the church and false teachers
The Church is the Body of Christ, which is made up of individuals who have repented of their sins and placed their trust in Jesus Christ alone. We never have to worry about the Church failing because Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. However, armed with this truth, we must be careful to handle the things of God, including our roles in the Body, with wisdom and discernment.
Jesus warned His followers to beware of false Christs and false prophets who will come with signs and wonders, so as to attempt to mislead the Body of Christ (Matthew 24:23–24). We also find similar warnings in 2 Peter and Jude. As parents and members of the Body of Christ, we must be careful of the teachings that we allow to come into our homes. We must train our children to not only identify false teachings and teachers but to also confront them. The best way to do this is to know the truth. The most effective way to spot a counterfeit is to study and know the real thing. I used to work in an industry where I periodically came across counterfeit money. When you handle a lot money, and you feel a counterfeit bill come across your fingertips, you instantly know something is wrong. Then when you visually inspect the bill, you can see that it is counterfeit. The more you handle the real thing the easier it is to identify the false things.
How can we identify and teach our children to recognize the lies of the world?
We must learn ourselves, and then we must teach our children, how to correctly handle the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:33 that a good tree bears good fruit, and a bad tree bears bad fruit, so you will know a tree by the fruit it bears. When we know the Word of God well, we can identify the lies of the false teachers and confront them with the truth. We are to be fruit inspectors, and we are to raise our children to be the same as well.
What are some areas of Scripture that false teachers tend to attack?
Good question; I am glad you asked. One area deals with the person of Christ. What does the teacher or teaching say about Jesus? In Matthew 16:15–16, Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say I am?” To which, Peter replied, “You are the Christ the Son of the living God.” If anyone, especially a teacher, denies that Jesus is equal with God, diminishes His sacrificial death, or denies His humanity, beware! Jesus Christ is not a man who became God, but God who took on humanity.
Another area to watch for is what the teacher or teaching says about the Gospel. The Gospel is the Good News concerning the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3–4). Does the teacher claim there are many ways to Heaven, or does the teacher say because God loves everyone, He would never send anyone to Hell? Heaven is obtained only through Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross—nothing else. John 6:29 says, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one He has sent,” that is Jesus Christ.
While reading this, someone may think, “I thought this blog is about the Church.” It is. As individuals are rooted and grow strong in the truth of Scripture, so will families. As families grow strong in the Word and become more like Christ, so will the Church. The greatest threat to the Church is not external forces but lies and false teachings that are allowed to grow within the Church. You and your family are part of the Body of Christ, so grow firm in Him and fulfill your role as a teacher of the truth as Christ has called you.