NEW EVANGELICALISM (Lukewarm Churches)
At a Glance: The world today is filled with lukewarm (worthless) churches. They have a "new" approach to evangelism, but the ear-tickling approach is false and is not new at all. More than anything else, these churches are ruining our nation because they have a "form of godliness" but they deny the "power thereof" (II Tim. 3:5). They create millions of false Christians with false hopes of salvation. Such churches are not hot, they're not cold. They're lukewarm. They're on the fence. Are you attending one? Chances are likely that you are. Below are a few ways you can tell. The points are excerpts from Pastor Logan J. Fowler's tract Bible vs. Your Church (PDF).
Seven signs of a worthless (Laodicean) church
#1 – THE “JUDGE NOT” FALLACY IS PROMOTED
Rev. 3:15-17 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”
Central to every lukewarm, Laodicean church is a “judge not” philosophy. More misconstrued than any other Bible phrase, the words are often quoted by those who have never read the Bible, don’t know where the verse is found, or even know where to find the book of Genesis. The phrase is taken out of context and thrown around as proof that Jesus forbids people from saying if something is right or wrong. It has been modern Christianity’s putrid contribution to the politically correct culture currently destroying the moral compass of our world.
To set the record straight, the phrase “judge not” is found in Matthew and Luke and it actually means quite the opposite. When you read the passage in context (shown below), it is easy to see that Jesus is preaching against hypocrisy. In other words, he is teaching the proper way to judge – not forbidding it.
Matt. 7:1-5 “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
Once the beam is out of your own eye, and you can see clearly, then proceed with judging. This is exactly what Romans 2 teaches as well when it says in verse 3, “...O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same...” For example, an alcoholic really has no place telling someone they drink too much, but someone without a drinking problem is certainly free to.
The Bible is overwhelmingly clear that Christians are not only allowed to judge, but that they should judge. This fact is inconvenient for those who are interested in hiding the truth, promoting sin, gaining friends, and/or growing congregations, but it is true nonetheless. Here are just a few of the many verses that fence straddling churches and “Christians” never mention.
I Cor. 2:15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things…”
John 7:24 “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
Jude 3-4 “...earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
II Tim. 4:2 “...Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.”
I Tim. 5:20 “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.”
Amos 5:15 “Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate...”
Phil. 3:17-18 “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.”
In today’s world and in today’s churches, dogmatism is scorned as “overly judgmental” while complacency and neutrality is praised as “loving and caring.” The exact opposite is true. If you truly love people you’ll tell them the truth. If you truly love people you’ll tell them where a pitfall or rattlesnake is (more on the topic of true love can be found at the conclusion of this booklet).
Rev. 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
Gal. 4:16 “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”
Those who cling to the judge not fallacy often strive to appear as if they are the level-headed adults in the conversation: the balanced individuals who bring everyone together. Yet it is their middle-ofthe-road mentality (“it’s not my ministry/place to judge”) that emboldens evil and mutes the truth. Christians are to judge righteous judgment. Does your church preach this or does it instead emphasize a lukewarm, vomit-inducing approach of, “just love on people”?
Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Gal. 1:8 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
Psalm 97:10 “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil...”
#2 – BIBLICAL SEPARATION IS NOT TAUGHT OR PRACTICED
Closely related to the judge not fallacy is the failure of churches and Christians to teach, preach, or practice the very Biblical concept of separation. In fact, if the term “separation” sounds foreign to 7 you, it’s highly likely the church you’re attending (or did in the past) is neglecting to preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
II Cor. 6:17 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”
Christians are commanded to be separate. But from what? While some churches neglect to preach separation altogether, others water down the concept to mean that it’s a good idea to separate from serial killers, Adolf Hitler, and dogs with rabies. But the concept is perfectly defined in scripture and means so much more than that.
