By William Oldham
“…A time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4
The Scriptures offend unbelievers because they are in rebellion against God and they don’t want to hear the truth concerning God’s condemnation of their lifestyles. I am reminded of a story in the Scriptures. It was a time when the king of Judah and the people were practicing idolatry and living very immoral lives; with their mouths, they worshipped Him, but their hearts were completely turned away from Him.
God sent a letter to the officials and the king, warning them of His impending judgment, which was going to be devastating; their rebellious ways were going to destroy them. But God loved His people, He wanted to them to turn from their wicked ways and return to Him. Rebellion against God brings destruction and death; obeying Him brings protection and provision—Always: God changes not!
The king’s response to God’s heartfelt warning was total contempt. It was winter and the king was sitting by a fireplace. As an official would read three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the letter and threw it into the fire. He did that until the whole letter was cut up and burned up in the fire. Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard. Jeremiah 36:22-25
Pagans who act in such a manner is understandable; but this king was one of God’s chosen people and was supposed to be the shepherd of God’s people. He was called to lead them in the truth of their God, Jehovah. But his contempt towards God’s word openly demonstrated the wickedness of his heart. His identity was manifest: he was a false shepherd.
Today, the church of God has many preachers, pastors and teachers who claim to be “shepherds” of Jesus’ flock; but in truth, are they? We have been warned by Jesus Himself that false shepherds would come. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15
The apostle Peter warned the church: “…There will be false teachers among you, who will bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1-2
How can you know for sure that the preacher or teacher you listen to and follow is a true or false teacher? The answer is crystal clear.
A true teacher will always teach from the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament; from them they will teach and preach Christ—ALWAYS! From the Scriptures, they will teach faith, hope and love; they will teach obedience to Jesus Christ’s commandments. They will teach of judgment to come, of Heaven for the saved and Hell for the wicked.
A true teacher will proclaim that Jesus died to save sinners and in order to be saved you must be born again; that no man can come to the Father except through Christ for He is the way, the truth and the life. They will lead you to the narrow path that leads to everlasting life.
A false teacher will look very attractive, charming, and will speak smooth words, all to draw you away from the Scriptures, thus drawing you away from Christ. They will deceitfully lead you into a lifestyle that conforms to this world, and lead you down the broad way that leads to destruction.
Here’s the truth: Whoever believes in Jesus is saved; whoever doesn’t believe in the name of Jesus is condemned. They are condemned because they refuse to come to Christ; they are in the darkness of sin and love it because their deeds are evil. They hate the light of Scripture because it exposes their wicked ways. John 3:16-21
Now is the time to come to Jesus Christ!
Brother Bill is a Bible teacher and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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