From Pastor Doug*
An Amazing Fact: Grigori Rasputin, also known as the Mad Monk of Russia, was born a simple peasant, but when he entered Saint Petersburg on foot in 1903, this illiterate yet charismatic Orthodox monk soon persuaded many he was a prophet and healer. Working his way up the social ladder, the unkempt mystic manipulated his way into the palace of Tsar Nicholas II—who was mesmerized by his cult of personality. Once, when confronted regarding his immoral behavior and promiscuity, Rasputin proudly retorted, “I commit great sins that are worthy of great forgiveness.” Soon the false prophet began to give the Tsar disastrous political and military advice, contributing to the fall of Russia into communism.
Wolves in Wool: An Urgent Warning to the Flock!
Have you ever got the sense that a pastor was compromising truth for popularity and power?
The apostle Paul warned us that, in the last days, false teachers would arise from within our very own ranks. He called them wolves, people who would teach a popular but perverted gospel in an attempt to gather disciples to themselves (Acts 20:29, 30).
Also, speaking of the last days, Jesus warned, “Take heed that no one deceives you. … Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matthew 24:4, 11 NKJV).
How do you spot a false prophet—a wolf in sheep’s clothing? In Matthew 7:16, Jesus said you would ultimately know them by their fruits. There is also another specific sure-fire indicator …
… do they teach that Jesus saves us from our sins or in our sins?
Saved From Sin
In popular books and on TV, it seems everywhere I turn many Christian pastors and teachers are making light of sin. They seem only to talk about mercy and love—with scarcely any mention of repentance, confession, and victory. They preach “smooth things,” promising sinners a false security when Scripture teaches there is no peace for the wicked (Jeremiah 8:11; Isaiah 48:22).
Instead, the Bible teaches real peace comes through surrender and obedience. “Great peace have they which love thy law” (Psalm 119:165). After Jesus rescued the woman caught in adultery, He said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Jesus did not tell her to try to “sin a little less.”
Every week Amazing Facts gets letters from distressed viewers saying things like …
- “Our pastor never seems to say anything about obeying God and keeping His commandments …”
- “People are baptized into our church while still drinking, smoking, and living in sin. What should we do?”
- “Our Sunday School teacher tells us, ‘Once you’re saved, regardless of how much you sin, you cannot be lost.’ Is this true?”
So I thank God for the testimonies we get from people like Clifton, who writes, “The Bible for me through Amazing Facts has become what it’s intended to be: the life-transforming, victorious Living Word of God. Because Scripture now connects in my thinking, Bible studying is more enjoyable and I’m conquering sin in my life! Thank you, Jesus, for Amazing Facts!” Praise the Lord!
The Real Gospel
Friend, is there any sin you struggle with that God is not POWERFUL enough to give you the victory over? Seven times in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, Jesus promises salvation to “those who overcome.” Why would He say that unless it really is possible to overcome? No one questions the devil’s power to tempt us to sin; why would we doubt Jesus’ power to give us victory over it?
That’s why the Father sent His precious Son to die for us. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (NASB).
You know, it really doesn’t matter where Doug Batchelor stands on law and grace or any other issue—it only matters where God stands. What does the Bible teach? We both know! Yet I keep witnessing wolves in wool destroying the flock with a counterfeit gospel!
Is it any wonder then that the majority of Christians recently surveyed are unsure if homosexual marriage is morally wrong? This is what happens when church members feed on a cultural gospel instead of a biblical one.
That’s why the ministry of Amazing Facts is so important today—when so many are preaching “a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). I pray the true message of Jesus will always be the message of Amazing Facts.
We Can’t Ignore It
Talking about sin is not a popular topic, but ignoring it is deadly. Something is wrong!
The primary ministry of Amazing Facts is evangelism, but we have always felt that we also have a responsibility to call believers to revival, to “shepherd the flock of God” (1 Peter 5:2). Someone needs to “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression” (Isaiah 58:1).
So how can we save God’s lambs from the wolves in wool? How do we get the real message of salvation from sin out to the people? “Preach the Word”! (2 Timothy 4:2).
Standing on the Rock,
Pastor Doug Batchelor
(* Admin note: I do not claim ownership of this post which is actually found at http://www.amazingfacts.org/publications/from-pastor-doug/id/637/wolves-in-wool-an-urgent-warning-to-the-flock.aspx – if the author of this work wishes for me to remove it, please notify me.)
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