Peace if possible. Truth at all costs. ~ Martin Luther

Invasion and Counter-Offensive [Guest Blogger]

Invasionby Pastor Al Van Geersdaele

The long-awaited day had finally arrived.  It was June 6, 1944 . The order to commence Operation Overlord was issued by the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D.  Eisenhower.  After many months of preparation, and more than a few postponements, the greatest armada ever assembled set forth from England.  A total of 155,000 soldiers, 5,000 ships and landing craft, 50,000 vehicles and 11,000 planes, all headed towards beaches code-named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.

They had a single purpose in mind, to oust the formidable German army from France, and drive Hitler’s forces back to Berlin in defeat.  The headline In the New York Times read, “Allied Armies Land in France, the Great Invasion is Under Way”.  The day before the invasion, it was a secret.  The day after, the whole world was aware of it, as the hopes of the free nations rested on the troops that went ashore. 

There have been numerous open conflicts throughout the ages, as men have fought for territory, influence, and power, but not all conflicts are conducted in the open.  Right now there is a more dangerous and clandestine invasion going on in the church in America.  It is a covert operation, being conducted by principalities, powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world, as they work tirelessly to divert the attention of believers away from the Great Commission, to “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”.

Instead, the focus of believers in America is on integrating the ‘American Dream’ into the church.  The church has been diverted from preaching the uncompromising message of the total depravity of man, who is hopelessly lost and undone, instead, to fulfilling the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.  Hence, the great worldly success of “Your Best Life Now”, and “It’s Your Time”, books that appeal to all that is wrong in the church of Jesus Christ in America.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us that we can become enslaved by the desire for money and things.  After all, didn’t Jesus put materialism in perspective when He told us; “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”? (Mat 6:33)  The secret invasion by the enemy of men’s souls has been a rousing success, albeit a temporary one.  The church’s attention has been shifted, and a steady diet of the gospel of greed has been propagated by false teachers.  Sadly, it has been received with open arms.

The Christian author, Dave Hunt, wrote a book titled, “Whatever Happened to Heaven”.  I would like to ask a question of the church, “Whatever happened to Hell?”  There, I said it, I used that word that is so shunned in the church, “Hell”, and I will make no apology for it, nor will I attempt to water down its horrors, of the eternality of its existence.

Studies show that only 2% of American Evangelical Christians share their faith with the lost around them.  Is it because we do not believe in the reality of a place of eternal punishment?  Has the covert war been so successful in undermining the Word of God that it has cast doubt on the reality of Hell, where “the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched”, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth? 

The church is so preoccupied with building and feathering her nests here in this life now, that we have forgotten about the reality of eternal punishment for those who reject, or just neglect the provisions for forgiveness of sin, and the offer of spiritual life that have been provided by Jesus through Calvary’s cross.

There are many Bible parallels for this attitude.  One of them is found in the Old Testament book of Amos, who preached to a nation that had largely forgotten about God, and was preoccupied with the here and now.   The warning that the Lord gave to Amos for the people of Israel is appropriate and entirely applicable to the church in America.  Amos boldly declares; “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12)

That is what we have here, now, in the church; a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.  We don’t have a famine of the availability of the Word of God, it can be found in Christian bookstores, and in most department stores in every community.  There are radio stations throughout the land, and Christian television is broadcast 24 hours a day.  The famine is in the “hearing” of the words of the Lord.  The covert invasion has succeeded in undermining the confidence of believers in the inspiration of the scriptures, and the absolute authority that demands its acceptance and unquestioned obedience.  Because our confidence in the Word of God has been undermined, we have stopped “hearing”, like the little boy who covers his ears when mom is telling him to clean up his room.

What can be done?  How do we recover from this dilemma?  I believe that the answer lies, just as it did in the D-Day invasion, a direct attack by the forces of righteousness.  It is to be led by men of God, empowered by the Spirit of God, preaching the unadulterated and pure Word of God, proclaiming its eternal truth, without compromise or apology.  We must . . .  “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”  (2 Tim 4:2)  We are not ignorant of the enemy’s devices.  The time is now, let the order be given, the invasion is on!


 – Pastor Al Van Geersdaele serves at First Assembly of God, Brookfield, CT. as Assistant Pastor – Pastoral Ministries.

Comments

  1. Actually, the real problem with many in the church today is that they still think God is some sort of Cosmic Nazi who intends to torture billions of people, which places them only a few short steps away from turning their heads and doing nothing in face of horrific atrocities, if not committing them personally!

    I’ve actually written an entire book on this topic–Hell? No! Why You Can Be Certain There’s No Such Place As Hell, (for anyone interested, you can get a free ecopy of Did Jesus Believe in Hell?, one of the most compelling chapters in my book at http://www.thereisnohell.com), but if I may, let me share one of the many points I make in it–that there is substantial evidence contained in the gospels to show that Jesus opposed the idea of Hell.

