“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” – Jude 1:3
Today, coming from the pulpits of many churches, you will often hear sermons that seem to contradict what our Lord said as recorded in Scripture. A local minister recently said this: “God is bigger than Jesus. God is not the God of Christianity, or the God of Judaism, or the God of Islam…” What he was implying is that God is over all of these religions. In other words, the followers of each of these monotheistic religions are climbing the same mountain of theology. And, when they get to the top, they will all realize that they were all following the same God. Really? Is that what the Bible says? And what does this say about the minister who delivered this sermon? Is he a true follower of Christ?
Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Acts 4:12 states, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” And so, who is right? Jesus, or this minister who believes that we are all climbing the same mountain.
Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, felt a great need nearly 2,000 years ago to write to fellow believers and warn them about certain men circulating among them who were perverting the word of God. I believe Jude would write the same words to believers today warning us to watch out for false teachers who have slipped in among us. Where will you find many of these false teachers? You will find them in the pulpits of your neighborhood churches! 2 Peter 2:1 states, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord…”
The prophet Jeremiah warned about false teachers 600 years before Jesus was born. In the 23rd chapter of the book of Jeremiah, we read some of his warnings: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord….But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or hear his word?…I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied…Therefore, declares the Lord, I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me…yet I did not send or appoint them.”
Many false teachers have slipped in among us. God did not send them. They preach sermons from their own minds, not from the mind of God. So, be on your guard. Watch out for them. Do not listen to them and do not follow them. They are blind guides.
Here’s the question each of you must answer: Is the church where you and your family attend led by a true shepherd or a false shepherd? How can you know? Jesus said this in Matthew 7:15-16, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them…” By their fruit! There is a battle for truth going on in the church today. You want to make sure you are on the side of truth. This is how you discern truth from error: truth is contained in the Word of God. Study it. Know it. Then listen to the teachers around you. If their words conflict with the truth of God’s Word, then they are false teachers. Run from them. Flee! Jesus said in John 10:5, “But they (His sheep) will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Are you following a stranger every Sunday? If so, why? There are plenty of churches who have godly men who are teaching the truth from God’s Word. Find a church that is led by a godly man, and follow him, as he follows Christ.