Saturday, August 11, 2012

You Must Contend for the Faith

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 earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.(Jude 1:3-4)

Not twenty years after the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, while there were still people alive that had seen Him and spoken with Him, some had even eaten with Him, false teachers were already forming within the local bodies denying the resurrection and the deity of Jesus Christ.

Just as the Apostle Peter had to deal with false teachers in his second epistle (2Peter 2:1-3), Jude who identifies himself as the brother of James was  inspired to write to a church in an unknown location not concerning salvation but how to deal with False Teachers. So false teachers, and anti-Christian teaching is nothing new, it has been here a long time, and it will always be an issue that we as christian must face head on.
The Apostle Paul tells us that philosophy and deep thinking enticing arguments and logical thinking where the tools that they would use to strip Christians of their faith and hope in Jesus Christ. Just as an invading army would rob a country of all that was valuable. (Col 2:4[1], [2]) so does the enemy seek to rob us of our riches (Mat 6:20)

Now Jude tells us just like the Apostle Peter that these men are not found among the non-believers but have crept in unaware into fellowship with other Christians. This simple statement gives us our first step in dealing with false teachers.
Identify Them; ( Because they creep in unaware
In part One (Doctrine of Devils) on False Teachers I listed 7 characteristics of false teachers  they are;
a.      False teachers advocate a different doctrine besides what Christ advocates.
b.     False teachers do not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ.
c.      False teachers promote a lifestyle of ungodliness due to the errors in their teaching
d.     False teachers are conceited and yet they understand nothing
e.      False teachers have a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words
f.      False teachers create within the body of Christ envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and destitute of the truth.
g.     False teachers use a form of godliness to advance some selfish agenda for their own advantage.

     Test Them;  
Test everything you hear from the pulpit, read on a Christian site or even sent to you in a newsletter. It makes no difference who sends it to you. I am honored when someone comment on my blogs correcting my use or identifying my misuse of scripture. Never assume I’m right because if I am wrong I go to hell and take you with me. One way to show your love for me and appreciation for what I do is to test (verify against scripture) everything I write. (1John 4:1)

  Require Sound Doctrine of Them
Insist that the doctrine of Repentance of Sin, ,the virgin birth, death on the cross and ressutectionand the full Gospel of Jesus Christ be preached or taught continually. Because it holds Christ up as the Savior and emphasizes the need for sinners to be changed.  However when you say to some  there is a need for correction they argue, “But God love me just the way I am”
a.     my answer is that may be true but, I’m sure God loves you too much to leave you the way you are.
b.      Or the more aggressive  version, God does not love you just the way you are, that’s why he sent Christ to show us how we should be.( Romans 6:1-4)

Flee From Them;
When all else fails flee! For many Christians leaving a church is very difficult but this is not a matter of friendship or allegiance its a matter of your salvation.  Churches headed by false teachers often teach you should never leave your home church.  This is a control method used to keep their followers; they attach the lie that if you leave the church, you will leave your faith. And even though I don’t agree with this association I can understand it if your faith was not built on sound doctrine.
a.      However, scripture shows that just because a person leaves a church does not mean he leaves God. Consider John Mark who traveled with Paul and Barnabas. In Acts 15:38 he was considered a "deserter" for going back to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13) and his desertion causes conflict between Paul and Barnabas. However, later in life we find Paul in his letter to Timothy saying that Mark was profitable for the ministry (2Timothy 4:11).  Here is some scripture passages from the Apostle Paul on this matter.
                                                    i.     Paul commanded Timothy to not have anything to do with it false teachers (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
                                                  ii.     Paul gave a similar command to the Ephesians to have nothing to do with deeds of darkness, but rather to expose them (Ephesians 5:11).
                                                iii.     Paul told Titus to have nothing to do with divisive individuals who persist in false teachings or advancing foolish controversies after attempts to bring about a correction (Titus 3:9-10).


When you have identified a false teacher and you cannot bring their heterodoxies to an end through intelligent conversation and concern then flee. Save your soul, and the soul of your family, you will be amazed how an entire congregation will turn on you if you go public with your concern. Only go public (to the entire congregation) if;

  1.          The teacher has broken man’s law, you must never be a part of any illegal action that another does.  
  2.       You have physical evidence that he is deceiving the congregation. This is the most difficult you better be right when you say he is false or you will surly suffer.  
  3.       And you are willing to be labeled, a trouble maker, false believer, the devil and much more. 
The establishment will do all they can to hurt you, socially, emotionally, economically, and even possibly physically. This is a very hard uphill battle. therefore my suggestion for most people is simple to leave

Soli Deo Gloria
Your Brother in Christ

[1] Col 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
[2] Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ

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