Editors note: this series of articles also appear in both the Sentinel Echo newspaper, Friday edition, weekly, London, KY and the Saturday edition of the Corbin Times-Tribune. They are a part of the teaching/evangelism efforts of the Mill Street church of Christ, 415 N. Mill St., London, KY.
Is your preacher a false teacher?
that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine…which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” - 1 Timothy 1:3, 6-7
In this series of articles I am addressing the underlying cause of prejudice and apathy in religion. Religious convictions are developed from what is heard from the pulpit.
The role of preaching is seen from the apostle Paul’s statement in Romans 10:14-15 as follows: “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Many preachers today are preaching “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6-9), as opposed to the ‘SAME GOSPEL’ that was preached by the inspired apostles of Jesus. Consequently the religious world is plagued with division in the form of denominationalism. This started as men preached a message different from the apostles of Jesus. As is true in the physical realm, when a particular seed is sown, the fruit will be after the seed. In the spiritual realm, when the same doctrine is preached, the same fruit will follow. Paul told Timothy to charge some that THEY TEACH NO OTHER DOCTRINE. He stated that there were some who DESIRED TO BE TEACHERS, BUT UNDERSTOOD NEITHER WHAT THEY SAID NOR AFFIRMED! The fact that FALSE TEACHING would arise is seen from the fact that EVERY NEW TESTAMENT EPISTLE warned of false teachers and false doctrines; “other” gospels and departures from “THE FAITH”.
False teaching causes people to become ignorant of God’s will and skeptical of whether or not His will can be known. Doubting this possibility, people will not put forth the effort to study and a lack of study results in shallow convictions. Because of false teaching, people are divided religiously. There is also prejudice and apathy; there are shallow convictions, bible ignorance, all of which are on the increase. I began with the apostle Paul’s warning in Acts 20:28-30 in Part 1 and have went thru the epistle of Jude in Parts 2 &n3. Now I will present the warnings to each of the seven churches of Asia in Rev. 2 & 3. They were all were plagued with false teaching & departures from THE faith, except for the church of Christ in Philadelphia which was commended for having “kept the word of my patience” (Rev. 3:10). But even in the letter to this church, there was the mention of those of the “synagogue of Satan” within this congregation as was also true of the congregation at Smyrna and Philadelphia.
Ephesus – Rev. 2:2-5
– “…thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars…remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works…”
Smyrna – Rev. 2:9
– “…I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.”
Pergamos – Rev. 2:14-16
– “…thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent…”
Thyatira – Rev. 2:20
– “…thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.”
Sardis – Rev. 3:2-3
– “I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.”
Philadelphia – Rev. 3:9
– “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.”
Laodicea – Rev. 3:15-19
– I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.