By Mark Swarbrick
Scripture teaches that throughout time, and particularly during the last days, there will be an apostate Christian church that coexists at the same time as the biblical Christian Church. In the end times, this apostate church will condone and promote sexual immorality, will support the Antichrist, and will persecute true Bible-believing Christians. Although this church will call itself Christian, the Bible refers to this church as a prostitute.
Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has set you overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with the own blood. I know that after my departure, grievous wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock, and out from your own selves, men will rise up, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:28-30
For many will come in my name…and they will lead many astray…And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. (Matthew 24:3-11)
And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. Revelation 17:3-4
And to the angel of the church in Sardis write…I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Revelation 3:1-3
A church that has become apostate has moved away from Christ and His teachings. To identify if a church is apostate or moving towards apostasy, one should examine the following factors:
- Are they leading people to Christ? Do they have altar calls? Do the sermons preached on Sunday appeal to people to turn from sin, repent, and turn their lives over to Jesus? Do they teach that one must be born-again, or do they teach against it? Are they leading people to think that they will be right with God by just joining their church? Are they firm in their position that Jesus is the only way of salvation? Do the ministers talk about how they came to Christ? Do they make submitting to Jesus a central focus? A healthy biblical church is a soul-winning church.
- Does the church condone homosexuality, transgenderism, and fornication? Do they warn people and tell them what the Bible says about these sins? Do they proclaim the need for people to turn from sin and come to Jesus to be saved? A healthy biblical church is a righteous church.
- Do they teach salvation by works? Do they say, just join our church, and all will be well? Or do they really encourage people to repent and turn their life over to Christ? A healthy biblical church teaches salvation by grace through faith.
- Do they believe that the entire Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God? Or do they teach that part of it is fables and that men evolved from a monkey’s uncle? A healthy biblical church does not teach fables or fake science but instead proclaims the truth from Genesis to Revelation.
- Do they encourage their people to read the Bible every day? Do they teach the people that even the church authorities are subject to God’s Word? Do they teach that if any minister of their church teaches anything contrary to the Bible, they are wrong and the Bible is correct? Do they put themselves under the authority of the Bible, or do they put themselves above the Word of God? A healthy biblical church submits to the authority of the Bible.
- Has the church abandoned preaching the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ in favor of promoting worldly philosophies such as socialism, communism, wokeness, political correctness, cancel culture, social justice, critical race theory, gender identity politics, global warming, environmental wacko-ism, one-world globalism, and other political myths and doctrines of demons that are counter to the teachings of the Bible? A healthy biblical church discounts worldly philosophies and instead focuses its teaching and practices on bringing people to the Lord Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible.
- Do they believe that people from all Christian denominations who have turned their life over to Jesus are Christians, or do they teach that they alone are the one true church? A healthy biblical church recognizes and respects other biblical Christian churches and holds that anyone who has given their life to Christ is saved, regardless of where they attend church.
- Do they condone the murder of babies? In other words, do they teach that abortion is acceptable, or do they teach the truth of God’s Word – that abortion is murder and is equivalent to child sacrifice to the pagan god Molech of the Old Testament, a practice the Bible condemns as vile, destable, and wicked. 1 John 3:15 says, “no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” A healthy biblical church teaches that God wrote into stone, “Thou shall not murder,” and therefore opposes the murder of infants, which is child sacrifice to the god of convenience. The Bible teaches that an unborn baby in the womb…
- Can feel joy (Luke 1:43)
- Can be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:15)
- Is a living person that should not be murdered. (Exodus 21:22-25)
- Has a soul or spirit that is placed inside the body of the unborn baby before birth (Ecclesiastes 11:5)
- Has a body that is knit together in the womb by God and that “what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” (Mark 10:9).
We can see the beginnings of this false church taking shape today. Many mainline denominations are ordaining homosexuals to ministry. They support abortion, Marxism, leftist political ideas, and deny that people need to come to Jesus and be born again. They have replaced the gospel of salvation in Jesus with worldly leftist philosophies. The Bible says that we should have nothing to do with this false religion.
For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness…Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you…” 2 Corinthians 6:14-17