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Summary: Most believers are ill-equipped to deal with members of false groups, not because they don’t know enough about CULTS, but because they don’t know their OWN BELIEFS well enough.

Characteristics Of False Churches & Teachers

(2 Tim. 2:14-18)

[HTML formatted version of this sermon is located at

http://members.aol.com/abidingitw/falsechurches.html]

Jesus Himself tells us in John 8:31-32:

31 "... If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;

32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. " NAS

In John 15:7, He also tells us:

7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. NAS

Let’s take a moment to quietly confess our sins to God, so that we are in fellowship with Him and led by the Holy Spirit when we study God’s word. 1 John 1:9 promises us, that if we name our known sins to God, He always forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness, even from the unknown sins we forgot or didn’t even realize we committed. Let’s pray.

Thank you, Father, for always restoring your children when we admit our sins to you. May your Holy Spirit teach us your word as we study it now. We ask these things in Jesus Name. Amen.

INTRODUCTION

I was recently reading an article on the Internet which warns about the false teachings of a certain well-publicized group of so-called "Biblical scholars". At one point, the writer of the article makes the following points:

1) "some Christians may feel that it is a ’waste of time’ for believers to criticize or analyze the dangers" of such a group of false teachers;

2) such an attitude "is contrary to Scripture";

3) "believers are to test all things by the Scriptures."

I agree with the writer on his third point, but not his first two. I happen to be one of those Christians mentioned in his first statement. I firmly believe it is, quote, a "waste of time" to familiarize myself with the doctrines of all the false religions, groups, or teachers that exist. If you apply his logic generally, that’s what a Christian believer would have to do. That’s clearly impossible, and just the thought of trying gives me a headache. I also don’t agree with the writer’s second point, that such an attitude is "contrary to Scripture," and I’ll explain why by discussing the writer’s third point.

"Believers are to test all things by the Scriptures." I could not agree more with the writer on this third point. It is because I agree with him on this point, that I think he’s wrong on his first two statements. If believers are going to "test all things" against God’s word, "the Scriptures," then they need to know the Bible, not the warped theology of those who attack it or who blaspheme Jesus Christ. The Bible does not tell us to study the false teachings of unbelievers, but rather to study God’s word.

1. Jesus tells believers to "abide in His word", to dwell continually in it. I believe in this so firmly and think it is so important, that I named my own Internet ministry "Abiding In The Word".

John 8:31-33

31 Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;

32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. " NAS


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