Every night, my husband and I pray with our son, and then ask him what song he wants to sing. Lately, his little 3-year-old response has been “How about ‘The Bible Tells Me So!’” and he starts singing “Jesus Loves Me” with great fervor. I love that the phrase that stands out in his mind is the one that holds the Bible up as the authority for truth, and I pray that his heart always returns to that bedrock in his life.
We live in a society where the word “truth” has no firm definition. Even among Christianity, it is starting to become a fluid concept, pushed around by popular opinion. This is not a new problem for followers of Jesus. In Colossians, Paul warns believers not to be led astray by the wisdom of the world rather than the message of Christ (Colossians 2:8). Those believers were being inundated with the teachings and philosophies of religious deceivers, losing hold of their grasp of the supremacy of Jesus Christ and His gospel. They needed the warning and challenge from Paul to lay aside what they were hearing from these others who sounded so convincing and focus instead on the One who saved them. We need the same warning and challenge.
For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3, CSB)
Jude says these deceivers creep in unnoticed. John calls them antichrists. Peter says they bring heresies and will exploit their listeners out of greed. As he was preparing to die, Paul wrote one final letter to his disciple, Timothy, ending it with instructions on how to remain strong. His commission is one of perseverance for the truth, keeping ready at all times to rebuke, correct, patiently encourage and teach the truth of Christ, because there is a need for truth warriors. Deceivers will continue to multiply, preaching a gospel that is comfortable and inoffensive, tickling the ears of their followers, leading them away from the truth. Today, we have a multitude of bloggers and authors and speakers all trying to convince us that their version of the truth is correct. Some may be speaking sound, Biblical truth, but the only way we will be able to separate the good teachers from the wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15) is to truly know the Word of God ourselves.
When popular Christian leaders start teaching a gospel contrary to the Word of God, it is time to let go. It is time to separate ourselves from the falsehood; we must guard the truth and compassionately work to save the victims of those deceivers. This is the challenge I am putting to all of us today – let go of these teachers who deny Christ as their Master and turn again to the Word alone. Be renewed in childlike faith, seek the Lord through His Word, do not be led astray, because the Bible tells you so.