Galatians 1:6-8 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
I Peter 1:20-21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
One of the most common observations and questions asked by those outside the household of faith is “There are so many religions in the world and even the christians are divided into hundreds of denominational. How does one know what is truth and what is error?” The more doctrines that are on the table, the more wrong choices that people have to select from in their search for truth and fulfilment. Yet despite all of the theological banterings, twistings of scripture, philosophies of men and other falsehoods so prevailant in the world today, God is from everlasting and to everlasting. In him is no variance or turning and his word shall endure forever; long after the heavens, the earth, and even time itself are but a distant memory. Through his word he offers understanding to any who seek him with a sincere heart.
As a confused, new age-oriented teenager, I was berwildered by all of the contrasting voices in the world. I desired understanding concerning spiritual matters, but didn’t know where to turn for answers other than my oldest sister. It’s by the grace of God that I didn’t end up becoming a mormon or venturing too deeply into the realms of the paranormal. (my sister is a mormon and she talks to dead people) Despite all of the confusion from those years, I always knew that God was real and I believed the bible to be completely reliable. (although I didn’t really understand it) I remember one night praying and asking the Lord for enlightenment into truth. I was serious; the whole arena of theological wranglings was enough to make ones head hurt and I “seriously desired truth.” It was a year or so later (September of 1983) when he brought me to sincere repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Despite the myriad of erroneous teachings to which I had been listening to, the Holy Spirit led me into the truth and I became a new creation in Christ.
This passage is sobering! I Peter 2:1-3 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
There’s no better way to obscure the authentic than with an array of authentic look-alikes. We know that the devil is the father of lies and he knows how to assemble campaigns that would deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect. He’s so subtle that he convinced a third of the angels in heaven to leave their first estate and rebel against the Creator who has no beginning and changes not. Later on, in the garden of Eden, a little twisting of the truth and pandering to the three lusts (listed in I John 2:16) he persuaded Adam and Eve to partake of the “one tree” that they were not to eat from. Shortly, he’s going to cause the world to wonder after a beast, bow down to an image, and receive a mark. During these final moments of the age, the ambassadors of falsehood are working at a fever pitch to inhibit the truths laid out, “precept by precept” in the word of God. Elaborate philosophies and fuzzy doctrines, marketed by their proponents as “enlightenment” in an effort to lure the undiscerning into a lifelong wild goose chase that ends in unexpected, calamity.
I Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
It’s a problem that we were warned of two thousand years ago; that this would be a time of unparalleled deception. In the above verse, the words “depart from the faith” are sobering because a person cannot depart from something unless they are partnered with it. Not long ago, I was shocked to find out how widespread the acceptance of sodomy is in the church. We often hear reports of mainline denominations debating over this issue. (an issue that really has no debate) Yet I was astonished when I came across a blog , GCM Watch, that’s devoted to exposing this heresy as it makes inroads into the evangelical community. Once scriptural truth is compromised and error is given an inch of wiggle room, the devil will go after a mile. Today we have more schisms and more denominational wranglings than one can count as the result of scriptural deviations. (Whenever there’s a disagreement over something, we know that at least one of the parties is in error.)
For every saint, washed in the blood of Jesus and born of the Spirit, it is imperative to contend for the faith by which a person can pass from everlasting death unto life. The truth is under attack like never before. Over a week ago, I was in downtown Elkhart, and while I saw no other saints proclaiming the gospel, I did, however, run into a couple of Mormons. Sometimes people wonder why Mormons, Jehovahs Witnesses, and others who preach another gospel have no trouble getting out there while the saints are busy with every distraction under the sun. The simple truth is that they don’t have an enemy that’s trying to keep them sidetracked. The devil would love for evryone in Elkhart to become a Mormon and worship another Jesus. (Think about how many millions of people are currently following this way that “seems right but isn’t” all because one guy listened to an “angel” and didn’t search the scriptures to see if those things are so.)
Acts 17:11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
Truth will always have its backing in scripture and in the above passage, the saints in Berea searched diligently. Prayerful diligent searching will keep one from falling prey to to the plethura of false teachings and one verse wonders that occupy the arena of theology. (A “one verse wonder” a doctrine that’s built around a single scripture. All of the other scriptures are then molded around the doctrine) This seems like a simple thing, but deception is so…well….deceptive, that we dare not let our guard down. The enemy isn’t going to come after the saints with something way out in left field. He’ll use something that sounds christian, and employs evengelical terms, but mingles in enough error to to cause an “almost invisible” drifting toward the side of the straight and narrow path. So important it is to be filled with the Spirit and close to the Lord Jesus as he will never lead us astray.
Jude 3 “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnistly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Well, I must get going for now as there’s much to get done today. (Running to and fro) The times are perilous and the number of voices competing for a following continues to grow almost daily. Praise God for his word that never fails and is consistant from cover to cover. A work that, without divine inspiration, would have been impossible. Most of all, Praise God for loving us so much that he sent his Son Jesus to pay for our sins with his own innocent blood. May we not be astonished by the winds of doctrine, but proclaim the truth of new life in Jesus Christ. Have a blessed day in Jesus.
Jeremiah 23:28-29 “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
Hope Rides Alone This posting at “Word For It” features the words of Sgt. Edmund Jeffers who died in Iraq on Septembr 19, 2007. This is a very sobering account of a situation that few of us can grasp the scope of.