Tag Archives: doctrine

Be Sound in the Faith

Titus 1:10-14

10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

Does all this sound familiar?  Paul sent a similar warning to Timothy just a few lessons ago, and now he is warning Titus about false teaching.  We can surmise from this that false teaching was as prevalent, if not more so, in Paul’s day as it is today.  It’s a but amazing to me that this is true.  This is only a few years after Jesus died and rose again.  Only a few years after all the amazing events during His lifetime took place.  It sure did not take long for people to start making up their own doctrines based on their own ideas, and straying from the solid teaching of the disciples and Paul.  What Paul was hearing about were men teaching things that were just deceitful and alluring.  After all, Paul writes that whole houses were subverted by these teachings.  Certainly, we don’t see this happening today!

Oh, how I wish that were true.  In these days, which many of us believe are the last days, Jesus said even the very elect will be deceived.  Even those who are learned in the faith will be lured into false teaching that is not Biblically based.  How can this happen?  How can those who have been following Jesus be lured away?  How will the enemy accomplish this travesty?  My own feeling is that he will do it by calling upon our pride.  He will bring forth doctrines that sound good to our itching ears, telling us lies that sound so close to the truth they will fool even the most learned of scholars.  The enemy of our souls is a wily old lion.  He roars all the time, making us think he is close and our lives will be disrupted if we don’t pay attention. 

So, we turn our heads to hear where the roar is coming from and find ourselves enchanted by it instead of afraid of it.  The roar is sweet to our ears as it tells us what we want to hear.  Come here, he says, grace is free and there is no cost to you.  Come here, he says, claim your victory right now because God owes it to you.  Come here, he says, follow your heart as it knows what is best for you.  Come here, he says, and hear how much God must serve you.  It all sounds so good, so biblically correct, so full of promise.  I can claim whatever I want because God says if I pray, He is obligated to answer when I want Him to answer and the way I want Him to answer. I can do what I want, act the way I want and say what I want because His grace is already given to me and there is no one who can take it away.  No matter what I do I will still be saved – I can’t lose that!  This is what he is roaring all the time.  And every statement I just made is a lie from the enemy.

One such movement that is sweeping the globe, and infiltrating our churches, is the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).  This fast-growing group is said to desire setting up a new denomination, not protestant or Catholic, but new.  I am not going to get into a whole list of the problems with the NAR.  I will let you check it out for yourselves.  But one thing that is frightening about this “church” is the fact that they teach apostles must be appointed in this day and age, and that these apostles can give new spiritual instruction and revelation which does not necessarily match up to Biblical truth.  It’s scary to think that sop many are falling into this belief system.  Another of their beliefs is post-millennialism.  They teach the rapture will not occur until after the tribulation, and they also teach that we will set-up God’s Kingdom on this earth.  There is no scriptural basis for any of these beliefs, but this group is so caught up in man’s wisdom that they refuse to hear God’s.  That is just one group that is moving away from sound doctrines.

In all this, we forget something that is very important.  That roaring lion may be toothless, as the old adage goes, but he is still seeking whom he may devour. He is still out there coming to steal, kill and destroy.  He is always wanting to turn us aside from the truth so that we will follow man’s ways or our own.ways instead of God’s ways.  He tries to get us to turn to wealth, fame, power or glory instead of the source of those things – God!  He tells us we should receive the glory instead of God. He draws us into his web and the just waits until we are stuck, ready to pounce on us at any moment.  We feel hopeless to escape the web and walk away from what he has lured us into.  There is only one way out – on our knees.  Not crawling, but praying. All the time we are thinking about how to get ourselves out of this mess, God is waiting for us to simply ask, in humble submission, for His help.  He will answer in His time.  He will answer when He feels we have learned our lesson, not before.  We may figure out a way to escape on our own but surely, we will fall back into the web of deceit if God is not the answer.  You see, what our enemy has not learned yet, after all these years, is that everything he throws at us is an opportunity for us to grow in faith!  God turns the enemy’s ploy to our good.  Every time. As we go through these dark times, we must remember that God is always at work in the background. His plan is always unfolding.  It may seem the enemy is advancing but the gates of hell will never prevail against the true church.  Those of us who are sound in the faith will stand through these times and show the way to eternal salvation in Jesus Christ.  I adjure you to make sure you are a true witness, as Paul says he is.  Stay the course. Fight the good fight.  The reward will come to the overcomer!