Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (I John 4:1) Even as John penned this epistle many centuries ago, there were already false teachers in the world, leading the people astray with their worldly teachings. The hearers, being worldly in their thoughts, gladly heard and followed these false prophets. (I John 4:5)
Today, sadly we find nothing has changed, for we see many false teachers teaching for doctrine, the commandments of men. Many teach the false doctrine of salvation by simply reciting the so-called, sinner’s prayer. This sounds good to most folks because it is a quick and easy fix to their sinful lives. But nowhere in the bible is such a plan of salvation taught, no such prayer, or example of said prayer in all of God’s word. Then where do you suppose this plan could have originated, except from man? I Thess. 5:21,22 tells us to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good, but abstain from all appearance of evil. If we cannot prove a teaching by God’s word, then we must rightly conclude that it comes from the mind of man and is therefor a false doctrine. But what of those who are simply ignorant and sincerely teach a falsehood? All I can say is that even if they are sincere and wrong, then they are still wrong. Ignorance is no excuse in the sight of God, for he forcefully commands us to study to show ourselves approved to him. (II Tim. 2:15)
Jesus warns us to beware of false prophets which come to us in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. But how shall we know if someone is teaching us the truth? Jesus himself says, “you shall know them by their fruits.” (Matt. 7:15,16) If what a man teaches, cannot be substantiated by God’s word, then we can know his fruit is evil, his teachings false, and they should be rejected at all cost. Anyone who leads someone away from the truth of Christ, by whatever means, is a false teacher.
When Paul and Silas taught that Jesus was risen from the dead and he was indeed the Christ sent from God, it turned the world of the Jews upside down. ( Acts 17:3-6) How did they react to this radical new teaching? Luke tells us that those of Berea were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11) The Bereans had an open mind, but they also kept an open book and consulted the scriptures for the final proof as to whether these things were true, before they accepted them.
Not only must we check to be sure that what we are being taught is truth, but if we find error being taught by false teachers, then we must take an active stand against it. If we refuse to stand against false doctrines, then we are no better than those leading unknowing souls astray by proclaiming a lie. (II John 10,11) We must always embrace the doctrine of Christ and shun the doctrines of men. John tells us in II John 9, “Whosoever transgresses and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” A digression from Christ’s doctrine always leads to a digression in morality, as we so painfully see happening in this once great country, every single day. Before it becomes eternally too late, let each of us open the book of truth, and take a firm stand upholding God’s word.
We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God’s word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00. If anyone has questions: please call 270-657-2455.