Deception is poison and the sad reality is many of our churches, especially pastors, are drinking it with passion believing it will make them and their churches better. The enemy does not come as a devil in the open, he comes to cause “reasonable doubt.”
What I am seeing among Pentecostal friends in ministry is an open questioning of our eschatology. To be blunt, I hear more and more of doom and gloomers than ever before. On the other end, I hear people preaching full blown partial perterism that is heretical.
We are seeing people get downright goofy in our churches and people openly questioning Pentecostal eschatology like never before. Everything from the end time harvest to the catching up of the saints seems to be free game for trashing around the donut table of our fellowships.
I firmly believe people like Smith Wigglesworth, Lillian Trasher, and George Zimmerman would not be throwing away our values for revival just because it is popular to preach either doom and gloom or this odd partial perterism that is gaining influence in our churches.
We are in danger of “putting up with false teachers” just like the saints in Pergamum did in the early church. Today it is not the Nicolaitans but it is Open Theists and doom and gloomers.
Paul is rebuking the Pentecostal movement
In the first letter to the Thessalonians, there was some very strong language about people mocking the soon and imminent return of the Lord. In fact, in almost every letter to the churches that is in the New Testament; we are reminded that Jesus could and will come like a thief in the night.
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope…. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13,16-18)
We are told to encourage one another for the coming of the Lord, the catching up of the saints and the blessed hope; not sit around and questioning it and figure out which talking head on Fox News we use to justify our lack of conviction for revival in our generation.
I do not care it is Bill Johnson, Jimmy Swaggart or John Bevere; if they are openly questioning the end time harvest and catching up of the saints; it must be rejected as false teaching. It is not what scripture points to and it is not what our fathers of Pentecost left us. I am sorry but I can’t see Smith Wigglesworth and Roswell Flower sitting at the table gossipping about which friend would be backslid.
Purify the Pulpits of Pentecost
I believe very strongly that a pastor should hold to the teaching of the movement he is part of or he should have the integrity to find a movement that is closer to his doctrinal conviction. I am not Vineyard but many friends are. The reason I am not is because I can not say I hold the same theology as they do. In the same way, Pentecostals who openly question praying in tongues and the catching up of saints should not be in our pulpits.
When a minister signs that form that says they believe a list of theological positions and hold to them; they need to have the moral compass to actually sign it with honesty. If they do not believe in the Pre-Tribulation rapture; they should not sign the form saying they do. The same goes for healing and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I am surprised at the amount of pastors that I personally know that openly question divine healing is a integral part of the gospel. As unbelievable as it sounds, I have heard Pentecostal pastors try and convince people they would not be healed. This “if it be the Lord’s will” disclaimer is for the Baptists, not the Pentecostals!
The poison of our movement is getting preachers to question the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, initial physical evidence, divine healing and the end time revival. If the pastor doesn’t believe it, the people will never hear it!
Is Pentecostal education failing?
I am very thankful for my theological education but I am openly asking if our schools are failing us? Are we graduating people that just do the classes but are not trained up for Pentecostal ministry? It is alarming how many questionable ministries come out of schools.
I am a firm believer in Berean School of the Bible and I understand if someone who is not formally trained says something a little off base. They have just enough theology to led a church. However, I am blown away when I hear graduates of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary making the same questionable statements.
This is one reason that I have been so vocal about the closing of Central Bible College in Springfield. What was once the proving grounds of Pentecostal preachers and missionaries is now throw on the campus of a liberal art school. I fear that the actual training of theological sound preachers will suffer in the name of enrollment numbers and being more “seeker sensitive.”
If our schools are not cleaning the house of the poison, there is no way we can ever clear the churches of them. We need revival in our Pentecostal universities more than ever. It is not enough to throw a little Greek and Hebrew on top on our Sociology and Psychology. What we are developing social workers and not miracles workers.
Pentecostal churches need to return to the ancient path of revival and encourage each other for the catching up of the saints.