The apostasy that was just beginning in the days of the first churches grew quickly as the centuries passed, eventually producing the Roman Catholic Church. Then, came the "health and prosperity" evangelists of the twentieth century who helped build Trinity Broadcasting Network into the largest religious television network in the world. By distorting and turning the biblical doctrine of faith into a power anyone can use to obtain wealth and healing, these con men and women have personally amassed fortunes at the expense of the biblically feeble and illiterate - who were ripe for the picking. Futhermore, the only safeguard against such deception - the reading and obedience of the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit - is being systematically diluted throughout the evangelical church. The Bible warns that just prior to the return of Christ, the apostasy will be almost complete. That is why preachers today are obligated to be even more agressive and more divisive. That is the main purpose of this ministry and the commission that the Lord Jesus Christ had given me way back in 1997.
The reason why we need to be divisive is because God has commanded us to preach all of His Word and to "reprove, rebuke, exhort" (2 Timothy 4:2). This is the preacher's divine standard. God has commanded us not only to believe sound doctrine, but also to earnestly contend for it (Jude 3). That means we are to fight agrressively against that which is false. This is exactly what we see in the uncompromising ministry of the Lord's Apostles. Their epistles contain strong and clear warnings about false teaching. Paul often named the names of the false teachers. Such a ministry naturally causes divisions between those who are committed to the truth and those who are following error. Paul made no effort whatsoever to avoid doctrinal controversy. The Holy Spirit warned that "evil men and seducers shalll wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:13).
Of course, there will be those who will say that (as John MacArthur says in his book, The Truth War; page 73), "Isn't it time to set aside our differences and just love one another?" "Rather than battling people with whom we disagree over various points of doctrine, why not stage a cordial dialogue with them and listen to their ideas?" "Can't we have a friendly conversation rather than a bitter clash?" "Shouldn't we be congenial rather than contentious?" "Does the current generation really need to perpetuate the fight over beliefs and ideologies? Or can we at last declare peace and set aside all the debates over doctrine?"
Well, Yes, there is a legitimate concern in the tone of such questions. Scripture does command us: "It if it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men" (Romans 12:18). Even when conflict proves unavoidable, we are not to adopt a mean spirit.
But, as John MacArthur puts it, conflict is not always unavoidable! That is Jude's whole point in writing his epistle. To remain faithful to the truth, sometimes it is even necessary to wage "civil war" within the church - especially when enemies of truth posing as brethren and believers are smuggling dangerous heresy in by stealth! John MacArthur says, on pages 74-75 of his book, The Truth War:
- "We cannot sit by and do nothing while worldly, revisionist, and skeptical attitudes about truth are infiltrating the church! We must not embrace such confusion in the name of charity, collegiality, or unity. We have to stand and fight for the truth - and be prepared to die for it - as faithful Christians always have! Truth is always under assault. And it is actually a sin not to fight when vital truths are under attack!
- "The Apostle Jude was compelled by the Holy Spirit to exhort us with all passion "to contend earnestly for the faith which was once and for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). Jude was not writing this because he took some kind of perverse glee in being militant! He was not responding to some sort of momentary, personal anger. This was critical, and since the writers of Scripture never wrote by human self-will, but only as they were moved by the Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:21), the extreme urgency of Jude reflects the sovereign influence of the Holy Spirit, and therefore also the mind of Christ.
- "We thus have an urgent mandate from God Himself to do our part in the Truth War. The Holy Spirit, through the pen of Jude, is urging Christians to exercise caution, discernment, courage, and the will to contend earnestly for the truth.
- Notice what we are supposed to be fighting for. It is not anything petty, personal, mundane, or ego related. This warfare has a very narrow objective. What we are called to defend is no less than 'the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.'"
Taking God's Word seriously is the obligation of every Christian who should submit his/her preferences to it. But, sadly, this is not happening enough in the Christain church today. We must all be mindful of the warning of 2 Timothy 4:3: "For the time will come will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires."
What we need in Christianity are more people who will stand for the truth of God's Word instead of trying to water it down in order to meet the needs and preferences of the politically correct or the unregenerant.
My name is Minister Arlee Turner Jr. and I hereby make this bold proclamation: I am prepared to suffer and even die for the Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God's Ultimate Weapon Ministry calls out to Christian men and women to stand upon the Word whether it is popular or not, whether it is easy or not, and whether it costs them or not.
(Instructions Are Coming Soon!) - ATJ