Summary: A message about the 3 specific doctrines of demons or false teachings of the devil in the modern church.
Doctrines of Demons
Introduction: C.S. Lewis said “A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world -- and might even be more difficult to save.”
For the last 15 years or so I think we all would agree that we have seen a spiritual decline in our country. It seems that we can all sense this unholy snowball effect that is happening where things are rolling downhill growing from bad to worse only gaining momentum and increasing in danger. But sometimes such an obvious depravity calls our attention to it and it certainly has the last few years.
Even though we will cover it, this message is more than just the words “doctrines of demons” mentioned in I Timothy 4:1. We are expanding the phrase to its more general meaning. The word ‘doctrine’ means truth. But if a so called “doctrine” comes from demons or more specifically, the devil then we know that it is not truth - we know that it is, in fact, a lie.
Jesus said the devil “ . . . was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” -Jn. 8:44
The purpose of this message is to point out the work of the devil and how he uses his lies to change the perception of the church, the gospel, and Christians themselves.
For those who refuse to believe, there is no hope for them anyway. Because they never loved the truth, they reject it and therefore they never obey it. And as a result of this Paul writes:
“For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.”
- 2 Thess. 2:11
God will sometimes withdraw his grace from sinners like these and hand them over to Satan to be deceived. How does Satan deceive us? Satan will try to make the most harmful things seem the most harmless. He will take those things that corrupt our minds, and make them humorous. Satan tries to pass of what appeals to the flesh, knowing its corruption, as something that is a necessity. As if to say “As a Christian, you should do this or that.” It’s like the coach of a rival team giving advice to the opposing coach on what he should do to win the game. Its never the devil’s interest to promote the gospel or to advise Christians how they should live for Christ, and yet that doesn’t stop many Christians from taking his advice.
Transition: This shows us the need we have for discernment, the word of God, and the Holy Spirit in the last days as the doctrines of devils will certainly pull some of us away from God. The first doctrine of demons is to convince us that . . .
We need a different gospel
“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” - 2 Cor. 11:3,4
The apostle was concerned that demonic doctrines would enter the Corinthian church and lead people away from their devotion to Jesus. What could lead them away from their sincere and pure devotion to Jesus? A different gospel.
Vance Havner said “We do not need culture, but we do need Calvary.” Joseph Clark said “the cross is God’s plus sign to a needy world. The cross is the only ladder high enough to touch heaven’s threshold. The cross is the focal point of John 3:16; without Christ and His cross, we are lost.”
“All unannounced and mostly undetected there have come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different. The likenesses are superficial but the differences are fundamental. From the new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life and from the new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique, a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching.”
More and more people are agreeing with the devil and reasoning that the only way to win the world to Christ is to make Christ more acceptable to the world. The only way we can get the world to come to church is to make the church like the world. If we want others to resemble Christ we need to make Christ resemble them instead of telling them they must die to self as part of the sanctification process. I’d rather pastor a struggling church preaching the truth than to pastor the wealthiest church preaching flatteries. I’d rather pastor the smallest church in Oklahoma telling the truth than pastor the largest church in the state telling lies.