Established In Truth
A couple of years ago, I was watching Christian Broadcasting Network’s Turning Point program, transmitted on one of the local television stations in Nigeria. There was a feature story on one of CBN’s roving reporters.
When asked about one of his remarkable assignments, he referred to one in which he had asked people on the streets of New York the fundamental question, “Who is Jesus Christ?”
Viewers were shown clips of people’s answers to this question and most of the responses, even from people who claim to be practicing Christians, gives one cause for concern. Some of the respondents said Jesus was a great man who lived and was good to people. Another person said He was a prophet like Mohammed and Moses.
There were some who said Jesus is the Son of God, however I observed that they did not assert this which much conviction. It was quite a joy to see that there others who unequivocally asserted not only that Jesus lives but that He is also God incarnate, who not only lived on the earth as a man, but will also come again in His full glory.
Why do we have so much shallow-mindedness in the Church today? Many go through the motions, go to church, serve in a group, read their Bible, say their prayers and yeah, they are on their way to heaven. When trials and tests come knocking however, such people crumble in their faith and one is shocked at the depths they go to seek relief.
I once listened to a message by Perry Stone, ‘Too Bad For Heaven, Too Good For Hell’ It was amazing to hear that there are some people who do not believe that there is a place called Hell. They just could not come to terms with the idea that a good God would cast people into hell to suffer for all eternity. He talked about a lecturer in a Bible school who stood up one day and declared, “I do not believe that there is a hell!”.
Dave Branon in the devotional Our Daily Bread, referred to George Barna and Mark Hatch in their book, Boiling Point, in which many people who call themselves Christians had a hard time answering questions like, Did Jesus ever sin? Was Jesus resurrected? Do all religions teach the same basic ideas? It was disheartening to learn that one-fourth of the surveyed professing believers said Jesus committed sins, one-third said He did not rise from the dead and one-third said all religions are basically the same. It is more saddening because these questions are fundamental to the gospel message.
I once listened to an interview of a church leader, whose church had quite a large following in Nigeria and has been in existence since 1925. The church is known for some practices which most Christians there do not agree with and falls into the category of what is commonly referred to as, ‘white garment’ churches, referring of course to the white flowing gowns their members wear to church.
Someone called in to the program and asked this man whether people are taught in his church to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour and be born again. The man smiled and responded, “There is nothing like being a born again Christian. Once you have believed in Jesus, and decide to do good, it means you are now a born again person’. According to him, the title, “Born again Christian’ was only a label given by those ‘so called Pentecostal churches’. He of course received calls from Christians who were understandably upset at such statements coming from a well respected religious leader.
How then can we avoid being swept away by the tide of unscriptural teachings, which threaten to infiltrate our churches and lead many astray?
First, we need study God’s word (2Tim 2:15). In verse 16 of the same passage, we are advised to shun false teachings. We are not to entertain it but to disregard any deviation from the word of God.
Secondly, We need to identify with those who not only teach the Word of God, but also have the fruits of the Spirit being demonstrated in their lives. I have noticed that people are often swayed by the eloquence and charisma of many preachers but turn a blind eye to their spiritual recklessness.
Finally, the place of prayer cannot be over-emphasized. We need to ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to grant us deeper insight as we study the Bible and to seek the help of God to keep us away from error.
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. (Heb 3:14)
© Biblepraise Fellowship
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the owner of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He currently resides in London where he works as an IT professional. He serves in the ministerial team of his local church as well as in the music ministry. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, email@example.com