SEPARATE FROM DOCTRINAL DEVIANTS – First, Christians are commanded to separate from those in doctrinal error. This includes anyone whose beliefs are clearly contrary to the Bible, detract from Christ, and cause confusion. A telltale sign of a Laodicean church is that it has no trouble fellowshipping with apostate churches, including those which do not believe in major doctrines such as salvation wholly by Grace, the deity of Christ, or the virgin birth. Similarly, many churches fail to leave denominations and affiliations that have become more and more corrupt over the years (e.g. now ordaining homosexual ministers), and this is wrong as well.
Rom. 16:17 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”
Titus 3:10-11 “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.”
Eph. 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
The phrase “have no fellowship” in Ephesians 5 is self-explanatory. Christians should not join hands with doctrinal deviants in any type of religious setting, whether it be a Bible study, church service, youth ministry, worship concert, etc. Some Christians like to advocate an “infiltration” approach to evangelism where they attend the services, Bible studies, youth programs, schools, etc. of those in doctrinal error hoping to impact change. Not only is this unscriptural, it is as unwise as Lot attempting to infiltrate and make a difference in the city of Sodom. He lost his family and so will all Christians who dabble with this approach.
SEPARATE FROM THE WORLD – Christians are to be set apart from sin and from the world in general. But how are Christians supposed to be able to function in the world (witness, work, shop, vote, etc.), if they’re to separate from it at the same time? An operative axiom here is that Christians should be “in” the world but not “of” the world. We are to be people of God and not people of the world, and it’s impossible to be both at the same time (see Matt. 6:24 below). If you love the world and the world loves you (or your church), something is seriously wrong. As Joshua 24:15 says, “...choose you this day whom ye will serve...”
Luke 6:26 “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”
James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Matt. 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
II Cor. 6:14-17 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? ... Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”
SEPARATE FROM BRETHREN WALKING DISORDERLY – In addition to separating from those in doctrinal error and from the world, Christians are commanded to separate from brothers and sisters in Christ who are not living right. Churches are commanded to practice this as well, namely by removing those who are living in sin from membership rolls (I Cor. 5:13). This includes those living in common sinful lifestyles such as adultery, fornication, drunkeness, etc. Does your church practice church discipline, or is it more concerned about filling pews than obeying the Bible?
II Thess. 3:6 “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.”
I Cor. 5:11-13 “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat ... Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”
II Thess. 3:14 “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.”
Why does the Bible call for such extreme measures on separation? It has everything to do with not defiling yourself and weaker brethren around you, and protecting the truth by drawing lines in the sand. When Christians and churches practice poor separation they create confusion and, in effect, condone evil. As was the case with the children of Israel, failing to separate has far reaching and severe consequences on you, your loved ones, and future generations to come. As a God-fearing preacher once bluntly put it, if you climb into the pig pen to reach pigs, you’ll come out smelling like one. And as such, the difference between you and the pig will be much harder to discern.
Prov. 6:27 “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?”
I Cor. 15:33 “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”
I Cor. 5:6 “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?”
II Tim. 2:16-17 “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;”
Rom. 14:7 “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.”
LIVE RIGHT AND THEY’LL SEPARATE FROM YOU –The great thing about Biblical separation is that, if you’re living right, the world, including doctrinal deviants and those in gross sin, will do the separating for you. They’ll even mock, ridicule, and malign you just as they did Christ and the saints throughout scripture. To this point, if you’ve never been “persecuted for righteousness’ sake” (Matt. 5:10), it’s an indication you’re not living right or not truly born again. And by the same token, if everyone in the community loves your church and only good is spoken about it, it’s a good indication that it is Laodicean.
II Tim. 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
Luke 6:22 “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.”
Acts 28:22 “...for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.”
I Cor. 4:9-14 “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised ... we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.”
John 15:18-20 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you ... The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you...”
Above all, Christians should be different and this cannot be accomplished by wallowing in the same lukewarm mud as everyone else. Stand up, get out, and be separate, and in the process you’ll end up looking like the “peculiar” person you should be (Titus 2:14).
