So where are we now, as Christians? Where is Christianity in the great continuum of belief systems?
I’ll tell you where it is – it’s exactly where Judaism was when Jesus showed up to destroy it for being a pile of hogwash that had no connection to God’s Word and was based on “doctrines of man” rather than God’s principles. That’s where Christianity is today – based on doctrines of man. And just like the Jews in Jesus’ day thought that being Jewish (that is, being children of Abraham) was enough to give them entrance to God’s Kingdom, most Christians today also think that being Christian and “having faith” is enough to win them a one-way all-expenses-paid forever holiday in Paradise. They believe this because that’s what they’ve been taught to believe, even though it’s not in the Bible.
I know most of you don’t want to hear this, but nearly everything you’ve been told in mainstream Christian churches is a lie. You’ve been lied to by people who are not born again, don’t know God as their Father, aren’t filled with God’s Holy Spirit, and don’t follow Jesus as their example. How can they possibly teach you God’s Truth if they don’t know God and don’t have God’s Spirit to guide them?
For example, let’s look at marriage. Was Jesus married? NO. Jesus said that those who are worthy of the Kingdom neither marry nor are given in marriage. One of the first things that Jesus’ disciples did when Jesus called them was to leave their spouses. And yet mainstream Christianity promotes the primacy of “family” based on the “holy family” and the importance of pastors being married and having children.
How did it get like this? How did mainstream Christianity become the OPPOSITE of what Jesus taught? How did mainstream Christianity become anti-Christ?
I don’t believe that most pastors set out to teach lies or that most Christians set out to believe lies. But there’s a very proud spirit of offence that’s settled over mainstream Christianity that frames any kind of criticism or correction as “judgment”. If you point out to someone that he or she is not born-again, you’ll likely be accused of “judging” them. The proper response would instead be, like Nicodemus, to ask how to become born-again, but most Christians just get offended and turn away. This is the same spirit of offended pride that blinded the Jews and prevented them from receiving Jesus as the Messiah.
At the same time, people are perpetually tempted by the world and lured into the world’s way of thinking. I heard a pastor a few days ago claim that Christians are walking, talking advertisements for God. The idea was that non-Christians would see Christians being happy, healthy and prosperous and would want to be the same and so become Christians. But Jesus told us that the world will hate us without cause and that we’ll be persecuted, and Paul said that the world considers the Gospel message to be “foolishness”. If we’re genuinely born-again and following Jesus and genuinely teaching the Gospel message, the world will despise us, not want to be like us. Again – these doctrinal errors come from a place of pride (wanting people to admire or even envy us) as well as a reliance on doctrines of man rather than scripture.
So what happens next? Where do we go from here? If Christianity has become a parody of itself the same way that Judaism became a parody of itself 2000 years ago, how can Christianity be redeemed? The short and plain answer is: It cannot. If most Christians prefer lies (“every Christian goes to Heaven”) to God’s Truth (only those who are born-again and endure to the end will be saved), then lies they’ll get. Jesus says to let the blind lead the blind into the ditch. They have chosen their path and God honors their free-will choice, even if it leads them straight to Hell.
But for those who hunger after God’s Truth, the Way is still there. Scripture tells us that there will only be a small “poor and afflicted” remnant in the end times who will cling to God, and he will be their God, and they will be his people.
I personally do not believe that Christianity can be redeemed. I believe it will morph into something even more anti-Christ than it is now, just as Judaism morphed into the twisted paranoid mess it is today. There will be no world-wide revival of God’s Word within mainstream Christianity, no matter what the tele-preachers tell us. However, I do believe that God, as scripture tells us, is pouring out his Spirit for all to receive, and that those few who choose to receive it will have exceptional spiritual strength. Paul warned us about the “falling away” that will occur before the coming of the “man of perdition” that precedes Jesus’ return, and Jesus himself asked whether he’ll find any faith left on Earth when he returns. We are living the falling away now.
If you want to be one of the very, very, very few who are counted worthy of God’s Kingdom and whose names are written in God’s Book of Life, you need to get out of mainstream Christianity. You need to be born-again and you need to follow Jesus. That means you need to live your life as Jesus lived his, making the same choices he did. That means not being married (or, if you’re married, to separate from your spouse), not owning any possessions beyond those you need for your daily life, and teaching people about the Kingdom based on God’s Word and principles, not on doctrines of man. These are all non-negotiable.
If Jesus chose not to marry, then we should choose not to marry. If Jesus chose not to have possessions, then we should choose not to have possessions. If Jesus chose to teach the Gospel message outside the mainstream synagogues, then we should choose to teach the Gospel message outside the mainstream churches. It’s all very simple. We should follow Jesus’ example in everything we do. He showed us how: All we need to do is do it, and do it now.