Say What?

In the past there were false prophets among God’s people. It is the same now. You will have some false teachers in your group. They will teach things that are wrong—ideas that will cause people to be lost. And they will teach in a way that will be hard for you to see that they are wrong. They will even refuse to follow the Master who bought their freedom. And so they will quickly destroy themselves.
~2 Peter 2:1-2 (ERV)

     Just in case no one has noticed, there's a lot going on in the world now, and it's happening all at once at a very high level of intensity. We see more because of the large amounts of information that can be seen and heard and passed along quickly, 24 hours a day. The media controls a lot of what we learn so it's not always easy to know what is true and what isn't. The older people used to say "Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear" and there is some wisdom to that saying when it's taken in the right context.

     The one place that we should always be able to get accurate information is when we go to church to hear God's Word. Even though pastors and ministers are not perfect, what they say should always be found in the Bible and not made up. Nothing is supposed to be added to their message from outside beliefs, and definitely nothing should ever be taken away. The church is supposed to be a safe place where we can worship Christ in a pure environment, pure -- meaning that no one makes mistakes or doesn't sin, but the purity that comes from worship in spirit and truth according to John 4:24:

For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.
~John 4:24 (NLT)

     We need to worship God in a place where we will not be lied to, manipulated or have mind games played on us. The only way to know if a preacher or church is telling the truth is to know what the Word says for ourselves. We need to listen to everything they say with an open mind (thinking), an open heart (reflecting), and an open spirit (discerning). I once heard that when bank tellers are being trained to recognize counterfeit bills, they learn what real currency looks and feels like, so when the fake bills are passed they will immediately reject them. It shouldn't be any different when it comes to any type of ministry. We should be so familiar with what the Bible says that when someone speaks something that is foreign, we don't listen to it. It doesn't require a degree in theology to know a lie when we hear it. It's not necessary to have a title or be a church leader to discern when something is wrong with what a person is saying or to be able to see that his or her actions don't agree with what they are promoting from the pulpit.

Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).
1 Cor 11:1 (AMP)

     God is not calling us to be judgmental, but He does require us to discern when something or someone is leading us in the wrong direction and not to follow them. A wise pastor once said: "If there ever comes a time when you no longer see the fruits of righteousness in my life, please leave this church!" Anytime you see a minister mixing other beliefs with God's Word in the pulpit, or promoting activities on TV that should only go on in private, saying one thing and doing another, paying off millions of dollars to keep themselves out of court or promoting selfishness, worldliness and greed, it's time to take a long hard look and determine if what they are doing is bringing you closer to Christ or closer to Them....because as men and women of God there should be no contradiction between what they say to you, and what they do. 

Do not let anyone fool you. For the Lord will not come again until many people turn away from God. Then the leader of those who break the law will come. He is the man of sin.  He works against and puts himself above every kind of god that is worshiped. He will take his seat in the house of God and say that he himself is God. ~2 Thess. 2:3-4 (NLV)

     It's challenging when we see "great" preachers that we admire become part of the world system that they are called to pull others out of, but we are living in a time where the Word says that people will be deceived and will cause many to fall after them. I hope and pray that none of us will be in that following. Let's remain watchful and prayerful!

      Please enjoy this video from the P4CM Dancers reminding us to "Stand Out"!

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