By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen
What do most false Christians have in common? It’s not their clothing. It’s not their hairstyle. It’s not where they live. It’s not their education. It’s not their income. It’s not their nationality. It’s not their language. In fact, it’s not a lot of things.
So, then, what is it? Although it is a fact that they might have several things in common, what I want to point out is that they all derive some, or many, or all, of their religious doctrines from some source outside of the Bible. This is in direct contrast to the teachings of historic, orthodox Christianity, which has always correctly looked at the Bible as the one objective, infallible, and final source for Christian doctrine.
False Christians might believe that the Bible is the Word of God in written form. But they often believe that religious truth has been made known by God through other sources, too. Therefore, we find that some of them believe in present-day apostles and prophets and others who, so they claim, are used by God to make known truths that are not found in the Bible. These sources might make known these so-called new truths by verbal and written messages which they claim to have received from God. The hand-picked apostles of Jesus Christ had confrontations with those who claimed to have received new messages from God. The apostle Paul wrote a follow-up letter to the Christians in Thessalonica and warned them about this very thing. Here is what he said in Second Thessalonians chapter 2, verses 1 and 2: “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.” (Quoted from the New King James Version, and taken from this website: www.biblegateway.com,) Note what those false Christians did to deceive the true Christians: they claimed to have received a divine message, and they passed it along by word of mouth and by letter. The Bible, and especially the New Testament portion of it, has numerous warnings about those false Christians of long ago, and about their deceptive methods of spreading false teachings.
The same thing is happening today. And the striking thing about these so-called divine messages is that they frequently contradict what the Bible teaches on key or fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. These key doctrines include the nature of God, how to be forgiven of sin, the deity of Jesus Christ, Christian behavior, and, of course, what we should think of the Bible itself.
Although Christians who are true to key Christian doctrines don’t always agree on what a specific statement in the Bible means, they all agree that whatever it means is right because the Bible is the infallible Word of God. They all agree that religious belief is to be derived from the Bible. And they all agree that we don’t need any new doctrines. Instead, we need God’s help to study, comprehend, and apply what has been in the Bible for many centuries.
Books, magazine articles, websites, blog spots, and sermons about the Bible can be very helpful. But they should never be allowed to take the place of the Bible, or to be considered equal to the Bible, for it alone is the infallible Word of God in writing. For some recommended Bible translations, see my recent posting about the importance of obtaining firsthand knowledge of the Bible by reading it.
To become a true Christian, click on the following link and read the message, and then do what it says to do: http://www.godssimpleplan.org/gsps-english.html