Looking For A Sign By Nathele Graham We all want signs that we are following…
By Nathele Graham
It’s a sign of the times that Scripture is not being taught. Too many Christians don’t care to take the time to study – truly study – Scripture. That leaves them open to accept wishy-washy teaching from the pulpit. Many pastors will only preach sermons that are “user friendly” and quote from secular, non-Christian sources, rather than stand upon the authority of Biblical truth. This causes a “dumbing down” of many Christians. If your pastor is a Christ-centered, Scripture preaching teacher, be thankful. There are a remnant few who honor God’s authority. It was very important to Jesus that His truth be taught. After the Resurrection, He met with His disciples on the shores of Galilee. Peter was there, even though he had denied knowing Christ during the trial. He must have been very uneasy at that meeting with the risen Lord, but Jesus knew his heart. Jesus specifically told Peter to feed the flock. That didn’t mean to have a potluck. Peter fed the flock on God’s word. You’ll find the account in the Gospel of John chapter 21. The Apostle Paul was another man whose life was completely changed when He met Jesus. His life should be the model for missionary work. He spread the Gospel. Paul also taught young pastors how to lead their congregations in the way of the Lord. One of those men was Timothy. Paul knew Timothy had been grounded in Scripture since he was a child, and he shouldn’t deviate from truth, nor should he follow “trends” or use gimmicks to spread the Good News of Christ.
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” – 2 Timothy 3:14-17.
Reproof? Correction? Instruction in righteousness? That’s not “user friendly” and means you can’t accept all manner of sin into the congregation and say it’s OK. Scripture needs to be written on the heart of every Christian, both Old and New Testament Scripture. Feed the sheep and the lambs with good, nourishing food. Milk will help the lambs grow, but the meat of God’s word must be offered so the older Christians can grow stronger. In order to grow in Christ, we all need to study God’s word and use it as our standard of living.
Paul wasn’t a very nice person in his younger years. After Christ dramatically met Paul on the Road to Damascus, Paul was changed from a murderous, angry man into a man who served Jesus with his entire being. Let’s see what Paul has to say about watered-down, ear-tickling teaching.
“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” – Hebrews 5:12-14.
The recipients of this letter should have grown in their understanding of God’s truth. They were regressing instead of progressing. Although those who teach are to blame for their lack of instructions, shame on the students who sit quietly in their pews drinking milk, rather than growing strong in Scripture. The pew-sitters allow irresponsible teaching. Too many Christians put their fingers in their ears and think what they learned as a child in Sunday school is enough. Milk is just fine with them.
Some pastors refuse to teach from the Old Testament. By doing so, they fail to teach the whole counsel of God. By doing so, they deny their congregation some important teaching…meat for nourishment and growth. You see, The New Testament has its foundation in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New Testament. If you don’t study line upon line through Scripture, you’ll never understand creation and how sin entered. You’ll never fully understand why God had to step into His creation in order to provide the only way to save us from the final death that comes from sin. Study and see how Genesis chapter 1 describes God creating everything, and how the Gospel of John tells us that Jesus was the Creator. Read the first chapter of the letter to the Romans to see what happens when God is rejected as creating all things. Today, we have slid down the slippery slope and the evolution lie is taught as truth. We have fallen right into the perversion described in Romans chapter 1. The Psalmist understood how important it is to know the ways of the Lord.
“Aleph. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” – Psalm 119:1-2.
How can a person “keep his testimonies” if they aren’t taught what His testimonies are? That isn’t just an Old Testament idea. Jesus fulfilled the Law, but didn’t abolish it. We need to keep the moral law. Jesus was our final sacrifice to atone for sin, and He is our High Priest, so the priesthood is no longer necessary. Later in Psalm 119, the psalmist wrote,
“Mem. O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.” – Psalm 119:97-98.
The Psalmist loved the ways of the Lord, and “it was my meditation all the day.” What would happen to your walk with the Lord if you kept the word of God in your heart all day? Like the psalmist, you just might gain more understanding.
“I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.” – Psalm 119:99-100.
Don’t wait for the man in the pulpit to teach you. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you in your studies of Scripture.
To gain the fullest understanding of God’s word, it should be taught from Genesis 1:1 through the book of Revelation. In that way controversial subjects aren’t skipped. You will learn why God honors a one-man/one-woman marriage, you’ll learn how the heroes of the faith struggled in life just like we do, you’ll be amazed by prophecy, and you’ll know why God Himself had to step into His creation and be our final sacrifice for sin.
“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” – Isaiah 28:10-11.
Don’t be afraid to dig into Scripture, but do avoid false teachers. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Scripture discloses that the time would come when questionable doctrine would be normal. Paul urged the young pastor Timothy to stay true to God’s truth.
“Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” – 2 Timothy 4:2-4.
Today, I thank God for men like Chuck Missler who wasn’t ashamed of the Gospel and his teachings have outlived him. I’m also very thankful for my husband who stood on God’s word without wavering and drew me deeper into the study of Scripture. There are other very sound teachers of God’s word, so don’t be deceived by those who are leading the flock astray.
Bible teachers need to take heed to stay true to God’s word.
“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” – James 3:1-2.
James warned that not everyone should be a teacher. If a teacher teaches false doctrine or waters down the full counsel of God’s word, their judgment will be harsh.
The best teacher is the Holy Spirit. He is not a false teacher and will only lead you deeper into God’s truth.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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