(The following is a tongue-in-cheek article e-mailed to our good friend Johnny Angel, and the article that follows was his reply).
1. Avoid riding in automobiles because they are responsible for 20% of all fatal accidents.
2. Do not stay home because 17% of all accidents occur in the home.
3. Avoid walking on streets or sidewalks because 14% of all accidents occur to pedestrians.
4. Avoid traveling by air, rail, or water because 16% of all accidents involve these forms of transportation.
5. Of the remaining 33%, 32% of all deaths occur in hospitals. So…above all else, avoid hospitals.
BUT…You will be pleased to learn that only .001% of all deaths occur in worship services in church, and these are usually related to previous physical disorders. Therefore, logic tells us that the safest place for you to be at any given point in time is at church!
…And…Bible study is safe too. The percentage of deaths during Bible study is even less.
So…for SAFETY’S sake—Attend church, and read your Bible.
IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Okay, like most of the things we accept, this is seemingly innocent enough. But let’s take a closer look, shall we?
While it may be true that church is the safest place for our physical bodies, we know that it is our spiritual being with which we should be concerned. Our bodies are degenerating while we still inhabit them (II Corinthians 4:16) and are going to die, sooner or later.
The part that will survive is our soul. The soul is the part we need to worry about keeping safe! To do this we need to be assured that we believe the correct doctrine that was expressed to us by our Creator. It is this belief that makes us safe and keeps us safe spiritually throughout this life, and also throughout the life to come.
Okay, so where do we get this correct doctrine? At church? Which church? Some Baptists teach that you are saved and sealed by water baptism. Our Church of Christ friends teach you can lose your salvation if you don’t ask for forgiveness for each sin. Meanwhile Roman Catholics say you need to be faithful to the Church and can be absolved of sin by the priest. Finally, Universalists insist that God is a loving God and that nobody needs to worry about going to Hell because Hell really doesn’t exist.
These are only four “Christian” churches. Do they all teach sound doctrine? Are you going to commit your eternal being to one of these, based upon the preaching of one of their teachers? (Most people do exactly this!) There are hundreds of “Christian” churches and denominations, not to mention all the ones of other faiths and orders that all teach variations of opposing doctrine.
Let me ask you once again…to which church are you going to go to in order to learn how to be safe (saved)? My former electronics teacher (who is also the pastor of a small Methodist church) told me, “It really doesn’t matter that much, which church you attend.” On this point, I have to agree with him. There are 131 churches here in Cumberland County, Tennessee and many of them cannot teach you anything that will lead you to being eternally safe!
Most people are going to remain spiritually dead throughout their entire church experience because they have believed in a false doctrine that has been taught to them on a weekly basis by their church teachers. So let me ask you, is your Bible study class a “safe” place to be?
Question: How can you know you are a saved believer in the faith? (As opposed to being a believer in one of the other faiths?) You have to take this responsibility upon yourself and find out. (It isn’t easy and most would rather not even try!)
Answer: You have to take each aspect of what you believe to be the gospel and compare it to Scripture to see if it is true or if it is missing from Scripture or if it is opposed to Scripture, or if it agrees with Scripture. (Have you turned from sin and made Jesus the Lord of your life? Sounds real lofty, but try to find that one in your Bible!)
Warning: Practically no preachers and teachers of false doctrine will “rightly divide” the Scriptures as we are told to do in II Timothy 2:15, thereby giving the illusion that the various doctrines they teach can be rationalized by allegorizing various Scripture passages. (You’d better be a really sharp cookie to be able to separate the sheep from the goats on this!) The detractors of the faith are adept professionals of deception.
Consider: While most preachers are teaching that the devil is trying to persuade you to do dastardly deeds (lie, cheat, murder, steal, cuss, drink, etc.), you need to compare this to Scripture to see if this is true. Actually, we are told that Satan wants to be “like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). He is teaching against dastardly deeds and presenting himself as God. Satan’s followers (the Devil’s Advocates) can be seen wearing purple robes in pulpits teaching false doctrine that will assure that none are saved according to the faith!
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ
“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
“Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (II Corinthians 11:13-15).
Do you still contend that the safest place to be is in church?
