The Apostle Paul prophesied that in the end times — during the season of the Lord’s return — we would be confronted with perilous times, when people would love themselves, love money, and love pleasure. He was echoing the words of Jesus who had proclaimed that society would be as immoral and violent when He returns as it was in the days of Noah. Have those perilous times finally arrived?
Dr. David Reagan and I asked this question on our television program Christ in Prophecy of Eric Barger, the founder of an apologetics ministry called Take a Stand!. In the first segment, Eric addressed religious persecution ratcheting up in our day. Now he will define Apologetics and utilize it to debunk Islam’s fake Jesus.
The Great Apologizer
Nathan Jones: Eric, I hear that you go around all of the time apologizing for us Christians. Are you saying, “I’m sorry”? Why are you just so apologetic?
Eric Barger: I got a recommendation letter from a pastor friend of mine. The next day I received a second letter from him. That one began, “Eric Barger is the greatest apologizer I know. If you need something apologized for, just bring him to your church and take him around town.” I called Bob and asked, “Which letter should I use?”
Apologetics is really a biblical term for describing the defense of the faith. It’s used eight times in the New Testament. For example, 1 Peter 3:15 commands us to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.” That word “answer” in the Greek is where we get apologetics. And so, apologetics means “the defense of the faith.”
Nathan Jones: When engaging in apologetics, the Christian is wearing the full armor of God, so to speak? We’re defending the Gospel?
Eric Barger: That’s right! We’re hopefully doing so in such a way that we’re not cutting people up and beating them down. That’s not the purpose. That’s not how Christians should be practicing apologetics. Rather, we share the truth. Often times, the truth hurts. People just don’t want to hear some of these biblical defenses that cut to the heart of their disbelief and sin issues, but it’s our job to tell them the truth of the Bible.
Dr. Reagan: What I hear over and over these days from many sources, including people who claim to be evangelicals, is that doctrine simply is not important. What is your response to that?
Eric Barger: That statement was what the Emergent Church was built on. Of course, emergent isn’t a word this movement uses anymore, though the whole philosophy is still there. This disdain for pure doctrine has really permeated more of our once solid denominations, more than you would imagine.
Some of our denominations and churches have decided that they don’t want to hear about doctrine anymore. People have heard it enough, these teachers believe, and they don’t need to hear it anymore. They believe their congregations just want to hear about life application, especially how to live a successful life. How to balance your check book. How to raise a good family. All that’s fine, but if we don’t attach the Gospel to everything we teach, have we really given our congregations anything that’s of any eternal significance?Eric Barger: If we don't attach the #Gospel to everything we teach, have we really given our congregations anything that's of any eternal significance? Click To Tweet
The Fake Jesus
Dr. Reagan: One of the leading 2018 candidates for president of the Southern Baptist Convention wrote an article last year in which he actually said that Muslims and Christians worship the same god. Then I heard some people in the Southern Baptist Convention reply with something like, “Well, you know, he’s a young guy and he doesn’t really know his theology very well.” They were excusing this false teaching!
Eric Barger: Wow and wow! Certainly, Allah is not Jehovah, and the Jesus of the Bible is not the Isa that is spoken about 97 times in the Koran.
Dr. Reagan: Are there many different roads to God?
Eric Barger: Let’s take Islam and apply apologetics to it. When we talk about the god of Islam in the Koran, there is no trinitarian connect to Jesus Christ, even if Jesus as Isa is spoken of 97 times. The Jesus of the Koran is never deified. He never did die on the cross. He never did pay for our sins. Rather, Isa is going to become the enforcer of Allah’s will in Islam’s version of the end times. That’s basically the way Muslims look at Jesus.
Nathan Jones: Muslims expect when Jesus returns that He’s going to knock down all of the crosses and kill all of the pigs.
Eric Barger: Exactly, yes. Anybody who doesn’t surrender to Mohammed’s teaching, well Isa’s going to take care of them terminally in the end. Isa’s clearly not the Jesus of the Bible.
You just cannot equate Christianity and Islam. They’re diametrically opposing belief systems.You just cannot equate #Christianity and #Islam. They're diametrically opposing belief systems. #apologetics Click To Tweet
And so, with all these world religions and cults, we have these misconceptions about who God really is all swirling around us. How many of the cults use the word Jesus? Or, claim they’re using the Scriptures? Or, do they ever quote from the Bible?
Dr. Reagan: Or, if they do use the name of Jesus, it is a fake Jesus? It’s either a Jesus who is Michael the Archangel, or some other deity, rather than the Jesus of the Bible.
Eric Barger: Exactly! There may be people claiming there are all these different paths to God, or that all paths lead to the same place, ie Heaven, but that’s not at all what the Bible teaches.
Dr. Reagan: All paths do lead to the same place, but not where most people are expecting. They lead to a God who is going to finally judge them.
Nathan Jones: Their refusal to accept the Jesus of the Bible and His great sacrifice for their sins will lead them all to the Great White Throne Judgment.
Eric Barger: But, after that final judgment, the ending result will be everybody who has ever lived will end up in one of two places — Heaven or Hell. That’s reality.
In the fourth segment of our interview with Eric Barger on perilous times, Eric explains how the prophesied evil era we not live in is leading the world to the inevitable Mystery Babylon religion.