They Deceive Many

Romans 16:17-20 ESV

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

The Truth in Christ Jesus

If we have been taught the truth that is in Christ Jesus, the doctrine that we all should have been taught is that Jesus Christ died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. By God-given faith in him we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self is crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness.

Therefore, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For if sin is what we obey, and if obedience is not what we obey, then that will lead to death, not to life everlasting with God. For the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk (in conduct, in practice) not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For if we walk according to the flesh, the end result is death, not life eternal. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. And that gift of God is freedom from slavery to sin.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Contrary to The Doctrine

So, we are to watch out for those who cause divisions and who create obstacles contrary to the doctrine we should have been taught. And who are they? Some of them are pastors of church congregations (or institutional market-driven “churches,” i.e. businesses), and many of them are those who are being indoctrinated by these pastors who are teaching what is false. And what is it that they are teaching that is false?

Well, the primary message I keep hearing both from pastors and from the people being indoctrinated by them is that we can just accept God’s grace, or we can just acknowledge who Jesus is and what he did for us on that cross, or we can just accept his affection for us, or we can make a public and verbal declaration of him as Lord and Savior of our lives, or we can pray a prayer inviting him into our hearts and lives, etc., and now we are saved, done deal, and now we are forgiven all sins and we have heaven guaranteed us when we die, regardless of how we live our lives on this earth.

But that is not the salvation that the Scriptures teach. And then many of them go on to try to discredit the true gospel of our salvation, calling it works salvation in order to discourage anyone from believing in it. And then they teach their adherents that they don’t have to repent of their sins, and that they don’t have to obey the Lord, and that no works are required of them, and that they don’t have to do anything to please God. And many are teaching their followers that God can no longer see when they sin but that all he sees is Jesus, and so their sins no longer matter.

But if we have a true biblical understanding of the gospel of our salvation we realize that our salvation is progressive and that it won’t be complete until Jesus returns for his bride and he takes us to be with him for eternity. But all that is dependent on us walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, us daily (habitually) dying to sin and denying self and us following our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). And we have to continue steadfast in that faith until the very end. For this is the salvation message that the Scriptures teach (see noted verses above).

So, those who are telling you that you can believe in Jesus one time and that it secures you heaven regardless of how you live, they are lying to you. They are serving their own appetites, and they are not serving the Lord. For many preachers/pastors these days are buying into the lies of the enemy in order to build their own earthly kingdoms. They want to attract the people of the world to their gatherings, so they have altered the gospel and the gatherings of “the church” in order to make Christianity more attractive and acceptable to the world and to human flesh.

But these charlatans and wolves in sheep’s clothing are deceiving many people into believing the lie and into rejecting the truth. And so we need to be people who are wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil, and we need to be people of discernment who are testing what we are hearing from people who are pastors or teachers of the Scriptures to make certain that what they are teaching is the truth. And we do this by testing what they teach against the Scriptures taught in context. For many false doctrines stem from Scriptures taught outside their context and thus made to say what the Scriptures do not teach.

[Matthew 7:15-23; Matthew 24:11-14; John 10:1-15; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 1 Timothy 6:3-10; 1 John 4:1-6; Jude 1:3-23]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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