FREEDOM OF RELIGION #5
Presently I am involved in presenting scriptures which (I believe) say: Only those who teach and practice nothing more nor less than the teaching of God, will be saved.
In the Bible, there are many scriptures which have something to say about false teachers. I believe this group of scriptures also prove that what we teach and do, must be authorized by God's Book. So the purpose of this article shall be to consider this group of scriptures with you.
Some of these scriptures proclaim: Jesus said many false teachers shall arise and shall lead many astray (Mat. 7:15, Mat. 24:11). Likewise the inspired apostles declared false teachers will come. Paul, in Acts 20:29-30, said: "Men shall arise speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." Again, in 1 Tim. 4:1-5, Paul spake of the time when some would depart from (the gospel) the faith and teach unauthorized things. The Apostle Peter, in 2 Pet. 2:1, said: "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you."
Another group of scriptures say: Some of these aforetold false teachers, came before the death of the apostles. Yes, we read of their coming in Rom. 16:17-18, 2 Cor. 11:13-15, 2 Tim. 2:16-18, Titus 1:10-11, Rev. 2:2; 14-15. Then John, in 1 Jo. 4:1 says: "Beloved believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: Because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
Yes, False teachers began to appear in the early days of this,our age; and no doubt many others have followed them. So the fact that thousands of conflicting doctrines are being taught in the world today, should come as no surprise. If from the beginning until now, all teachers had taught and only taught, that which was taught by the inspired apostles and prophets of God, we would not have all this division.
All right, having presented scriptures which show that both Jesus and his apostles said false teachers would come and that they did. I will now present other scriptures which I believe say: I will be lost if I follow the teachings of a false teacher.
I believe Jesus by way of 'The parable of the tares', which is found in Mat.. Chapter thirteen, taught that the converts of a false teacher will be lost.
Yes, my readers, when we read this parable which begins with verse 24 and goes through verse 30 and then read the comments which Jesus made on the parable in verses 36-43, we hear him say four things; (1) False teachers will come. (2) They will make converts. (3) Their converts will be called tares. (4) On the day of judgment the (tares) converts of the false teachers will be rejected.
Jesus, in Mat. 23:13-15, told a group of false teachers that neither they nor their proselytes would enter the kingdom.
In Mat. 24:10-13, Jesus speaks of three different groups of people; (1) those who would fall away because of persecution, (2) those who would be deceived by false prophets, (3) those who would endure unto the end. All right, after speaking of the first two groups, he then said, "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Now in saying this, he was as much as saying: Those who ceased to serve God because of persecution and those who are deceived by false prophets will not be saved.
Again Jesus, in Mat. 15:14, says: "If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. If a man is a blind religious leader, then he is honest, but if he is a blind leader, then he does not lead according to God's word. So he, in spite of his honesty, must be called a false teacher. Nevertheless we must not forget that Jesus said: If a man who is ignorant of God's will is lead by another who is also ignorant of God's will, well both he and his leader will fall into the pit.
Anyone who teaches the traditions of men, must be classified as a false teacher. Yet, Mat. 15:9 proves those who lived under the law of Moses, could not follow the traditions of men without loosing their acceptability with God. Yes, in this passage, Jesus said unto them: "In vain do you worship me teaching for doctrine the traditions of men." Likewise Jesus through Paul, in Col. Chapter two, says if we follow those who teach the traditions of men, we will also loose our acceptability with God. Yes, in verses 8 and 18 he says: If we allow a man to deceive us into following the traditions of men, we will have allowed him to make spoil of us and to rob us of our reward.
Now recall, we have already considered scriptures which set forth the fact that false teachers came before the apostles of Jesus departed from this world. So let's see what the scriptures say about their converts.
The Apostle Paul once went into the region of Galatia and converted many people unto Christ. According to Gal. 1:11, he did this by preaching unto them nothing more nor less than the teachings of Jesus, however, later false teachers came into this same area and taught those people things which Paul had not taught. Gal. 1:6-7, reveals unto us that some of the Galatians accepted the doctrine taught by the false teachers.
When we read all the Book of Galatians, we do not find those teachers had persuaded the people to return to an ungodly life. Nor do we find that they had even attempted to turn them away from the teachings of Christ. No, all they had done was to convince them they should also abide by a few of the teachings of the law of Moses.
Nevertheless, let us never forget that this was enough for Jesus (through Paul) to tell them more than once they stood condemned. In Gal. 1:6-7, he said the gospel which you now have is no gospel at all. Then he said unto them, it is nothing more than a perverted gospel of Christ. In Gal. 4:8-11, he in plain words said: By your accepting these additional teachings, you have placed yourself back into the same spiritual bondage you were in, when you worshipped idol gods. Then in Gal. 5:1- 4, he said ye are fallen from grace and Christ will profit you nothing.
Oh yes, my readers, the scriptures which have to do with false teachers and their converts do (I believe) prove we cannot be saved by complying with their teachings. So they, as the many others we have considered, say: We must have authority for all that we teach and do.
True. we have freedom of choice; but no we do not have freedom of religion. We must have New Testament authority for everything we teach and practice in the name of religion.
By: Tommy Hodge
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