SOME CAUSES OF RELIGIOUS ERROR.
2 Pet. 3:15-18.
1 That error exists in religion today no one can deny. Jas. 5:20; Heb. 9:7; Jude 11; 1 Jno. 4:6.
2. That Satan is responsible for such error must be admitted by all.
3. That it is not pleasing to God must be admitted by all.
4. One needs to learn how to avoid such errors. 1 Thes. 5:21.
5. Since the above is true, we need to study some of the causes of religious error.
I. IGNORANCE -- LACK OF STUDY. Hos. 4:6.
A. People have a tendency to be lazy when it comes to really studying the Bible.
B. Failure to study the Bible thoroughly will bring about misuse of it. A wrong division of it. 2 Tim. 2:15.
1. This is one of the great weaknesses in religious circles today and even in the church of the Lord.
2. We must overcome this one-hour-a week is enough idea.
3. If one thoroughly studies and meditates upon the word of God such will develop ones appetite and cause him to "hunger and thirst" after righteousness. Matt. 5:6; 1 Pet. 2:2.
4. We cannot expect others to study their Bibles with us unless we are able to lead them in such study. This takes effort on our part to be prepared to lead in such study.
C. People that claim to be highly religious do not have a good understanding of the over-all teaching of the Bible.
1. Such allows them to be lead into error and to lead others into error.
a. This ignorance is shown among the Sadducees of Jesus' day. Matt. 22:23-30.
b. It is even evident among the disciples of Jesus. Jno. 20.
2. The Jews of Paul's day were ignorant and thereby led into error. Rom. 10:1-3.
a. Ignorance put the Lord to death upon the cross. Acts 3:;17.
b. There is willful ignorance that people engage in. 2 Pet. 3:5.
3. A failure to have a deep and respectful knowledge of the Bible brings about the creeds of men.
D. But the ignorant are not going to be held guiltless.
1. All of God's laws are immutable, unchangeable.
a. Ones excuses will not set aside the law of God. Nor diminish ones responsibility.
II. MYSTIFYING RELIGION.
A. Such religion thrives on ignorance and superstition.
B. The Bible makes God plan for man clear instead of veiling it in superstitious ideas.
1. We are told that God is light, not darkness. Jno. 1:5.
2. Christ is light. Jno. 8:12.
3. We are told that Christ brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Tim. 1:10.
C. Christianity is not vague or mysterious to those who are knowledgeable with respect to the teaching of the Bible.
1. The Bible appeals to ones intellect.
2. It has very little appeal to the emotions or the mysterious bent of ones mind.
D. Emotions and Feelings will bring about the wrong conclusions on what the Bible really teaches.
1. Often, people try to interpret what the Bible teaches according to their emotional feelings about a particular religious subject.
a. Ones feelings are determined by what one thinks or believes on a certain subject.
2. Feelings are deceptive; vary; and error follows such.
a. Many people make the statement: "I know what the Bible says, but I cannot ignore and I must follow what I feel deep down in my heart." Usually when they make such statement, they pat themselves on their left breast indicating their heart that is giving them such feelings.
1) When they pat themselves on the breast it is evident that they are ignorant of Bible teaching upon the subject of the heart. Especially the heart that represents ones intellect or knowledge. The heart in ones breast is only a fleshly blood pump and has no intellect within itself.
2) But speaking of following ones heart in what he believes and does in religion, one should take time to read what is said in Jer. 17:9 where we are told that the "heart is deceitful above all things, and desparately wicked (exceedingly corrupt) who can know it?"
III. THE SUBJECT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS HIGHLY ABUSED AND BRINGS ABOUT MUCH ERROR.
A. People do not realize that the Holy Spirit is a person of the Godhead and is thus God just like Jehovah and Jesus.
B. They do not realize that the only way the Holy Spirit guides us since the time of the apostles is through the written word of God. That which was written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit.
1. What the Holy Spirit inspired the apostles and others to write during the time of the writing of the Bible was completed in their day and no one since that time has been inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak or write any other thing. The Bible has been once and for all delivered to the saints and is sufficient to furnish man every thing he needs to be saved from his sin. Jude 3 and 2 Tim. 3:16,17.
IV. SO, REJECTION OF THE BIBLE AS ALL SUFFICIENT TO GUIDE US FROM EARTH TO HEAVEN HAS BROUGHT ABOUT MANY ERRORS AMONG RELIGIOUS PEOPLE UPON THIS EARTH.
A. Revelation is complete and final. 2 Pet. 1:3; Jude 3; Jno. 8:32; 17:17.
B. Modern prophets, and so-called miracle workers are teaching error to their followers.
V. IMPROPER DIVISION OF GOD'S WORD LEADS TO ERROR.
A. Whenever we study the Bible we need to consider to whom, when, where, why of any given subject.
1. There were laws given to Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses in days gone by.
2. To bind these laws: don't eat of a given tree, build an ark, leave ones native land, lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, etc. upon people of this day and time is a misuse and a wrong division of the word of God
a. We are told to study that we might rightly divide the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15.
B. In this day and time, we are under law to Christ. Gal. 3:19,24,25; Acts 3:22,23.
C. The wrong applications of laws and miracles bring about error in religion.
VI. USING CERTAIN PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE TO THE EXCLUSION OF OTHERS AND FORCING THEM TO TEACH THINGS THAT ARE COMPLETLY OPPOSED TO PLAIN PASSAGES GIVEN IN OTHER PLACES ON THE SUBJECT AT HAND BRINGS ABOUT ERROR IN RELIGION.
A. Jno. 3:16 is highly abused by people that teach that salvation comes to those who only mentally accept Jesus as their personal Savior.
1. This excludes other scriptures that plainly teach repentance, confession, baptism, etc.
B. Part of the plan is worthless without the whole. See Jno. 3:16; Heb. 11:6; Lk. 13: 3; Acts 17:31; Mk. 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21; Matt. 7:21 etc.
1. Thus, many things that are necessary to ones salvation are not given in Jno. 3:16.
2. Just as a crop needs soil, rain, air, sun, tilling, etc in order to bear fruit,
3. The doctrine of faith only eliminates many things that are required of God for our salvation. a. Actually, the only time that "faith only" is mention in the Bible, we are told that we are NOT saved by faith only. Jas. 2:24.
1. God calls upon us to use common sense.
2. We must study the Bible thoroughly and respectably in order to avoid error.
3. If the Bible is the word of God, and it is, we must not minimize it by perversion and misuse.
4. Just do what the Bible tells you to do and leave the results up to God.
By Jim Sasser
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