Rom. 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
#3 – SIN IS DOWNPLAYED
Prov. 14:9 “Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.”
Central to both the judge not fallacy and failing to practice Biblical separation, is the extremely misguided and, in fact, Satanic practice of downplaying sin. Few will ever admit that they are promoting the acceptance of sin when they say things like, “sin is sin,” “who are we to judge,” and “nobody is perfect,” but this is exactly what is happening. Under the guise of acceptance and love, so-called Christians and worthless churches blur the line between right and wrong and in the process fail to warn others of God’s judgment and the dire consequences of sinful lifestyles.
Sin is not something to be downplayed. Not only is sin the reason for death and hell, it is also vehemently hated by almighty God. The Bible tells us that God is so perfectly righteous that he cannot look on iniquity, he is angry with the wicked every day, he hates workers of iniquity, and his wrath is upon those who choose not to believe. The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Ps. 111:20, Prov. 1:7, 9:10), and the key to fearing the Creator is to realize how wretched mankind is and how holy God is. If your church is not preaching this, it is not doing its job.
Job 15:16 “How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?”
Hab. 1:13 “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?”
Psalm 7:11 “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”
Psalm 5:4-5 “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”
John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
It is true that everyone is a sinner (Romans 3:23), and that, as far as guilt is concerned, everyone is worthy of hell (Romans 6:23). It is also true that God loved the world enough to send a savior (John 3:16). Nevertheless, to fail to preach against and warn others of sins and sinful lifestyles is to hide the truth and disobey God’s word. Just as people must realize they’re sick before they can seek treatment from a doctor, they also must realize they are spiritually sick in order to seek the Great Physician Jesus Christ. Thankfully, the Holy Ghost can help Christians know when and how best to communicate this diagnosis, or as it says in John 16:8, “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” In the end, regardless of the messenger, it is up to the individual to choose to remain in sin or depart from it.
John 3:20 “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
Job 28:28 “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”
II Tim. 2:19 “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
Departing from evil is at the core of this subject. Everyone sins – Christians and non-Christians alike – but a true Bible believer will depart from sin. In other words, true Christians (or “new creatures” as it says in II Cor. 5:17) will fall into sin now and then, but they will not let it typify or rule their lives. To be sure, those who remain in sinful lifestyles are not true Christians and their eternal destination is most assuredly hell. This “by their fruits ye shall know them” truth is taught throughout the Bible, yet it is not preached at most churches. If you truly love people, you’ll watch fruits (i.e. life patterns) and warn those in sinful lifestyles that they are not bound for “the kingdom of heaven” unless they become born again. Many of the lifestyles that we should warn others about are listed below. Among these are homosexuality and adultery, and if a church is not warning people about these sinful lifestyles specifically, given how rampant and promoted they are today, it is Laodicean.
Matt. 7:19-21 “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
I Cor. 6:9-10 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
Gal. 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Some lukewarm “Christians” argue, “There are many sins in the devil’s catalog, and they’re all equal, so we shouldn’t preach against specific lifestyles.” This is an unbiblical position to say the least, especially when you consider the previous verses which list specific lifestyles of people who are hell bound. In addition, there is evidence in the Bible that not all sins are created equal. I John 5 tells us that there is a sin unto death, Mark 3 teaches that blaspheming the Holy Ghost is a unique kind of sin, and the Old Testament speaks of “great” sins. One such “great” sin was that of Sodom and Gomorrah. The sin of Sodom was without question homosexuality (just look up “sodomy” in any dictionary in the history of mankind), and it was such an abomination in God’s eyes that He responded by raining fire 12 and brimstone to destroy the city and its inhabitants. If you truly love people, you’ll bravely warn them of the dangers of homosexuality (both physical and spiritual) despite the sacred cow culture the gay rights movement has created.
Gen. 13:13 “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.”
