Friday, August 12, 2016

Spreading Like Gangrene (2 Timothy 2:16-18)

Today’s scripture: 2 Timothy 2:16-18

A few years ago, I read a great book on the history of the Christian church (The Story of Christianity, Volume 1, The Early Church to the Reformation, by Justo L. Gonzalez), and I was astounded to see how quickly false teachers and doctrines appeared in the early church. As early as the fifth century AD, there were hundreds of accounts of sects and factions.

Clearly this was already happening in Paul’s time, not long after Jesus’ resurrection. So why should we be surprised that the church (and I mean the church as a whole) is full of “worldly and empty chatter”? Pastors are preaching skewed messages of prosperity for all or works getting us to heaven. They say from pulpits that Jesus isn’t the only way.

And these messages too are “spread[ing] like gangrene.
 What a vivid illustration that is! When infection sets into a wound, and it goes untreated, gangrene insidiously takes over. And if it continues to go untreated, often the tissue of the infected arm or the leg dies, and the limb has to be removed.

I’ve written many, many times, the only way to know God’s truth is to read His word. Bankers know counterfeit bills not by studying them; rather, they know counterfeit by studying the real thing. That too is how we know counterfeit doctrine: by studying the real thing.

Let’s speak truth, and never allow false doctrine to enter our message.

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