Testing The Spirits, And Wrongly Handling The Word Of Truth

Test The Spirits, To See Whether They Are From God
(Source: Mission Venture Ministries)

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

John is telling us that there are two spirits:

  • God’s Spirit, which is called the Spirit of truth because it inspires truth (vv. 4:2, 6); and
  • The spirit of antichrist, which promulgates falsehood, and does not acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ (vv. 3, 6).

And he warns us how important it is to understand that we cannot believe everyone we hear and that we cannot believe everything that is alleged to come from God, but like the Bereans we need to check the Scriptures. We are to test the spirits, to discern whether a message is the truth that comes from God. So we are not to just accept what some teacher or preacher is saying; we are to examine what is being taught.

We know that God speaks and reveals truth, and the enemy speaks lies and is a deceiver, therefore it is very critical that we be able to discern the difference. If information comes from the Holy Spirit it is life-giving, life-sustaining, life-producing and God-glorifying. If it is not sent and energized by the Holy Spirit, it comes from seducing spirits or false prophets, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This was and continues being a huge problem and those without discernment are being victimized.

It is very sad to realize that many so-called “religious leaders” are false teachers and people are having a hard time finding a church where the Word of God is being taught faithfully. What appear to be “Christian churches” are teaching things that are not in line with the Bible. They are downplaying or removing altogether the doctrines of sin, repentance, the Trinity, Salvation by grace alone, through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, and the deity of Jesus Christ, and replacing them by more “seeker sensitive ideas.” For the time will come when men 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 – (2 Timothy 4:3). These false teachers are teaching their followers doctrines and practices that are not in harmony with God’s word, like “contemplative prayer” and “prayer labyrinths” which are actually taken from new age and Hindu practices are being introduced and accepted by many churches that are moving towards the Emergent Church movement today.

These teachers are hypocritical liars and are teaching doctrines of demons motivated by seducing spirits. This is an enormous problem and the world is literally drowning in a sea of demonic lies. We live in a time when we must be so close to the Father and ask Him to fill us daily with His Spirit of discernment.

John continues giving instructions on how to know the Spirit of God: “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” When someone comes and affirms that Jesus Christ is God in flesh that is the divine truth taught by the Holy Spirit. But every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” False teachers and demons deny the deity of Jesus Christ and therefore as believers and students of the Bible we recognize them as being controlled by the devil and his lies. So: “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22)

The false teacher does not believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. He may accept Jesus Christ as a great teacher and a great religious leader, perhaps the greatest, but he does not believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and the only way to God. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).  He believes there are other ways to God. Beware!

The spirit of the antichrist was very much alive in John’s days and today our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). When we think of antichrist, we think of some future person, the beast of Revelation. However, all teaching that presents untruth about Christ is the spirit of antichrist which has been in the world for nearly 2000 years and is yet to come in its final form.

Before we accept any teaching, we need to be sure of the person’s view of Christ, their view of salvation, and their view of Scripture. Do they acknowledge that: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”? (2 Timothy 3:16). Do they manifest a regenerate life? And lastly, do they submit to the Word of God? “By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:6)

 

Wrongly Handling The Word of Truth
(Source: John Henderson)

KJV: 2 Timothy 2:14-17b –  “Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth [see footnote “1”]. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker….”

NET: “Remind people of these things and solemnly charge them before the Lord not to wrangle over words. This is of no benefit; it just brings ruin on those who listen. Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately.[1] But avoid profane chatter, because those occupied with it will stray further and further into ungodliness, and their message will spread its infection like gangrene.”

There are two groups of people who mishandle God’s Word and its message:  heretics and misinformed Christians.  Both are equally detrimental to the truth.  Any straying in that direction will have the same bad effect.

