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We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching the Bible and understanding our time in

the light of Bible prophecy

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Global peace plan - who is right?

Rick Warren, author of the best selling book The Purpose Driven Life and

leader of the Saddleback mega-church in California has launched a global

PEACE plan which aims to enlist one billion foot soldiers for the Kingdom

of God. In a talk given to 30,000 people in Anaheim, USA he announced his

plan which will permanently change the face of international missions to

take on these five global giants for which the church can become the

ultimate distribution and change agent to overcome Spiritual Emptiness,

Self-serving Leadership, Poverty, Disease and ignorance (or illiteracy).

This is the most important series of messages we’ve ever taught in 23 years

here at Saddleback church. We believe it is part of the beginning of a

Spiritual Awakening, a Global Movement, a New Reformation. The First

Reformation returned us to the message of the original church. It was a

reformation of doctrine - what the church BELIEVES. This Second Reformation

will return us to the mission of the original church. It will be a

reformation of purpose- what the church DOES in the world.

 

All of this sounds very inspiring and is having a huge impact on evangelical

Christians. However the idea that the church can change the leadership of

the world system and eradicate poverty, disease and ignorance does not

square up with the Word of God nor with the reality of what is happening in

the world today. Jesus said there are going to be famines, earthquakes,

pestilences and disasters hitting the earth with increasing frequency in the

last days and widespread persecution of Christians, in fact the complete

opposite of what Rick Warren is saying.

 

This is not to say that Christians should not be involved in giving relief

to those in need in the world. But the idea that the church can be mobilised

to bring a new leadership to the world which will eradicate poverty and

social ills is another restatement of the dominion teaching which has

blinded Christians to the truth of the prophetic word over the past thirty

years and sent them down the path to disappointment. Dreams of transforming

society and endless prophecies of imminent revival always turn to dust and

ashes in the face of social reality. More and more people turn to yoga, Tai

Chi and other alternative spiritualities based on Hinduism and eastern

religions, Islam becomes more and more assertive, and apostate Church

leaders continue to deny the fundamentals of the faith to the applause of

the media which for the most part shows hatred and disdain for the Lord

Jesus Christ. Meanwhile crime, violence, terrorism, breakdown of family life

and sexual immorality continue to increase at alarming rates across the

world, making life almost unbearable for millions.

 

There is not a shred of evidence either in the Bible or in world events

around us that a billion man evangelical Christian army will lead the world

out of darkness into the light of Rick Warrens New Reformation. For a

start there are not a billion evangelical Christians on the earth anyway.

The only way you can come up with this figure is if you include the Roman

Catholics and other nominal Christians as part of the same church, which

appears to be the way of modern evangelical Christianity anyway. Billy

Graham said of the late Pope He was one of those rare individuals whose

legacy will endure long after he has gone. I will always remember his

personal warmth to me and his deep interest in our ministry. Joel Edwards,

Director of UK Evangelical Alliance, said, John Paul II was one of the most

remarkable Christian leaders of recent times, a Christian pastor with a

commitment to evangelisation and the global church and to creedal

Christianity. Brian Houston, founder of Hillsong Church in Australia said,

We pray that this papacy, like those before it is marked by a commitment to

seeing the Christian message go forward and people changed by the power of

the Gospel.

 

How can Roman Catholicism and the late Pope who believed Mary to be a

mediator between man and God and who was happy to say that Buddhists,

Hindus, Muslims and animists were praying to the same God as Christians be

commended in this way by evangelical Christians? How can people be changed

by the power of the Gospel in a church which denies that power? If this is

the majority view of evangelical Christians today we need to go back to the

first Reformation and recognise the role of Roman Catholicism in persecuting

Biblical Christianity and preventing the spread of the authentic Gospel and

the Word of God.

 

In the real Reformation men like Jan Hus, Latimer, Ridley and Tyndale gave

their lives being burnt at the stake in order to bring the glorious message

of the Gospel to people blinded by popish superstition and error. In the

mega-churches of America which are promoting the New Reformation sponsored

by Rick Warren we have dance floors, shopping malls and Christianity made

pleasant and palatable to the people while for the most part the Word of God

is left outside, especially when it comes to Bible prophecy.

 

In his book Purpose Driven Life (page 285-6) Rick Warren implies that the

study of prophecy is a distraction from sharing our faith. Commenting on

Acts 1.6-8, he writes When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy,

Jesus quickly switched the conversation to evangelism. He wanted them to

concentrate on their mission to the world. He said in essence, The details

of my return are none of your business. What is your business is the mission

I have given you. Focus on that! This actually misses the point of the

discussion between Jesus and the disciples in Acts 1. Jesus was not saying

the details of His return are none of our business, He was simply saying the

events surrounding the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel were not going

to happen there and then in the lifetime of the disciples, but that they had

a job to do, which is to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

 

If the Lord considered the details of His return to be none of our business

it is a bit odd that He should tell the disciples the signs of His second

coming in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) and that so

much of the Old and New Testament should be taken up with prophecies about

this event.

 

In fact the idea that there is a conflict between those who want to study

prophecy and those who want to get on with the mission of Jesus is a red

herring. If you understand prophecy you will realise the urgency of the

message of the Gospel going out so that people can be saved from the

judgement that is coming on the earth. It is the apostate church that wants

to get the Christians away from looking at the prophecies of the Bible,

because they tell us that in the last days there will be false Messiahs and

false prophets leading many astray and a false Church allied to the

political world system bringing persecution on the true Christians (Matthew

24.5, 23-26, 2 Thessalonians 2, 2 Timothy 3-4, 2 Peter 2, Jude, Revelation 17).

