False Teachers (Preachers) Are Everywhere!

In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus Christ warned His disciples of the presence of false teachers (preachers).  By extension, the body of Christ is also warned of their existence, and the dangers they pose to God's people.  My next three blogs will be devoted to analyzing the three truths Jesus taught in this passage regarding false teachers.  These are:  (1) the presence of false teachers (v.15a), (2) the danger posed by false teachers (v.15b), and (3) the practical test that detects false teachers (vv.16-20).

The Presence of False Teachers (v.15a, "Beware of false prophets").  Jesus Christ states emphatically that false teachers do in fact exist.  The word "beware" is from a Greek word meaning "to turn one's mind or attention to a thing by being on guard against it."  Jesus tells all Christians that they need to take heed, be on guard, pay close attention to the fact that false teachers exist.  I personally believe the existence of false teachers today is due to two things.  First, from spiritually impoverished churches that resist and reject the truth (2 Timothy 4:3-4).  Second, from a group of malicious spirits called demons (1 Timothy 4:1).  Whatever the source, the fact remains, false teachers exist and we as believers in Christ must be aware of their presence in churches, on television, in magazines, in religious literature, on the web, and on the radio.  We must never get to the point where we believe any and everything we hear.  To do so opens the door for "seducing spirits and doctrines of devils."

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Can The Bible Really Be Trusted?

Today's pluralistic society would have us believe that, in terms of what is truth, all religious writings are of equal importance and have equal value.  For many, it doesn't matter which religious group or organization a person belongs to, so long as that person is sincere in their efforts to follow the guidelines proported and handed down by the founder of the group or organization.  Truth, therefore, has become relative.  Everyone is entitled to discover or create their own brand of truth.  What is truth for one may or may not be truth for another.  Consequently, the Bible is viewed as just one of many books where truth can be found.  It is no more or no less truth than the Book of Mormons or Holy Koran.

The question born again Christians need to ask is not "Is the Bible a rule of faith and practice," but rather, "Is the Bible the only full, sufficient, clear, authoritative rule of faith and practice?"  For true believers in Jesus Christ, the Bible is not one of many sources of divine authority.  It is the only source of divine authority.  Such truth statement is based on the clear teaching of God's Word (2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness").  God says Himself that His Word is infallible, authoritative, and sufficient.  To deny this is to call God a liar!

Yes, the Bible can be trusted because it is God's Word, our final authority in all matters related to faith, principle, and practice!  Hallelujah!
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Transformational Love

All that God is doing in our lives is not complete without transformational love.  This is God's love, agape love, the divine love implanted in the heart of every Christian by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5).  This is the love that, while being discerning, knows no limits and has no conditions.  This is the love that is at the very heart of God (1 John 4:8, "God is agape").  This love is:  (1) the ultimate mark of true believers in Christ (John 13:34-35), (2) the manifestation of being filled with the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22), and (3)that which enables us to build lasting relationships with each other in our churches by showing us how to get along with each other (Rom. 12:9-21).
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Transformational Love

All that God is doing in our lives is not complete without transformational love.  This is God's love, agape love, the divine love implanted in the heart of every Christian by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5).  This is the love that, while being discerning, knows no limits and has no conditions.  This is the love that is at the very heart of God (1 John 4:8, "God is agape").  This love is:  (1) the ultimate mark of true believers in Christ (John 13:34-35), (2) the manifestation of being filled with the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22), and (3)that which enables us to build lasting relationships with each other in our churches by showing us how to get along with each other (Rom. 12:9-21).
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You (We) Are What You (We) Think

How important is our attitude?  Our attitude is more important than:  facts, circumstances, what others think or say, our past, our education, and even our money.  Our attitude is more important than anything else.

Understand that our attitue is much deeper than just a few thoughts we might think or not think.  Our attitude comes from the very core of our being.  Our attitude represents our disposition, our outlook, our character; it reveals to others just what we look like on the inside.  Good or bad, that which is on the inside of our heart comes forth in/through our attitudes.  (Proverbs 23:7, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he").  Watch Your Attitude!
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Living Our Relationship

     As born again believers in Jesus Christ, we need to start living our relationship.  We need to begin being righteous, being upright in heart, being glad in the LORD, shouting for joy . . . . WHY?  Because according to God's infallible word, we are blessed because our transgressions are forgiven, our sin has been removed, and our iniquity is no longer charged to our life's account.  We're blessed because we have embraced Jesus Christ and have received forgiveness (Psalm 32:1-2).  We ought to be FIRED UP about God's forgiveness.
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Victory in Jesus!

Professional Wrestling is staged.  Before the wrestlers ever go out, it has been predetermined who will win. The contenders go through the battle for entertainment purposes but the point of the battle is not to decide who will win, but to give the crowd a show.  The winner of the match does not battle for victory but from victory.

Those of us who are in Christ have already won the battle over sins of the flesh and mind.  God allows us to go through our Christian walk, not to win the victory but to show off to the world that "He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world."  We battle "from" our victory in Christ, and not "for" our victory in Christ.  The Bible says, "But thanks be to God who gives (has given) us the victory through Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 15:57-58).  We have already overcome!
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Trusting God Anyhow!

The Book of Habakkuk teaches Christians how they can trust God during the worst of times.  The philosophical question:  "Why does a righteous God allow unrighteeousness to prevail?" is asked and answered in Habakkuk.  Habakkuk is a book that traces the prophet Habakkuk's journey in life from dout to faith.  The book provides practical insight on how to deal with such issues as:  greed, covetousness, unholy aspirations, exploitation, and idolatry.  To study this great subject, order your copy of the book, Trusting God Anyhow! through Amazon.com or NewBookPublishing.com 
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Safeguarding Against Heretics

God’s Word makes it plain to all believers in Christ that they, “have an unction (anointing) from the Holy One, and you know all things” (1 John 2:20).  This special anointing comes in the Person of the Holy Spirit who indwells each believer, and who through illumination, guides believers into all the truth, especially as it relates to Jesus Christ, God’s Son.  Christians are protected from heretics and their false teaching by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.  It is vitally important, then, for us Christians to spend daily time reading and studying God’s Word, praying to and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us and apply God’s Word to our daily lives (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:9-16).

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Avoiding the Big Blowups (James 1:19-21)

   James, the writer of the book that bares his name offers five steps toward overcoming anger:

Be slow to speak (v.19).  Weigh your words carefully (Proverbs 17:28 and 29:20)Be quick to listen (v.19).  Avoid erupting into anger.  Assume the posture of a listener (Proverbs 18:13).Be slow to anger (vv.19, 20).  No amount of yelling at my (our) children will turn them into the righteous young people I (we) long for theem to be.Get rid of all moral filth and evil (v.21).  When distracted by sin we cannot dedicate ourselves to controlling our anger.Humbly accept the Word of God (v.21).  Submit to the Word of God as the final authority and guide for your life.
CONCLUSION:  What If I do blow up?  Admit it, ask for God's help, and confess to the people you hurt.   (Taken from a sermon by Reverend Mark Hollis)
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