Summary: 4th. In Series of Taking Up Your Cross in Today’s World. Examining the false religions of the United States and how to witness to their members. Feb.3,2002 Evening service Bel Aire Baptist Church.
The Culting of America
Tonight we are going to talk about false religions or cults. Prior to 1850, cultists were practically unheard of in America. Today there are tens of millions of Americans involved in the cults. The following statistics reveal some disturbing trends for those who hold biblical Christianity dear to their hearts.
1. Most Americans reject the notion of absolute truth.
2. Up to 1/3 of Americans do not believe in the God of the Bible.
3. Most Americans believe it doesn’t matter what god you pray to because the deities of the world religions are the same, but with a different name.
4. Nearly 2/3 of American adults believes all faiths teach the same basic lessons about life.
5. A minority of Americans has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
6. Nearly half of Americans believe that Jesus sinned while He was on earth.
Considering the above statistics, it is easy to understand why Americans are so easily led into false religions. Tonight I will be talking about the following cults, how they got started, and their influence on America and how to counter their beliefs.
1st. Mormons or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
2nd. Jehovah’s Witnesses (The Watch Tower)
3rd. Christian Science
4th. New Age or Spiritualism
These are only a very few of the many false religions right here in the US.
We know the truth and Christianity is different from any other religion because our faith is based on the true-inspired Word of God, the Bible. No other religion can prove the existence of their god. Jesus fulfilled over 100 prophecies from the Old Testament with 100% accuracy. No other religion can make that claim.
The Bible warns us of false prophets.
13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
15 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21 "Not everyone who says to me, ’Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me on that day, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23 Then I will tell them plainly, ’I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Let’s look at Mormonism known as the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints".
1. Founder was Joseph Smith in 1830 in New York. Joseph Smith was poorly educated and very superstitious. In 1820 he claimed he had received a vision in which both God the Father and God the Son appeared to him. He was told in this vision that all churches were abominations to God and that he was being charged as a prophet to restore the true gospel. In 1823 the angel Moroni allegedly appeared to Joseph telling him where to locate a number of golden plates. In 1827 Joseph claimed to have located these plates that were inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphics. Using crystals he was able to translate these plates into "The Book of Mormon". I have read the 1st printing of the book and it is filled with misspelling and grammatical errors. Joseph enlisted 3 other men to join his cause and the 2nd printing of the book corrected all errors, but also changed a lot of the doctrine. If Joseph had received the "true gospel" why is the 2nd printing of the Book of Mormon different from the first? There has been 3913 changes to the original Book of Mormon and the 1981 edition. For example in the Book of Mormons:
In 1 Nephi 11:21 the phrase "Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the eternal Father" is changed to "Behold the Lamb of God, yea even the son of the eternal Father."
2. They believe that God the Father was once a man, but became God and has a wife. The trinity does not exist. They believe that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate gods. Worthy men may one day become gods themselves ruling over another populated planet. We must show them that there is but one God.