Originally published April 8, 2016
There are a lot of different facets to Christianity. There’s worship. Fellowship with other Christians. Studying God’s word alone, with our families, and with the local church. Evangelism. Serving at church. Teaching. Discipling other believers. Prayer. All of these things, and others, are vital to a healthy, growing relationship with Christ.
But things can get out of whack if we focus too much on any one of these areas to the neglect of others. Spend too much time in prayer, and you could overlook serving others. Focus on evangelism too much, and your Bible study time might suffer. It can be tricky, but it’s important that we keep a good balance in our walk with the Lord.
If you’re like me you probably have one or two areas that you’re tempted to go overboard in. My temptation is studying, particularly in the area of discernment- false doctrine and false teachers. It’s a fascinating topic, and people educated in the field of discernment and doctrine are desperately needed in the church today.
But if you spend a lot of time studying discernment –and many do- it can get pretty discouraging pretty quickly. You begin to realize just how pervasive false doctrine is and how many false teachers there are. It’s in your church, at your child’s Christian school, on your Christian radio and TV stations, in your Christian bookstore. It’s everywhere. And it’s not just the home grown heretics who spring from the soil of already apostate “churches.” We’ve also got men and women who were once trustworthy teachers and preachers of God’s word turning traitor and joining the forces of evil at an alarming rate. They just keep coming and coming, always more and more. It’s starting to feel like Invasion of “The Body” Snatchers.
I hear often from women approaching panic and frenzy over the state of the church. And I get that, because I regularly feel the same way. But for all of us, there are some great reasons to take a step back when we get overwhelmed. To breathe, to relax, and to rejoice in some good news in the midst of the heresy hurricane.
God is both sovereign and just.
And praise His name for that. Nothing, and I mean nothing, escapes His notice. He sees everything- every thought, every action. There is going to come a day of reckoning for the enemies of God. They will get exactly what they deserve, and God will be good for punishing them. When it’s all said and done, nobody’s getting away with anything, and nothing is going to slip through the cracks.
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
It is God’s job to preserve the church, not ours.
Thousands of years. Extreme idolatry and blasphemy. War. Exile. And yet God preserved a remnant of His people throughout the Old Testament. He preserved the church through its infancy of persecution and heresy. And He will continue to preserve His church today. Should we fight false doctrine the best we can? Yes. Will some local churches fold and apostasize? Yes. But, saving the church is way too big a job for us. Ultimately, the burden of preserving the Bride is on the Bridegroom.
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
God’s word isn’t changing.
It doesn’t matter how loudly people scream that this sin or that sin is OK. It doesn’t matter how many people teach the most unbiblical false doctrine or how widespread its acceptance is. God’s word is God’s word. And God’s word changes for no man. The Bible – not anyone’s opinion or the general consensus of sinful humans – is the standard God has issued and the rod of judgment He will wield. God’s word isn’t going anywhere.
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
1 Peter 1:24-25
The gospel still has the power to save.
God is mightier to save than any false teacher is to deceive. Get out there and keep faithfully scattering that gospel seed and proclaiming God’s truth. A lot of people will reject it – just like they did when Jesus preached it – but some will listen and be saved. They’re worth it.
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
Look around. This is all just temporary. In Heaven, there is no false doctrine. There are no false teachers. There will be no more contending for the faith. We will all finally be able to worship Christ in the splendor of His holiness with out any hint of error impeding us or infiltrating the Body.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
Be encouraged my sisters, and don’t grow weary in well doing. Because God is mighty. He is still on His throne. He is still saving souls.
And hear me, and cling to this as you walk through this evil world: God wins.
Let that sink in and drive you to rejoice and worship. The devil may do his worst in the world, but God wins.