I may lose some friends and admirers here, but that is nothing new.  Knowing Christ in His truth means more than any of that.  Being able to go into eternity and of standing before His judgment seat without fear of being indicted for carelessness is very important.  Therefore, I say:

I can see no difference, for instance, between someone’s saying that the Bible is partially inerrant and contains the inspired Word of God and someone else saying that we must unequivocally accept the notion that only one English translation is valid, and even inspired as a translation.  Both notions are grossly erroneous and are bold denials of the true nature and authority of the Scriptures.  Both construe words and miss the revelational significance of The Word.  Both wrong ideas come from the same source—human reasoning based on false presumptuous suppositions.  Something like that never comes from the Holy Spirit who is here to guide us into all truth.

Whatever happened to “test the spirits”?  A fine article on that very question has been published by folks I consider as friends.[2]  Their opening paragraphs say:

“And he [John the Apostle] warns us how important it is to understand that we cannot believe everyone we hear and that we cannot believe everything that is alleged to come from God, but like the Bereans we need to check the Scriptures. We are to test the spirits, to discern whether a message is the truth that comes from God. So we are not to just accept what some teacher or preacher is saying; we are to examine what is being taught. [Comment:  We do that much when we visit a doctor!]

“We know that God speaks and reveals truth, and the enemy speaks lies and is a deceiver, therefore it is very critical that we be able to discern the difference. If information comes from the Holy Spirit it is life-giving, life-sustaining, life-producing and God-glorifying. If it is not sent and energized by the Holy Spirit, it comes from seducing spirits or false prophets, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This was and continues being a huge problem and those without discernment are being victimized.”

They also say a little later: “These false teachers are teaching their followers doctrines and practices that are not in harmony with God’s word….These teachers are hypocritical liars and are teaching doctrines of demons motivated by seducing spirits.”

If it was possible to hang signs on false teachers, that would make it easier to tell the difference.  The worst possible kind of false teacher, however, is the one who agrees with God’s revealed Word in ALMOST every detail or who adds to the Scriptures false notions those Scriptures do not state or support.  It is just fine to quote good stuff, but even the best must align with the truth of the Bible.  Earlier teachers may have said some great things but unless they got their ideas from the Scriptures, they are automatically questionable.

I have little problem with differences in understanding as long as the issues are couched in the authority of the Scriptures by all concerned.  I will never agree, for instance, with the Five-Points of Calvinism but will always view those who do as coming from an understanding, not a manipulation, of the Scriptures.  That is much different than superimposing human notions onto the Scriptures.  Besides, when we all get to Heaven, the Calvinists will finally realize how right I had been all along.

Returning to a more serious tone [sorry about the bad humor, but not enough to remove it], it is of vital importance that we carefully and prayerfully handle the Word of God as we should.  We are flawed and will make mistakes, but miscalculations and deceptive inaccuracies are not the same.  We must have a reverence for the Word of God that complements our reverence for the God of the Word.  God did not speak in English, Japanese, or German.  Unless speaking audibly, as He did a few times in ancient history, He never spoke in any human language.  He spoke to hearts and spiritual understanding, just as he does today.

His Word comes to us through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, not in languages per se.  Languages are only vehicles and nothing more.  Languages are limited and imperfect.  His Word is neither.  His Word IS the accurate message if truth in every detail and in every matter whereof it speaks.  It needs no modification and it is not limited to the English language or any other language.  God’s Word soars beyond translations and commentaries.  God’s Word transcends human comprehension but fits human knowing when the human heart is right with God.

 John Henderson


[1] NET Footnote: “cutting a straight road.” In regard to the message of truth, it means “correctly handling” or “imparting it without deviation.”

[2] http://missionventureministries.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/test-the-spirits-to-see-whether-they-are-from-god-1-john-41-6/.

Responses To: What Should A Christian Do About False Teaching?

