Friday, February 17, 2012

You Say You Believe, But What Exactly Do You Believe?

There certainly is a lot of stuff out there on the Internet. You could spend your life just surfing, reading, watching and learning. But what would we be learning? There is a lot of information on the Internet but not all of it is worthy of your time and not all of it is true. Checking out the source of this information is crucial in what to accept as truth and what to cast aside as false. This is as true about spiritual matters as it is about health products. You need to look at the source.

The Spirit of God revealed many things to apostle Paul and one of those things is the age in which we live. Paul warned as he wrote to Timothy:

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. (1 Timothy 4:1)

These deceiving spirits and things come in all kinds of forms, not just false biblical teaching. One of the biggest things is the teaching that God does not exist in the first place. There is a lot of deception found in the sciences, in philosophies, in the matters of life that we come to accept as basic tenets of living. When we hold up a number of things that the world puts forward as basic human rights these days we see how they pull people away from the teaching of the Spirit of God. Two very simple things that spark a lot of hatred and debate when they are brought up in polite company: the woman's right to decide and homosexual rights. I have no doubt that the "right to die with dignity" will soon be added to the number. One really has to set aside their faith in God in order to promote these rights because the Bible is very clear on where God stands on these issues.

Paul tells us that these things are taught by demons and people are lead away by deceiving spirits and these things are promoted by people who have completely cut themselves off from God:

Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. (1 Timothy 4:2)

The frightening thing is that there are many false teachings, things that take our kids away from Jesus, being taught in the classrooms. Even the students with the strongest faith find it hard to avoid the indoctrination that is taking place every day. Even parents, who are weak in their faith and knowledge, who don't have time for Bible study and prayer, who simply attend church once a week, come to accept these things as truth. They aren't there to protect their children, to help them overcome these threats, to put those demons to flight.

Godliness is under a huge attack right now as preacher preach against hell instead of warning people from it. There are so many churches that have embraced the acceptance of homosexuality, common-law marriages, abortion, just to name a few things. It is common to hear now that Jesus is not the only way to the Father, that there are many ways. Bibles are being promoted that marry Islam and Christianity together. Instead of being based on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, parts of the Church are being blown about by the waves of popularity. Leaders are not leading but instead are taking the pulse of society and adapting to it. Craziness, but the Spirit warned Paul that these days were coming.

Skipping ahead a little bit in this chapter of 1 Timothy 4, Paul encouraged his friend and fellow worker to remain diligent in his study and teaching:

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16)

My friends we must pursue godliness. Our greatest desire must be to become like Jesus. He has to be our only hero, the one we want to be transformed into. As we study his life we discover that he was not a big fluffy teddy bear as many picture him today. He was rough with people sometimes, he spoke the truth without apology and he dealt with what was most important. He always spoke the truth no matter the cost. He spoke the truth because those who God loves need to hear the truth in order to live.

Paul told Timothy to watch his life, how he was living. Are we living the Word of God at all cost? He told him to watch his doctrine, make sure it is the Word. Are we living the Word of God or someone's opinion on that Word? We have to read and study for ourselves. We need to know the overall plan of God and the purpose of it. We need to keep everything in this context and we need to pursue godliness based on this, to become just like Jesus. Paul told Timothy to persevere in the truth of the Word and in godliness because it wasn't just about him. We are all people of influence. What we say, what we do, what we believe has an impact on the people in our lives. We have to make sure we are living the truth or we will end up having a negative impact on those we love. Check yourself and what you believe to be the basic tenets of life. Check them against the Word of God and the teaching of the Spirit. 

There is a lot of information and teaching out there. Check the source! Make sure it is the Word of God as revealed by the Holy Spirit. Watch yourself out there, there's a lot of deceiving spirits and demon teachings.

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