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
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.