In America (and perhaps even around the world, thanks to television and social media), the Gospel of Jesus Christ has become extremely muddied by false teaching full of false gospels, New Age/occult/pagan practices, lying signs and wonders, and distractions that come from worldly desires that are all leading many to false Christs.
As many of you know, we were among those believers who were believing lies from the result of the twisting of scripture and emotional, mental, and spiritual manipulation from leaders in ministry whom we trusted.
Although God began removing “the scales” from our eyes about five years ago, the road has been humbling, painful, frustrating, and difficult, among many other things. The wounds of deception can run deep and can time to heal.
Renewing our minds with God’s Word has been quite the healing experience (although painful at times to be sure), and we are so thankful for ministries who not only preach truth and exegete scripture so beautifully, they expose the lies of false teachers that seem to be all around us today.
This shouldn’t catch us by surprise because both Jesus and the Apostle Paul gave us proper warning that this would happen (see Matthew 24:1-5 and 2 Timothy 4:3). The Bible speaks extensively about what we are to do when we see a false teacher twisting scripture; We are to warn others about their dangerous teaching, so more people do not fall prey to their lies and become entangled in deception.
It is easy to become offended and angry at false teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, who deceive others and twist truth, but we must remember that if we begin to expose these teachers without love as our foundation and ultimate motivation, our efforts are fleshly and lack the compassion of the Savior. It must to be out of love that we plead to these false teachers that they turn from their wicked ways and come to embrace truth.
Just like we would for any sinner, we must pray that false teachers would genuinely repent of their many atrocious false teachings that have often occurred for many years. We can be firm and strong in our rebuke, yet gentle and kind too.
The Apostle Paul tells us the heart posture we must have towards false teachers in 2 Timothy 2:24-26:
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his willNIV
If we are going to test all things and warn others of wolves in sheep’s clothing when we see their continual twisting of scripture, we better be doing those things while on our knees in prayer and ask God to help us be gentle (yet firm) and filled with hope that even the vilest of false teachers would come to their senses and repent being used by the devil. Their soul is in danger, and we should be broken, not hard-hearted over the reality of their eternal destination if they do not repent.
Father, we ask you to soften our hearts towards false teachers who twist your Word and lead others astray. Help us guard our hearts from offense, bitterness, unforgiveness, apathy, self-righteousness, and anger, especially if we have been wounded by these wolves. Please help us to find the balance between strong boldness in your truth as we expose the lies of these false teachers and warn others, yet all the while, we ensure that every word we speak is rooted and grounded in love for their souls and the souls of their followers. We pray that those who are being tools of Satan to sow deception, would come to their sense, flee from the evil one, and stand firmly upon your Holy Word. May you grant them repentance, Lord. We trust and believe that nothing is too hard for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.