We live in times where apostasy is ever on the rise. There have always been heretics who have misled others into wrong doing by promoting falsehood against the Lord God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Any man, woman or child who professes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ must be on guard against the attacks on his or her faith, be it from the world or within the church. This nothing new under the sun and has happened since many years. It’s just that the terms and topics of heresies change, but they have one thing in common, they deny the Lord by denying the truth of his Holy Word.
- 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:3-4)
- But there were also lying Prophets among the people, as there shall be lying teachers also among you, those who bring destructive heresies and deny the Lord who bought them, while bringing upon themselves speedy destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)
What is sin consciousness?
There are preachers who say ‘Why do we bother telling people to “stop sinning!” or “be holy!”? When obviously nobody can stop sin or even be holy? Can you?’ They then go on give out verses which prove that Christ died for our sins and he fulfilled the law for us and also how people can end up sinning again and again. Obviously, we are forgiven by the death and resurrection of Jesus. It true that people do sin repeatedly. However what they conveniently skip is the fact we cannot continue to live in sin and must repent of it, every time.
By sin consciousness they go on to say that you are focusing more on your sin instead of being ‘Christ conscious’. What they actually mean is that you are too focused on your sinful nature and repenting from your sins instead of focusing on Jesus Christ. Their main contention is that Christ died for all of your sins be past, present or future so you don’t need to bother about sinning. Basically, even if you sin you won’t miss out on heaven. This is far from the truth in fact.
It is a false doctrine to tell Christians that after their first repentance, they never need to repent again for new sins. The blood of Jesus does not automatically wash away FUTURE sins, sins need to be repented of after they are committed. If you disagree, just ask Ananias and Sephira about their pre-forgiven sin. This is why repentance in mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer.
Christ consciousness or obedience to God?
Also the bit which they mention about being ‘Christ conscious’ is hardly a Biblical term. And is in fact used in other religions (refer to this link). That itself should be red flag unto a true believer in Christ.
And any thing about being conscious about Christ must be in keeping with the Word of God or else its just falsehood against the Gospel.
When a Christian wants to meditate on Christ it is not just worshiping the Lord but also obeying him. The following verses confirm that we are to obey Christ Jesus who is the Word God.
- For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
- [Jesus said,] you are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you. (John 15:14)
- Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
Teaching disobedience by not repenting is a heretical denial of the commands of Jesus Christ
When Jesus himself commands all people to repent of their sin, then those you who call themselves as believers in Christ too much preach repentance and nothing less. Here are some verses to reflect on:
- From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)
- Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Revelation 2:5)
- 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
No who teaches false doctrine must be accepted by those who believe in Christ
It goes beyond question that those who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ must obey him and believe in Him and adhere to the teachings of the Gospel. Anything away from this is false doctrine which a believer must reject and flee away from.
- 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)
- 46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:46-49)
- If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. (1 Corinthians 16:22)
Choose repentance anytime and every time instead of getting tricked by the sin consciousness trick
I’ve mentioned this earlier in one of my previous posts but let me say it again; Why does the Lord throughout the Bible keep warning of severe judgement if some were to receive the mark of the Beast? There are verses that say that those who receive it, will never be forgiven (please refer to Revelation 14:9-11). If the Lord knows that some people are going to sin why does he not use the ‘auto forgiven for the future’ stance? Because simply, such a thing does not exist and is wholly inconsistent with the Gospel. You need to repent if you sin. Period.
“Are you sowing into the Kingdom of God?”, that’s one question both good and corrupt preachers tend to ask their ‘flock’ these days. If you hear the preaching on TV chances are more that once you may heard “Are you sowing into the Kingdom of God? And if not then don’t expect God to bless you.” and so on. Questions of these sort make people fear a lot at times while others go even more miserly!
First off we are not to give our offerings to anyone who is preaching a false gospel. Secondly it’s not a sin to give our offerings which can help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the nations. And thirdly we are not called to live in deception. So, don’t get entangled into giving ‘seed’ offerings to those who are only looking forward to consuming your offerings for their personal luxuries instead of using it actually preach and by preach I mean preach the Gospel in its entirety. Those who preach prosperity as the sole output of believing in the Gospel need a lot of preaching as to why the 12 Apostles of Jesus except for John died by martyrdom instead of living like actual princes. O people of God, please check whom are you considering as a real preacher of the Gospel before you send your offerings to them. I once heard, that which preacher you give your offerings to, you end up partaking of their spiritual legacy. I that to this; so be careful if the preacher is not of the right spirit because you’d end up receiving the bad effects of the same!
