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“The Church of the Last Days”
by Art Sadlier   
February 1st, 2011

The church of Laodicea represents the church at the end of the church age. The church of Philadelphia and the church of Laodicea are contemporary immediately prior to the rapture. The age of the church of Philadelphia is now past and the church of Laodicea is now in the ascendancy, this is the Laodicean age, though Philadelphia is still in the world as a remnant.

The transition from the era of Philadelphia to the era of Laodicea appears to have taken place in the 1950’s. The transition; was from the era of fundamentalism, to the era of new evangelicalism. In the late 1940s new evangelicalism was born. It was conceived in compromise. The decision was made to discontinue contending for the faith, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Instead of contending the new approach would be to dialogue with those liberals who were denying the essential doctrines of the faith. Instead of separating from the world, an effort would be made to be more accommodating to the world. An effort would be made to impress the world in order to win the world; this effort would replace separation from the world.

This new approach would be manifested in ecumenical evangelism, also in the methods that came to be known as the church growth movement (using the world’s methods to get people into the church). Eventually the world’s music was brought into the church. This was first done by using the Lord’s music in a worldly way until eventually the world’s music was incorporated.

This whole transition was a slow process, just an inch at a time. Few were willing to contend for an inch and the inch became a mile.

This movement was very deceptive because it was all done in the name of evangelism. Who can fight against evangelism? Here again, we in retrospect, can look back and see more clearly, that the evangelism of this new evangelical church was, and is, a counterfeit evangelism. It is the evangelism of easy-believism which cannot save. Easy-believism makes counterfeit Christians, and fills the church with pseudo disciples of Christ. Genuine salvation involves more than merely saying that you receive Christ as your saviour. It involves genuine repentance, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). It involves a willingness to forsake all to follow Christ, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).

Easy-believism is an add on to the life, salvation is a total surrender of the life to Christ.

The word Laodicea means rights of the people or the people ruling. The church of Laodicea has ridden on the coattails of the human rights movement. The head of the church, Jesus Christ, no longer holds all authority in the Laodicean church. This Laodicean democratic church is ruled by the people not by Christ.

It is not hard to determine whether a present day church is Laodicean or Philadelphian. The Philadelphians have a burning white hot love for Christ. They are devoted to discovering what Christ would have them to do, and to do it with all their might. They would rather die than compromise the Word of God. They love the lost, but they are happy to separate from the world and all it stands for (Revelation 3:8-10). They have no love for the world, or the things of the world, their focus is on the things above. Philadelphians stick out like a sore thumb; they don’t fit in with this world. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).

Laodiceans cannot stand to be different; they cannot bear to not be accepted by the world. They blend in with the people of the world, you can scarcely tell the difference. They use every opportunity they can to persuade the people of the world that they are really no different from them. Their whole lifestyle is one of conformity to the ways of the world. They mistakenly think that by being like the world they can win the world. The contrast between Laodicea and Philadelphia is most clearly seen in the contrast of Philadelphian white hot burning love for Christ and the lukewarmness of Laodicea. It is seen in the zeal of the Philadelphians to discover and to do the will of Christ and the contrasting lukewarmness of Laodicea.

The philosophy of the user-friendly, purpose driven church has permeated a very large section of the evangelical church. It has even penetrated many who would insist that they are fundamentalists, in fact much of the fundamentalist church is moving rapidly into Laodiceanism.

New Evangelicals set out to win the world for Christ, but they departed from the plan laid out in scripture to accomplish it. They thought they could bring the world into the church and a change would result. A change did come, but it was the church that changed, not the world. Instead of the church winning the world, the world won the church.

Out of this departure from scripture there has spawned a great and growing apostasy. The fate of the Laodicean church is found in the words of Jesus, “I will spew thee out of my mouth.” The fate of the Laodicean church is to be cast out into the tribulation period and be incorporated into the Harlot church of Revelation 17. We sadly see that many evangelicals are even now moving in that direction.

Hear the exhortation of the voice from heaven in Revelation 18:4, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

The ministry of Sound the Trumpet was in response to what we believe was the voice of God calling us to cry out against New Evangelicalism.

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