Saturday, March 19, 2016
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34 - NASV)
“Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division.” (Luke 12:51 - NASV)
These are the words of Jesus Christ.
Division? But why would Jesus want us to have division? Isn’t Christianity all about unity? The Bible is clear that God wants the Christian church to have unity (e.g., John 17:22; Acts 2:42-44; Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 Peter 3:8), but it MUST be unity in the truth. We can’t emphasize this enough. And we get truth from His Word (John 17:17). In the context of the opening verses above, Jesus is warning that we will have persecution when the gospel message changes our lives – and many times it’ll be within our own family.
Jesus said He would bring division because the pure gospel of Jesus Christ offends many. It is very exclusive because Jesus claims to be the ONLY way to God (John 14:6). And the gospel message should never be watered down just so we can hold hands with the people who are offended by it. The truth of the gospel will cause division. You can’t have light mixed with darkness, and you can’t have truth mixed with false doctrine. There must be conflict between truth and error.
So, if Jesus came to bring such division to assure the separation of truth and error… then why did Pope Francis say in his first prayer video on “interfaith unity,” that we are ALL children of God, “regardless of [our] religious profession”? That is simply not true. Apparently, this was said to avoid offending people, not because it is scriptural truth. We were all created by God, but we are certainly not all His children. And note the deceptive phrase that the pope uses, that these groups were “meeting God in different ways.” He seems to be implying that there are other acceptable ways to God, apart from Jesus Christ. At least, that’s what one would think from watching the video. See the article and video here:
By the way, each of the four people in the video (Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jew) present a symbol of their faith. But why would the Catholic priest (who is supposedly representing Christianity) present a baby as the symbol of Christianity? Why not a cross? It was at the cross that Jesus’ redemptive work was done, not when He was a child. Again, it seems that this was done to avoid offending the others. And should we be impressed by the fact that the four people in the video all profess, “I believe in God,” and then, “I believe in love”? Are we now supposed to get a warm and fuzzy feeling about the false teachings of Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist faiths and accept them wholeheartedly? No, if they deny the Son, they deny the Father as well (1 John 2:23). There’s the division that Jesus was speaking about.
And why did Pope John Paul II have several “prayer meetings” in Assisi, Italy, giving a platform for a voodoo high priest, witch doctors, Hindus, and others who deny the Son of God? They certainly don’t believe the same things that Christians do. But most importantly, they don’t believe what Jesus said in John 14:6:
“…I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”
There are no “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts” here. You are either saved by Jesus Christ alone, or you are not saved at all. There is no middle ground. This is a crucial, absolute, God-inspired statement made by Jesus Christ, with no leeway. You cannot join hands with these groups and, at the same time, be faithful to what He says in this verse.
Having said all this, it is not just the Catholic Church that is involved with this unholy ecumenical union. The danger of this deception applies to the church in general, not just to any single group or denomination. The Catholic Church (headed by the pope) is probably the most influential group that is supporting this movement. But, sad to say, there are also many Protestant / Evangelical people (even leaders) who are deceived by this dangerous trend, as well. Eventually, most will join this ecumenical gathering, putting aside sound doctrine in exchange for “unity.” It is this same spirit of antichrist that we see in Revelation. This coming together, this merging of religions, this ecumenical movement is the foundation upon which the one-world church is being built. By the way, if you haven’t caught on yet, this “one-world church” is a bad thing. This type of unity may seem to be the right thing to strive for (Proverbs 14:12), and it may appear to be some sort of solution to our problems, but it will only cause more confusion and apostasy – it is leading souls away from God. This merging is voluntary now, but it will be forced under the rule of the antichrist (Revelation 13:8, 12, 15).
Dialogue with people of other faiths is fine, and even necessary. And we should be patient and loving with them. But we should dialogue with the intent to win them over. We are not doing them any favors when we tell them that their religion is simply another path to God. We need to be honest with them. Letting them remain in false doctrine is not love. We must tell them the truth (Ezekiel 3:18-20; 33:6). According to John 14:6, if THEIR religious beliefs are true, then we, as Christians, are living a lie.
Sadly, many in the church today are readily accepting the fatal error of this ecumenical movement. They are being trapped in a “feel-good” system in which “love” and “tolerance” abound, a system in which biblical doctrine is tossed aside, and man tries to solve his problems in his own way, while ignoring and rebelling against God.
In conclusion, the Catholic Church is, spiritually speaking, not a safe place to be; but neither is any other church that promotes this kind of unity. A general rule of thumb is, if the whole world is attracted toward something, then there is probably something wrong with it. Just because something is trendy or popular doesn’t mean it is good. Such is the case here concerning the joining together of all the world’s religions. Let God’s Word (the Bible) be the test for all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Humbly and faithfully study His Word for yourself and it will not lead you astray.
“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17 - NASV)
“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 - NASV)