FALSE TEACHINGS TODAY – 2 (Titus 6)
READ: Titus 1:15-16
Be it money, paintings, or anything else, the most dangerous counterfeit is that which comes closest to resembling the original. The closer it is, the more deceptive it is. The same is true of God’s teachings in the Bible. Satan is a liar and deceiver (John 8:44). He opposes God’s truth by denying it, but he is often more successful at counterfeiting it. He makes his false doctrines seem right by having them contain some truth, but adds just enough error to make them dangerous. In the last blog we saw how he does this with legalism, laws and rules that are based on fear. They take away personal freedom and use guilt and rejection to manipulate behavior. God’s Word clearly says we are under grace, not the law (Romans 6:14).
There are some who take grace to mean it is OK to sin or do whatever we want because God is a God of love and accepts everyone no matter what. It is true God is love, but that does not allow disobedience. Just because we have salvation doesn’t mean we can do anything we want without suffering the consequences of that sin. That doesn’t mean salvation can be lost, but fellowship with God is broken and we lose joy, peace and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Another very dangerous false teaching today is that our salvation is not secure in Jesus, that we can do something to lose it. That puts fear into a person’s heart, so what they do for Jesus isn’t done out of love of Him, but for themselves, to earn or keep their salvation. It’s like a wife who serves her husband because she is afraid that he will reject her if she doesn’t. A close, loving, trusting relationship cannot develop that way. Salvation is a free gift. There is nothing we do to get it and nothing to lose it (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-18, 36; 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; 20:30-31; Romans 4:6-8; 8:14-16, 28, 37-39; 14:8; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14; 3:12).
One of the most common lies today is that it is God’s will for everyone to be healthy and wealthy when clearly very few of those who followed Jesus in the Bible were either of these. Jesus died to remove our sin, not to provide health or wealth. This lie focuses on our greed and self-centeredness. It leaves people feeling guilty and doubting their faith when they struggle with health or finances.
Similar to that deception is the one that says we can “claim” a blessing or “speak” a miracle into our lives. Only God can do that (Romans 4:17). We serve Him, we do not give Him orders. The Lord’s prayer says “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,” not “My kingdom come, my will be done” (Matthew 6:10). He is the Master; we are the servant.
The misuse of speaking in tongues today is very damaging as well. Saying everyone must speak in tongues to show their salvation is contrary to Scripture (1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 30; 14). Spiritual gifts are chosen and given by God, we aren’t to ask for or demand them. God gives everyone different gifts (1 Corinthians 12) and it is wrong to elevate one gift above another (1 Corinthians 12; 14). Making tongues a sign of salvation or spirituality plays into Satan’s hands and causes fear, guilt and pride in people.
Many other false doctrines are prevalent today. Some deny the existence of hell or judgment. Others elevate Jesus’ humanity above His deity, or His deity above His humanity when He was 100% each. A group claims we can do what Jesus did on earth through the Holy Spirit. Some people claim there are prophets today who speak on the same level as written Scripture. Others claim to know God’s will for other people and tell them what God wants them to do.
A common lie today is that there are no absolutes. They reject the Bible as God’s eternal standard and replace it with what they think is right or wrong. Man becomes the final determining factor, not God. Some who claim to be prophets speak as if they know what is right for everyone and they alone have God’s truth.
There are many forms and variations of these errors. Everything must be evaluated by God’s Word, no matter who says anything different or what reasoning they use to support it. Watch out for counterfeits – they can be very deceptive. Just because something seems close to the truth does not make it truth! (September 18, 2023 Doylestown, PA)
PAUL’S ADVICE: False teaching takes many forms but has one thing in common: it is not supported by the full truth of God’s Word.
Revelation 22:18-19 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Which of the false teachings mentioned above have you been exposed to?
Have any of them deceived you in the past? How did you get free?
What are you doing to protect the people in your church from being misled by these errors?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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