Have you ever been driving and come upon a road sign that said, "Danger Ahead: No access"?
Did you look down the road and think, "It doesn't look that bad." Then continue on?
I made that mistake one time. The road eventually washed out, and I had to back my way out.
Fortunately, I could back my way out. I have read about some who were not so fortunate. We are facing similar situations in the church of Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul put up a warning sign in his second letter to the Church of Thessalonians.
"... even him, whose coming is in accordance with the working of Satan with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all deception of unrighteousness among those who perish, because they did not receive the love for the truth that they might be saved. Therefore God will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie: that they all might be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess. 2:9-12).
The apostle wrote a similar warning to his spiritual son Timothy, "Now the Spirit clearly says that in the last times some will depart from the faith and pay attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron" (1 Tim. 4:1-2).
The danger for the church today is looking at the warning signs and saying, "It is not that bad."
They do not recognize the extreme danger facing them because they do not love the truth.
So many in the church have been steeped in rationalism and relativism they no longer accept the absolute truth of the Word of God.
How does one know if they believe a lie or if they are following deception?
They will drive the dangerous road believing they are perfectly safe because of the delusion. They will be totally unaware of the danger ahead.
Only when they will receive the rebuke of the Word of God and the correction of the Word of God will they become aware they are on a dangerous road.
A person must "receive the love of the truth" from the Holy Spirit if they are to avoid the dangers found in the church today.
A positive gospel with emphasis upon the love and goodness of God but does not call to repentance of sin;
The danger of following prophetic words that do not call for accountability to the Word of God for verification and confirmation;
The danger of seeking revelation from angels;
The danger of going to the grave of a great man or woman of God to seek their anointing and to call it up from the grave.
These out-of-balance teachings are being followed by thousands in the church; maybe it is out of spiritual naiveté or maybe because they are looking for the new and thrilling thing that is being taught.
All the while, they are unaware they have run past the "danger sign" of the Word of God.
The apostle instructed Timothy, "But evil men and seducers will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But continue in the things that you have learned and have been assured of, knowing those from whom you have learned them, and that since childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through the faith that is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:13-17).
Ask God to give you a heart to "love the truth."
Study the Word of God and dig in the Word of God just as if you were digging for pure gold.
Indeed, you are!
Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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