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Revival or Religious Apostasy? September 18, 2009

Posted by Henry in False Doctrines.
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We live in an age where churches are growing up rapidly on literally every street corner and talk of revival echo from Christian TV channels across the globe but are we really seeing a revival? Is there a scriptural basis to support such an idea? Many of course would argue that we live in the “last days” but if this is so does scripture support a latter day revival?

It is important that we heed the warning of scriptures and not be swayed by every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14) but we have a responsibility to test every spirit to see if they are of God or not (1 John 4:1). In the name of “dwelling in love” and not seeking to judge however, many have become complacent and compromising with regards to these warnings. As a result of this many false prophets have entered into the church claiming to “hear from God” on matters such as revival and many accept them in with open arms. If we look at the case of Paul in Berea (Acts 17:11) however, we see that although he was a genuine minister from God the Jews did not readily accept his words on his say so but “searched the scriptures daily to see if those things were so”.

Many Christians have forgotten that one of the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit is discernment (see 1 Cor 12:10), yet many would say we should not judge or call a minister into question but to leave it to the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth and impose any sanctions on the individual’s ministry. This position is taken supposedly so as not to “cause division among the brethren”. If this is indeed the correct posture to hold why then was the gift of discernment given? Evidently the gift of discernment was given with the intent that it should be exercised by the Church along with all other gifts for the edification of the whole church. In Paul’s encounter with the Bereans, for example, he counted them as being “more noble” than they of Thessalonica because they exercised discernment by comparing his message to scriptures. How much more should we as Christians exercise discernment?

Many “new age prophets” and “anointed men of God” have been declaring a “new outpouring” which they claim is the “new move” of God but on close examination of their doctrine we can see that they are not in line with scriptures. On hearing these things, a question that one should ask oneself therefore is whether the Holy Spirit could declare things that are not in accordance (and even contradicts) the written Word! The interesting thing about it though is that these “new age prophets” are the ones that are amassing huge gatherings culminating into mega-churches. On the face of it this might seem like revival to the undiscerning. After all, church growth and revival amounts to the same thing doesn’t it? But if the message of Christ isn’t being preached in these places and souls aren’t being saved then we have a serious problem. Scripture has warned us many times that in the last days many false prophets shall arise and shall deceive MANY (Matt 24:11,24)! Are we therefore mistaking a growing deception of religious apostasy for revival?

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