A wolf covered in sheep's clothing.

Beware of False Teachers Today

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False teachings are all around us, how do we know who is which?
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How can we tell who is a false teacher in our day and age? Well, instead of just looking up false teachers, we can take it a step further by being intentional about learning what TRUE doctrine is, and from there filtering the messages we hear through it. It's a difficult thing to do. What's most important is understanding that Jesus is the only way to heaven, we are sinners, and only through believing Christ is Lord and Savior can we have eternal life. There is NO way around that. Jesus and the Gospel must be first and foremost and then those that are secondary things can be debated. But take the time to read our article on the Gospel of Jesus and make sure that you understand the Truth as God intended before listening to man with an agenda.

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This may be a message that many new believers, or even those who have been saved by

Christ for a long time, have not heard often. The issue of false doctrine in the church today needs

to be addressed. When we say the word "false doctrine" out loud, some obvious things come to our heads, things like prosperity gospel teachings, Gnosticism, and universalism. But if we are not actively seeking the true Gospel and looking to run from false doctrines, many things can poison the church we love and serve.


Now it would be naïve and foolish of any believer to not know that false doctrines and

teachers are alive today. You might ask, what is the big deal? Why can’t we just do our own

thing and let the false teachers do theirs, they are not harming us are they?


Simply stated, this is a very bad view to hold if you follow Christ and want his Church to be

used. Let us look at some scriptures that show us false doctrines are still alive today.


“False Christ’s and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if

possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.” (Mark 13:22–23; see

also Matthew 24:24)


“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you,

who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them,

bringing upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1).


Now if we look into the early church history. We know that heretics such as Arius, Montanus,

and Pelagius caused the early church to write its ecumenical doctrines and beliefs. But what

about today? How can we tell what doctrines are false and which are true?


Most of us can say we have played the board game Monopoly before. The game has

many fake currency bills that you either gain or lose during the length of the game.

But how do we know those little colored papers are not real dollar bills?


It may seem like a dumb question, but of course it is because we know what a real dollar bill is.

We have seen it enough times to know and be familiar with the true bill, that when we see a fake

bill in a board game we can tell the difference.


The point I am getting at here is, in order for us to spot false doctrines in our lives, we must

familiarize ourselves with the true one first. The best defense against false doctrines are for the church of Christ to live, know, and enjoy the word of God. The word of God clearly is the truth that we live our lives on. It is important that we obey the commands of God to meditate on his word and store it in our heart.


“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and

night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will

make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Joshua 1:8)


“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through

perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4)


“With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up

your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:10-11 ESV)


Let us take a quick step back and answer the question, why is this knowledge and

understanding the true Gospel that important to me personally?

First of all, we know from Paul that false gospels are really no gospels at all.


“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a

different gospel; which is {really} not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and

want to distort the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7 NASB).


We must ask the question, why would any gospel that is contrary to the real good news of Jesus

Christ, be so popular?


This is a hard question, because should not the true gospel of Christ be the one that is most

popular and accepted? The answer to these questions is yes… and no. The reason false doctrines

are so popular and accepted across the world is because they usually glorify humanity over God

or leave Jesus as only savior and not Lord of our lives.


When we accept the true Gospel, we know that we are giving our lives to Christ because we

could not be redeemed on our own. The hard truth is that we need Christ. In a world that is far

from Jesus, it can be hard for unbelievers to accept that truth. False gospels try and make it, so

you do not need to give your life to Jesus, you only need the forgiveness part of the gospel. But we know Paul addresses this in Romans:


“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a

living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform

to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be

able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-

2).


I will leave us with this thought. Understand that the way of truth is narrow, and the way

of lies is broad. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that

leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that

leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).


False doctrines will unfortunately probably be followed more than the true way of life. But hold

fast to the true Gospel and know Christ will reward us for finishing the race he set out for us. Our

reward is not on earth but in the new heavens and new earth. I pray that we will be a generation

that full heartedly knows and loves the true gospel and seeks to expose the false ones.