A few weeks ago, I asked for anyone to submit an answer to my question, “What Should A Christian Do About False Teaching?”   I asked those who opposed what I and others are doing to submit responses, and I would publish them.  Not one responded.  But I am happy to post all the responses I have received.  I believe they will be helpful and instructional to you, especially those who have been confused about what to do as a Christian when faced with false teaching that can be destructive and harmful to many Christians.  Scripture is clear, and I believe these answers will continue to put to rest any argument that we ought to stay silent and let false teachings and false teachers go unchallenged.  I thank God for those who have been blessed with discernment and a love for protecting their fellow Christians from danger.  I pray for and give warning to those who continue to close their eyes to the truth and refuse to confront evil for the sake of a false “unity”, because that is clearly the opposite of Christian love.

REFUTE ERROR WHEREVER AND WHENEVER
(Donna Campbell)

I believe the Bible is plain about how we are to deal with false teaching.

I believe the Bible teaches us that we have a responsibility to expose the works of darkness, to defend the Gospel, and to refute error whenever it comes into the church. With God being the same yesterday, today, and forever, His attitude does not change with regards to false prophecy. He said that if a prophet prophesies something in the His name, or by the name of a false god that that prophet should be put to death. Today we don’t practice stoning in the New Testament, but the penalty is the same eternally I believe.  False prophecy is so offensive that it brings the same penalty as did adultery in the Old Testament. To fear the Lord is to love good and to hate evil, and false teaching is evil and leads men into destruction. False teachings bring a false gospel, a false salvation, and a false sense of eternal security. It is an abomination.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most important document on the planet, it is the only thing that has the power to change men’s hearts, and to lead them to eternal life, and anything that takes away from it’s purity should be exposed to it’s light.

Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, and any teaching that casts a shadow on His Deity, or  His finished work on the Cross comes from the lips of lying prophets, and lying teachers  whose end is destruction.

It is love to warn false teachers and  to call them to repentance, and it is merciful, and not judgmental as some would have us believe.

 

WHAT IS THE BELIEVER’S RESPONSIBILITY IN THE FACE OF APOSTASY?  (2 John 7-11)
(Mission Venture Ministries)

Scripture gives us three references on this subject. The apostate the Bible talks about are not simply unbelievers, but are teachers of apostate doctrines, who propagate their destructive rejection such as denials of the Trinity, the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, and the second coming.

First, we read in 2 John 7-11 that the believer is not to fellowship with such an individual. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

So if someone fits the description illustrated here, fellowship is forbidden, even to the point of not allowing the person into one’s home.

Second, this concerns the local church. If a member is found proclaiming a destructive denial, he is to be ousted from the church as Paul stated in Galatians 1:8-9: But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be anathema!

As we read in verse 9, if anyone in their church is discovered to be an apostate, he or she is to be declared anathema which means “untouchable” and they should be expelled from the church. We also find this advice in Proverbs 22:10: “Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.”

The third is where the believer is faced with a church where apostates are in control of the leadership of the church and cannot be ousted. In this case the believer’s obligation is to separate himself from apostasy. In 2 Timothy 3:5, after characterizing apostasy as “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof,” Timothy is admonished from these also turn away. Timothy was urged to separate himself from such apostasy.

We also see Paul writing to the Corinthians about this: Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.  “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; and I will welcome you. “And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” –  2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

This is an important passage for it cautions the believer to separate himself from the apostates and not to continue to congregate with them. As we see there can be no fellowship between unrighteousness and righteousness. Believers are a part of righteousness, whereas unbelievers are part of iniquity, and there can be no fellowship between the two in the same church.

Furthermore, there is no communion between light and darkness. Believers are of the light, but unbelievers are of the darkness. There is no common ground between the two. There can be no agreement between Christ and Satan as they have two separate areas of operation and two distinct programs. The same way, the believer is part of Christ’s program while the unbeliever is part of Satan’s. One is destined for heaven and the other is destined for hell. And there is no agreement between the temple of God and the temple of an idol. The believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but the unbeliever is not. Since there is no fellowship, communion or agreement in the area of worship, with an unbeliever there is an unequal yoke, therefore we are not to place ourselves in a worship situation with unbelievers.

