Heresy in Doctrine:
The Lord has prophesied in his word that the heresies would come, as we read in Mark 13:22, “For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall show signs and wonders, that they may lead astray, if possible, the elect.” In II Peter 2:1 we read, “But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies denying even the master that bought them, bringing upon themselves destruction.”
And certainly we see on every side that these prophecies are being fulfilled. In general, we can hear by listening to the radio that the so-called preachers do not bring the full counsel of God. They never say anything about the fact that Jesus died for the elect only. They are silent about the great works of God. They all stress man’s salvation instead of the glory of God. They all preach in varying degree the lie that man can do something in his own salvation. And they all, also in varying degree, deny the absolute depravity of man. In particular, the very orthodox churches are full of heresy, even the so-called purest among them. Think of the fight we had in 1924! All the churches, except our own, as far as I know believe in common grace. And all soft-peddle eternal predestination. Some speak sometimes in a half-hearted way, about election, but they hate the very idea about reprobation. They deny the depraved state of man, when they teach that God desires the salvation of all that hear the Word. All in all, we may say that all churches reveal the signs of the times in that they begin to corrupt sound doctrine. People begin to hate the very idea of doctrinal preaching.
Worldly-mindedness in the Church:
The Lord also prophesied that this would come. In II Timothy 3:1-5, we read, “That in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful and unholy. Without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” And in Matt. 24:12 it says, “Because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold.”
And certainly we can see that these words of Scripture are being fulfilled in the church. For example, more and more people of the Church of Christ go to movies. Yes, even some parents go. Young people are becoming increasingly disobedient to their parents. They refuse to study their catechism lesson and stay away from young people’s society and sometimes even from church on Sundays. Also, there is more emphasis on sports and pleasures in all circles in the churches.
These two signs show that Jesus is coming quickly. There is more and more a falling away from the truth in the generations of the people of God. No, the individual child of God shall never fall away from faith. That would be impossible. But in the generations we do see the falling away. The children will not walk in the ways of the fathers. But in all, the child of God has comfort to know that the more those signs of the times are revealed, the sooner the Lord will come to usher in His glorious Kingdom when God shall be all and in all.