seek peace and accommodation with Mosques, or would have outreach to encourage practicing homosexuals, what else remains unthinkable? What else is there to compromise, redefine, and explain away?
Evangelicals are currently being told that there is another side to the Israeli,Palestinian conflict, and that the compassionate stance is to take the side of the (so-called) Palestinians, and denounce Israel. (After all Israel is Western and we all know that is BAD,BAD,BAD!)!
Ever notice that the pastors and leaders who are leading so many in this accommodation to evil, are trying to come across as the “compassionate, understanding, responsible adult leaders”, as opposed to the other old-fashioned, judgmental evangelicals?
I predict that soon the time will come when some Evangelical leaders will again try to be the “compassionate, responsible adults” and counsel their sheep to go ahead and take the Mark of the Beast, that we shouldn’t worry about it, that life is not a Chick tract, and perhaps , that it would even be a good witness, showing the world that we christians,(at least not all of us) aren’t stuck on the negative interpretations of the Apocalypse that our evangelical forefathers once held.
Just remember this; An angel of God himself will fly through the skies to warn men, that whoever takes that Mark for any reason whatsoever, is utterly and irrevocably damned.
Recieving the Mark is the final accomodation to Evil. To take the Mark is in God’s sight, (That is the perspective that matters) an act of false worship, idolatry, and a taking of sides with Evil against Truth and Goodness, in the person of God and His Messiah, the Lamb, Jesus.
Long before the Mark of the Beast decision is thrust upon us, there are a thousand little decisions to confess or to deny Christ, and they are being made everyday by Christians around the world.Every accommodation to evil in the issues of our day, condition people, and even predispose them to succumb to the ultimate accomodation, and to commit the “Great transgression”.
The same reasoning that allows confessing Christians to accept the unacceptable now, will come into play in an ultimate sense then.We must prayerfully understand our times, our unique trials and pray to the Lord daily, “Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from Evil!”.