Rom. 1:27 “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
#4 – HELL IS DOWNPLAYED
Failing to understand how evil sin is and how perfect God is often results in either the total denial of hell or the concoction of a place more agreeable with the deceitful emotions of mankind. Whether our sinful and feeble minds can understand both logically and spiritually the need and realities of hell is irrelevant. God’s word is to be believed and to be taken literally unless the context demands otherwise. The Bible is clear: hell is a place of everlasting literal fire and literal pain. To not warn others about it, or to make it sound less severe, is like failing to tell people the bridge is out ahead, or saying the fall really won’t be that bad (e.g. it’ll just be a “separation from” the road).
Luke 16 provides one of the clearest pictures of hell. Cults and Laodicean churches and “Christians” try to argue that the passage is a parable, but this idea holds no water at all. No other parable uses proper nouns (e.g. Abraham, Lazarus, and Moses). Furthermore, if it is a parable, what is it teaching, why doesn’t Christ give the meaning of the parable, and why don’t his disciples ask him for it? Because it is not a parable.
Luke 16:19-31 “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
In addition, the following words of Jesus Christ are incontestable. If he’s not describing a real hell, then what is he talking about? Is he just trying to confuse us into believing there is a such a place? No, he’s speaking candidly about the reality of rejecting the savior (eternity in hell), and he is reinforcing what is taught in the Old Testament.
Matt. 25:41 “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”
Mark. 9:43 “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:”
Isaiah 33:14 “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
Psalm 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
Churches that rarely mention hell or try to make it sound less severe are the epitome of worthless, and Christians who do the same are of equal value. A lighthouse must shine to warn passing ships of the rocks below. You cannot preach or teach the necessity and love of the Savior (John 3:16), if there is nothing to be saved from (John 3:36).
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
#5 – PRAISE AND WORSHIP IS PLACED ABOVE SOUND DOCTRINE
John 4:22 “Ye worship ye know not what…”
One reason some churches never mention hell or sin is because they’re too busy holding shallow praise and worship services. Gone are the old hymns written by true believers with deep conviction in the face of great adversity and persecution. Gone are the meat-filled lyrics pointing to the cross, the blood of Christ, and saving grace. Today, projectors display songs containing just a few superficial words and church goers mindlessly raise their hands to praise a God they do not know. Meanwhile 14 those on stage, who often look like they’ve just concluded a heavy metal tour, draw all attention to themselves. Sadly, there is little difference between today’s secular concerts and the average “praise and worship” service. Both glorify man, edify the flesh, and are a stench in the nostrils of a holy God.
What’s wrong with worship today? IT IS SHALLOW. It does not emphasize the truths of the Bible, it emphasizes and appeals to the worthless emotions within man.
John 4:23-24 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
What’s wrong with worship today? IT IS FAKE. Anyone can raise their hands, smile, and say they love Jesus. But can you actually submit your heart to Him and obey His word?
Matt. 15:8-9 “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
What’s wrong with worship today? IT IS CLUELESS. Thousands of church goers know the lyrics “Lord, Lord” in today’s contemporary Christian songs, but they do not know the Savior and the Savior does not know them.
Matt. 7:21, 23 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven ... And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Above all, praise and worship services have TAKEN THE PLACE OF SOUND DOCTRINE and conviction from the pulpit. Church goers are demanding silly songs and philosophical pep talks that make them feel good, instead of convicting hymns and sermons, and the Laodicean churches of today, which are often run more as businesses than houses of prayer, are expertly positioned to meet this “need.” To be sure, churches in the 21st century, with their full staffs and big salaries, are eager and ready to please all paying customers.
II Tim. 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”
II Peter 2:3 “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you...”