    For example, in Luke 9:51-56, is a story about his great disappointment with his disciples when they actually suggested imploring God to rain FIRE on a village just because they had rejected him. His response: “You don’t know what spirit is inspiring this kind of talk!” Presumably, it was NOT the Holy Spirit. He went on, trying to explain how he had come to save, heal and relieve suffering, not be the CAUSE of it.

    So it only stands to reason that this same Jesus, who was appalled at the very idea of burning a few people, for a few horrific minutes until they were dead, could never, ever burn BILLIONS of people for an ETERNITY!

    True, there are a few statements that made their way into the copies of copies of copies of the gospel texts which place “Hell” on Jesus’ lips, but these adulterations came along many decades after his death, most likely due to the Church filling up with Greeks who imported their belief in Hades with them when they converted.

    Bear in mind that the historical Protestant doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures applies only to the original autographs, not the copies. But sadly, the interpolations that made their way into those copies

  2. Great post from Pastor Al! The invasion of the compromised gospel has so permeated pulpits across the country that it’s rather odd to see sermon series that advocate more self-help message, how to achieve more of this or that, here and now is completely contrary to what Scripture teaches.

    As Stephen Olford said, “Anointed expository preaching is absolutely necessary if the church is to experience true revival.”

    What is happening now is a revival of self-help sermons that cater to the carnal nature of man, rather than a solid exposition of Scripture that enables people to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible in its context.

  3. @ Rick Lannoye. Rick, your problem is not ultimately with the doctrine of Hell, nor any of the other truths of Christianity that you are bound to reject because of your position. The rock that you’ve been broken on is the authority of Scripture. Having rejected that, you have no foundation under your feet for a true theology; all you are left with is human reasoning and philosophy.

    I read your “most compelling” chapter, and it is NOT compelling at all. It’s full of misrepresentations of the history of the canon of Scripture, straw man arguments when it comes to Evangelicals, and very flimsy attacks on orthodox Christian doctrines. You’re firing a pop-gun at the rock of Gibraltar, Rick.

    The higher criticism of the neo-orthodoxy that arose out of Europe in the last century was a completely self-defeating argument, and the testament to that is easily seen in the demise of the liberal churches. The rejection of the authority of Scripture has led (predictably) to an insipid, relativistic and syncretistic “christianity” – that bears no substantive resemblance to the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ – and is now totally irrelavent to man’s need. People are leaving those churches in droves. There are churches that are still strong and thriving in America, and their strength is proportional to the centrality of God’s Word among them.

    We could happily have a good debate over eternal punishment IF you were willing to accept the Bible as the Word of God. But that’s not the case. Anything I show you from the plain teaching of Scripture will be met with “Ah, yes, but THAT is a scribal interpolation, It’s not there in some old texts.” So it’s a fruitless exercise I’m afraid. So, in obedience to 1 Timothy 1:4, I’ll pass.

    I pray God will graciously show you the truth, and grant you the gifts of faith and repentance, that you will believe His Word, trust in His Son’s substitutionary work for you on the Cross, and stop teaching what is contrary to sound doctrine. God forbid anyone should believe the false comfort of your book.

    Phil

  4. Rick,

    I’m not entirely sure what the point of your argument is here? Okay, let’s assume for a minute there is no hell? Then what happens? We all go to heaven? Should I assume I can have tea with Hitler, Bin Laden, and Stalin all in one place?

    Are you arguing that we can do whatever we want here on Earth because there is no hell later? Yes, God is forgiving; God is loving; but God is also pure and righteous. I think you missed Jeremiah 9:24 where it says, “I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight…” As previously noted in this blog, the word “delight” comes from the Hebrew root word meaning “to incline towards”. So here we see in the same verse that God can operate in lovingkindess AND exact judgement at the same time.
    Since Jesus is God, and the Trinity is intact, Jesus must also delight in the same things, correct? (I’m assuming you believe in the Trinity as apposed to a Morman or Jehovah’s Witness)

    Perhaps you should take a look at another couple of scriptures in Luke. Luke 16:23-24 outlines pretty clearly what people were going through in Jesus’ own words. “And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’(NKJV)” I would like for you to explain to me those verses. Contextualizing is not hermeneutics. We can clearly see tormenting, Hades (or Hell), someone crying for mercy, and flames. My question to you is, how could a pure, righteous, holy judge NOT punish the wicked?

    What you need to do, Rick, is repent of your ways, believe that Jesus is the only person that can save anyone from Hell, and lean on Him lest you end up there like every person SHOULD. Put away this teaching that is clearly not Biblical, and pray that no one has been fooled by your teaching.