Antinomianism—long word, simple meaning. The word literally means "against law." It's a short jump from an overemphasis on the grace message to complete antinomianism. In practice, it means that "anything goes," since Jesus has set us free. The problem is, Jesus didn't set us free to sin; He set us free from sin.
Jesus died for us and broke sin's power on our lives so that now, by the Spirit, we can live out the righteous requirements of the law (Rom. 8:1-4). Yet purveyors of this poisonous teaching fail to realize that Jesus calls us beyond the requirements of the law in His teaching, stating, for example, that adultery refers to adultery of the heart and not just the physical act (Matt. 5:27-28).
God's perfect, holy, glorious law is not the problem. Sinful flesh is the problem. Sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go. Sin will cost you more than you ever wanted to pay. And sin will keep you longer than you ever intended to stay. Sin will promise you everything but leave you with nothing. Sin will love you for a season and curse you for eternity.
For all the antinomians out there who believe "anything goes," the question is, where do you end up?
4) Deification of Man
Many false teachings today start with man rather than with God. In contrast, when Paul laid out the gospel message in Romans, he started with God and then went to man: God is holy and we are not; He is righteous and we are not; we are under His judgment and in need of mercy, and that mercy comes through the cross.
Today's gospel, especially in America, has a very different ring to it; rather than being all about God, it's all about me. Just as the American way is to make everything bigger and better, the American gospel says that Jesus came to make you into a bigger and better you. That is not the gospel!
Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matt. 16:24-25).
We are in grave danger worldwide as millions upon millions gaze upon man rather than God. Just take a look at our political system. Words like messiah, lord, savior and anointed one are tossed around like candy. I cringe at heaven's response. This is a setup for the Antichrist; as we become so accustomed to worshipping man, it will be a simple maneuver for the Antichrist to move into position.
5) Challenging the Authority of the Word
The challenging of God's authority goes back to the Garden of Eden, starting with the serpent's challenge to Eve: "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" (Gen. 3:1). This satanic challenge was twofold: First, did God really say that? And second, God didn't really mean what He said. After all, you won't die if you eat from the tree (vv. 1-5).
That twofold challenge continues to assault us today. Best-selling authors tell us the biblical text isn't reliable, that the biblical manuscripts we have in our possession are hopelessly contradictory, and that we can know little or nothing about the real, historical Jesus. Other authors tell us that the Bible is no more than a collection of religious traditions and that God Himself is nothing more than a religious myth.
For the most part, though, the challenge to the authority of the Scriptures is subtler, and some of it flows out of the deification of man, which says, "The Bible must live up to my standards. I will judge the God of the Bible based on my morality rather than the God of the Bible judging me based on His morality." In short, when the Scriptures contradict our feelings and preferences rather than crucify our feelings and preferences and bow down before God and His Word, we question God's Word.
6) Rejecting Hell
Nowhere is this questioning of God's Word seen any more clearly than when it comes to the subject of hell and future punishment. And because we preach an imbalanced gospel—emphasizing God's love and ignoring His wrath, emphasizing His mercy and ignoring His justice—we no longer have room for hell and future punishment in our theology.
Why did Jesus use such strong language in talking about the fire of hell and about people weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth (see Matt. 8:12)? And why did He teach that "it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell" (Matt. 5:29)? And why do other New Testament writers warn us repeatedly about the wrath to come (see Eph. 5:1-6)?
It's one thing to debate the exact nature of the future punishment that awaits those who reject the gospel. It's another thing to downplay or eliminate it. Whatever legitimate debate we may have on the precise nature of the coming judgment, this much is clear from the Word: it will be irreversible, dreadful and of eternal consequence.
Revelation 20:11-15 clearly warns about the coming Great White Throne Judgment. Yet modern-day heresy teachers have taken it upon themselves to erase the judgment. The result, if believed and followed, will be too devastating to mention.
7) Universal Reconciliation
Universal reconciliation promotes a get-out-of-jail-free mentality—that in the end, everyone will make it into heaven because of Jesus' death on the cross. (In contrast, universalism teaches that all paths lead to God.) There may be future suffering, but it will be purging rather than punishment, and ultimately everyone will be saved.
Proponents of universal reconciliation point to verses that teach that God reconciled "all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross" (Col. 1:20). And they point out that just as in Adam all die, in Jesus all will live (Rom. 5:12-21).
What would you say if someone attempted to persuade you that Adolf Hitler was in heaven? "Abomination!" you would scream. "You're deranged!" Yet that's a sample of the fundamental false teaching of this layer of "avalanche snow." Added to other layers mentioned previously, we will find the believer's foundation deteriorated, and when the storms come, the house will come crumbling to the ground.
During this season when we celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, let's determine to glorify Him by staying pure. A gentle breeze of false teaching has become a strong wind of serious error, some of it downright heretical, and a storm of doctrinal deviation has become a massive deadly whiteout. Amid this whiteout, stay committed to His teachings. Don't permit any false teaching to subtly weave its way into your life, bringing down an avalanche that could destroy everything you hold so dearly. I won't let it happen. Not in my lifetime and not in yours.
I urge you to open your heart and read Spiritual Avalanche. Revelation will be imparted from its pages. This 30-minute, full-color vision shook me to the core. I wept as I saw it and wept as I wrote the book. I love the church and will do everything possible to prepare her to meet the Groom. She isn't ready, but she will be!
Yes, Jesus said in the last days even the elect could be deceived. But not you! You're too smart for that!
Editor's Note: Most Charisma readers remember Steve Hill as the fiery evangelist from the Brownsville Revival who has since continued to win countless souls for Jesus around the world. But what many readers don't realize is that Hill only recently came out of a three-year battle with melanoma. During that time, he received a prophetic vision warning the church of an impending "spiritual avalanche" that could kill millions. The preceding article on deception in the church is part of this timely message, now delivered in his latest book, Spiritual Avalanche.
Steve Hill is founder of Heartland World Ministries Church in Dallas. He is widely known for preaching the uncompromising message of Christ throughout the world.
- << Prev
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of our 40th anniversary. As a special offer, subscribe to Ministry Today magazine and receive 50% OFF our normal discounted rate!