Matt. 21:13 “And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
Laodicean churches emphasizing praise and worship often fall into the unbiblical practice of speaking 15 in tongues as well. This is a study in itself, however, suffice it to say that tongues are only mentioned in two books of the Bible: Acts (a book of history) and I Corinthians (a rebuke to a carnal church). I Cor. 13 teaches that tongues (and prophecies) “shall cease ... when that which is perfect is come.” The inanimate object mentioned here (“that”) is the Bible. At this time in history only “part” of the Bible had been completed, as such, I Cor. 13:10 is referring to the completed canon of scripture in the first century A.D. In accordance with this, tongues (or any spiritual gifts) are not mentioned anywhere in the history of Christian churches for the next 1800 years. It wasn’t until the early 1900s at the extremely Pentecostal Azusa Street Mission in California that tongues reemerged. It was a Satanic practice then and it is a Satanic practice now. Speaking in tongues is not for this dispensation. Today, they are simply a ruse used by the devil to usher in even more confusion and stifle the studying and sharing of God’s word.
I Cor. 13:8 “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”
I Cor. 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
As mentioned above, tongues were used in Bible times as a sign unto the Jews, and what is important to note is that real languages were always spoken. As such, if people truly have the gift of tongues today, they should not be gabbling in some English-speaking church building among brethren, they should be out serving on a foreign mission field.
Acts 2:6-8 “Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?”
I Cor. 14:22 “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not...”
#6 – FAITH IN THE BIBLE IS WEAKENED
Matt. 24:35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Central to the shallowness of churches today is the way the word of God is undermined and maligned. Whether overtly or subliminally, intentionally or unintentionally, Laodicean churches are destroying faith in God’s word, especially among young people. They do this when they incessantly reference the Greek, when they use multiple versions from the pulpit, when they say clear Bible passages can be interpreted different ways, and when they say the issue is not worth arguing over – as if God was not capable of preserving His word perfectly in English and does not care whether we believe He was or not.
THE FOUNDATION IS UNDER ATTACK – The Bible is the very foundation of our faith. If this foundation is damaged or weakened in any way, the chances of individuals, churches, families, and our nation standing are greatly diminished. If we cannot believe that God preserved His word perfectly and made it available to mankind in the most important language in the world today – English – then Christians might as well give up. Thankfully, God did preserve his word just as he promised.
Psalm 11:3 “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
GOD PRESERVED HIS WORD – We see in scripture that Jesus Christ and many New Testament saints quoted directly from the Old Testament. They did this with confidence and never questioned whether God preserved His word accurately for them or not. An example of this is shown below as Peter references a very pertinent verse from the book of Isaiah. Christians today should have the same confidence that Peter had.
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
I Peter 1:23-25 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the Word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
Matt. 5:17-19 “…Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled…”
Here Jesus assures us that not one word, more specifically the smallest part of one Greek letter, would go missing from the Word of God. Jesus also said that not one of his words (plural) would pass away in Matt. 24:35 and this matches promises from the Old Testament.
II Kings 10:10 “Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the Lord…”
Psalm 119:160 “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.”
Psalm 12:6-7 “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, Thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”
Psalm 33:11 “The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.”
So if God promised to preserve His word and make it available to every generation, where has it been throughout history? Was it preserved perfectly in hidden Greek manuscripts for over 1,500 years as proponents of new translations such as the ESV, NASB, and NIV would lead us to believe? This certainly could not be the case because God promised not one jot or tittle would go missing from scripture. 17 No, God preserved his word in the majority text (the Textus Receptus), it has always been available to mankind, and in 1611 – at the peak of the English language – God ensured that His word was translated accurately and thereby preserved perfectly in the King James Version.
The KJV can be trusted wholeheartedly and it is to be read, believed, and shared with confidence. All other versions fall far short. Beware of churches and preachers that use phrases such as, “in the Greek it says…” or “this should have been translated as…” The result (and usually the goal) of such phrases is to bring glory to man’s intellect, meanwhile, God’s power and ability to preserve His word and make it available to anyone who is seeking is belittled.
Prov. 30:5-6 “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
THE KJV STANDS ALONE IN EXALTING CHRIST – There are hundreds of translations out there (talk about Satan-sent confusion) and all except the KJV stem from the same family tree of corrupt manuscripts. Just as everything else God has used since the beginning of time – the KJV is separate, it is set apart.
