How do you spot a fake teacher? A false prophet? A heretical ideology or influence? Bottom line, there is no shortage of false teachers in our current culture. They write books; they are on television; they are on the radio. It doesn’t take long to find one. In most cases, you don’t even have to go looking . Somehow, they find you.
In his second letter of Scripture, Peter was extremely concerned about false teachers. So much so that he spends an entire chapter warning the church about them. The promise of Scripture is that as the Day of Our Lord’s return draws closer, there will be more false teachers. So, we have to be prepared as God’s people to “spot a fake” and not allow our minds to be carried off to plunder.
In our culture, there seems to be four quick ways that you can spot a fake:
They question the credibility of God’s Word.
There has always been a drive to undermine the authority and authenticity of Scripture. Watch out for this.
They question the person of Jesus.
There continues to be a push to “demote” Jesus, as if that were even possible. But many want Jesus to be a good moral teacher, they just don’t want Him to be God in the flesh. Watch out for this.
They question the way of salvation.
There is a rise of universalism in our culture. This is the idea that many paths lead to heaven, just be sincere about the one you are on and you’re good to go. In fact, everyone in the end will end up in heaven.
The problem with this is found in the words of Jesus, who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to God the Father but by me.” Yes, that is exclusive. It is meant to be. Jesus is the only way of salvation. Watch for those who try to introduce new ways .
They distort the message of Jesus.
This is the practice of making the Scripture say something it doesn’t. This is found easily in the “health and wealth” gospel, which is not taught in Scripture. So, watch out for those who tell you all is going to be great if you follow Jesus.
Don’t get me wrong, if you know Jesus there is a great hope of heaven which will be given. But on earth, there seems to be more promises in Scripture of persecution and suffering for the sake of Christ. Just sayin’.
Don’t allow a fake to get you off the path.
This post originally appeared at Skipper’s personal blog.