"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"

(1 Peter 4:17)

JUDGMENT - like wrath, Hell and damnation - is a word rarely found in the vocabulary of a professing Christian today. But judgment is precisely what this little piece will major upon, with a particular focus on just where judgment begins.

Our God is most certainly a God of immeasurable love, mercy and grace; but He is also a God of unfathomable holiness and righteousness, and while slow to anger He is also "great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked." (Nahum 1:3). There are countless examples of wickedness in the world all around us that we could easily refer to, the perpetrators of which will all in due course be held accountable before the Sovereign Creator of the universe for their heinous deeds. But there is one very great wickedness, increasing in intensity with every passing day, which I will speak of here, for the need to do so presses heavily upon me.

That unspeakable evil is the presentation of a false Jesus, a bogus messiah with forged credentials, a counterfeit redeemer with a fake gospel that cannot save but only seduce men with a shimmering mirage of life-giving water when the grim reality is that there is really nothing there but choking, parched sand.

Right from the off, before the canon of Scripture was even completed, the Apostle Paul gave grave and impassioned warning of what was to come:

"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."
(Acts 20:29-31)

Note well that it is not only external predators who threaten the flock but internal self-seeking spiritual fifth columnists, false brothers and despicable traitors to the cause of Christ, who will proclaim a different Jesus with a different gospel and operate in a different spirit which is very far from holy.

We might quite rightly call such a thing heresy, apostasy, deception... but let's not get away from the basic fact that the presentation to a lost world of a "Jesus" who is not the Jesus of the Bible - the Logos, the Word made flesh - but an impostor with a twisted message that cheats men out of their coming to a genuinely saving knowledge of the Truth, is quite simply WICKEDNESS of the highest order. And it is a wickedness that brings an inevitable judgment from on high.

Yes, our God is slow to anger, but there comes a point at which His anger will surely erupt. Yes, our God is patient but not infinitely so; there comes a point at which His patience snaps. As it is written, His Spirit shall not always strive with man. (Genesis 6:3). A man may persist in choosing a lie over the truth, as he has been given the free will to do so, but there is an exceedingly high price to be paid for such perversity. Judgment will come, as surely as clouds bring forth rain, and the guilty will not be acquitted. But judgment has a starting point; it begins at the house of God: it begins with the Church.

But what form will this judgment take? God will simply allow people to have the renegade pastors and prophets they crave, parasites who will be permitted to feed for a season until His purposes are accomplished and they are banished to the blackness of darkness for ever. (Jude v.13). If the people who claim to be His have itching ears, He'll simply step back and allow them to be tickled. He'll simply say something like, "If that's what you want, then that's exactly what you shall have! If you want to hear what the purveyors of falsehood proclaim rather than what I have to say in my unchangeable Word, go ahead! Follow their hollow "Jesus" if you will, but you've opted to be deceived, you've made your choice. Did I not warn that I would send a strong delusion because you would not receive the love of the truth? So you can trust to Word of Faith fabrications, you can believe in the New Apostolic Reformation's fables, you can lean on any lie you want to; I'm giving you over to it! You can have whatever your fickle and fleshly hearts desire, but what you won't have is ME!"

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