IS THE MEDIA’S COVERAGE OF THE COVID-19 THE STRONG DELUSION FOR THE GREAT FALLING AWAY?
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
“And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. And then if any man shall say to you, ‘Lo, here is Christ;’ or, ‘lo, he is there;’ believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.”
THERE IS MUCH FOR WHICH TO BE CONCERNED WHEN OBSERVING THE COVID-19 PANDEMONIUM. From the cancellations of sporting events and professional sports seasons, to the entire social distancing regulations, to shelter in place orders, to the physical fighting over toilet paper and other necessities, there is much about which to be concerned. The mist disturbing factor of the Coronavirus Panic is how the church is reacting. The Church of Jesus Christ, in her entirety, has basically knuckled under and gone along with the orders from various states to cease in gathering in their respective sanctuaries. How did the Church of Jesus Christ in the USA come to this point?
THE CHURCH NO LONGER BELIEVES IN THE PROMISES OF GOD. Even a cursory perusal of the Bible will reveal numerous promises to people who believe in GOD…
“‘And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.’ And God said, ‘This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.’ And God said unto Noah, ‘This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.’”
“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
“A third of Americans who attend a Protestant church regularly (32%) say they read the Bible personally every day. Around a quarter (27%) say they read it a few times a week…Fewer say they only read it once a week (12%), a few times a month (11%) or once a month (5%). Close to 1 in 8 (12%) admit they rarely or never read the Bible.”
“We’ve released new research as part of the Transformational Discipleship study that shows only 19% of churchgoers personally (not as part of a church worship service) read the Bible every day. That is roughly the same as those who responded ‘Rarely/Never’ (18 percent)…”
“If they do read it, the majority (57 percent) only read their Bibles four times a year or less. Only 26 percent of Americans said they read their Bible on a regular basis (four or more times a week).”
“Today, about one-third of all American adults report reading the Bible once a week or more.”
Friends, we simply don’t read the Bible, which is why most American Christians simply show little trust in the written Word of GOD. The Promises of GOD, seemingly, are falling on deaf ears within the church. Here are some further statistics…
– Only 45% of regular church attenders read their Bible more than once a week.
– Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible at all.
– More than half of Evangelicals believe that the Holy Spirit is a force and not a personal being.
– In the United Kingdom, almost 1 in 3 couldn’t identify the Nativity as part of the Bible
-27% of British parents think Superman is or might be a biblical story. [source]
These, friends, are all simply symptoms of a church, a group of Christian Believers, who simply do not trust the Promises of GOD.
A PROMISE APPLICABLE TO THIS SITUATION — The Bible, as mentioned before, is full of promises. Yet, is it any surprise, that most of he promises are direct in nature? There is one that speaks directly to the COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic…
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.’ Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” —Psalm xli. 1–16
Right here in this Psalm, we see the direct promises of GOD with regards to pestilences and fear and terror. We see, though this Psalm, that the LORD GOD will care for his people, and that such death and destruction won’t even come close. GOD states through the pen of the Psalmist that no plague will even come close to where we live. In fact, a quick search of a Bible site shows that, except for this passage, pestilences are mostly promised to those who walk contrary to the LORD. The same can be said of the word “plague”. And yet, how many churches in the USA and elsewhere have closed up and gone totally online with their services and times of worship? Here is how Jesus the Messiah taught us to pray…
“After this manner therefore pray ye: ‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Here’s another version…
“And he said unto them, ‘When ye pray, say, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”’”
In both cases of the prayer pattern form Yeshua, we see that the final sentence contains, “…deliver us from evil…”. If such is the case, and GOD can and does deliver his followers from evil, from disaster, from plagues and pestilences, why, then are we cowering in fear? Friends, the simple fact is, as mentioned before, we have chosen to disbelieve the promises of GOD. We have, in essence, founded our faith and our house upon something other than The Rock.
LAYING A FOUNDATION ON ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE ROCK LEADS TO A DISASTROUS FALL! Many may argue that Christians worldwide, in places where lock-down orders and shelter in place rules have been enacted, are simply obeying the law and the rulers, as Scripture ordains. If such is the case, are Christians gathering in house churches in nations unfriendly to Jesus the Messiah, therefore, breaking GOD’s Law? Secondly, we see this in the Law of the Land for the United States of America…
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”[source][source][source]
Friends, in the United States of America, it is unlawful for the government to make a law that forbids the free exercise of religion or the right of people to peaceably assemble. Despite this glaring truth and Law of the USA, we see mayors, city councils, governors, and government leaders making laws restricting such free exercise of religion and the peaceable assembly by people. Here is what the written Word states, as well, concerning the gathering together of the saints…
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”
Friends, if such is written concerning the gathering together of the saints and of the church. How is it that we are cowed under, allowing ourselves to be forbidden to gather together? Have we given into the fear of both the government and a virus? Could it be we are following in the Pharisees footsteps…?
“Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honour thy father and mother:’ and, ‘He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.’ But ye say, ‘Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, “It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;”’ And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, ‘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.’”
Are we, also, in danger of doing this…?
“And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
Friends, are we, the Church of Jesus Christ, aiding and abetting the media’s setting of the stage for the rise of the Antichrist by “following orders” and staying locked in and locked out?
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, ‘Lo, here is Christ,’ or ‘there;’ believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.”
In fact, could this Coronavirus Panic, to which the church has given in, be this…?
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…”
Friends, all of these are warnings: warnings to the church worldwide, but also to the Church of Jesus Christ in the USA, and we’ve had them around us, right at our fingertips, for centuries. Despite the warnings, we’ve gone right along with the rest of the world, seemingly in order to get along. The danger is that, once again, we seem to be getting friendly and familiar with this rotten, fallen world. But there is an even Greater Danger for the Church in America.
THE BOTTOM LINE: STRONG DELUSION — We read these grisly, graphic verses in Paul the Apostle’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians…
“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Could this COVID-19 scare be the deception written of above? Could the orders to shelter in place, and neglect the gathering together of the saints be the delusion? Friends, we’ve already seen the lies of the media and the false prognostications by the talking heads in the worldwide press. How much more are we, as the Church in the USA, being deluded that the Coronavirus is this horrific plague, despite clear promises that GOD will take care of us, and also despite clear evidence that other real pandemics have been far, far worse in even the recent past? Are we, as the Church, being deluded, right along with the rest of the world, seeing how we are almost gleefully and joyfully sheltering in place, and failing to physically gather together?
CONCLUSION: TURN OR BURN; GET RIGHT OR GET LEFT; STAND OR FALL! A popular country song from decades past, which was sung by Aaron Tippen, goes partly like this…
“He’d say you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything
“You’ve got to be your own man not a puppet on a string
“Never compromise what’s right and uphold your family name
“You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”
Here is what Peter the Apostle, and others of Early Church, spoke to the rulers of the Sanhedrin…
“Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
“We ought to obey God rather than men.”
What say we? Will we stand and speak similarly, or will we go along to get along? We should heed the words of the Savior…
“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
PRAYER — O LORD, your Church needs you. Will you help us today, O LORD, to heed and follow you, instead of the will and edicts of men? Will you bring us revival, and help us to turn back to you? We pray and ask all of these things in the Name of Jesus the Messiah, Amen!
THE LAST WORD — “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James iv. 8–10)
NOTES — 1. All Scripture is taken from THE AUTHORIZED KING JAMES VERSION OF THE ENGLISH BIBLE. London, England, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). Initial publication, 1611AD.
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