Beware Of False Teachers And False Doctrine

Wrong way sign at the end of a large fieldThe Bible is the most amazing book that has ever been written.  Time after time, situations of life arise, and the Bible always has the answers that we need.  With that being stated, I wonder just how often some people even read the Bible.  I know that the masses of humanity are largely ignorant of the Word of God, but what about those who are supposed to know better.  How often do they read the Scriptures?  It certainly seems that many so called “preachers” have failed in this area.  As such, there are numerous false doctrines and false hopes that exist.  The results of such can be discouraging and frustrating as we fight the good fight of faith.  However, we need to remember that these things are not new problems.  On the contrary, in the first century A.D., Christians had similar problems that we face today.  There were different people teaching different doctrines that contradicted the Word of God.  As such, the first century church had to be aware and on guard against letting these falsehoods lead away saints.

          In his letter to the churches of Galatia, Paul expressed his amazement that the brethren in that area had allowed themselves to be influenced negatively by false teachers.  He wrote, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.  For do I now persuade men, or God?  or do I seek to please men?  for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:6-10).  I can imagine the disappointment that Paul must have felt.  He had labored faithfully in teaching those brethren the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Then, after he left, some false teachers infiltrated the ranks.  These “preachers” had begun convincing Christians that in order for them to be saved, they needed to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses.  This is seen plainly near the end of the letter.  Paul indicated, “As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.  For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.  But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature” (Gal. 6:12-15).  Paul also showed his disdain by writing, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you” (Gal. 3:1)?

          The work of those false teachers needed to be exposed and defeated.  Therefore, Paul was unapologetic about describing them and their error.  He wrote, “But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:  And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:  To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” (Gal. 2:3-5).  Please notice that Paul did not want the truth perverted, and as such, he did not allow the false teachers even an hour to pollute the minds of brethren. 

          With the amount of false doctrines that exist today, Christians are seemingly having to counteract the error on a regular basis.  Sadly though, some have taken the approach of refusing to teach and to discuss these problems.  Friend, ignoring a problem does not make it go away.  We might convince ourselves that the problem is gone, but in reality, we have only deceived ourselves.  Therefore, we must be diligent in teaching what is truth, and at the same time expose the errors as well.  By doing such, we can help individuals to obey the Word of God and refuse the dangers of error.