“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with (for) them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.”II Peter 2:20-21
I love to listen to podcasts and rare is the day when I don’t listen to at least one of them. I have my favorite shows that focus on sports, politics, and religious topics. I also get recordings sent to me by various people who want me to listen to things they have heard that have touched them in one way or another. I had a friend at work who would send me things from time to time, and he sent me something from a preacher I had never heard before. I became more interested, so I looked up other messages from him and I liked what I heard.
I began to listen to this preacher on a regular basis, and while I started to notice things he said that seemed a little off, I brushed this off and felt it was not drastically important. The things I disagreed with did not seem to be doctrinal issues so I continued to listen to him. Soon after, Rebekah and I were on a walk and I eagerly began to share what I was learning from this pastor when she stopped and looked at me and said, “That’s not right!” I was shocked as I was trying to share something good, and I was hoping she would be as encouraged and excited as I was. She began to point out the fallacies of this preacher’s teaching, and I was initially not happy with her for pointing this out to me.
I argued with her about this on the way home from the walk, but I started to examine what she was saying to see if there was any validity to it. As I thought further about it, I began to see that Rebekah was right that this preacher was not correct doctrinally, and I was disappointed as I enjoyed listening to him as part of my daily routine. I started to think deeply about the matter and realized there were many other things I was learning that were not biblically correct, even though they sure did sound good to my ears. I wondered how I had allowed this into my mind, and I was convicted about listening to this pastor.
The messages he gave were well received, and he had over 56,000 followers who were listening to him along with me. I was listening to false teaching this whole time and was not even aware of it until it was pointed out to me. I realized how quickly we are deceived by those we listen to or read from. Technology has given us access to many preachers and teachers, and we need to vet and scrutinize them before we listen or read what they have to say. It is not hard to find someone who will agree with you on one point or another, but the true test is if it aligns with the Word of God. We are so easily fooled and drawn in by our own lusts and desires, but the Bible is the law of truth that makes no compromises and is always the standard.
Woe to those who preach a false gospel as the verses above tell us, and woe to us if we give advice to another that is not biblical. It is easy for us to give advice that sounds good but is not biblical, because we get entangled with the world’s wisdom and not God’s wisdom. We ought to examine what comes out of our mouth and test it to see if it passes the test of truth that comes from God’s Word or if it is a simply an adage that has been passed down from generation to generation.
May God help us to proclaim His truth and not our own truth, and may we not be entangled with the “wisdom” of this world, but stand firm on the only real truth there is. False teachers will be dealt with by almighty God, and may we be ever careful in who we listen to and follow. May we desire to have ears that are quick to hear from God, and may we rid ourselves of the things that are contrary to His truth. May God help us to immerse ourselves in His Word and His truth, and may we share that with a lost world that is devoid of the truth.