Tests and proofs of Christian authenticity

by Mike Ratliff

1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “ Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:1-7 NASB)

The Word of God is filled with references to testing and proving. During our Lord’s ministry his enemies asked him tough questions in order to “test” him. Jesus ordered lepers whom He had healed to show themselves to the Priests to “prove” that they were no longer unclean. God puts our Lord’s disciples through fiery trials in order to “test” their faith and “prove” their authenticity. God does not change. He is immutable. His ways do not change either. He still puts those who profess to be Christians to the test. This proving is not for his knowledge however. He knows all already. The proving is for our sake.

God tests His children in order to perfect them through the fire. This also builds their faith as they learn to depend on Him instead of self. This also proves their faith to the brethren. On the other hand, there are false prophets in the visible Church. These counterfeit Christian leaders, since they know not the Son nor do they have the Holy Spirit, serve a Jesus of their own making and have built an idolatrous form of Christianity around him. They proclaim that they “love Jesus” and “Christianity,” but they prove that the objects of their love are anything but the real Jesus and the invisible Church, which is on the narrow path. These on the narrow path are on the only way to God and eternity with Him while those of the counterfeit church are on the broad and easy, ecumenical way which is branded with compromise.

 

There are many false prophets in our time who claim to be the real deal and that they speak for God, but they are not genuine. What they preach, teach, and write about in their books may look pretty good to the undiscerning, but when one with discernment from God examines them closely, as directed in Sacred Scripture, then it becomes clear that there is something missing. These people fall far short God’s standards for being a shepherd of the sheep. We see this as they scoff at God’s standards of holiness and purity. God’s Word shows a Church that is exclusive while the counterfeit, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, are all about plurality and opening wide the door of salvation that our Lord said was narrow and hard to find. We see this in their drive to abolish Sola Scriptura.

These ear tickling false prophets have produced a form of Christianity that is counterfeit. It may look good to the majority, but all it will ever produce are masses of goats instead of sheep of our Lord’s hand. These scoffers attack every part of the Christian faith and claim that they are doing so in order to be culturally relevant. I find it very interesting that the doctrines they seem to hate the most are Sola Scriptura and Penal Substitution. If these two parts of the Church’s foundation are done away with then we have lost God’s absolute truth and the very work by Him that saves sinners from His wrath.

Counterfeit Christianity is not Christianity no matter how much these emergent wolves in sheep’s clothing claim the opposite. They prove it every time they preach, teach, or write because they are pointing their followers to a Jesus who is unbiblical according to a faith that is man-based and mystical mixed with a deliberate shunning of the absolute. They teach mystery where the Bible teaches clarity. They teach uncertainty where the Bible teaches salvation by Grace through faith. They teach no absolutes so they can be pluralistic where the Bible teaches that God’s truth is absolute and that true Christianity is exclusive.

I pray that those who have read this far in this piece will seek the Lord while He may be found. Come boldly to the throne of Grace to seek His will. I pray that they will repent of any compromises in their walk that He shows them. We live in a time in which God’s truth is seen as evil and those who proclaim it are the enemies of the good. What is evil is seen as good. God is still building His Church and the remnant it is made up of is on that narrow path which leads to the Celestial City, which is eternity with our Saviour. Therefore, let us examine carefully the teachings of all those who proclaim to be speaking the truth in the name of our Lord. Those who fail the test must be exposed and rebuked.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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