A wake-up call
to all professing
FRIEND, A LOT OF THINGS in this world have taken a turn for the
worse. It's even become hard sometimes to tell the difference between
good and evil--in some cases they've traded places! For instance,
abortion used to be considered evil, but now it's viewed as a good exercise
of a woman's free choice. The "evil" that was once pride is now called positive
thinking. Living together before marriage, once a taboo, is now a good idea.
God has something to say about this sort of thing. Centuries ago, when Israel
was following a similar trend, God warned:
"WOE UNTO THEM THAT CALL EVIL GOOD, AND GOOD EVIL;
that put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Isaiah 5:20
Now, it's bad enough when the secular world calls what's evil, good, and
vice-versa; but things are really bad when professing "Christians" start doing
the same thing. For example: within the Bible we find God commanding
Christians to take a stand against false religious doctrine. The Bible says that:
"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth NOT IN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST,
HATH NOT GOD..." (2 John 1:9). A Christian is commanded to discern
when a doctrine is not of Christ, and therefore, separate themselves from
having anything to do with it. "If there come any unto you, and bring not this
doctrine, RECEIVE HIM NOT into your house, neither bid him God speed" (2
Exposing false doctrine is a GOOD thing to do. But for some reason, when
it comes to scrutinizing the doctrine of any "Christian" denomination, most
professing Christians hesitate. They consider it divisive, mean-spirited,
intolerant, unloving, and downright EVIL to speak out against a denominational
practice even when it clearly doesn't line up with God's Word. Why is that?
Why is it considered EVIL to exericise GOOD biblical discernment? Let's look at
just three reasons commonly sighted:
It's considered evil because: "It's nit-picking; as long as a
denomination worships Jesus, who cares what they practice?!"
By that reasoning, every Christian should be perfectly willing to embrace all the
cults that worship Jesus, too! The issue is not whether you worship Jesus or
not, the problem is most denominations insist on ADDING to what Christ has
already done. The Bible clearly teaches that if a person ends up trusting
anything other than Christ ALONE to save them, they will end up in Hell.
Salvation is NOT through Christ PLUS infant baptism, or Christ PLUS
confirmation, or Christ PLUS good works, or Christ PLUS any church
sacrament that a given denomination may practice.
Christ, PLUS NOTHING is the ONLY WAY to Heaven. Jesus said, "I AM THE
WAY, the truth, and the life: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY
ME" (John 14:6). He said, "I AM THE DOOR: by me if any man enter in, HE
SHALL BE SAVED." John 10:9
The Apostle Paul didn't go around preaching Christ PLUS some other
sacrament. He told the Church at Corinth: "For I determined not to know any
thing among you, SAVE [EXCEPT] Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (1 Cor.
2:2). Only the blood of Christ, which He shed on the cross for you and me, can
wash away our sins: "Jesus Christ, ...loved us, and washed us from our
sins IN HIS OWN BLOOD." Rev. 1:5
Christ's saving blood can only be applied to us when we REPENT and TRUST
Christ ALONE to save us. "For whosoever shall call upon the NAME of the
Lord SHALL BE SAVED" (Rom. 10:13). "Neither is there salvation IN ANY
OTHER: for there is NONE OTHER NAME under heaven given among men,
WHEREBY WE MUST BE SAVED." Acts 4:12
Tragically, it's often the case that exposure to any sacrament tends to give
the impression that it is a required part of one's salvation. Therefore, it is best
to not even practice it. Why confuse the members? Why not get rid of all such
practices and preach the shed blood of Christ and Him ALONE?
It's considered evil because: "It's divisive; it destroys
unity between the denominations."
This reason it totally irrelevant; there can never be unity as long as each
denomination hangs on to its own doctrine. "Can two walk together, except
they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3). God wants unity done in a biblical way.
When Christ prayed for unity among Christians, He asked His heavenly
Father that: "They may be one, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE" (John 17:22). Those
five little words at the end form a stipulation. Christ wants Christians to be in
the same accord that He was with God the Father, and that means in complete
agreement in everything, including DOCTRINE--God's doctrine, as found in the
Scrutinizing a denominational practice is considered
evil because: "It is a very unloving thing to do."
Friend, in Matthew Chapter Seven, we find Jesus providing a glimpse of the
future judgment the unsaved must face. Notice the following people He
describes: "NOT EVERY ONE THAT SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD, SHALL
ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have
we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in
thy name done MANY WONDERFUL WORKS?" Matthew 7:21-22
Notice their actions, and the fact that they call Christ Lord. These are not
atheists nor God haters, but professing Christians. Yet, look at what Christ
says to them: "And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU:
DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY." Matthew 7:23
No doubt, among these poor surprised souls are those who were trusting in
some of the very denominational practices we have been referring to. No,
friend, it is not unloving to expose a denominational practice that misleads
someone into thinking that they are right with God. Isn't it better to expose it
now, while there's still time, before the person finds themselves among those
mentioned in Matthew Seven? ISN'T THAT THE REAL LOVING THING TO DO?
False doctrine will mislead a person into Hell,
that's why God wants it exposed.
Christians are exhorted to scrutinize and speak out against false doctrine
whenever possible. God considers it a GOOD thing to do; it's speaking "the
truth in love" (Eph. 4:15). Let's not forget what Jesus taught His disciples. He
warned them to: "BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS, which come to you IN
SHEEP'S CLOTHING, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matt. 7:15). This
requires exercising discernment, and discriminating between right and wrong
doctrine NO MATTER HOW "CHRISTIAN" IT MAY APPEAR. Jesus said they
will, "come to you in sheep's clothing[.]"
The Apostle Paul told the Christians in Rome: "Now I beseech you, brethren,
MARK THEM which cause divisions and offences CONTRARY TO THE
DOCTRINE which ye have learned; AND AVOID THEM" (Rom. 16:17). This
means we may have to practice separation, not "unity".
Look at what Paul also said to the Church at Colosse "BEWARE lest any man
spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after THE TRADITION OF MEN,
after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col. 2:8).
Since when is it evil to practice what God tells us to do?
The person who calls it evil is showing A LACK OF REPENTANCE. It says that
they would rather avoid what seems unpopular than take a stand and do what
God's Word commands. What if the Old Testament prophets had shied away
from exposing false doctrine? What about Paul or Stephen, who preached it
like it is? Were they doing an evil thing?
Or, what about Christ Himself, who was so "straight and narrow," He got
Himself crucified? Many today would have to consider Jesus Christ divisive as
well. It is God's will that Christians: "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful
works of darkness, BUT RATHER REPROVE [EXPOSE] THEM" (Eph. 5:11).
It's time to repent and stop calling that which is good, evil.
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God," Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9 Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he [Christ] saved
us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) THAT'S
WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us." (Rom. 5:8-9)
THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself. And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you. "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved." Romans 10:9
SEND THE LIGHT
P.O. Box 815 Fargo, ND 58107
[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]