Col. 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”
May God have mercy on those who feel it is their calling to continue an endless and pointless search for imperfections in the KJV. This attempt to puff up one’s own flesh does nothing but detract from the cross of Christ, add confusion, and weaken the faith of young Christians. The “KJV only” stance is ridiculed and mocked constantly, yet anyone who takes a close look at the issue can easily see that the KJV does the best job of giving Christ the preeminence throughout scripture. Other versions remove both minor words and major doctrines from passages of the Bible. Just to scratch the surface of the issue, take note that versions other than the KJV remove Christ’s blood from Col. 1:14, remove the deity of Christ in I Tim. 3:16 and I John 5:7, and imply that Christ’s father was Joseph in Luke 2:33. But to know the truth on the translation issue, one must desire to know the truth. If you would like more information, including detailed comparisons of the KJV to other popular versions, please contact Truth Baptist Church.
In addition to the obvious truth that the KJV puts Christ on a pedestal much higher than other Bible versions (something Satan hates), the wisdom of those who mock the “KJV only” crowd is proven faulty when their children and grandchildren fall into total unbelief or apostasy. This is what Christ was referring to when he said “wisdom is justified of her children” (Matt. 11:19, Luke 7:35).
EASIER DOESN’T MEAN BETTER – Many argue that the KJV is just too hard to understand; that the newer versions with their simplified paraphrases and sophomoric language are what people need today. This, quite literally, couldn’t be further from the truth. As words with deeper meanings are removed, and verses with specific and purposeful structure are rearranged, we move further and further away from the deeper meanings God intended for us to study.
II Tim. 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Deut. 4:2 “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”
MULTIPLE VERSIONS = LITTLE MEMORIZATION – Outside of the thousands of ways modern translations detract from Christ, one aspect that is often overlooked is that churches that promote and utilize multiple versions, simultaneously discourage Bible memorization. People love to brag that they study multiple versions, but few today can quote more than a handful of passages. It’s not surprising though. How are people supposed to commit God’s word to memory, let it fill their hearts and minds, and learn to wield it like a sword if they keep trying out different dull butter knives instead?
Heb. 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Eph. 6:17 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
Deut. 11:18 “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.”
Col. 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Preachers who incessantly reference the Greek and Hebrew promote the idea that only scholars are capable of accessing God’s word. In other words, churches today are chaining the Bible to the Greek and Hebrew, just as the Catholic Church chained the Bible to the pulpit during the middle ages. The word of God is not bound. It was not bound to hidden manuscripts for centuries, and it is not bound to Greek “scholars” and “theologians” today. True faith comes only from hearing the word of God, and, with this in mind, we had better hope that God was able to perfectly preserve his word so that the common man – you and I – can read it today.
II Tim. 2:9 “Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.”
Rom. 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
#7 – SALVATION “BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH” IS DILUTED
James 3:11 “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?”
When someone is looking to defend a Laodicean, lukewarm, worthless church, the most common phrase you’ll hear is, “Well, at least it’s sharing the gospel, and that’s the most important thing.” This line of thinking is simply not Biblical. There is no such thing as a fountain that sends forth both sweet and bitter water, no such thing as a tree with both good fruit and bad, no such thing as someone who is both gathering and scattering, and no such thing as a church that promotes both good and evil.
Matt. 7:15-17 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”
Matt. 12:30 “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”
Because they mix small amounts of truth with large doses of sugar-coated deception and doctrinal error, Laodicean churches are very proficient at instilling head knowledge of Christ but not changes within the heart (Romans 10:10). Such churches are often prolific producers of professions of faith and self-reformation, but true possession of salvation is nowhere to be found. Once again, this is because such churches fail to preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
Four truths often omitted by Laodicean churches directly related to salvation are: (1) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, (2) Hell is real, (3) Mankind is exceedingly wicked in the eyes of a holy God, and (4) Salvation has absolutely nothing to do with works of any kind.
