Don’t believe everything you hear

Most Mormon men at age 20 become a missionary for 2 years. They are sent out two-by-two around the world, not earning one cent, but paying their own expenses. They walk miles, knocking on hundreds of homes to see only one convert. It is estimated that for each convert, it takes 5 … More

False Teachers

John explains how you cannot rely upon everyone who claims to preach a message from God (v. 1). Just because a man says he is presenting the Word of God from the Bible is no reason to believe that what he is saying is necessarily true. Each thing that you hear needs to be tested. It is important for every child of God to be able to recognize false teaching when he encounters it. That is why John exhorts Christians to “try the spirits” to see if they are true (vv. 2-3).

It is foolish to accept a teacher and his message blindly. The churches that John was writing to were having a problem with false teachers who were denying that Jesus of Nazareth was truly the Christ. Anyone who denies the deity of Christ does not come from God (v. 3). Every false religion can be traced on this point. A good question to ask is what do you believe about Jesus Christ.  For John, Christian belief could be summed up in one great sentence: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Any spirit which denied the reality of the Incarnation was not of God.

The day in which we live is not much different from the time in which John was writing. There are many false teachers who are giving their false message to people who are looking for answers. In some ways it is more serious today that it was in John’s day because of the mass media which can reach many more people. Salvation is all of grace plus nothing which includes water baptism, church membership, etc. Some churches even change their name to camouflage what they are really teaching.

Application

The only way I can tell who is true and who is false is to test their teaching with the Word of God. Just because people talk about many truths does not mean they are teaching true Bible doctrine.

I John 4:1-3 (English Standard Version)


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