We live in the age of information. Worldly thoughts, philosophies and twisted truths are posted everyday on the web and social media. These falsehoods spread like rapid, wild fire through tweets, feeds, shares, viral posts and videos
As we and our children navigate through this barrage of information – may we never think we are above being led astray.
In Acts 20:28, Paul tells the elders at Ephesus to pay careful attention to 2 things: 1.) Themselves 2.) Their flock.
Why? Paul says:
“I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert.”
Have you considered that a wolf in sheep’s clothing might try to cause you to stray from God’s Word? And your children!
Where do these wolves come from according to verse 30? “From our own selves”.
They are in our midst.
They are in our church.
They are in our Facebook feeds.
They are in our Twitter feeds.
They are on our Youtube suggested lists.
They are on the blogs we read.
And what do they do according to verse 30? They “speak twisted things” and try to “draw away the disciples after them.”
BEWARE! They are seeking to draw YOU away from truth.
My son was reading through some of the comments on the Good Morning Girls Facebook page the other day. He was reading the women’s “SOAK”s and he asked if one of the comments was true or not. We discussed what the woman actually meant in her comment (she was right but he had never heard it explained that way). So I took the opportunity to explain to him, how to detect counterfeit doctrine.
It is said that Federal Agents learn to spot counterfeit money by studying the real thing. They become a master of knowing exactly what a genuine bill looks like…then when a counterfeit is in front of them they immediately spot it.
In the same way – we must study God’s Word and become adept at knowing it, so that when a counterfeit doctrine is put in front of us, we will spot it immediately.
Here’s 4 ways to guard ourselves.
1. Get into God’s word – read it daily. Know what it says!
2 Timothy 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” esv
2. Pursue sound doctrine. Don’t follow teachers who itch ears (or spread their quotes and links on your social media).
2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
3. Be bold, courageous and unashamed of truth!
2 Timothy 1:7,8: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God” esv
5. Do not be surprised when you are slandered because of your stand for truth.
I Peter 4:12-16: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.
John Piper writes:
Let me just mention one feature to watch out for in the recognition of wolves. As I have watched the movement from biblical faithfulness to liberalism in persons and institutions that I have known over the years, this feature stands out: An emotional disenchantment with faithfulness to what is old and fixed, and an emotional preoccupation with what is new or fashionable or relevant in the eyes of the world…
So what marks a possible wolf-in-the-making is not simply that he rejects or accepts any particular biblical truth, but that he isn’t deeply oriented on the Bible. He is more oriented on experience. He isn’t captured by the great old faith once for all delivered to the saints. Instead he’s enamored by what is new and innovative.
Over the course of nearly 8 years of blogging, I have detected some lies in the midst – ones that John Piper describes above. It has caused me to lose friendships, opportunities and face much heartache whenever I have chosen to speak against falsehood. But no cost is too great – label me intolerant, judgmental or whatever else you’d like. I love God and I love people and out of my love for God and people, I am compelled to hold fast and defend truth.
Let’s pay careful attention to these two things – ourselves and our flock. Like the powerful, preacher Paul, let’s persevere in lifting the name of God higher until he returns or takes us home.
“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.”
Walk with the King,
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Have you detected any wolves in your midst – either in your church or out on-line?
How have you had to defend truth in your life or help your children see truth?
Reading about Paul and his courage has been so inspiring. How has studying the life of Paul inspired you?