I will do you a bit of a service here by giving you some foundation that you can use if you decide to examine your belief system:
1. God created the heavens and the earth. He has a plan for the heavens. He has a plan for the earth.
2. The Old Testament does not begin in Genesis. The Old Testament (Covenant) was made with the seed of Abraham (Israel). The terms of the covenant were given in Leviticus 26.
3. Israel was promised the earth (real estate), an everlasting kingdom.
4. The covenant was irreparably broken by Israel and the five courses of curses (as described in Leviticus 26) are in order. Four of them have already taken place. The ultimate fulfillment of one still remains, the great tribulation, the likes of which the world has never seen (Matthew 24:21).
5. God told Satan that the seed of the woman would be his destruction (Genesis 3:15). Satan then instrumented the destruction of the woman’s seed (Abel) and the contamination of the race with fallen angels who married women and produced a race of giants (Genesis 6:1-4) that were destroyed by God in Noah’s flood. After God made it clear that Satan’s fall would come specifically at the hands of the seed of Abraham, Satan continued this endeavor with the slaying of the children of Israel upon successive occasions.
6. God persevered with Israel to offer them the chance to accept their Messiah up through the mid-part of the Book of Acts. Acts is actually the story of the fall of Israel.
7. The Old Testament (Covenant) does not end at Malachi. The kingdom was presented “at hand” by Jesus and His disciples throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and actually offered by Peter shortly after Pentecost (Acts 3:19). (The division placed in your Bible between the Old Testament and the New Testament was put there by men who did what seemed best to them at the time of their publication.)
8. The nation Israel that we see today is not the nation Israel that we see in Bible prophecy, where God brings the people together by His divine power. Israel of prophecy will not have to deal with terrorist’s bombings and trading land for peace with her neighbors. God will deal with Israel’s “neighbors” at that time.
9. Israel has always been described in Scripture as the “sign” nation (Psalm 74:9; I Corinthians 1:22). She always looked for a sign, and God obliged. The signs and wonders (miracles) in Acts were leading up to the beginning of the final course of curses (the great tribulation). The miracles of drinking poisonous water, surviving bites by poisonous serpents and physical survival in those tribulation times will require supernatural attributes (Mark 16:17,18; Revelation 8:11). The books of Romans through Philemon in your Bible are an intermission from God’s plan with Israel. He again picks up with that plan in Hebrews and continues on through the Book of Revelation.
10. We are not spiritual Israel. (This is one of the biggest lies we have learned in these “safe” churches!) God made promises to Abraham that he and his descendants would possess their lands forever. Since Israel (as a nation) didn’t exist for hundreds of years, the “early Church Fathers” took it upon themselves to “help God to save face” and allegorize Scripture. They said, since God cannot lie, then we (the Body of Christ) must be Israel (spiritually speaking) and as such we are also the Bride of Christ (not!) and we are due all the promises that God made to Abraham and to Israel (not!).
This is only the tip of the iceberg of misinformation that your “safe” church has been feeding you over the years! It will be your destruction. But it doesn’t have to be, if you are willing to examine your beliefs in light of Scripture. The most difficult part is to accept the fact that you have been duped all these years and be willing to swallow your pride and say, “I’m willing to open this case and compare it with Scripture.”
Why am I knocking the churches? Because Paul said that if any man teach any other gospel than what he preached, “let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8,9). In most cases, he is talking about your pastor, your Sunday school teacher and your VBS staff! Some day I will be in heaven with Jesus and a lot of friends and family will not be. I don’t want them, or you, to be saying, “You knew the truth and you didn’t tell me!” It has been my experience that very few people are interested in the truth. They are comfortable with all they have learned (in “safe” churches) and they fit very nicely into society with all the other folks who have learned similar (false) doctrine.
Indeed, if you learn the truth, you will not fit into that comfortable place you now enjoy. I have accepted this and believe it is worth the sacrifice to defend the faith from all the others because the real reward is far greater than these earthly things to which we commonly adhere.
Questions or comments about this article may be sent to: Johnny Angel, 120 Rhodendron Circle, Crossville, TN 38555, or e-mail: Goinupru@yahoo.com.