The recent announcement of Ulf Ekman, founder and pastor of a Pentecostal mega church in Sweden sent a shock wave through the Church.
As I muse on the response of Christendom to this announcement, I wonder why it has startled the Church.
Has this not been the objective that has driven much of the Evangelical movement for the last twenty years?
Tom Houston declared that to be the objective of Lausanne II in Manila in 1989, as the International Executive Director at the time. March 29, 1994, the Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium (ECT) was signed by thirty-five leading Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Roman Catholics, including Dr. Bill Bright (Campus Crusade for Christ), Mr. Chuck Colson (Prison Fellowship), Dr. Os Guinness (Trinity Forum), Max Lucado (Oak Hills church of Christ, San Antonio, TX), Dr. J. I. Packer (Regent College, British Columbia), Dr. Timothy Philips (Wheaton College), Dr. John Woodbridge (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), Dr. Pat Robertson (700 Club), and Jesse Miranda (Assemblies of God).
This document was the culmination of two years of intense dialogue between Evangelicals and Roman Catholics, with the expressed objective of bringing peace between the two movements and uniting their efforts to evangelize the world.
It affirms there is agreement in the basic articles of the Christian faith.
It expresses a firm belief that Evangelicals and Roman Catholics have a common faith in Christ and that we are brothers and sisters in Christ.
The document also makes a commitment they will not seek to proselytize each other. The Evangelicals will cease evangelizing those in the Roman Catholic Church, after all, they are already saved.
I wonder if John Huss, the Huguenots, the Waldensians, and the martyrs of South America and Mexico would agree?
Surely this must mean the Roman Catholic Church has changed her position on the Reformation and corrected her doctrines regarding the Gospel and the means of Salvation?
The Roman Catholic Church still teaches and is firmly committed to the belief all “separated brethren,” meaning the Protestants, must come into the Catholic Church; for only inside the Roman Catholic Church will they receive “the help and the favors” that will give them eternal life in Heaven.
The Roman Catholic Church doctrine has not changed.
It still holds firm to the belief and teaches a person must participate in Mass and receive the body and the blood of Jesus for salvation, only found through the Eucharist in the Catholic Church; all must go to Purgatory and make the final payment for their sins; only by prayer to the saints and the intercession of Mary will a person escape Purgatory; and Mary is the only source of pardon for a sinner.
What is taking place inside the Gospel preaching churches?
After all it is not only the acceptance of Roman Catholicism but in recent months a leading evangelical pastor declared he has no problem calling members of the Mormon Church brothers and sisters, because they believe in Jesus.
Have we forgotten the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints teach God is an exalted man; Jesus is not God but one of the gods; Jesus was not begotten by Holy Spirit; Jesus is the spirit brother of Satan and was married to both Mary’s in Scripture and Martha?
With such distortion creeping under the door of the church, and I often wonder if a door has not been left open, are we on the brink of the time spoken by the Apostle Paul when he wrote to the Church of Thessalonica saying, “Remember that when I was with you I told you these things… The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:5, 9-11 NKJV).
The Lord Jesus said, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24 ASV).
Dear ones, we must be vigilant!
It is time for the leaders and shepherds of the Church to take a firm stand and fulfill the command given to us by Jude.
“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 3-4 NKJV).
Discovering True Identity: A Believer’s Position in Christ (Freedom Series) (Volume 1)Agape: Unveiling the Mask of Darkness, Setting the Captives Free (Freedom Series) (Volume 2)Charis: The Power of Grace (The Freedom Series Book 3)Discovering Jesus: A Discipleship Manual (Discipleship Series) (Volume 1)The Joy of Becoming Like Jesus: A Discipleship Manual – Discipleship 101 (Discipleship Series) (Volume 2)Becoming Ambassadors for Christ: A Discipleship Manual – Discipleship 102 (Discipleship Series) (Volume 3)