Over the last few weeks in our studies on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening, we have looked at the FACT that false teachers were around in the days of the apostles. They have constantly been a problem in the days of the Old Testament prophets, and we realize that their messages were and are the same over and over again – God’s word is not truth, it doesn’t matter what god you worship, you need to be more tolerant, don’t condemn me because of my sin . . . Yes, we see them and hear them everywhere. They seem to be multiplying as man gets further away from God, for we remember that, SADLY, “the love of many will wax cold” (Matthew 24:12), and Christians will always be in the minority.
2 Peter 2 and Jude made it clear that the false teachers are around. The child of God must understand that we have to be aware of, and wary of, those who teach false doctrines and pervert the gospel of Christ.
“Consider that in religion EVERYONE seems to have their own ideas about what is appropriate:
“I think Christians should be more tolerant. I don’t think everyone has to believe in Christ to be o.k. with God.”
“I think it’s ridiculous that some churches make a big deal of baptism. What does that have to do with the kind of person I am?”
“I think homosexuals and women should be ordained to the ministry like everyone else.”
“I think I know what God wants me to do without having to look it up in the Bible.”
“I think all truth is relative. What’s true for you doesn’t necessarily mean that it is true for me. You have your truth, I have mine.”
“I think churches of Christ should catch up with the times and use instrumental music in worship.”
“I don’t think we can really trust the Bible – after all, it has some issues with today’s world, and how can we know that it is inerrant and live by what it says?”
On and on it goes. Can we know the truth (John 8:24)? Jesus said we could. If we can’t, then Jesus can’t be trusted either, because he said we could. Which is it?
“There’s a world of difference between “insight religion” and the revealed will of God. With no confidence in God, but with complete faith in ourselves, we examine our subjective thoughts and feelings, and proclaim them to the world as THE TRUTH. I can almost hear the apostle Paul saying, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:24).”
Adapted from John Gipson 10/24/1993
THE SAME OLD SOUP WARMED OVER AGAIN
“All religions teach us to help people whenever we can. All religions teach us to play fair and not to hit or kill or steal or cheat. All religions teach us we should be forgiving and cut people some slack when they mess up, because someday we will mess up, too. All religions teach us to love our families, to respect our parents, and to make new families when we grow up. Religions all over the world teach the same right way to live.” – Reader’s Digest August 1995
“This statement totally states the philosophy of our culture today! It seems harmless, yea, good. ‘We are all going to the same place.’ ‘Be honest and sincere.’ “Be a good boy.’ Religious pluralism, syncretism. No truth, no error, no doctrine, no conscience, no sin, no salvation. TOLERANCE! We are all ok! No God, no Bible, no authority, no repentance, no holiness! This statement is heresy, error, blasphemy! It fails with BOTH crucial truths. 1. It has always amused me – those who allegedly preach grace in reality, practice WORKS. “I know more …, I am more spiritual …, I am in the “in group.” We all deserve salvation because we are “good ole boys!” This statement is totally centered in man – what he knows and what he does. It is a life/salvation by works, merit. We figured it out and did it. “Super-saints” actually believe in themselves, their own worth. “I deserve to be saved.”
2. Grace is not license. Grace provides because sinners are hopelessly lost in their sins and cannot save themselves. Grace begins with hopelessness. God in Christ, in man, on a cross. Christianity is not merely ‘another religion.’ This is why the gospel (not religion) is God’s power to save. Preach, hear, believe, obey the gospel!
“Be careful what you read and what you listen to! It does make a difference!Charles Hodge, via Lake Forest Church of Christ
“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me saying, yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore, with loving kindness I have drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3). God’s love for Israel was everlasting. Israel’s rebellious spirit, her stubborn insistence on having her own way, her hatred of God’s law and delight in sin, all combined to check the flow of God’s blessings, but could not nullify the fact of God’s love.
“God’s love for man is universal in its scope and everlasting in its duration. ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8) and there is not one thing man can do to alter that truth. Even atheists who detest the very thought of God, cannot, by their hatred, sin and ungodly disposition, cancel the fact of God’s love for them.
“God loves man whether he desires his love or not! However, as long as man persists in sin, though material blessings rain on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45) he cannot enjoy the spiritual blessings that flow from God’s hand of love and grace. Such blessings, such expressions of God’s love are reserved for those who respond in loving obedience to his will.
“God strives to draw man unto himself by means of the gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14). The gospel is the good news of God’s love and grace manifested in the cross. In that same spirit of loving kindness as was expressed to ancient Israel, God reaches down from Golgotha’s height, imploring man to FORSAKE HIS SIN and bow in submission at the foot of Calvary.
“It is unnatural to hold love in contempt. Yet that is exactly what man is doing when he refuses God’s call of love through the gospel, thus demonstrating his preference for sin. The meanest, most ungrateful man in the world, is the MAN WHO REJECTS THE GOSPEL, or the man who, HAVING OBEYED THE GOSPEL, TURNS TO RECLAIM THE WORLD AS HIS OBJECT OF AFFECTION.