Charles Spurgeon once said. “I never will believe a man to be a Christian merely because he has dreamed himself one; for a dreamy religion will make a man a dreamer all his life and such dreamers will have an awful waking at last, if that is all they have to trust to.”
Something I’m noticing about Christian artists, authors, and teachers/leaders is the assumption we tend to carry with them. We often tend to assume someone who claims to be a Christian IS a Christian before knowing them, hearing what they proclaim, and seeing how they react in tough situations.
The point being, we do not test the spirits as we are instructed to.
(NIV) 1 John 4:03, “but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”
(NIV) 1 John 2:22, “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist–denying the Father and the Son.”
People can adamantly state they are a true Christian. They can be skilled in knowledge. However, all we need to do is to be quick to listen and slow to speak.
Knowing orthodox doctrine, what has been agreed upon for centuries by the church body through scripture, and knowing some Christian Apologetics can be helpful. We will not be able to discern well if we do not know our Bibles. There are beliefs connected to salavation that we cannot disagree on, and there are beliefs that are secondary to salvation people can disagree on. Some Christians will take secondary issues and add them to salvation. It’s truly important to know these things.
Many have used this example. In order to find a counterfeit dollar, we study the real dollar. When we find imperfections, we know we have found a counterfeit.
Christianity is the same and there are a A LOT of counterfeits out there.
What happens when we do not know our Bibles well?
Let me share my experience with false converts, particularly false converts who are trying to lead others.
The discussions I engaged in were a trap, manipulative, accusative, and my own ignorance led me walking right into it. I was not well studied, prepared in prayer, or ready for what I thought would be a common discussion among brethren. It was not among brethren because the topics pointed to a different Christ and “God.”
Individuals cloaked as sheep, who are, in fact, not. They will lead people astray by taking full advantage of a believer’s ignorance. These leaders will paint Christianity full of “holes.” If we are not careful, we can fall for these traps. If we profess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we must have a daily walk with Him. We must be engaging with Him, His truth, and growing in the fruit of the Spirit. We need to know the word of God well. We need answers to these false theologies. We need to be able to give people answers to their questions and help them see the holes in the theology false teachers promote. This protects us from wolves and helps us when others are deceived.
Many cults have redefined common orthodoxy. Saying we believe Jesus is the Savior is not enough because cults will say this, too. We need to know specifics and these details will help us discern.
(NIV) Acts 20:29-30, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”
(NIV) 1 John 4:04-05, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.”
Note: There’s a difference between someone who is a new believer and on milk versus someone who is outright deceiving. New believers, as any believer, will make mistakes, but it is through discussion we can understand perspective, and why a person claims what they do. I’ve met people who hadn’t fully accepted Jesus as their Lord, even though they thought they had, and this is different from someone teaching deceiving messages.
We will know others by their fruit. Listen to what people claim. Direct them to scripture. If they are a true Christian, then they shouldn’t have an issue with common core salvation beliefs. They shouldn’t be promoting heresy.
Those who love Jesus will be able to see the truth because Jesus is the truth. Some cults can be discerned by where their emphasis is. A lot of times, Christ is not the center, He’s more of the background. For example, there are a number of cults that are focused more on the Anti-Christ than actually Jesus.
So, what are we to do?
Have patience. Pray. Be prepared. Ask a lot of questions to see where individuals are in their mindset and where you might be able to help them. If people are under a false teacher, then they likely will struggle with the truth because they are deceived. Take time to understand their background, possibly their church/religion background. Christian Apologetics, again, really helps us find connections to the truth. Keep growing in Christ and His Word.
Do. Not. Give. Up.
Check out my page Recommended Websites For False Teachers/Teaching to learn more.
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