If my pastor were to teach something unbiblical, how would I know?
The book of 2 Peter teaches the 4 D’s of a false teacher. Destruction, Doom, Depravity, and Deception. First off, we should always remember that Revelation 22:18-19 tells us anyone who hears the words of the the Bible and adds to them, God will add to them the plagues that are written in it. And, anyone who takes away from it, He will take away their place in the book of life. The Bible also says that it is not open to any private interpretation. Remember this when you hear a teacher or pastor giving a sermon. Always check that what you are being taught is in your Bible. Any good pastor will remind you to check them and not to simply believe whatever they say.
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“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”
God takes it seriously when someone teaches this word out of context or chooses to teach their own way and use the Bible as the worm to hook in new followers. The Bible says these teachers will exploit unsuspecting believers with their deceptive words, “and their distraction does not slumber.” -2 Peter 2:3
How are you to know if your Bible teacher is deceiving you? How do you know if they are teaching things not found in the Bible? By reading your Bible daily and getting to know it well yourself. Society today leans heavily on the knowledge that it is fed daily through news and social sources. How easy it is to flip on the television and believe every word we are told without question. But oh, believer, how dangerous for us it can also be.
Knowing your Bible, what it teaches, and having daily fellowship with the Lord cannot be replaced with simply listening to a sermon or weekly program. Remember that we live in a fallen world and the enemy roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Whether we were taught as young children or saved as adults, many believers do not realize that once we except Christ into our lives we begin a battle that only ends when we are greeted by the Lord at heaven's gates. For as long as we remain on this earth, the enemy and his fallen angels will ever be trying to deceive us and lead us astray. Our walk with God should be the first and foremost thing in our lives, before our spouses, our children, our jobs, our comfort, and our desires. In order to recognize a false teacher, we have to know God’s word very well.
“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,”
How can we abstain from sins if we do not know what they are? And if we sin, without knowing that it’s a sin, will we still be punished? Every sin has a punishment. If God was not willing to spare the angels from punishment, then we also need to take care not to be lead into sin. Lot was a righteous man living in a city among evildoers and he was tormented daily because he saw the sins of the city. He was a witness of there evil lifestyle. As believers today become more and more comfortable with the sins of the world, we forget that we are called to be different, set apart, and stand against the ways of the enemy. God knows how to keep us from the Temptations of this evil world but how can we trust a God we don’t know?
“These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.”
So, believer, the way to recognize a false teacher and steer away from them is to know your Bible and your God. Know the teachings of the Bible so that you will recognize if the pastors words do not come from it. Remember that being a believer is a battle but the Lord is on our side. We will have trials, we will have tribulation, but ultimately our God has already won and we will be victorious. Lean on Him in those dark days. Trust in Him when hope seems to be a lost. Focus on Him when you feel confused and sad. Get to know Him and He will be your constant companion.
My dear little sparrows, I pray today that you will be strong in your walk, consistent in your fellowship with the Lord, and steadfast in your faith no matter what the enemy may bring against you. Have a blessed day.