Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Today’s Topic: The False Church
Today’s Text: 2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.
For the next few days Connecting Points will not be necessarily easy. They will not be your average devotional that makes feel good points. They will make us think about the times in which we live and the tragedy that is occurring around us as we speak – the great turning away from the truth. It may be hard for some to understand. I may be harder still for some to accept. But the truth is that the truth is being denied for the sake of pleasing people and building large churches.
It is not a new problem. Peter spends the rest of his letter on the subject. For the next forty verses he warns the church about the dangers of false teachers who will infiltrate their midst with deception and destruction. There had been false prophets in the past. There were false teachers in Peter’s day. It is truer now in these last days than when Peter wrote these warnings.
I’m not sure enough of us recognize the dangers of compromise when it comes to the Gospel. Over the next few days we are going to discuss some of the very real ways that the deception of the devil is attacking the church and how many church-goers today are being blindly led down a path of exploitation. It is very important stuff, and I pray that you will not pass it off as irrelevant or boring.
The first point I want to make is the most critical. It is the foundation upon which all other information is based. It must be the beginning and ending point of all discussion on this issue.
Peter just told us in chapter one that the Bible, God’s Divine revelation of Himself to mankind, is absolute truth. It was written by men carried along by the Holy Spirit who is truth. At the same time they were writing, there were false prophets just as there are today. The point Peter is making is this – the Bible is the one and only authority for truth and for the discernment of false teaching.
Far too many churches today deny the inerrant inspiration of Scripture. Many theories are accepted that allow for errors in the text and for man’s personal interpretation of God’s sacred Word. It would be very wise for you to ask your pastor what he believes about the Bible. If he denies in any way that it is the fully inspired and inerrant word of God, then you should consider what other doctrines he is falsely teaching. (I told you this wouldn’t be easy.)
If God’s revelation of Himself to us cannot be considered absolute truth, then God Himself is left open to scrutiny. How do we know He is truly God if what He reveals is not absolute truth? Far too many churches have fallen prey to slick-talking con men who present themselves as teachers of truth. They are simply using elements of truth to please people and pad their own pride. I will not go easy on them. I will not seek to understand them. I will rebuke and renounce them as Peter did. It is God’s call upon His Son’s body the true church.
So for today, evaluate your position on the Word of God. Do you fully and completely accept it as God’s truth? Do you trust that it is the source of all knowledge of the one true God? Will you commit yourself to not only studying it but believing it and living by its truth? I hope you will.
I promise I will not allow myself to fall into the sinful position of pride. I will speak of those under the deception with the grace of God and pray for their repentance and restoration to truth. But we must continue to warn God’s people about the dangers of falling into compliance with false teaching simply because it’s comfortable or gratifying. Let us pray together that God would use the rest of our study of Second Peter to equip and prepare His people for the great falling away that is now happening before the final return of Jesus.