13th August 2023
BEWARE OF HERETICS
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1
BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 7:15-20
In our world today, it is becoming common to come across falsehood in all aspects of society. Similarly, there are some ‘ministers’ whose god they defer to is their belly Phil. 3:18-19. Their false teachings/ practices result in false churches which Jesus himself called ‘the synagogue of Satan’ Rev. 2:9; 3:9. Believers must recognise false ministers and avoid becoming victims of their antics.
- 1. IDENTIFYING HERETICS 2. DO NOT BE A VICTIM
On the surface, it is difficult to spot a false minister because even Satan masquerades as an angel of light and his minister’s cover- up as servants of righteousness 2 Cor. 11:14-15. However, Jesus warned us that “false Christ and false prophets” will come and will attempt to deceive even God’s elect Matt. 24:23-27.
The Bible describes tell-tale signs of false ministers that can help rue believers recognise them. False ministers deny the divinity, sacrifice, and humanity of Christ 1 Jn. 4:1-3, Matt. 16:15-16. Even when they minister or pray in ‘Jesus’ name’, their hearts are far away from God Matt. 15:8. Such ministers corrupt the gospel for selfish interest or to justify their immoral lifestyles Phil. 3:19, 2 Cor.2:17, Mic. 3:11.
Some of these false ministers ‘called’ themselves into ministry of sometimes derailed from God’s call to deceive gullible people 1 Jn.2:19. They do not preach the complete gospel (Bible doctrines)
-1 Cor. 15:1-4, Gal.1:6-9, 2 Cor. 11:4. They are not just false in their ministrations but also false in their lifestyle choices Matt. 7:15-20 Some replace the preaching of the gospel with motivational talks and philosophies of men Col. 2:8. They cause divisions among brethren with heretic teachings Rom.16:17-18 while others are out to exploit unsuspecting members Acts 20:29-30. They downplay the crucial matters of eternity, preach what people want to hear and hardy preach holiness, Heaven, hell, etc. Isa. 30:9-11, 2 Tim.4:3-4. They usually perpetuate falsehood in the name of miracles Matt. 24:24.
DO NOT BE A VICTIM
Many people walk into the trap of false ministers because of
- Lack of knowledge of God’s words Isa. 5:13, Hos. 4:6.
- Impatience Ps. 27:14, Heb.10:36.
- Insatiable desire to get rich quick 1 Tim. 6:9-10
- Anxiety about what the future holds.
- Quest to find answers to certain crucial life questions 1 Kgs.
22:6-8 To avoid being a victim of false ministers, children of God should be watchful Matt. 26:41, prayerful Jam. 5:16b, sober 1 Pet patient Lk. 21:19, rooted in the word of God Col. 3:16, filled with the Spirit of God Rom. 8:6 and be able to discern the spirits in operation at every instance 1 Jn.4:1, Matt. 24:4-5. Anyone that is already a victim should retrace their steps back to Christ and cry for divine help Matt. 11:28-30, Ps. 46:1.
CONCLUSION: The best way to guard yourself against falsehood and false ministers is to know the truth Jn. 8:32. To spot a counterfeit, study the real thing.