In the First Century AD, Cerinthus was a well-known heretic, being one of the early leaders of the Gnostic movement. John opposed him as fiercely as a man possible could (thus giving us a better example of how to deal with heretics than the many modern-day milquetoast “pastors” who think we need to buddy-up with heretics and call them “brothers in Christ”). In fact, the story goes that when John and some of his disciples (possibly Polycarp) were about to enter a bathhouse, and John heard that Cerinthus was inside, John fled the building with his disciples, shouting
“Let us flee, lest the building fall down; for Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is inside!”
If only that which calls itself “the church” in America today would follow John’s example, we might not need a site like this. If the quote-unquote “church” would rise up and flee, flee, flee! Flee swiftly from those institutions that teach things that are contrary to the Word of God!!
- “Let us flee, lest the building fall down; for Roman Catholic idolatry, the enemy of the truth, is inside!”
- “Let us flee, lest the building fall down; for Emergent “Christianity”, the enemy of the truth, is inside!”
- “Let us flee, lest the building fall down; for Purpose-Driven™/Seeker-Driven™ egocentrism, the enemy of the truth, is inside!”
- “Let us flee, lest the building fall down; for Prosperity heretics, those enemies of the truth, are inside!”
- “Let us flee, lest the building fall down; for Robert Schuller, the enemy of the truth, is inside!”
- “Let us flee, lest the building fall down; for self-esteem, the enemy of the truth, is inside!”
- “Let us flee, lest the building fall down; for Compromise of all sorts, the enemy of the truth, is inside!”
That which calls itself “church”–if only they would adopt the attitude of John the Apostle, and “Let us flee, lest the building fall down; for [fill in the blank], the enemy of the truth, is inside!” Remember these words which our Lord Jesus spoke to this one who fled from Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth. Listen to what He said to these gatherings that claimed to be of Christ–but which allowed Satan to enter through the front door, all the while claiming they did it “for Christ”:
Revelation 2:12-16–“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write…I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.”
Revelation 2:18-23–“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write…I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts.”
These were churches that were “doing good things.” They went around preaching “Love!! Love!! Love!!” They had all kinds of faith. But what did they do? They brought the enemy inside. They brought in Balaam, and they brought in Jezebel–and by doing so, they brought in all of their destructive heresies.
- Did Jesus say, “Oh, I’m so proud of you!! You’re using Satan’s methods to bring people in the doors! How wonderful!!”
- Did Jesus say, “It just thrills my heart to see you joining the worship of the true God with those who teach false Christs and bow down to worship statues!!”
- Did Jesus say, “I love how you guys are engaging the culture around you!!”
- Did Jesus say, “That’s the way to do church!! After all, who wants to sit there for a half an hour and just hear about…Me? Bring in more games!!”
Look at the warnings Jesus gives the church at Pergamos, and the church at Thyatira. Notice how they compromised with the world, and notice the rebuke from Christ. Then ask yourself: Would your church receive a “Well Done.” Or would He rebuke you for flinging wide the front door and inviting Balaam and Jezebel inside?