“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. Continue reading