Bridge building heresy!
The bridge building ecumenical movement promoted today by Rick Warren, Pope Francis, heretical teachers and even some that may mean well are more akin to the salt losing its savor rather than the biblical examples set forth by Jesus, the disciples and prophets.
Warning from Pastor Chuck Smith:
Jonah’s more direct message of what God told him to say to the Ninevites or Peter’s heart cutting message on the day of Pentecost or John the Baptist message to the Pharisees would not have qualified for the ecumenical bridge building approach that is being touted as biblical today.
According to the scriptures the way we can tell if an evangelistic message is from the Holy Spirit is that the message always points to Jesus Christ and will reprove the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. While there are biblical examples of what could be considered bridge building such as Jesus with the woman at the well or the apostle Paul at Mars hill, the primary focus was repentance and a restored relationship to God. The purpose was never to simply befriend someone and continue to work with them as long as you could maintain peace as Rick Warren says God showed him in the purpose driven life.
RW: “Then I said, ‘How did You do it? You wouldn’t have left us without a strategy.’ And I found the answer in a passage in Matthew 10 and Luke 10 where Jesus sends His first followers out…He says, ‘When you go into a village, you find the man of peace in every village, in every government, in every business, in every church.* The man of peace does not have to be a Christian believer. Could be Muslim. Could be Jewish. Because when Jesus said, ‘Find the man of peace, there were no Christians yet. Jesus hadn’t died on the cross. There was no resurrection. He’s just saying, go out and find somebody to work with.” (pp. 149-150)
This is what Rick Warren says Jesus is saying but Jesus said, “And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.”
The bible never teaches us to just go out and find somebody to work with but rather to shake the dust off our feet and move on if that person refuses to be reconciled to God after presenting the gospel message. Our focus is not to build bridges of friendships with the world but to plead with everyone to be reconciled with God. There can only be peace with God and our fellow man when there is first…. repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Building friendship bridges and just finding someone to work with only results in the salt losing it savour and friendship with the world which is enmity against God.
[Jas 4:4 KJV] 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
The biblical example of the apostle Paul’s approach to shake the dust off of his feet with the Jews who refused to listen to him after he had reasoned with them from the Scriptures or his rebuke of the woman with the spirit of divination would never qualify under the bridge building concepts promoted by Rick Warren, the Pope, Roma Downey and a plethora of heretical teachers connected with the ecumenical movement. Did any of the biblical examples mentioned above ever build bridges, share platforms with, legitimize, or fellowship with false teachers?
We see this happening with many well know bible teachers including more recently Brian Broderson of Calvary Chapel Global Network. Brian has continued with the ecumenical connections in spite of the warnings of rightly divided scripture that he has received. The scriptures warn us that just before Christ return these kinds of things would take place. [2Th 2:2 KJV] 2-3 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first….
It’s a good lesson for us all to never look to or follow a man, celebrities or even well meaning friends but to look to Jesus and his Word alone.
[Gal 1:6-10 KJV] I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
John MacArthur and the Mark of the Beast
John MacArthur teaches that those who take the Mark of the Beast
during the Tribulation period can still be redeemed.
Click to listen to Audio: https://youtu.be/RdcauyKpPOU
QUESTIONER: “Oh, my question is in regard to the latter half of the Tribulation period, when…when men will be required to have the mark of the beast in order to buy or sell. My question is once the person takes the mark, is there any possibility of Him coming to Christ?”
JOHN: “Yes, I think, you know, in the seven-year Tribulation coming in the future, we’re gonna get into this, so probably a week from Sunday night, maybe this Sunday night, maybe a week, I’m not sure. But the Tribulation is a seven-year period, right? The Rapture of the church, seven-year Tribulation, then Christ returns, sets up His Kingdom. Now, in that seven-year period, really two things happen. God begins to judge the world in…with a series of holocausts; and, at the same time, He begins to redeem His people Israel; and in the process of this, the antichrist establishes his rule; and in order to function in the economy of the antichrist, you have to take the mark of the beast. The mark being the number of a man, Revelation 13, 666. Six is the number of man, right? Seven is the number of perfection, and man always falls short of perfection, 666, always sixes, never seven. So the number of a man, and apparently what’s gonna happen, you take the mark on your hand or on your forehead; and we’ve talked a lot about that, you know, that…that that’s kind of the computer situation. We’re now moving fast toward the time when we’re going to have to do everything we do by cards and by numbers and all of that, and those number…the thing about a card that’s a problem is you lose it, and they’ve already devised systems to put the number on your hand and on your forehead, and you go through a scanner and, you know, that’s how you buy and sell. It’s automatically deducted from your bank account.
“Now, the question is, if you’re living in the Tribulation period, and you take this mark, in other words, you identify with the beast’s empire, will you still be able to be redeemed? And I think the answer to that is yes. Yes! Otherwise there would be no salvation of anybody in the end of the Tribulation; and you’ve got to have the salvation of folks in the end of the Tribulation. You’re gonna have the Jews redeemed. You’re gonna have, according to Revelation chapter 7, ‘An innumerable number of Gentiles redeemed, so many they can’t even be counted across the face of the earth.’ So I don’t think the fact that someone takes that is a sentence to, to permanency anymore than you being a part of this world system once in your life means you have to be a part of the system all your life. Well, especially when 144,000 don’t start their ministry till the second half. That’d make it a little tough.”
Ironically, John MacArthur presented this false teaching during a Question & Answer forum at his church titled Unleashing God’s Truth One Verse at a Time. That those who receive the mark of the Beast will be able to be redeemed is a deadly deception that will cause multitudes to be eternally damned; for God has explicitly warned that anyone who receives the mark of the beast will be eternally tormented with fire:
“Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives hismark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Rev. 14:9-11)
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4)
The Word of God could not be plainer concerning the eternal state of those who receive the mark of the Beast: “If any man” (noexceptions) “worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand…he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone…for ever and ever…whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
How does John MacArthur, an expositor of Scripture who publishes Study Bibles with copious notes explaining verses and passages therein, overlook one of the strongest and most critical warnings in Scripture?
John MacArthur introduced this “damnable heresy” in 1980, and he has issued no retraction since then; yea, MacArthur’s propaganda ministers defend him and this heretical teaching, and discredit those who expose it as deception.
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