But there were also lying prophets among the people then, just as there will be lying religious teachers among you. They’ll smuggle in destructive divisions, pitting you against each other – biting the hand of the One who gave them a chance to have their lives back! They’ve put themselves on a fast downhill slide to destruction, but not before they recruit a crowd of mixed-up followers who can’t tell right from wrong. They give the way of truth a bad name.
2 Peter 2:1-2 MSG
Beloved, from the above scripture, it is explicit that we are no longer lying in wait for the last days because we are already living out the last days.
We have so many false religious teachers amongst us. They are apparently the wolves in sheep clothing. Unfortunately, we cannot wish them away just like that but we can be prepared so much so that they cannot pull the wool over our eyes.
but not before they recruit a crowd of mixed-up followers who can’t tell right from wrong. They give the way of truth a bad name.
2 Peter 2:3 MSG
False religious teachers are on a fast lane to destruction but they won’t let themselves get destroyed alone. So, they will recruit many mixed-up followers who cannot tell right from wrong, because they have their ears closed to the truth—believing nothing but fables and myths (2 Timothy 4:4). They might have succeeded in some way to give the way of truth a bad name, but they won’t, of course, get by with it.
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Acts 17:10-11 KJV
We have right to investigate scriptures so we don’t get misled. If you can’t visit a quack doctor to get treated, then you should be careful of quack Pastors, too. If you aren’t sound and grounded in the Word, they will mislead your spirit which is of greater importance than your body.
We mustn’t entrust our spirit to just anybody because he speaks the language of the Church, but because he has been authenticated by God and divides the Word of God, accurately.
In John 21:15-17, Jesus spoke to Peter and said, “If you love me, bōskō (feed) my lamb.” Again, He said to him, “If you love me, pomainō (pastor) my sheep. Yet again, Jesus said, “If you love me, bōskō (feed) my sheep. But Paul who was the least had this to say about Peter:
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
Galatians 2:11 KJV
Paul was able to do this because in matters of the kingdom, there is no ‘respect’; only truth must take a stand.
Let me explain this: if your father wants to take drugs that would kill him, you wouldn’t stand and do nothing and say: “Since daddy is older than me I have to respect him.” I am certain that by reflex, you would knock it off his hands to his rescue. It doesn’t matter whether or not he feels offended by your action, someday, he’d appreciate your efforts when he realizes that he’s alive because of you.
This is exactly what should happen in the faith. Never tolerate the wrong thing. Let every action you permit around you be in line with scriptures. Otherwise, you have every right to decline. It doesn’t matter who has been there or how long they have been, it’s about truth – it’s truth that makes you free (John 8:32).
Don’t also forget that it was this same Peter, in John 21:3, who returned to fishing with the other disciples after Jesus left earth. I have told you that saying you want to go afishing means to backslide.
This was the same Peter who professed his undying love for Jesus and was even upset when Jesus asked him severally; “Lovest thou me more than these?” Sometimes, you get angry when people question you over certain things because you think you’re being underrated, even though you truly don’t have capacity for it.
For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
Galatians 2:12-14 KJV
Peter was scared of the reaction of the Jews because they were rugged fanatics, not because he didn’t buy into what Paul was doing but because he was trying to be diplomatic. Notice that Barnabas was also swayed by this action – the same Barnabas who stood grounds with Paul against the group of people who upheld claims that circumcision is the doorway to salvation (Acts 15:1-2).
You must contend earnestly for the faith, else, you can be misled. What we hear over and over again can become our action. If someone keeps saying or doing the wrong things around you, you will soon get comfortable with it and imbibe a practice of it. This is because what you hear consistently gets a hold of you. Don’t try to be diplomatic with what’s not truth. Don’t agree with it; don’t tolerate it.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:8 KJV
Paul emphasised that even if an angel from heaven preaches another gospel, let him be accursed. If this could be said about an angel from heaven, then what about a preacher who may have been there for 30 or 40 years?
The word “accursed” is the Greek word anathema which means to be banned, separated, excommunicated. So, if someone isn’t preaching the truth, don’t fight them; love them, but cut off from them. It doesn’t matter if it is a family Church – Jesus didn’t adopt the Church He met and neither did He create an extension of what was. Don’t fellowship with the wrong spirit.
One of the reasons Africa is like this is because we have chosen to listen to the sentiments of family above the truth. The scripture didn’t say obey your father and mother, but honour them. You obey your parents in the Lord and when they stop being in the Lord, you stop obeying them.
Truth is never sweet, but it heals. I have lost friends because of my unwavering stand for the truth, but I don’t care.
If only you would take these truths seriously and let it thrive in your fertile heart, you won’t have the need to fear ending up victimized by falsehood.
Pastor Preston Idoro.