Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Heresy Repeating Itself: Paul's Warnings to the Church

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts 20:27-31)

Prior to his emotional departure from Ephesus, the Apostle Paul reminded the Ephesian Elders of their vast responsibilities to their flock, part of which was to teach sound doctrine and guard against false teachings. Paul knew that after his departure, the door-knocking false teachers and false prophets would enter in from the outside of the Church and spew their heresy-laden doctrines, in an attempt to undermine his teachings and the truth of God's word.

Paul covered all bases and left no stone unturned. He also warned the Elders of the "wolves" rising up from within the Church, whose perverted doctrines were designed to captivate, compromise, confuse, ensnare and draw men away from the truth.

To the discerning Christian, false teachings mock the authority of God's word, and are extremely dangerous to the emotional, physical and spiritual welfare of the believer. False teachings will drive the unsaved deeper into sin, further from God, and into eternal damnation.

One part truth, shaken and stirred with two-parts deception, then bottled in a new, divine revelation, produces a demonic cocktail sauce waiting to be sprinkled on impressionable, Biblically illiterate Christians.

Indeed, false teachers have existed for thousands of years. Now, with the advent of modern technology, demonic doctrines span the electronic airwaves and tickle our ears, day-and-night, with an orchestrated siren's song of "Trust in me and I'll set you free!" (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

While salvation of the lost was paramount to Paul, he recognized the fact that a perverted gospel leads the unsaved to a false Christ; neither of which have the power to save a soul destined for eternal separation from God.

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. ( 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 )

Never before in the history of the world has Christianity been under such bombardment from the counterfeit Jesus, spirit and gospel. No doubt, many Christians have been conditioned to believe in diversity, in that all paths will lead to Christ, regardless of the belief.

While there is another "Jesus," another "gospel," and another "spirit" that roams the Christian landscape like a roaring lion, seeking to deceive and destroy (Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Peter 5:8), the real Jesus awaits with open arms saying,

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

2,000 years ago, Paul refused to compromise the truth of God's word. 2,000 years later, should 21st century Christians be any different?

Reprinted with permission of Bud Press.
Christian Research Service