John, the apostle wrote about this very thing. Addressing a group of believers, John wrote that many deceivers have gone out into the world (II John 1:7). The deceivers about whom John wrote were not unchurched people but were attenders of the church. These deceivers were in the church, teaching false things about Jesus Christ.
John warns his readers to be watchful of such false doctrine. These early Christians are to watch for those who stop short or extend past what God’s word says. The apostle writes that if someone teaches doctrine which is not the doctrine of Christ, that teacher does not have God (II John 1:8, 9).
Teachers who fail to teach the whole counsel of God are guilty of stopping short of the Scriptures. They fail to give the whole truth of God. These people tend to emphasize only the parts of Scripture they prefer. They do not balance their teaching by looking at the Bible as a whole. The result is an abridged Bible instruction which fails to round out the Christian’s education of God’s will. The theology of such teachers is a twisted version of God’s word because the whole story fails to be told.
The Bible’s message, with prayer, study, and thinking, can be interpreted so that the message God intends is known. There exist systematic ways in which His truths are uncovered, and Bible teachers must utilize these ways.
In contrast, teachers who extend beyond the confines of God’s word are guilty of adding to what the Bible says. These teachers create their own theology which has no basis in Scripture. The result is a deformed theology which relies upon man’s understanding rather than God’s wisdom.
From both types of teachers comes much damage. God’s character is misrepresented and therefore important issues of what is sin and what is holy are blurred. People are lead away from the hope of the gospel.
Therefore, what Christian teachers teach is important. The Bible’s message, with prayer, study, and thinking, can be interpreted so that the message God intends is known. Otherwise, why would God give us His word? There exist systematic ways in which His truths are uncovered, and Bible teachers must utilize these ways.
So then, I must ask two questions. If you listen to Bible teachers, what are they teaching you? Is their doctrine in line with what God’s word actually says? The only way you can answer these questions is to be a student of the Bible yourself. You must be watchful by knowing God’s truth so that you can identify Satan’s lies.
- Pastor Randy