Is church doctrine important? | Religion

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Almost all New Testament writers warn against false teachers. John warns against the antichrist who was present in his time.

Antichrist simply means those who oppose Christ. The Antichrist is not a particular reference to a single person in future history or to an organization, but includes all who are against or opposed to Christ.

The apostle Paul, in the next few verses, gives Timothy a serious warning of his responsibility to preach the truth of God’s word. There would be a future time when the truth of God’s message would be compromised, manipulated and twisted. Are we already there?

“I charge you therefore before God, and before the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and in his kingdom; Preach the word; be instantaneous in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all patience and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts they will accumulate masters, having itchy ears; And they will turn their ears away from the truth, and turn to fables,” II Timothy 4:1-4

The apostle Paul wrote more about false teachers than other authors, perhaps because he wrote half of the New Testament. The other writers wrote a large percentage of their writings about false teachers who would infiltrate the church and lead people astray.

Jesus himself warned against false teachers.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves”, Matthew 7:15.

False teachers have always existed in Christianity. Just like in the Old Testament, there have always been false teachers or prophets. The Bible is full of examples. You don’t have to read far into the word of God to realize that Satan is busy trying to discredit God’s message, trying to compromise the word, and manipulating God’s people.

The world belongs to Satan. It’s under His influence. The church is Satan’s number one target. He is there to test us, prove us, weaken us and capture our soul. We must be on our guard against Satan at all times.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he will devour: who stands firm in faith,” 1 Peter 5:8-9.

We are in the midst of a lion who has no mercy for our soul and will take advantage of us in any way possible. He is ruthless and cruel. The only hope for survival is our faith in Jesus Christ.

“Unload all your cares on him; for he takes care of you,” verse 7.

When we mention Satan, several verses come to mind. Paul again warns against false teachers.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, turning themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. It is therefore not a great deal that his ministers are also transformed into ministers of justice; whose end shall be according to their works,” II Corinthians 11:13-15.

Satan seems to be so good and just according to these verses. Many are easily manipulated and deceived by Him. His works of darkness are disguised as hypocrisy and lies. He truly appears as an angel of light and goodness. How do we know the difference? We must first know the word of God, above all else.

Like Paul asked Timothy to preach the word, to be instant in season, out of season. Preach the word when they like it and when they don’t. Some people have already been so indoctrinated against the truth that they don’t want to hear anything about the truth of God’s word. The Church of Satan competes with the Church of the Lord. Satan is trying to corrupt the true Church of the Lord. There is a system of false Christianity that goes against the true church.

Paul also warns against changing the gospel message and the serious consequences of doing so.

“I wonder that you are so quickly removed from him who called you to the grace of Christ for another gospel: who is not another, but there are some who trouble you and who would pervert the gospel of Christ. But if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than the one we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, I repeat now: If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than that which you have received, let him be accursed,” Galatians 1:6-9.

It is serious business to change the word of God, the message of the gospel. There are consequences for our disrespect for the word of God. Yet there are the liberal-minded who cannot accept God’s word for what it is.

Christianity at large is full of liberal-minded people. There are those who want to change church doctrine, church worship, and church morality into something more palatable and easier for the masses to accept. I tell you that you had better know the word of God and respect it as you should. We cannot afford to change the doctrine of Christ. He is the head of the church and he governs the church by his word, Ephesians 1:20-23.

Faith is something we all need to take seriously and defend it with our lives or our souls.

“Beloved, when I gave all due diligence to write to you about common salvation, it was necessary for me to write to you and exhort you to strive earnestly for the faith which was once imparted to the saints,” Judas 3.

As we break down this verse, we notice several powerful statements within it. We all have a common salvation. We are all saved alike by our faith and obedience to Christ. We must fight for the faith, not for our faith. Faith is not subjective to our own interpretation, but it is objective to the word of God. Our faith must match what is taught in the scriptures.

We must struggle, fight or compete, not literally fight, but discuss, argue, debate, under civil control and under control of personal emotions. We must use logical reasoning.

Finally, the faith was transmitted once and for all to the saints at this time. There is no new revelation given to man since the writing of the New Testament was completed. Those who teach the new revelation deny the authority of Scripture. This is Satan at work.

Please come worship with us.

Larry Graves is pastor at Riceville Church of Christ. He can be reached at 865-300-0642.

Larry Graves is pastor at Riceville Church of Christ. He can be reached at 865-300-0642.

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