Would you recognize one if you met one?
I always wondered if I would.
Am I rooted enough in God’s word that I would know when someone was preaching or teaching untruth?
Am I in tune with the Holy Spirit enough that I would be able to sense it, to feel it, to know with a certainty that the devil had his hand in the words being spoken?
I’ve never done a whole lot of research on it but I do remember reading this once…
- A false teacher is one who promotes himself, his church or his own ideas. A false teacher will speak condemnation versus conviction. His message will bring fear instead of hope. It will be based on works not on faith.
Here’s what I learned…
False teachers really aren’t that hard to recognize.
The thing is though…
They hide in places that we think are safe, they hide in places where we don’t think they would be.
The truth is, they hide in plain sight.
Did you know that you have the right to question every single sermon you hear?
Did you know that it’s not only your right but it’s actually your duty?
Church is supposed to be a safe place and I fully believe that pastors have been set in place to lead and to teach. There is a lot to learn from them.
However, did you know, that even ‘if’ a pastor is put there by God they are still human? (yes, I say ‘if’ because the truth is: not every pastor is put there by God. This is a fact and it doesn’t matter how they were put there. It doesn’t matter if they personally feel God called them or if they were put there by church votes. Some are there for the glory it brings themselves while others are there because they were put there by other people.)
Some are there because it is where God has called them to be and again it doesn’t matter how they got there (through church votes or personal decision), all that matters is that they teach the word of God. That they teach truth.
Even if they were put there by God, they are still human and in case you haven’t noticed…
There is no such thing as a perfect human.
I was disappointed too when I figured that out.
That means that it is up to you to take everything you ever hear being taught and sift it through the Bible. (Yes, even in your own church.) Does it add up? Is it really what God has to say or are they simply teaching their own thoughts, ideas or opinions?
Did you know that if someone teaches their own opinion it really holds no authority?
It might be helpful, it might even be good advice, and if it’s the answer to something you’re dealing with, it’s even ok to use it!
However, it’s also ok to reject it because when compared to the word of God, it has absolutely no power.
Ask God about it. He let you be there when that particular person preached that particular sermon and since I don’t believe in coincidences, that means God allowed you to be there for a reason, but just know…
That reason might not be to take their teachings and apply it to your life.
Maybe God simply let you be there because he wanted to expose you to a false teaching, because he wants you to be able to recognize it and he wants to teach you what to do with it.
The truth is, your pastor will never get you to Heaven, he will will never take care of your salvation for you.
Nope, you’re on your own there.
Your salvation is between you and God. Others can teach, direct and instruct but the final decision is yours and only yours.
So don’t follow blindly but be aware of what is being taught. Be aware of what you are allowing yourself to believe, because I can promise you there is many (conservative and non-conservative) churches out there that are not teaching truth.
Here’s what I know…
If the speaker is teaching tradition and the ways of man more then he’s teaching love and the ways of Jesus, he is teaching falsely.
If the speaker is teaching works ( we must do this and this in order to be saved) more then he is teaching faith (we are saved only by the grace of God and there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation,) he is teaching falsely.
I will even say that if the speakers words make you feel like you need to go home and improve on something, that is condemnation and he is teaching falsely.
The gospel is full of hope.
You should leave church with a feeling of conviction. a feeling of hope, you should leave knowing that Christ died for your sins and because you believe and have a relationship with him, you are now a new person, you have been transformed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Yes, it is a dying to self experience, it is laying down our lives daily and taking up our cross, but there is hope because we have a God who will carry us through. He is our strength, our shield. He is hope.
You should not leave church with a feeling of: I need to improve, because the truth is..
We are transformed by the blood of Jesus Christ and you will never be capable of transforming yourself.
No matter how hard you try.
No matter how well you are able to live up to the standards of man.
It will not be enough.
Because we are saved by faith alone.
If we have faith, works will automatically follow, but faith will never automatically follow works.
Dare to question… Is it true? Is it from God? Is it just man’s opinion? How does this apply to me? Does it even apply to me?
Don’t be snared by the devil’s tricks and lies.
Ask God about it and never forget…
Your salvation is only between you and God.
No one else can do it for you.