The command of separation involves three phases:

  • Come out from among them
  • Be separated and
  • Touch not the unclean things 

In verses 17-18 we have three promises that are given to those who comply and separate themselves:

  • I will receive you
  • I will be to you a Father and
  • You will be to me sons and daughters 

In verse 7:1 Paul concludes urging the believer, on the basis of these promises, to follow through on his separation from apostasy where necessary. 

When we study the book of Revelation we read the letters to the seven churches, the last one being written to the Laodicea or apostate church. It can hardly be denied that the majority of churches today have given in to and become a part of the apostasy. 

“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.

 

APOSTASY & FALSE TEACHING

(Dr. Jay Jeffers)

There is little doubt that we are today in the midst of widespread apostasy. By that term I mean: Departure from the faith once for all delivered to the saints, for which we are to earnestly contend. [1] I believe that apostates include two types of people:

(1) Those who have knowingly turned completely from Christ and no longer even pretend to be Christians; and

(2) Those who still claim to be Christians but have departed from the faith.

The latter would likewise be divided into two groups:

a) Those who deliberately twist the Scriptures, perverting the gospel “to draw away disciples after them”[2] or who endorse false teachers (though they know better) because they want to share their fame and power [3] – or who simply want to be

“positive” so as to “offend” no one; and b) The naive, who are genuinely deceived by false prophets/teachers.

Apostasy, of course, in some measure, has existed as long as the church. (most of the epistles involve, to some extent, correction of false doctrine and practice that was already in the early church in the days of the apostles.) It is the mushrooming, widespread incidence of the apostasy described under 2) above, however, among those who claim to be Christians, that I believe Scripture points to as a specific sign of the last days just prior to Christ return.

Christ’s warning made several things clear: 1) The major sign of the nearness of His coming would be religious deception by professing Christian leaders; 2) A central feature of the deception would be false prophets showing “great signs and wonders,” which, though convincing, would also be false; 3) The repetition of the word, “many,” indicated that this religious deception would be widespread, apparently worldwide; and 4) The words Christ’s, prophets, signs and wonders, and elect indicated that the deception would be among professing Christians, i.e., inside the church.

“When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14. Time on this earth is quickly drawing to a close. Let us determine once again to remain true to and earnestly contend for “the faith once delivered unto the saints.” And in that perseverance, may our example give renewed courage and conviction to many others – and may we rescue many before it is forever too late.

 

Dr. Jay Jeffers Christian Psychologist/Licensed Minister Sparks Nazarene Church

Sparks, Nevada


CONTINUE TO CONTEND AND CONFRONT

(Todd)

Jesus Himself writing in Matthew 24 predicted that there would come false Christians, false prophets and false Christs.  Peter predicted false prophets and false teachers who would lead people astray and be very successful at it.  John warned of many Antichrists who were already at work in the church in his epistle.  Jude warned about evil, wicked, lascivious men who would come and cause us to have to contend for the faith, once, for all, delivered to the saints.  And the Apostle Paul fought false teachers everywhere he went as he told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-9,

“1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,  7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  8Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.”

Now Paul knows that it takes strong men to stand against this. He was one, he wanted Timothy to be one and certainly this became Scripture so that God might call us to be among those who take strong stands.  Contend and confront is what I would call it.  And there are very few who would do this or are willing to do this, contend for the faith and confront those who aren’t.  There are a lot of pastors, leaders, and Christians that recognize this apostasy in the church but there seem to be few who want to get involved as stalwart soldiers with an uncompromising resolute commitment to stand against the tide that flows against the truth.  And if you take strong stands and if you’re a non-compromising resolute kind of defender of the faith, the enemies of the faith attack you but some within the faith who are weak can’t understand what you’re so exercised and excited about. They don’t even understand the nature of the spiritual warfare and they treat the real fighters as if they were some off-balance fanatics.

What more could Satan do to try to destroy the church than undermining God’s Word, shifting the focus off Christ, and minimizing holy living?  We all need to be praying that the Lord would elevate the authority of His Word, the glory of His Son, and the purity of His people in the evangelical church. May the Lord revive us!