With all this being said, there is less emphasis these days especially by quite a lot of preachers who are not telling their TV ‘flock’ to sow the seed of the Word of God into the lives of others. Now I’m not talking about brainwashing others into causing them to give their offerings at so and so ministry or preacher. But rather this is about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others. Now for many reasons, there are people who are still not able to define ‘others’. So let me make it real to you; your numerous friends, relatives, colleagues, people everywhere who have still not heard of the Gospel are the ‘others’. Let me make it clear your aim is preach whenever possible. However don’t make an excuse that it’s not possible to preach at all. I’d say that if your life is in righteousness in the Lord God, then there is no reason to fear sowing the see of the Word of God into others you can reach out to. I’m not saying go to a remote desert or island and find people to preach to. If that’s however the call of God for you then I won’t mind at all, in fact I’d encourage you. My point is; there are others near enough to preach the Gospel to, so go out and reach to them.
Now even before you decide to preach to others, I’d strongly suggest that you get right with the Lord God. Don’t get disqualified when you aim to help others to grasp the Gospel and embrace it. Any sinful tendency must not cling to your heart when preaching. Don’t lie to your heart ever; that unless you tackle sin you won’t preach the Gospel but you don’t know when you’d stop sinning. Self deception is a great hindrance to preaching the Gospel! Some take pride in ‘living’ a holy life and consider themselves superior to sinners. That pride itself is a sin. If you are not sinning, then don’t exalt yourself but praise the Lord God for that.
The work that you do for the Lord God in sowing the seed of the Word of God into the life of others, must also be accompanied by sincerity and humility, else it would be dead works. You’d not like to lose your eternal reward that comes from the Lord God due to silly reasons like clinging to pride or lack of belief in the Gospel. But if you preach the Word of God for the love of God and in purity then be assured that your reward will surely endure forever in heaven and in new heaven and new earth to come.
Reflect on the below verses:
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But Jesus said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” (John 4:31-38)
If someone doesn’t understand certain terms in the Gospel then feel free to explain to them the clear meaning of it. There could be people who are of a different culture or region might not be familiar with certain things in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can do this, without changing the Gospel to them and ensure that they get the right knowledge and understanding of it. There could be people who might wonder why they need to help the poor because in their place begging is forbidden. So you could tell them it’s not about encouraging others to be poor always but rather about how one cares for them.
However if someone gets upset that the Gospel forbids adultery because that someone is secretly an adulter or adulteress then don’t worry about offending them. You are not to go overboard on mercy that (ironically) you don’t offer them mercy. In plain words I mean you say those who repent of all their sins including adultery and believe in the Gospel have a place in heaven with Christ but never ever should it mean that you say adultery is harmless if you don’t get caught. Because even if a person who commits adultery is never tackled by his or her spouse, be sure that in the afterlife the person who died a sinner will not go heaven but rather to hell. So why change the Gospel for them only for them and you to face judgement in the afterlife?
For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. (2 Corinthians 11:4)
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.(Galatians 1:8-9)
I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.(Revelation 2:2)
Certain preachers do more harm than good. They seek to gain more church attenders to their church by offering illegal things. And by this I mean preaching a gospel which is not the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I remember an instance of a certain friend of mine who had turned Pentecostal (a Christian denomination). He claimed that his original denomination was not doing the right things. His mother had got cancer and for her healing they attended Pentecostal worship services. He didn’t specify which subunit of the Pentecostal church he would visit, however he did say that his mother got healed of her cancer. Praise God for that. Now when his original denomination came to know of this, they didn’t care if there was healing for the mother who was slowing dying. Their question to my friend was why did he not come to them. He told me that he was prepared to face the worst from them; excommunication.
