Beware the false doctrine

It’s actually quite easy to get sucked into the wrong teachings. Things seem right, seem to align with the Bible, but there is a particular slant on a specific topic that gets focused on more than others.

Or, doctrine is tailored to be “all-inclusive” and becomes watered down half-truths. In this day and age, we are encouraged to be inclusive and not “bigoted” or discriminatory and in one aspect that is correct (meaning don’t go around judging people because you’ve probably got a plank in your own eye). But some churches preaching inclusiveness are actually damning themselves and their parishioners by the messages they omit, or change, or even emphasize too much. Some denominations may even be teaching that Jesus was merely a prophet. If that were the case, there is no salvation and salvation is mentioned a lot in the Bible. Do not let false doctrine steal your salvation!

Jesus said to repent (turn from sin).  He didn’t say not to come to Him unless you were blameless/sinless. The sinners are the ones He came to save!

But He wants to change you and if He is to be Lord of your life, it’s up to you to start to work on changing (becoming better, more like Christ). And yes, that means making a concerted effort to not break the moral laws. Now, we’re human, so chances are, we try and in some areas it takes a concerted effort and we can slip up. I know, I’m there with you and I’m a work in progress too! But deliberately sinning is a decision. You can choose to tell the truth or lie. And sometimes it’s a hard choice depending on what truth you withhold or not. But it’s still a choice. You’re looking at consequences. If the truth be told, will you lose your job? Will you get beaten up? Will you lose your family? Will you go to prison? If you lie, what price might you pay beyond this life?

What some churches are doing now is saying it’s okay to continue to live an immoral life.  I’m not going to get into specifics of what they’ve okayed because it’s not up to me to point fingers and no doubt some congregations are accepting some sins over others as ‘okay’ (often times they’re simply trying to stop losing members of their congregation and risk a church closure).

But basically, moving with the times, some churches are adopting modern social norms and some of those ‘social norms’ or what is now acceptable in society is still not, and never will be, acceptable in God’s eyes. By telling people that God doesn’t need them to change their ways, is like telling a murderer to continue killing. That may seem an extreme example and it is. But the reality is, that every time a pastor, priest, reverend (whatever the clerical title may be) endorses the all-inclusive modern social ideas, the more they are sending their own parishioners on the path to Hell and the worst part is that as one who is appointed to lead a church, they’re actually in bigger trouble than the parishioner who follows the doctrine.

But while I bring up these things, if something like this pertains to you (yes, I’m vague), it’s not that He loves you any less, or doesn’t love you at all. We are all sinners! But it means you do need to change your life. And yes, it takes effort and guts and maybe resisting urges (depending on what needs changed), but getting right with God is more important than any human urges or habits that we currently hold.

Having someone say that you can continue to do all the sinful things, despite God saying in the Bible “Thou shalt not”  – well that is wrong. God doesn’t contradict Himself.  He has merely had mercy on us and given us a chance that we can actually halfway measure up to His high standards!

We live under the Covenant of Grace through Jesus’ sacrifice (the part where he pays the price for our sins, rather than us doing so), but we must actually make efforts to change from our sinful ways. For some people that’s drinking, overindulging, gutter mouth, blaspheming, pornography, lying, stealing, acts of depravity. It could be being prideful, or mean. It’s different for everyone and sometimes it involves more than one thing that we need to actively work on to change in ourselves, but we still have to make an effort.  And some things are harder than others.

Addiction is hard for many people and it takes effort, but God does understand and He gives us the Holy Spirit to help. And we can ask for extra strength and even some of the modern conventional tools to help us break those addictions if it’s really something we are struggling with.

You’ll always be a sinner, but making an effort to try not to is the deliberate act of turning from sin (particularly when it’s something that can easily be avoided) Start with the seemingly easier sins to tackle and go from there. Transformation isn’t usually instantaneous.

Jesus never said following Him would be an easy path and that’s why He sent the Holy Spirit to help strengthen us.

If you suspect you may be getting the wrong message at your church or place of fellowship, then it might be an idea to test some of the ideas out against what the Word of God (The Bible) says. You are not testing God, you are testing what you are being told or taught at your group and comparing it against the Bible. If you have serious misgivings about something, it is best to check with someone else who may be impartial and not in that congregation at all.  The first thing you should do is pray about it. Ask the Holy Spirit to confirm if something is correct and ask Him to show you the right scripture that can help reinforce or debunk what you’re wondering.  If you have concerns about a doctrine, or vibe in your church / place of worship, please don’t ignore it.  You’re not disrespecting God by examining what you’re being taught. But if you are being encouraged to behave or act in a way that seems contradictory to His teachings, then you would do well to look into it.

If it feels wrong, that just might be the Holy Spirit speaking to you.

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