The gospel message is a confrontational message. When you remove the confrontation-or soften, downplay, or bring it in through the back door-you have compromised the message. The modern pulpit is weak, not for a lack of witty messages, but because men fear to speak the hard truths of God’s Word powerfully and with conviction.

C. H. Spurgeon, facing a similar mindset in his day, said this:

“I fear there are some who preach with the view of amusing men, and as long as people can be gathered in crowds, and their ears can be tickled, and they can retire pleased with what they have heard, the orator is content, and folds his hands, and goes back self-satisfied. But Paul did not lay himself out to please the public and collect the crowd. If he did not save them he felt that it was of no avail to interest them. Unless the truth had pierced their hearts, affected their lives, and made new men of them, Paul would have gone home crying, “Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”…

Now observe, brethren, if I, or you, or any of us, or all of us, shall have spent our lives merely in amusing men, or educating men, or moralizing men, when we shall come to give our account at the last great day we shall be in a very sorry condition, and we shall have but a very sorry record to render; for of what avail will it be to a man to be educated when he comes to be damned? Of what service will it be to him to have been amused when the trumpet sounds, and heaven and earth are shaking, and the pit opens wide her jaws of fire and swallows up the soul unsaved? Of what avail even to have moralized a man if still he is on the left hand of the judge, and if still, “Depart, ye cursed,” shall be his portion?”

The strategy of church-growth today focuses on attracting and keeping the unchurched. For what? To entertain them? To get them to attend church meetings regularly? Merely “churching” the unchurched accomplishes nothing of eternal value. That is where their strategy seems to end.  We need to set our strategy for church ministry, right here and right now.  And it needs to be straightforward, a Christ-centered proclamation of the unadulterated Word of God. If you trade the Word for amusements or gimmicks, you will not only find that you have no effective means to reach people with the truth of Christ, but you will find yourself working against the Lord Himself.  The Pastor needs to “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2).  Why should we proclaim the wisdom of men when we have the privilege of preaching the Word of God? The truth of God does not tickle our ears. It burns them. It reproves, rebukes, convicts– then it exhorts and encourages. Preachers of the Word must maintain that balance.

 The church’s duty should always be to confront such skepticism and answer it by clearly proclaiming the truth God has revealed in His Word. We have been given a clear message for the purpose of confronting the world’s unbelief. That is what we are called, commanded, and commissioned to do  (1 Corinthians 1:17-31). Faithfulness to Christ demands it. The honor of God requires it. We cannot sit by and do nothing while worldly, revisionist, and skeptical attitudes about truth are infiltrating the church. We must

not embrace such confusion in the name of charity or unity. We have to stand and fight for the truth–and be prepared to die for it–as faithful Christians always have.

But as long as Christians are being duped or intimidated into softening the bold claims of Christ and widening the narrow road, the church will make no headway against this emerging church’s new view. We need to recover the distinctiveness of the gospel. We need to regain our confidence in the power of God’s truth. And we need to proclaim boldly that Christ is the only true hope for the people of this world. That may not be what people want to hear. But it is true nonetheless. And precisely because it is true and the gospel of Christ is the only hope for a lost world, it is all the more urgent that we rise above all the voices of confusion in the world and say so.

But the pastor who turns away from preaching sound doctrine abdicates the primary responsibility of an elder: “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).

Continue to contend.  Continue to confront those who oppose these scriptural truths.  God will prevail.  He loves His church.  If we keep our eyes fixed on Him, He will fight for us, He will be with us, and He will be victorious.  He is still the risen Lamb of God!  Fight on!  And stand firm! 1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Be alert and on your guard; stand firm in your faith (your conviction respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, keeping the trust and holy fervor born of faith and a part of it). Act like men and be courageous; grow in strength!”

Until He Comes,

Todd

 

 

CONTEND FOR THE FAITH
(Vern Westgate)

We’re told to contend for the faith…If we leave those outside; Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and those inside without a challenge we’re taking the chance of letting someone else miss the truth and going to hell.

