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THE CHURCH IN TODAY’S APOSTASY

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.,
Pastor Emeritus

A lesson taught at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, February 14, 2021

Hymn Sung Before the Lesson: “He Is Coming Again”
(by Mabel Johnston Camp, 1871-1937).


Please turn to II Timothy 3:1-13 (p. 1280 Scofield).

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (II Timothy 3:1-13; p. 1280).

You will notice that this passage is described by the Scofield note above verse one, which says, “The Apostasy Predicted.”

Focus on the first two verses of chapter 3,

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…”

“This know also.” Dr. Timothy Lin retranslated this as “realize this.” Thus God wants us to “know” or “realize” this about the church of the last days for two main reasons:

(1) To help real Christians to avoid Satanic deception.

(2) To help real Christians to avoid the ungodliness of the church in the last days.

The Devil has a great deal to do with the church in the last days. The Bible says, “The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:12; p. 1341).

Dr. Lin said, “Satan is doing all he can throughout his life.” Have you noticed how often the shouting screamers are led by false prophets? People like Jimmy Swaggart and Jerry Falwell, Jr.

“This know also” (realize this) is given by God to help real Christians to avoid the influences of the apostate church of the last days.

Too many preachers have fake degrees in the last days. For instance, “doctor” Waldrip’s degree is fake. He bought his doctorate instead of earning it as Dr. Cagan did. Knowing this deception, some men in India asked Dr. Cagan, “How much did you pay for your degree?” Dr. Lin and Dr. Cagan both worked hard and long for their degrees. I think this is why Waldrip hates Dr. Cagan so much.

Even real degrees do not help a preacher who has not been called to preach by God! No wonder God says to such men, “I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16).

Kreighton is going to a seminary to “qualify” him as a minister. But it will not help him at all. A. W. Tozer said,

“A man need not be godly to learn theology. Indeed I wonder if there is anything taught in any seminary on earth that could not be learned by a pirate or a swindler as well as a consecrated Christian” (That Incredible Christian, p. 86).

Again, Tozer said,

“A man can die of starvation knowing all about bread…and a man can be spiritually dead knowing all the faith of Christianity” (The Divine Conquest, p. 69).

Why has the Church become so wicked in these last days? The main reason is because the church members have been “lovers of self…rather than lovers of God.”

II Timothy 3:1-7 reveals twenty sins originating from one source – “lovers of self.” Thus the main point of the passage is that self-love leads to all kinds of wickedness. Here are twelve of those sins in the church of the last days.


Covetous

Lovers of money. The Bible says, “If riches increase, set not your heart upon them” (Psalm 62:10; p. 628). Black Lives Matter is a Communist organization. They want to destroy. Their purpose is to steal and loot from us, for the money they say is owed them for “reparations.”


Boasters

Boastful refers to the proud speech of people who have too high a view of their own self-worth. The Bible says, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (I Corinthians 4:7).


Proud

They are arrogant. It may come from an inferiority complex. They speak evil of others. A man in our church backed me up repeatedly, but finally he said that I had become a racist. What garbage! I think he was influenced by Black Lives Matter. Arrogance and self-conceit are from the Devil.


Disobedient to parents

Increased teenage rebellion will characterize the apostate “Christianity” of the last days. Foolish mothers often contribute to their children’s rebellion by trying to “protect” them from the leaders of the church.


Ungrateful

Unthankfulness is the opposite of the ancient Chinese teaching, “Show kindness without expecting repayment, but when shown kindness never forget it.” I bought two tailor-made suits and five tailor-made shirts for one young man in our church. He responded by leaving our church and refusing to answer my emails. The moral standards of some of the young people in today’s apostasy are lower than many of the children of this world!


Unholy

It means wicked and ungodly. Out of compassion, I promoted one young man as “Chairman of the Deacons.” He then had filthy pictures taken with a woman and posted them on the Internet. Then he lied and said someone had placed them there to blackmail him. When his sin was uncovered by Dr. Cagan, he left our church and refused to answer my emails. Dr. Lin said, “Some Christians today encourage such wicked ways by saying that such wickedness is excused as long as the man has other ‘good’ qualities. How shortsighted.”


Unloving

“Without natural affection” (KJV). This is what women who have abortions do to their babies. Unloving also refers to those who fail to follow God’s repeated counsel to “love one another” (John 15:17, 12; p. 1137). Thus the church becomes a place of rituals and forms rather than one of real love. People in the churches greet each other with false smiles rather than real joy. Both parents should show affection to their children. People sometimes ask why our two sons stay with us in church. My answer is that my wife and I love them, and continually tell them how much we care for them. I have great joy in knowing that my wife and our boys love me. Love makes a house a home. The church and the home are blessed greatly when Christians express their love to each other.


Deceit

“Malicious gossip” is an extended-meaning translation. The Devil is a slanderer. Satan loves to sow hatred in the church of the last days.


Without self control

“Incontinent” (KJV). “Without self control” means a person’s lack of power to control one’s degrading passions. “Without self control” is what made one such deacon try to get me into a fist fight with him. When he did that, I knew he was not qualified to be a deacon, or even a member of our church. “Without self control” is common in the members of the church in the last days.


Fierce

The word appears only here in the New Testament. It means “not tame.” It grieves the heart of God to see His children acting this way. They should be following the example of Jesus.


Despisers of those that are good

Dr. Cagan is good. I say that without hesitation. That is why Waldrip hates Dr. Cagan. Haters of good will multiply in the church in the last days because so many of its members will be lovers of self.


Traitors

This word describes Judas in Luke 6:16. Kreighton is a traitor. He is very much like Judas Iscariot. Like Judas, they will reach the stage where they can no longer repent because they have become totally blinded by sin. Like Pharaoh, they will reach the stage where their heart is so hard that they become demon possessed and cannot repent. A Chinese proverb says, “If you know the law and disobey it, your penalty will be increased by one level.”

That is why Dr. Cagan said that Waldrip and Kreighton are going to Hell. Dr. Lin said, “Some attend every meeting, but their hearts have become hardened, so the more they hear the less they learn…They think they know everything, when in fact they are ignorant of many basic truths. They come, look and listen, but they fail to understand – because they indulge in the sins characteristic of the church in the last days.”


Stand and sing our hymn!

Lift up your heads, pilgrims a-weary,
     See day’s approach now crimson the sky;
Night shadows flee, and your Beloved,
     Awaited with longing, at last draweth nigh.
He is coming again, He is coming again,
     The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
He is coming again, He is coming again,
     With power and great glory, He is coming again!

Dark was the night, sin warred against us;
     Heavy the load of sorrow we bore;
But now we see signs of His coming;
     Our hearts glow within us, joy’s cup runneth o’er!
He is coming again, He is coming again,
     The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
He is coming again, He is coming again,
     With power and great glory, He is coming again!

O blessed hope! O blissful promise!
     Filling our hearts with rapture divine;
O day of days! Hail Thy appearing!
     Thy transcendent glory forever shall shine.
He is coming again, He is coming again,
     The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
He is coming again, He is coming again,
     With power and great glory, He is coming again!

Even so, come, precious Lord Jesus;
     Creation waits redemption to see;
Caught up in clouds, soon we shall meet Thee;
     O blessed assurance, forever with Thee!
He is coming again, He is coming again,
     The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
He is coming again, He is coming again,
     With power and great glory, He is coming again!
(“He is Coming Again” by Mabel Johnston Camp, 1871-1937).