1 Thessalonians 2:3-6 ESV
“For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.”
Liars and Deceivers
It does not appear today, at least here in America, that there are many people in positions of influence who are giving out messages to the people who are like what Paul described of himself and of the other apostles. So many people tell lies as a matter of their normal course of life. Many of them do so deliberately. Some of them were even trained to lie to the people, and some of them are pastors of what are called “churches.”
Liars and deceivers abound in the world, in our society, in our government, in the media, and in the gatherings of what are called “churches.” Many people who are sharing the gospel or who are sharing memes or writings on what the Scriptures are teaching are sharing and teaching from their flesh and are not being led by the Spirit of God. For they are teaching a “modern” gospel which does not line up with the gospel of the Scriptures.
But they don’t all begin with outright lies. They begin by teaching mostly truth but then they insert little lies and subtle departures from the truth into the gospel to where they are hardly noticed by the unsuspecting. And over time they insert more lies and more manipulations of truth, but they do this so cleverly and slowly and so connivingly that most people don’t even notice that the “gospel” message is being altered little by little.
And then there are people who are kind of on the fringes. They aren’t teaching what is blatantly false, by all appearances, but they have other motives for doing what they are doing, and sometimes it is just for attention. They want the praise and approval of other humans. They want to please humans because that gets them praise. And so they will soft-pedal the gospel, saying only things that will not offend anyone.
So, whether they are just soft-pedaling the gospel or if they are teaching obvious lies, they are not serving God in what they are doing but they are serving self. And some of them have very nefarious motives for what they are doing with the full intention of evil, meanness, and being low-down dirty in what they are doing and in why they are doing it. For they are intending fully to trick and to trap other humans in order to bring them down.
What many are teaching today as the gospel is turned upside-down. They are turning darkness for light and light for darkness. They are teaching the lies as truth and they are accusing the truth of being the lies. What they are feeding people are man-made gospels which appease human flesh and which do not give honor and glory to God. For they are telling people that they can “believe” (undefined) in Jesus, have their sins forgiven, and be on their way to heaven regardless of how much they continue living in sin.
And they are coming against the true gospel which teaches that we must die to sin and live to righteousness and they are calling that “works salvation,” which is to be discarded. And instead they are giving their adherents carte blanche to continue in deliberate and habitual sin while convincing them that no amount of sin they can ever commit will ever separate them from God and his love. They picture God’s grace to us as endless and unconditional forgiveness of all future sins even if we are walking in darkness.
They are not teaching that we must repent (turn from our sins) in order to have our sins cleansed and us made clean in God’s sight. And they are not teaching that God requires our obedience as part of believing faith which saves. Even though many (or most) of them know the Scriptures, after they see themselves as the Word of God sees them, they walk away and they deliberately forget what they look like. They refuse to look into the perfect law of liberty, the gospel, which teaches deliverance from slavery to sin.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]
People of Integrity
We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are to be people of integrity. We are to be who we say we are no matter who we are with and no matter what day of the week that it is. We are to be students of the Scriptures who study the word of God in context so that we are able to test the spirits to see whether or not they be of God. And we are to be teachers of truth who correctly handle the word of truth and who do not deliberately deceive anyone.
And our motives for what we do and for why we do it are to be pure and they are to be of God. We should be those who are being led of the Holy Spirit and who are not operating in our own flesh, who are teaching the Scriptures in the power of God’s Spirit and not of our own minds and reasoning. We should be diligent in searching out the truth so that we do not fall into error. And we should be servants of the Lord approved by God.
Our goal should never be to please other humans if we are teaching the Scriptures, but our goal should be to please God and to teach truth, for it is the truth that sets people free. Lies may sound good to itching ears, but if we believe the lies they will land us in hell, not in heaven. So if we really love other people we are going to speak the truth of the gospel to them, in love, even if it makes us not in the “most popular” category.
An Original Work / April 15, 2012
Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.
Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
By His Spirit, from above.
Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.