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Sunday, April 30, 2017

What Calvinism Really Is!

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How To Identify False Prophets

  • Introduction:
          -Differentiating between the true prophet and the false teacher can be a task that involves plenty of effort and continued devotion. In other words, this task requires diligent work because of the constant possibility of ongoing deception in the church. Learning how distinguish the ways of truth from the ways of error is of utmost importance for the health of the entire church, for the salvation of many precious souls is at stake. It is therefore vital to educate our children in the ways of the Lord so that they possess the ability to contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). But how can we identify the characteristics of false teachers? Weeding out false teachers is easier said than done because determining whether a professing Christian is a wolf in sheep's clothing requires personal examination of conscience to reveal current faithfulness to God's will and thorough investigation for possible doctrinal or moral errors of the person in question. In fact, such a process may need historical documentation, scientific analysis, and always a comparison to the teachings found within the written Word of God. In short, the purpose of this article is to identify the most prominent traits of false teachers. Different abhorrent sects maintain different aberrant teachings, which means that the application of the principles found within this article will differ from cult to cult.
  • Examining Ourselves To See Whether We Are In The Realm Of Faith (2 Corinthians 13:5):
          -It is important to reflect on our past experiences to see whether we stand in agreement to God's will. We need to examine our consciences through personal reflection because devotion to His will pin points the direction of our eternal destinies, which can either be heaven or hell. Those who function in perfect harmony with God's divine precepts are the ones who display their true desire to serve Him, whereas people who stand contrary to His will are the ones who are in danger of eternal hell fire. If we who desire to defend the essential articles of Christianity somehow stand in the wrong on any issues pertinent to eternal salvation, then we are really in no place to speak because we are only deceiving ourselves. We must have knowledge of who we are. In order to be deeply rooted in the mysteries of the Christian religion, we must know what we believe in. The repercussions of blind preaching can only be negative. Our preaching will only drag those who listen in the same spiritual direction that we are going. The conversion of souls is indeed serious matter. Hence, there is a dire need to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the correct realm of faith. A right standing with God will lead to correct spiritual insight, which also forms the basis of correct spiritual discernment.
  • A Different Source Of Revelation/Appeal:
          -False teachers will always rely on a different source of revelation than what is found in the Bible. They base their doctrines off their own puffed up fleshy minds. In other words, they get all of their unique ideas from their own vain imaginations. Deceivers formulate their own inspired revelation and act as if it originated from God. Do professing Christian preachers appeal to passages of Scripture, or to a different source of revelation to spread their message of what they call "the gospel" (Galatians 1:8-9)? 
          -Why should we bother to listen to any random message regarding religion or spirituality? What is the emphasis of or the reason behind any preached message? False teachers are focused on what people want to hear, rather than teach what God wants us to know. The message of a false teacher is entirely carnal. They are all focused on popularity, rather than pure gospel holiness.
  • The Substance Of The Message:
          -Practically every professing Christian claims that the central message of his or her teaching is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is rare to find groups who openly deny that Christ is the Savior of mankind from the ways of sin. Hence, this is the reason that the Scriptures tell us that apostates will introduce their heretical ideas in a "secret" or deceptive manner (2 Peter 2:1). We must listen carefully to how each preacher phrases and articulates his or her teachings. For example, people could preach for the sake of earning money. They could only be concentrated on exalting themselves. False teachers usually do occupy Christian theological terminology to describe completely different concepts that blaspheme God. We must examine the central message of each professing Christian teacher. If Jesus Christ is not quint-essential to the message of a preacher, then he or she is to automatically be deemed false and untrustworthy.
  • The Influence That The Message Has:
          -While false teachers promise true spiritual freedom, they are in reality slaves to sin (2 Peter 2:19). They have been enslaved to any form of sin that they have chosen to continually partake of. A true Christian is able to escape the selfish lusts of this world because he or she stands in the truth, which sets them free from spiritual bondage (2 Peter 1:3-4).
  • The Message's Impact On People's Lives:
          -Another way to evaluate the truthfulness of spiritual preaching is to see how it alters people's lives. The true, biblical gospel, which consists of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-8), will always influence people to strive for goodness. In other words, people who hear and choose to act in accordance to the principles of the gospel will also seek the characteristics of holiness. They will pursue knowledge, wisdom, kindness, love, hope, meekness, obedience (to legitimate, rightful authorities), patience, perseverance, self-control, and many other aspects of godliness. On the contrary, any false message will lead people in the opposite direction of goodness. Those who are influenced by a false gospel will also be inclined to participate in sin. They will become grandiloquent, disrespectful toward other people, greedy, lustful, and rebellious in  nature (2 Peter 2:10-20). These are the general characteristics of counterfeit Christians, who experienced a false conversion to a false version of Christianity through the preaching of a false gospel by a false teacher. Does anybody not see the importance of personal examination of our consciences through personal reflection on past experiences in our lives? 
  • Judging People By Their "Fruits" (Matthew 7:15-21):
          -While genuine Christians experience a drastic life transformation which enables them to continually strive to learn about and seek out God's will for them, false Christians will never have any internal desire to do what is right. They are too focused on worldly matters. They therefore bear no fruits. How easily one can contrast the two different lifestyles described previously! Let us not be naive about anything pertaining to spiritual holiness, but rather educated in the Word of God so that we can truly be fools of His sake.