FEAR GOD – As mentioned earlier in this booklet, the Bible says multiple times that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 1:7, 9:10, 15:33, Psa. 111:10). Fearing God, the Creator who holds your breath in His hand, is the starting point for true salvation. Yet when is the last time you heard your church mention this? Instead, churches present God as a doting Santa Clause who loves you just the way you are: a benevolent Barney the Dinosaur with an unchangeable smile sewn on His face.
Heb. 10:31 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Acts 13:26 “Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.”
Phil. 2:12 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Heb. 10:30 “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.”
HELL IS REAL – One of the best ways to develop a Biblical fear of God is to understand the real truth about hell. As covered at length on pages 12-13 of this pamphlet, hell is a real place of literal fire and literal pain that lasts forever and ever. If this Biblical concept is not covered, fear of God is unlikely to be developed, and the gospel will not truly be understood.
Prov. 3:7 “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”
Prov. 16:6 “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”
Num. 32:23 “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.”
Gal. 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Rev. 20:15 “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
WE ARE WRETCHED – To truly understand the need for salvation and how great the salvation is that Christ has provided, one must fully grasp how worthless mankind is. This realization also makes the sentence of hell a lot easier to comprehend (especially when we realize how high of a standard a perfectly holy judge has). No, we are not flowers just waiting to bloom. No, there isn’t something beautiful inside of us. No, God does not need our help. These are the feel-good ploys worthless churches robotically recite. God gave mankind a free will and every one of us has consciously chosen sin over righteousness. We are putrid in the eyes of God. Even the good things we do (usually tainted with pride and ulterior motives) are filthy rags in the eyes of a holy God.
Rom. 7:24 “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
Job 15:16 “How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?”
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
CHRIST + NOTHING – It’s no surprise that the members of Laodicean churches are often confused about the simplest truth in the Bible – salvation is by grace (unmerited favor) through faith. Ask these church members, from teens who have been in the youth group for five years to deacons who have been serving for the past 20, why they’d go to heaven when they die and you’ll hear a lot of wrong answers. Sure, all will start their sentence with “Jesus,” but give them a second and they’ll add a 21 revealing line like, “and obeying the Bible,” or “and doing good things,” or “and keeping the commandments,” or “and getting baptized,” and the list goes on. Salvation is Christ plus NOTHING.
Eph. 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us...”
Rom. 5:18 “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”
Rom. 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Col. 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”
Gal. 6:14 “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
In Ephesians 2 and throughout the book of Romans we are told that salvation is a gift. You do not work for a gift. You only have to receive it. And such a great gift is available only through Christ’s blood which He shed for us on Calvary’s cross. Salvation is only through the cross. To glory in anything else is blasphemous. To trust in anything else is a death sentence. And to teach anything else is to do Satan’s bidding.
IF YOU CAN LOSE IT, YOU’RE WORKING FOR IT – A common result of the shallow presentation of salvation by Laodicean churches is the atrocious belief that salvation is something that can be lost. Christians can stand firm that salvation is forever. It cannot be lost. Being born again, as Jesus told Nicodemus, is not something that can be undone. To believe that salvation can be lost because of our actions (or lack of actions) is to believe we’re working to keep our salvation, or, more precisely, working FOR our salvation.
John 10:28 “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
Eph. 1:13 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise”
Eph. 4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
If salvation is something that can be lost, the following verse in I John about knowing you are saved does not make any sense. You cannot be sure of your salvation if it is something that comes and goes as Armenian-leaning churches claim.
I John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
One reason the notion that you can lose your salvation is so prevalent in Laodicean churches is because so many false professions of faith abound there. Where Biblical truth is hidden and neglected, the likelihood of someone deciding to leave the church, not believe in God, become gay, marry a frog, etc. is greatly increased.
Eph. 4:14 “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”
I John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
To read the conclusion, read the tract Bible vs. Your Church (PDF).