by Mike Ratliff
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. 1 John 2:1-6 (NASB)
One of the most tragic aspects of the Compromised Church, which is a product of its emphasis on numbers, baptisms, relevance, and worldliness is its complete lack of correct theology pertaining to salvation and assurance. Those who are believing they became part of the Kingdom of God in these churches are, for the most part, responding to a doctrine of salvation based upon some form of works righteousness which is the belief that one’s standing before God is founded and maintained by works of merit. These works begin with walking an aisle at an invitation then praying a sinner’s prayer followed by baptism. Assurance of salvation is then always looking back at that moment as when the believer chose to be “saved” by obeying the call at the invitation.
The need to repent is never mentioned in this type of “evangelical” church. It is never mentioned because no mention of why it is necessary is ever mentioned either. These preachers never mention God’s Holiness, Righteousness or Justice. His wrath against all sin is not mentioned either. Instead God is presented as a loving god who wants all people to simply seek Him and do some religious work so they can become part of His Kingdom. When people do respond to this “evangelical” invitation they are never counseled about their sin and their need to repent, deny self and take up their cross as they follow Jesus. Instead, they simply assent to whatever doctrinal statements the church wants them to agree to and that’s that. There is never a call to biblical discipleship.
Since this type of “salvation” permeates the Compromised Church their numbers are dominated by simply religious people who are, for the most part, unregenerate. They base their assurance of salvation on their religious work at that moment when they assented. They may have even prayed a “sinners prayer” before they were presented to the church for membership and baptism. However, there has been no regeneration by God because the genuine Gospel is not preached in these churches.
These works righteousness Christians, being unregenerate, are basing their salvation on their own work at the moment of their spurious conversion. When they doubt, and they will, they are told to look back to that day when they knelt and prayed that sinner’s prayer and were baptized. However, if they are ever presented with Bible passages such as the one I placed at the top of this post (1 John 2:1-6) they struggle because they have no real spiritual power to keep God’s commandments. They don’t grow in grace because they are unregenerate. They are religious, that’s all.
In order for these churches full of unregenerate people to feel saved they provide them with emotional, “spirit-filled” worship to generate “feelings” that God is with them. These worship times are man-focused and geared to entertain in such a way that these “feelings” come forth. I must be saved because when I hear that certain song I get goose bumps and chills. I know I am a Christian because I feel like one when we all come together for our exciting worship time.
Another problem is these churches do not teach that a life of repentance from sin is necessary for Christians. In other words, all God wants is for people to be religious converts and it doesn’t matter about the sin in our lives at all. I suppose they are ignoring passages like 1 John 2:1-6 which tell us that since Jesus died in our place to pay the price for our sins that those that know Him will keep His commandments. Those who say they are Christians, but don’t keep those commandments as a way of life are not Christians at all. They are part of the Compromised Church who are unregenerate works righteousness converts.
What is Ungodly Discernment? This is speaking of the Pastors, elders and deacons who persist in propagating this humanistic abomination we are calling the Compromised Church. These “Christian” leaders write books and have conferences and speak on radio talk shows and have write-ups in liberal “Christian” magazines speaking of how God is blessing their pragmatic ministries with huge numbers of converts each week. They proclaim to the world that “Thousands are being swept into the Kingdom” by their ministries. Along with that, they have made friends with the world by taking the large sums of money they get from their large numbers of converts and their book sales and do humanitarian work such as addressing Global Warming and World Hunger. The liberal media and the world love this. They then look at the Christians who are not part of the Compromised Church and accuse them of being self-righteous and judgmental because they are continually rebuking these leaders for their spiritual bankruptcy and also because they are not doing these humanitarian works. However, let’s not become discouraged. Instead, let’s put our own house in order.
4 For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.
5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? 6 But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test. 2 Corinthians 13:4-6 (NASB)
There is not one thing we can do to stop the deception; instead we must pray, witness, and rebuke as God leads us. We can and must get as close to God as we can with our devotion. We must seek Personal Holiness in our own lives. Why? When we follow hard after God, a wonderful thing happens to our discernment. Instead of the Ungodly Discernment of the spiritually blind, God opens our eyes and ears so that we can see and hear the truth. When we are walking the walk by faith this way we will never stumble into deception.
5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. 2 Peter 1:5-11 (NASB)
We must walk in repentance always seeking the Lord’s will. This obedient walk is one of spiritual growth. Instead of works righteousness we must obey the Lord in our good works all for His glory. We will do good works, but as a product of Christ’s Righteousness in us not earning salvation by those works. Also, when we are blessed by godly pastors, elders and deacons who refuse to compromise with the World or become part of the Compromised Church, we should thank the Lord for them, pray for them, help and support them as God leads.
Soli Deo Gloria!