“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” (Matthew 23:15)
(Twofold- Greek; diploûs: meaning, two-fold, double.)
Christ said about the Pharisees that they went to great extremes to make people 200% “children of hell.” It is uncertain how committed as children of hell the Pharisees were. However, all lost souls are 100% aimed toward hell. Did the Pharisees make them twice as likely to arrive in hell? One wonders how 200% more destined for hell is even possible.
It is just my opinion, but I believe the Lord meant that after being influenced by the Pharisees, people would be twice as difficult to reach with the true Gospel. If that is the case, then we understand how great a mistake it was to allow the heretics and hirelings to slither into Christianity. I am old enough to have witnessed the tragedy. Not only was the leadership guilty of that invasion, but the rank and file professing Christians were hungry for such deception. How alluring it was to be informed that God wants them to be rich, comfortable, and disease-free! Why wait for heaven in a miserable, sin-plagued, environment? How much easier it is to “win” souls when you tell them that everything they are searching for in the World System can be had by coming to God in salivating expectation—even demanding and ordering Him to keep His promises? They eagerly invited the deceivers.
When the Word of Faith doctrine emerged, Pentecostals, and also Charismatics exiting the liturgical denominations, were the primary adherents. Unscrupulous pastors recognized the opportunity to build their churches numerically. They abandoned soul-winning to become proselyters. It was all downhill from that point. Once the gate was opened to Hagan, Copeland and their ilk, other ones with increasingly bizarre heresies came strolling in. Religious television became popular and heretics of all stripes rose to prominence. Religious networks such as PTL and TBN provided a steady stream of good and bad doctrine. Eventually, the programming was reduced to totally spiritual unclean programming.
However, apostasy already existed in the denominations that adhered to false soteriology. They had the nation saturated with apathy and complacency. When the millions of liturgical and other dead denominational escapees joined the Charismatic heresy, they did not leave their belief systems behind. They merely added the Charismatic heresies and became more the children of hell. In that period no one challenged the false soteriology of individuals exiting dead religions, i.e., the Methodist, Baptist or Roman Catholic churches. Pastors counted heads, rejoiced over the increase in attendance, and erecting massive, ornate, buildings to honor their accomplishments.
Thus, the new proselytes that were 100% committed to a false gospel became even more bound and unreachable in their belief systems. Even the ones that remained in the spiritual dearth of apostate denominationalism were more unreachable. I know from experience that people under the influence of someone such as Charles Stanley are near impossible to reach with the true Gospel. The same is more true for all of the individuals that submit to the influence of famed modern heretics.
On a side note, I find it fascinating that many of the individuals that are exposing the bizarre modem heretics are themselves believers in ages-old heresies that have frustrated the true Gospel of Christ. There is no way to number the souls that have been made two-fold children of hell by Augustine, Calvin, Luther, or their offshoots. Anyone that convinces someone that he or she is predestined to be eternally in God’s Kingdom is accursed. Additionally, individuals that espouse once a confession of faith in Christ as Lord and Savior has been made, one can commit any degree or type of sin and remain a child of God, is also accursed. Yet, the majority of individuals in so-called “discernment ministries” hold to one of those errant positions that are opposed to the true Gospel of Christ. They may deliver souls from Kenneth Copeland, but encourage them to be followers of Charles Stanley.
The major heretics today are actually worshipped to the extent that they are at least subliminally equated with God’s word. People hang on their every statement. Attempting to reach such individuals with the truth seems impossible. In all cases, they are offended, become angry, and very defensive.
One has much more success witnessing to secular lost people than the 200% deceived ones. That is the primary reason that all the efforts to warn people and inform them about the Apostasy, have failed. It is much easier to beat the wolves away from the gate than to eject them from the sheepfold.
The fact is, God gave us a free moral choice. We’d like to grab people by the shoulders and shake some sense into them, but we can’t. They must be willing to hear and react faithfully to the truth. Now they say to the shepherds, “You’re the real wolf!” To the “wolves” they say, “You are my Shepherd!” They cannot be convinced otherwise because they are 200% in the grip of deception.
A rank reprobate, such as Kanye West—untried, unproven, and uncouth—can now stroll into Christianity and begin at the top level. It is not because he has been exalted by God. Rather, it is because the leadership positions are now level with the lowest degree of expectation. The requirement is no longer to be called by God, espouse sound doctrine, manifest godliness (the fruit of the Holy Spirit) and obvious anointing. One must only have been made famous by soaking in unfettered wickedness of the World System. Will not such a man’s proselytes be 200% more children of hell? And what will be God’s judgment on the ones that facilitate and support such an evil tragedy?
So here we are—surrounded by an innumerable company of the 200% children of hell. The glaring question is, “What can God’s Remnant do?”
The Believers must continue speaking the truth and exposing the darkness. I believe that the day will come that it will be clear to many wolf-followers that they were deceived. Consider the words of Daniel.
“And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.” – Daniel 11:35
And then there is this statement by the Apostle Paul.
“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:15
I believe that when persecution begins, some people that are presently deceived will realize their mistakes. If that occurs, the only truth available may be in their memories. So we must continue to proclaim it even when it appears not much is being accomplished. The 200% may never turn around, but we hope in the power of God’s Holy Spirit that truth will reach the hearts of some that are in darkness.
“In your patience possess ye your souls.” – Luke 21:19