With their eternities at stake, it doesn’t make much difference to me if I hurt someone’s feelings… Especially those who promote lies.

 

 

Three Things Suggested
(John Baptista)


I have thought of this for a while. 1. Challenge the minister or false teacher to teach what is in the Bible. 2. Withhold funds and ask others to do the same, but not to deprive the Lord.  Set them aside, and when the errors or teachings are corrected give the tithe back to the church. 3. Leave the church to seek out a Bible based church such as the ICN, inform the board of what you are doing and give the withheld tithe to that church. And, you may also have Bible study at your home independent of church to correct the errors of the teaching. I think there are more ways, I know there are, but the fastest way is attendance and money.  If there is false teaching they are more grounded in the ways of the world than of the Word so remove the things of the world that they are interested in.
John

 

MORE CHRISTIANS MUST SOUND THE ALARM
(Rika)

Hi Manny,

I wish I had time to write something. I will say at least this, there is absolutely nothing wrong with how you are doing it and to tell you the truth, more Christians should be sounding the alarm. You have been respectful, but forthright. You have spoken from scripture and allowed scripture to answer.  Without that final authority all our doctrine becomes opinion and conjecture. We are all called to discern and expose darkness, searching the scriptures to see if what men say are true, even if it is questioning Paul himself. Let God be true and every man (and their manuals) a liar.  May God’s fire go before you, and may He strengthen your heart to unashamedly defend the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Does The Bible Call Christians To Defend The Faith / Argue For The Faith?

Source: gotquestions.org

The classic verse promoting apologetics (the defense of the Christian faith) is 1 Peter 3:15, which basically says that believers are to make a defense “for the hope that you have.” The only way to do this effectively is to study the reasons for why we believe what we believe. This will prepare us to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,” as Paul said we should (2 Corinthians 10:5). Paul practiced what he preached; in fact, doing apologetics was his regular activity (Philippians 1:7). He refers to apologetics as an aspect of his mission in the same passage (v.16). He also made apologetics a requirement for church leadership in Titus 1:9. Jude, an apostle of Jesus, wrote that “although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (v.3).

Where did the apostles get these ideas? From the Master Himself. Jesus was His own apologetic as He stated time and again that we should believe in Him because of the evidence He provided for what He taught (John 2:23; 10:25; 10:38; 14:29). In fact, the whole Bible is full of miracles specifically being done by God to confirm what He wanted us to believe (Exodus 4:1-8; 1Kings 18:36-39; Acts 2:22-43; Hebrews 2:3-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12). People rightly refuse to believe something without evidence. Since God created humans as rational beings, we should not be surprised when He expects us to live rationally. As Norman Geisler says, “This does not mean there is no room for faith. But God wants us to take a step of faith in the light of evidence, rather than to leap in the dark.”

Those who oppose these clear biblical teachings and examples may say things like “the Word of God does not need to be defended!” But which of the world’s writings are the word of God? As soon as someone answers that, he is doing apologetics. (How well he does it might be another story!) Some claim that human reason cannot tell us anything about God—but isn’t that a “reasonable” statement about God? If not, then there is no reason to believe it, and if so, then they have contradicted themselves. A favorite saying is, “If someone can talk you into Christianity, then someone else can talk you out.” Why is this a problem? Did not Paul himself give a criterion by which Christianity should be accepted or rejected in 1 Corinthians 15? It is only misplaced piety that answers in the negative.

Now, none of this is to say that bare apologetics, free from the influence of the Holy Spirit, can bring someone to saving faith. This creates a false dilemma in the minds of many. But it does not have to be “Spirit vs. Logic.” Why not both? We must not confuse the fact that the Holy Spirit is required to move one into a position of belief with how He accomplishes this feat. With some people God uses trials; in others it is an emotional experience; in others it is through reason. God can use whatever means He wants. We, however, are commanded to use apologetics in as many or more places as we are told to preach the gospel. How is it then that all churches affirm the latter but so many ignore the former?


Source: gotquestions.org