The word of God is powerful (Hebrews 4:12). Yet, it is not powerful enough to convert those who desire their own ways (Proverbs 16:25). For the word of God to work within someone, that person must have a good and honest heart (Luke 8:4-15). Even the best teachers that have ever walked on this earth could not teach those whom did not desire to learn (John 6:1-71 and Acts 13:13-51).
Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17). Did you notice the qualified statement above? The Gospel is powerful. It can save. However, it must be believed to do anything.
After the penman of the book of Hebrews taught about the Israelites being in the wilderness for forty years (Hebrews 3:7-19), he made an application. Notice: “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world” (Hebrews 4:1-3).
Faith is a choice (Mark 16:15-16, John 3:36, John 5:24, Romans 3:1-4, and I John 5:5). Faith is not a one-time choice. Once a person finds the proper faith, he or she must continue in that proper faith (John 8:31 and Colossians 1:23). Many start off on the right foot, but they choose not to continue to be faithful (John 12:36-43, Galatians 1:6-9, and II Peter 2:20-22). Not everyone will find and continue in the faith. Few will be saved (Luke 13:23-24). So, where does the false teacher come into the reason that most will be lost?
The Effect Of False Teachers On The Majority
In one context our Lord taught that there will be few that will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14). Interestingly, immediately after that, this is recorded: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:15-20). The fact that few will be saved ties to false teachers because many follow false teachers: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (II Peter 2:1-3).
I have met false teachers on the proverbial battlefield many times. They often twist the Scriptures and employ carnal debate tactics. I used to ignorantly and erringly argue with those men. I had to learn that such debates are sinfully carnal (Romans 1:29 [note the context; Romans 1:18-32], Romans 13:13, I Corinthians 3:1-3, and II Corinthians 12:20). In the past, I had missed the fact that earnestly contending for the faith had to do with what you do when false brethren creep in unawares (Jude 1:3-4). Regarding the other false teachers, I had to learn to follow the Scriptural pattern of how the Lord wants us to deal with them (Matthew 7:6, Romans 16:17-18, I Timothy 6:3-5, II Timothy 2:23, and Titus 3:9-11).
Those of us whom are faithful mark these men, but we cannot help the fact that people choose to be naive and believe nearly everything (Proverbs 14:15). Those false teachers then just smooth talk those ignorant individuals into all sorts of errors (II Peter 2:13-19). The sad thing is, people have more often than not loved error more than the truth (Isaiah 30:9-11, Jeremiah 5:30-31, and II Timothy 4:1-5).
The erring fall in love with the teaching ability, debates, PHD’s, etc. of false teachers. To remain faithful, we have to keep ourselves in remembrance that truth does not reside in a man’s ability to teach or persuade (I Corinthians 2:1-13). Truth is what is recorded for us in what we know as the Scriptures (John 17:17). That truth, not dependent on one’s teaching ability, is what fully equips us unto all good works (II Timothy 3:15-17). Therefore, be sure to be like the Bereans everyone seems to know about, but few follow the pattern thereof (Acts 17:10-11). Don’t allow the Scriptures to be twisted to your destruction (II Peter 3:15-18).
When Jesus came into this world, men loved darkness more than light (John 3:19-21). Paul prophesied that things would get worse and we can see they have (II Timothy 3:1-13). We have to set our minds on the sad reality that most will choose to be lost. Even amongst those that choose the truth, few among the few will actually be saved (I Peter 4:17-19). Therefore, DON’T follow the many (Matthew 22:1-14)!
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