Ecumenical Church Unity - A Plan of the Devil - We are living in a day of ecumenical propaganda calling on the churches of the world to amalgamate. Church unity is moving at a breathtaking pace. This is the apostasy that the bible tells us will happen in the end time and the false prophet when he comes, will ensure this happens.
Many years ago, Tim LaHaye states he preached a sermon in his church entitled "The Ecumenical Church - A sign of Our Lord's Return." During that message he stated that the day would come when Roman Catholicism and liberal Protestantism would begin moving together and make overtures to unite.
That statement struck many in the church like a bombshell. He was accused of being radical and extreme. When he makes that statement now, he finds overwhelming agreement. The newspapers are filled with accounts of such strange things as Catholic and Protestant churches working together with the Jews on a common translation of the Scriptures.
A Baptist minister participating with a Catholic priest in a marriage ceremony, and a Catholic priest participating in the ordination of a Baptist minister, after which he was quoted as saying, "It was a rich and meaningful experience."
"As we approach the end of the Church Age, we can expect to see liberal Protestantism, in the form of the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches, being swallowed up by the Church of Rome. This unity movement should not, however, be limited to apostate Christianity.
We can expect to see it move toward amalgamating all the religions of the world under Rome's headship because our text states that the religious system at the end time will be a one world religion: "Where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages" (Rev. 17 v.15) This can only mean a one world religious system.
One World Religion - Before considering the plaques and judgments of the Tribulation, we would do well to understand something of the reason for the ferocity of God's judgments. One of the majority causes of His divine wrath is the corrupt one world religion that will arise at that time.
Rev. 17 v.5 gives us a graphic picture of this global "church." John calls it "Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and the Abominations of the Earth" He said she committed fornication with the kings of the earth, clothed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls. She also held a golden cup full of "abominations and the filthiness of her "fornication" v.4 Mystery Babylon the Great
All symbols of her great wealth and corrupt influence. John tells us in verse 3 that she sits on a "scarlet beast", the same beast identified in Rev 13 as the Antichrist. And he adds this in verse 16. And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. Ten Horns
The Charming Harlot - The word "harlot" was also connected with the practice of witchcraft when the prophet Nahum pronounced judgment upon the great ancient city of Nineveh: "Because of the multitude of the harlotries of the charming harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that sells nations through her harlotries, and families through her witchcrafts." (Nahum 3 v.4)
Isaiah also called the city of Tyre a harlot. In the Tribulation period, it won't be a city or a nation that is practicing this spiritual adultery. It will be the entire world, or "world system", as James called it. The world system is the organized system of world attitudes and institutions that exclude God's way and is under Satan's control. We can see the beginnings of this system in our own world today.
That Old Intoxicating Spell - In Israel's history of seductions, each time she was lured away from her Jehovah God it was by a perversion of religion. And so it is with the great harlot which John sees. She symbolizes an enormous false religious system that is so appealing that she has been able to seduce all the kings of the earth with her deceptions. Not only will this seductive religious prostitute wield control over the leaders of the nations, but even the common man will be intoxicated with her.
What kind of religious system can we expect under the harlot? What powerful secrets will she hold that permit her to bring together atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and cultural (but unbelieving) Christians? Most interpreters of this chapter have simply updated the thinking of the Protestant reformers who believed that the Pope would be the Antichrist and the Roman Catholic Church the whore of Babylon.
In the opinion of Hal Lindsey, this is inaccurate, a little to simple. The Catholic Church has been steadily declining in popularity and its difficult to imagine any Pope, even one as popular as John Paul II who was able to rein in Muslims under his leadership. The main question is this: How could any false brand of Christianity get all the other religions to join it?
The religious system of the Tribulation period will have to offer more than some watered down brand of false Christianity to muster an appeal on the broad scale described here. Many churches today have already learned through their declining attendance that watered down Christianity bores people to death. Apostasy
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