So he told his preacher in plain words that he and his family attended the preachers church but never got their desire healing so they attended the Pentecostal church. The preacher was very angry on hearing this. He told this man, that go to so and so religion (it was a non-Christian religion) but never to the Pentecostal church again. My friend told the preacher on what basis is he telling him to not be a Christian. But the preacher kept repeating the same thing. So my friend was wise enough to realize that his pastor in fact was telling him to give up the Christian faith altogether and even worship false gods. Obviously, this made my friends decision to continue with the Pentecostal church even more stronger. Soon enough his entire family switched over officially to the Pentecostal church.
When he narrated this incident to me, I was very angry with the blasphemous preacher. I told my friend that though there are different reasons why healing might not happen in a certain church or denomination, the preacher had no business telling him to change over to a non-Christian religion. I later asked him a series of questions to understand if he understood that he has to follow the Bible, pray to Christ and believe in God. He was able to answer my questions to my satisfaction. So I think the current church he goes over to is fine enough.
It’s said that if the Devil controls the preacher/pastor of the local church then he can potentially control the entire local church too. I only partially agree with this because each individual of the local church has been given free will by God to decide to act right or to sin. However, there’s a way preacher could spoil his church especially if the people have more respect for their preacher than they have for the Lord. This is also applicable, if the people are either ignorant of the principles of the Bible or are too lazy to act on the words of the Gospel.
The experience may vary from local church to local church and from denomination to denomination but still a Christian must be alert that one must not be awestruck by any flamboyant preacher they meet. Just because a preacher dresses up in all white all the time does not mean the congregation too must wear only white all the time. There’s no Bible verse that says that Christians are to only wear white garments.
Let me share my own experience at church too when I was very young. There was a preacher who at least in my opinion dressed up unlike a true preacher. He wore clothes, footwear and spectacles which were way too expensive. Maybe others didn’t bother about it but I was concerned. However, there was one thing we all agreed upon; his treatment of females. His sermons were crafted in favour of women. So must women were in favour of him. Obviously the males didn’t like him that much. However, what even got some women angry was that he’d take certain of the girls into his room alone for like an hour or two. The girls when confronted by the congregation would refuse to tell what would happen. This raised suspicions of fornication among the church members. Yet people didn’t act as yet.
Now the preacher went to transgress upon the Gospel. In fact I myself was there when he preached a heresy. He said “You must learn to satisfy your emotions immediately. If you are in need of love and affection go to another human person, don’t wait for God because God cannot come down in form of a human person and eat and drink with you”. Immediately some of the people hearing him publicly denounced his teaching as blasphemous and he tried to defend his teaching in vain. However every time he went to preach at church he kept teaching the same thing. The outrage (yes it’s Biblical to get outraged at blasphemy) at the local church reached dangerous proportions for the preacher. So he was sent to another area where there was a church. Even there he continued preaching his stupid heresy even there.
The people of my local church were not done with him. They contacted the other local church to enquire about him and as suspected they found the preacher kept at his evil deeds. So he was kicked out of even that local church. No other church wanted him. Eventually he was taken to the top ranking church official and this preacher repeated his foolish doctrine even them. So they sacked him out of the denomination since he was intentionally unrepentant despite multiple warnings.
My local church was under criticism from Christians of the neighbouring areas who seem to love the “Do not judge” Bible verse over zealously instead of understanding the context. However, we asked the criticizers a practical question, ‘Since the accusation is about blasphemy and if indeed the preachers words are blasphemous, do you give your consent to his words and by this are you willing to face God’s judgement if the preacher actually taught wickedness?’ Nobody said ‘Yes’ to this question. This preacher had a celebrity following in the neighbouring areas, so the people from there tried to defend him until we told them word for word what he actually spoke. Plus some of us even mentioned the Bible verses which refute his heresy. Then the supporters of him stopped defending and left us in peace.
Though the context my article is about being on guard against celebrity preachers who try to twist the word of God, I feel its better to also give you the Bible verses which refute my local ex-preachers heresies(yes I don’t consider him my preacher anymore), just in case someone in your state/region preaches the same lies. In fact, if used right these also will help to be alert not to fall prey to celebrity preachers who invent their own lies or weird habit to follow instead of preaching the Gospel. Here are the Bible verses:
- Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:5-8)
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- [Jesus said:] Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
“A preacher shouldn’t preach just to make you feel good. Then it’s about the money not about the teach. He should preach the truth because the truth shall set you free.” ― Alcurtis Turner
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.(2 Timothy 4:2-4)
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:1-3)
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)