< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Christians Must Guard Against Deception

Friday, May 02, 2014

Christians Must Guard Against Deception

We also need to guard against deception. There are people out there preaching a different Gospel! In Paul’s day it was a mixture of magic, Greek and Roman mythology and some Christianity.

1 Timothy 4:1 the Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

The first deception by the devil took place in the Garden of Eden when he twisted God’s Word and he’s still doing it today.

Paul says there’s a solution to this deception.

2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

So preach the Word. Stay focused on it. Don’t get it from other people’s opinions. The author says don’t preach about your summer vacation. I thought about Billy Graham here. I remember thinking once that he never says anything different. He doesn’t write up a new sermon every time he speaks. Just the simple Gospel and our need for a Savior and how to get Him. Don’t compromise God’s Word or make an apology for it. Don’t hold back and never stop. God’s Word will do the work.

Paul warned Timothy that there would come a day when people turn from sound doctrine to find teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. We see this today. People just want to hear what makes them feel good. They don’t want to be challenged or convicted. They don’t want to hear about sacrificial living or responsibility. They fell into false teaching and away from God’s Word. Reading the Bible equips God’s people to do God’s Work!

Most of us just want to be saved from hell. But God wants us saved from hell so we can save others from hell. We can only know His love and kindness and mercy when we read the Word. There isn’t one thing we will face in our lives that isn’t covered in the Bible. It has all the answers we need for those we are helping.

One of Satan’s tactics is to attack the authority of scripture. But Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

All of scripture from Genesis to Revelation is God-breathed. God inspired it. Why would He have anything else in the book He calls His Word? The Word is profitable for learning, for truth and for reproof (meaning conviction).

It’s profitable for correction (straightening us out) and for instruction in righteousness (guiding us in the right direction.) It’s profitable in making us complete and mature in the Lord. It can thoroughly equip us to live on this fallen earth and know how to reach out to people in the harvest.

The Word of God fills you, blesses you, and gives you wisdom, understanding, knowledge, hope and truth. It gives you power. It gives you something to share with people who are desperate and in need. To see Jesus through their hurt. It changes lives!

Jesus told His disciples to abide in His Word and they would know the truth and the truth would set them free. That means we should focus on it and meditate on it. This doesn’t just mean “keep God’s commandments”. Deception and opposition are defeated when we are immersed in the truth of God.

We have to approach the Bible with a teachable spirit; praying that God leads us to His truth. This doesn’t happen when the Bible is on your to-do list as “read 5 verses today”. The religious Jews in Jesus’ time knew the Old Testament inside out. They memorized huge portions of it, but it didn’t change them one bit.

Jesus told the Jews in John 5:39-40 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Jesus was saying that a spirit-led encounter with His truth would lead them to a personal relationship with Him. Not just a checked off list of memorized verses. We should all take 1 Peter 3:15 as a life verse: But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.



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