The Great Falling Away

2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 3 reads: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there comes a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." This great falling away is the falling away of people from the church to embrace doctrines that will seem attractive to the society in which we live, and will be a major deviation from the way of life that we are commanded to live by Jesus.

There will be people saying "popular" things like "Jesus is not the only way of salvation, He never claimed to be the Son of God or the saviour of the world, this was just over-enthusiastic writing by His disciples. If you lead a good life and are helpful to others then God would not send you to hell, there is no such place, if there is show me where it is then I will believe you."

All these things are from the devil, determined that your soul will perish in the eternal hell fire just like he will do for all eternity. What we are seeing now is the great falling away from the truth of scripture, where even some clergy are insisting that you donít have to believe in the virgin birth to be saved, or to believe that Jesus rose from the dead physically after His crucifixion.

These things are deceiving thousands in the world today who want to see political correctness applied to all religious beliefs. That is that they all lead to God and it does not matter which one you choose so long as you lead a good life then you are bound to get to heaven. Sadly this is what is now being taught in schools, universities and colleges pretty much all over the world, and the church seems to be doing very little to combat it.

Most people who go up into a pulpit on a Sunday Morning have no more idea of what God wants them to preach on than your pet cat. The reason for that is because like your pet cat they have never asked God what they should preach about on a Sunday Morning, consequently we have lectures on a passage of scripture which sounds like a good topic to preach on of a Sunday Morning although it has nothing to do with what God wants to say.

In most cases the reason for this is because the speakers have been trained in theological colleges and seminaries which teach the meaning of just about every Greek or Hebrew word that has ever been used and teaching about a intimate personal knowledge and fellowship with Jesus is very hard to find. In Jeremiah chapter 23 we see that there were many people like this in that Prophetís day.

Jeremiah chapter 23 verse 18 sums up this situation very well. "But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?" These things being the case what can we do about it apart from pray? Well there is plenty that can be done. There is a particularly important passage at the end of the story about the wedding at Caana where Jesus turned the water into wine.

John chapter 4 verses 3 to 11 read: "Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water" so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."

If that is a principle of God, (to save the best until last) and we read in the book of Acts that on one day 3000 people came to salvation in Christ Jesus, imagine what it is going to be like when God fulfils His promise to one day pour out His Spirit on all flesh?" We would have so many people arriving at church on a Sunday morning wanting to know the truth about Jesus, the virgin birth, the immaculate conception and His death and resurrection on that Sunday Morning that there will not be enough Ministers around to cope with the numbers.

Since we are there at the services they are going to ask us about these things, and if we say to them we believe that Jesus rose from the dead because the bible says so then they will go elsewhere in their search for the truth. It is clear from scripture why Jesus went to the cross, how He died and rose from the grave physically, if we do not know these things now then it would seem like a good idea to ask God to reveal them to you as you read through the whole of the bible this year.

Even if you do not refer to the New Testament, you can see from the books of Moses and the prophets how the plan was laid out that Jesus had to have a virgin birth, (if God is really His Father as scripture claims then He can only be The Son of God). The sacrifice that God required for the remission of sins in the Old Testament was that the sacrifice be unblemished, sin is a blemish in the eyes of God, therefore if Jesus had sinned He would be disqualified from being the sacrifice for our sin.

Further, if Jesus had a human father then like the off-spring of Adam He would have a sin nature, and on those grounds could not qualify as an unblemished sacrifice for our sin, and would mean that the death of Jesus on the cross was ineffective and that we are still in our sin, and under the wrath of God. If our good works could have saved us by outnumbering our bad deeds then the death of Jesus would have no meaning.

If Jesus had been an angel then He would not be able to forgive sin, since angels have never been given that authority, if Jesus were nothing more than a good man or a prophet then He must have had an earthly father and therefore a sin nature, so He could do nothing for us. Every day there seem to be more and more cults spring up, especially in America. Cult being defined as a belief based on theories not found in biblical teaching.

Every one of the cults (give them any other name that you wish) were started by a human being who had an earthly father, therefore disqualifying that leader from being able to provide his followers with a way to eternal salvation. By logic, since Jesus is the Son of God and His Father was the God Himself then He alone can provide salvation for all who believe in Him, therefore in fact proving that Jesus is the only way to salvation, just as He said.

Mary, the mother of Jesus was present whilst Jesus was on the cross, we know this from John chapter 19 verse 25 to 28 which read: "Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his motherís sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, "Woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Had the birth of Jesus not been the way it is shown to be in scripture Mary could have shouted out: "No, my son is innocent, he is not Godís son he is my son, you have the wrong man." The fact that she didnít do that can only mean that this is a further indication of the truth of the conception story. As for His resurrection from the dead one of the greatest independent witnesses we have today is the Turin shroud, the cloths wrapped around the body of Jesus.

This has now proven to be authentic, it shows the face of Jesus at the head, the blood streams from the nails that went through His hands and His feet, also the blood which flowed from His head when they rammed the crown of thorns into His sculp. It also shows the wound in His side from the spear of the Roman soldier on duty at the cross. The fact that the face of Jesus can only be seen in a negative photo shows that it is genuine.

People say "How could Jesus appear to more than 400 people at one time? Thatís easy, in those days there were Roman Theatres and Ampi-Theatres which could seat literally thousands of people at one time. Perhaps He did it bit by bit, appearing to people in their own homes whilst they were having a meal, either way more than 500 witnesses are certain that they saw Jesus alive after His resurrection. The Turin shroud proves them right.

Tens of thousands of people today have had a life changing experience claiming to have been brought about by them seeing Jesus at various times and in various places today. It is impossible for all these people to have been dreaming this same thing, and even more impossible for them to have had such a dream or vision at the same time as one another.

Galatians chapter 1 verse 6 to 9 inclusive gives a very good piece of advice to all of Godís true children, those who hold faithfully to Christ Jesus and what they were taught by and about Him. "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under Godís curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under Godís curse!"

There will be those who will try to draw you away from the truth, do not allow this to happen to you and then you will not be part of the great falling away. 1 John chapter 2 verses 22 and 23 makes the true position very clear. "Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist - denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also."

More and more false teaching is creeping into the church and into society, most of the time the church seems to be completely silent and ineffective on these matters, now that you have been reached with the truth, keep away from anyone who does not hold to it, or you may become part of the great falling away also, but if you remain faithful to true biblical teaching there is no danger of this happening, you will find favour with God forever.