Somewhere along the line our culture has been completely deceived that “as long as someone says their a Christian you can't criticize them”. The term Christian has even lost its effect to a certain extent because even those that are not born-again will call themselves Christians. Even those pushing and peddling another doctrine will use the title of Christian. This shouldn't surprise us, Satan is “more cunning than any beast of the field”; it takes very little effort on his part to infiltrate and deceive those that prefer to have their ears tickled with a doctrine that doesn't speak of surrender, obedience and repentance. As Christians, we know this is true; however, what we have lost site of is the fact that we are commanded to call out false teaching where it is found.
In 1 Timothy chapter 1 Paul wastes no time in getting to the point:
1Timothy 1:3-4 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.
Clearly these issues have infiltrated the church:
-Another doctrine is being taught
-Fables are being pushed
-Ancestry is given merit in regard to salvation
All of this goes on today! Churches are teaching another gospel; terms are being used that leave Spirit led people people wondering what chapter and verse the preacher derived that conclusion; and we have people believing that they are going to Heaven because they were “born in to” a certain religion.
Paul has commanded Timothy to “charge some”. This doesn't sound to me like Paul wants Timothy to “go along, to get along; after all, they call themselves Christian.” NO! We are to call out false teaching lest the unsaved or new believers be deceived. I can't figure out how anyone could stay in a denomination that puts forth false teaching when over and over again in the Word we are warned of it. Further more, if your pastor is teaching another gospel we need to address it with them. There are non-eternal things that we can disagree on; but the essentials must be sound and not compromised. Which brings us to the big question....do you know your Bible well enough to recognize teaching that isn't sound, or at least leave you scratching your head wondering if that is right?
John MacArthur is one of my favorite Bible teachers, but he believes in a pre-tribulation rapture; which means that the Christians will be taken out of here before the great tribulation starts. When I listened to a cd he made on Revelation I heard him say, “people ask me, 'where's the rapture', well, it's between the white pages of chapter 5 and 6.”
I didn't think much of it at the time, my thought was, “OK, MacArthur knows”
Since then I have talk to other theologians that say that the pre-tribulation rapture is not right. They say there is no evidence that the Christians will not be here for at least the first half of the tribulation.
I don't know which doctrine is right. This is one of those “non eternal” disagreements. But my point is, I should not have quickly accepted a statement like, “it's between the white pages of chapter 5 and 6”. If someone is going to make a statement as Truth it needs to be backed up with The Word of God. Thankfully, the Bible repeats sound doctrine over and over again so the main stuff is clearly the plain stuff. But if you don't know what The Word says, you will fall prey to the doctrines of men which will lead you to hell. If you read my posts I am encouraged; however, do not take my word for anything, find out for yourself.