Q. Over the last few years, I’ve become increasingly sensitive to deviations from the True Gospel Message. For reasons I don’t quite fully understand, our family has found it quite difficult to find a local congregation that hasn’t been affected by the emerging church, or seeker-friendly trends that promote a social gospel. As the head of our household, I am very concerned about the spiritual welfare of my family. It almost seems to me as though the true Church is being driven underground. From your experience, is this becoming more normal as we approach the end of this age?
A. Yes, I think you’ve identified a growing trend. The Bible says that the true church will become smaller and weaker in the last days while the apostate church will grow stronger and richer.
For the Lord’s prophecy to the churches of of our times, compare the Church of Philadelphia with the Church of Laodicea in Rev. 3 About Philadelphia, a model of the evangelical Church, He said, “I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and not denied my name.”(Rev. 3:8)
But when it comes to Laodicea, a model of the apostate church, it’s a different story. Here Jesus said, “You say, ‘I am rich. I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (Rev. 3:17)
As a result of this, more and more people are turning to home churches, Bible study groups, and the internet for the true Gospel message. So while we’re not being driven underground yet, many are certainly looking at alternatives to traditional churches. Paul warned us that this would happen on the latter days.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears what to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2 Tim. 4:3-4).