I’ve noticed that most groups considered as a cult, teach there was an apostasy of the Christian church, causing that true church to disappear from the face of the earth. Those groups also teach that the Bible had been tainted and corrupted by men.
Latter-day Saints do not consider their church a cult. But do believe in a Great Apostasy.
Let’s see what Jesus has to say about that? Will you please read Matthew 16:18?
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Jesus is teaching that Hell, or Hades, cannot stand against the growth of the church. Yet, that is what the claim of the apostasy is suggests.
Latter-day Saints believe this verse is saying that the church ultimately won’t be overcome by Hades. Because there will be a restoration of that church centuries later.
But Jesus here is speaking offensively, not defensively. Jesus is saying the gates of hell will not be able to withstand the growth of the church.
Admittedly, Scripture does say things would become worse and worse before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. But Jesus would never allow for the church as, a whole, that He is building, that He died for, to be overcome by Satan.
Latter-day Saints believe the Apostles were killed and there was no one with authority capable of preserving the church.
But you see,it wasn’t up to man to preserve the church. Men weren’t in charge of the Lord’s church. Jesus was in charge. And Jesus is fully capable of preserving His church.
There is an over abundance of Scriptures both in the Old and New Testament that says God’s word will not fail. He will preserve it. A beautiful promise made by the Lord himself is in Matthew 24:35.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
There never was a point in time when the gospel was not available to men. And there never was a time where the Scripture was tainted to the point where “plain and precious truths” were removed from the them.
If that did happen, what would that make Jesus?
A false prophet!
Those inspired writers of the Bible went through painstaking labor to bring us the written word. Take for example, Dr. Luke who thoroughly researched eyewitness accounts when writing his gospel and the Acts of the Apostles.
“Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus.”
As the Restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, their message is that after establishing His church, God allowed it to fall into complete apostasy for many centuries.
Then you would have to ignore another statement Jesus made found in Luke 16:16-17 “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one title of the law to fail.”
I want you to read how much God values his word. Psalm 138:2
“I have reverenced my word, even above my name.”
Do you think God would allow His Word to be changed or corrupted for 1500 years until a fourteen-year-old boy came along who would restore it back to earth?
And do it, no less, through another book Joseph Smith called scripture?
LDS Scriptures teach that the Apostle John never died. And that he was permitted to live on earth without tasting death until Christ’s return.
Doctrine and Covenants 7:1-3
And it also says in the Book of Mormon that three of the Nephite disciples would also live on the earth until Christ returns.
3 Nephi 28:6, 9
If this is all true, then these four men, three Nephites disciples and the apostle John, have remained on the earth bringing souls to Christ for centuries through the Dark Ages, the Reformation Era, right up to this very day.
The LDS claim there was a COMPLETE apostasy. Yet, they also claim there has always been some Apostles on earth who have been doing missionary work and bringing souls into the kingdom. Doesn’t that sound like a contradiction?
The truth of the matter is that ever since the gospel was established over 2,000 years ago, WHOEVER calls on the name of the Lord is promised salvation regardless of their religious background.
Paul and Peter warned local congregations of believers about false prophets and teachers:
Acts 20:29-30 2; Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Peter 2:1-2
Jesus and His Apostles did not fail in their efforts to firmly establish the Gospel:
Matthew 16:18; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 20:28
1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Ephesians 2:20
Ephesians 3:21; Jude 1:3
From the day of Pentecost the Lord continued to add to His Church all who are born again through the Holy Spirit:
John 1:12-13; Acts 2:21, 47; Romans 8:14-16; Romans 10:9-13; Galatians 3:26
The LDS teach that after the death of Jesus, wicked people killed the Apostles. And with their death, priesthood keys were taken from the earth. Over time the doctrines were corrupted, and changes were made in church organization and ordinances.
What was the purpose for having the first apostles and disciples if they all apostatized? Why would Jesus set up His kingdom – only to have it completely collapse?
Why would Jesus in His Commission to His Apostles (Matthew 28:18-20) send them out to teach all nations and make disciples? Why did He give them power of the Holy Spirit to witness to the whole earth (Acts 1:8)?
And then allow His creation to languish in unbelief, cut off from eternal life for almost two thousand years before putting things back in order again? Is it possible for Christ to lose His Church, which “He purchased with His own blood” as stated in Acts 20:28?
If Paul was referring to a “universal” apostasy, why did he write to those same Ephesians about the Church of God being throughout “all ages” (Ephesians 3:21)?
The LDS support their belief that their was a “falling away” with 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
But it is obvious that Paul was speaking about a specific “man of sin” an Antichrist, who many Biblical experts say was probably the Roman Emperor Nero.
Jesus in Matthew 16:18 when speaking of the rock He built his Church upon, He promised His disciples that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” If a universal Apostasy did take place like the LDS teach it did and the gates of hell prevailed, that would make Jesus a liar.
And that – I cannot accept.