Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beware of Deceptive Teachings – Part 5

This is a continuation of a series of posts concerning deceptive teachings. Please see earlier posts on this subject to understand the conclusions I am drawing in this post.

VI. Conclusion

There are spiritual powers whose job it is to deceive us, tempt us, and pull us away from God. In this series of posts we hopefully learned how to protect ourselves against them. God has provided us with the tools that enable us to defend ourselves. In Ephesians chapter 6, the Apostle Paul used the weaponry of a Roman soldier to describe our spiritual defenses. These bear repeating because they summarize what this series of posts is all about – protecting yourself spiritually. In Ephesians 6:14-17 we have:

-the belt of truth,
-the breastplate of righteousness,
-for shoes, the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace,
-the shield of faith, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one,
-the helmet of salvation, and
-the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Since we have available to us these weapons to protect ourselves against deception and false teachings, let’s use them. Let me end with a final warning about the last days that Paul wrote to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:1-5), which I believe we are seeing right now:

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! NLT

Unfortunately we are seeing this happening because so many people are not exposed to the Word of God and solid biblical teachings, so they can’t discern truth from fiction. They’ll believe what somebody says just because he or she has the title Rev. before his or her name, or the abbreviation Ph.D. after his or her name. Sadly, we can’t always believe what we hear or read from Reverends or Doctors. We see falsehood in the church (most preachers come out of seminary totally confused, with their faith shaken by what they are taught), from some preachers on TV (some, however, are very good, such as Charles Stanley), and from various authors claiming to tell the real truth about Jesus, God, the End Times, or other spiritual matters. Usually what they write about is anything but the truth!

A good example of an author who writes falsehoods is Dan Brown. He has something against Christianity in general, and the Catholic Church in particular. His books may be entertaining, but you can’t take them seriously. They are pure fiction, and contain erroneous history. He comes to mind because he has a new movie coming out called Angels and Demons which is anti-Catholic (as usual).

So be prepared – don’t fall victim to the falsehoods of this age, whether they come from a movie, novel, scholarly work, or even from a sermon. Be prepared. Let’s take God’s warnings seriously and use all that God has provided for our defense and protection. As Jesus said, “The truth shall make you free.”

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