 

Interestingly the Roman Catholic Church in Britain has published a statement

called The Gift of Scripture which states that we cannot expect to find

total accuracy in the Bible. In particular it says that the first 11

chapters of Genesis and the Book of Revelation are not to be taken literally

and that we cannot expect to find details about the end of the world in

Revelation. Yet the Lord Himself states that Revelation is about the things

which will take place after this (Rev 1.19) and it describes in detail the

Great Tribulation period, the reign of the Beast (Antichrist), Armageddon

and the Second Coming of Christ to the earth. Revelation 22.18-19 pronounces

a curse on those who would add or take away from the words of the book of

this prophecy.

 

Of course it is not only Roman Catholicism that is saying you cannot take

Genesis and Revelation seriously. Many supposedly evangelical Bible colleges

training people for ministry in churches in the UK also pour scorn on a

literal interpretation of Genesis and Revelation. However if we cannot trust

what God says about the beginning and the end, why should we trust what He

says about what happens in between? In fact Creation science groups are

producing excellent material showing that the Genesis account is the most

plausible explanation of how we came to be here and our purpose in this

magazine is to help Christians understand the significance of Bible prophecy

and its relation to current events.

 

Anyone who has a sober and realistic evaluation of the current world

situation must recognise that the world is heading for the Great Tribulation

and the reign of the Antichrist. A world that indoctrinates its children

with occultism, violence and sexual immorality is not going to turn en masse

to Jesus the Messiah when the troubles hit the earth, but to the false

Messiah or Antichrist (Revelation 13). Our world system today is a house on

the sand which is heading for disaster and neither politicians, business

leaders nor church leaders are able to stop the calamity that is coming. The

only one who can sort out the mess which we have made of the earth is the

Lord Jesus Himself and Bible prophecy makes it clear that He will do that

when He returns in power and glory.

 

However if the church has been encouraged to reject the prophetic word and

to cooperate with the world in trying to solve its problems by a global

PEACE plan, it will end up compromising with the world system and the

apostate church, described as Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of

Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth in Revelation 17.5. As this

organisation is going to persecute true Christians (I saw the woman, drunk

with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus),

the call of the Lord is to Come out of Babylon not to cooperate with it!

 

Gods real peace plan has to do with Jesus the Messiah returning to the

Mount of Olives at the time when global conflict brings the armies of the

world to Jerusalem at the end of this age. In the meantime His call is for

us to make peace with God by repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

who shed His blood at the cross in order to redeem us. Sadly in the midst of

all the clamour for a New Reformation which Rick Warren is calling for,

there is a growing neglect of the preaching of the Gospel and study of the

Word of God in professing evangelical churches. As a result the New

Reformation is in fact looking like the Counter Reformation which sought to

lead the church back to the dark ages of superstition and ignorance.

 

We do agree however that a global movement mobilising Christians is needed,

but mobilising them to warn of the coming time of judgement and to point to

the Lord Jesus who has come in fulfilment of prophecies of the Suffering

Servant Messiah and who is coming again in fulfilment of the prophecies of

the Reigning King Messiah. We need to pray that the Holy Spirit will raise

up such a movement and publish the word of salvation to this last generation

while time remains.

 

Sir Isaac Newton, the famous scientist who lived from 1643  1727, was a

Bible believing Christian. He wrote About the time of the end, a body of

men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the Prophecies and

insist upon their literal interpretation in the midst of much clamour and

opposition. As the world heads for disaster many people are going to be

looking for an answer which makes sense. The idea that the Christians are

about to take over the government and solve the problems of poverty and

bring godly leadership to the world will look ridiculous in the conditions

described by Jesus and the Apostles for the end of this age. The only

message which will make sense is the call to flee the wrath to come and to

repent and believe the Gospel for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

 

While we do not have the kind of numbers Rick Warren can call on, we do have

a growing network of people around the world who know that the end of this

age is coming and want to make the message of salvation known. If you are on

a sinking ship and the water is pouring in through a multitude of holes,

there is not much point in directing your efforts to filling in the holes.

You need to be getting people off the ship and onto the life boat.

 

By this I do not mean that Christians should not be engaged in helping those

in need as a part of a concern for their eternal souls. I do mean that if

Christians think they can save the world system by so doing they are going

to be disappointed. This is because the ship the human race is travelling in

today, the Cosmos world system, is holed in many places beneath the water

line. It cannot be saved from destruction. But the people who are on it can

be saved. There is only one lifeboat which can carry us to safety

repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

If you are challenged to do something about this here are some suggestions.

 

Pray that God will raise up those who can minister the truth in these days

and point people to salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus.

 

Distribute leaflets, magazines, books and videos designed to make people

aware of the coming of the Lord and the way of salvation (we can supply).

 

Organise a Bible study looking at the issues of the end times (we have

produced a series of Bible studies on this subject  The Omega Course,

available for £1 including postage).

 

Organise a meeting (in a home or in a church) to show a film about the end

times and invite non Christians along. Study yourself so you are able to show

people troubled by what is happening in the world that Jesus is coming again

and how to find faith in Him.

 

For further information on the Purpose Driven Church send for the book

Deceived on Purpose by Warren Smith available from us for £8 including

postage.

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