Why We Must Contend Earnestly For The Faith

Why We Must Contend Earnestly For The Faith
Presented by Pastor Bob DeWaay

The book of Jude warns believers about the deception that false teachers bring into the church and the dangers they pose for the flock. We live in a time of massive deception yet many Christians think that tolerance is more important than truth. Pastor DeWaay shows from Scripture how dangerous this attitude is and how we must contend for the faith.

Excerpt from Faith At Risk 3 Seminar
DVDs of entire seminar available at http://CICministry.org

Critical Issues Commentary (CIC) was founded to help people find their way out of unbiblical teachings that confused their understanding of the faith. The Christian media is filled with false teaching and there is a need to correct the errors that are sweeping through the church – and things are only getting worse. So CIC continues making Biblical truth available through the newsletter, the radio programs, website, the internet, and public speaking – all under the Critical Issues Commentary banner.

Our prayer is that God uses this effort to help believers grow in their faith and be strong in their witness.

Rom 16:17 “Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”

Identifying and marking “them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine” of the LORD, is to be a regular part of the Christian life. In an hour when the proliferation of false teaching is mutating at an increasingly exponential rate, those who love the LORD must examine and test everything against the final authority of the recorded oracles of God (Acts 17:11). The following warning enlightens us to understand this:

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Colossians 2:8

Would the all-knowing God have put such a warning in His Word if being spoiled were not possible? People can be spoiled (derailed, made shipwreck of) through false doctrines and philosophies, which, without fail, elevate men and demote Christ (Col. 2:8-918-19).

These derailment elements are designed to steal glory from Christ. If we love Him, we are to “hear God’s words” and “hate every false way.” (John 8:47Ps. 119:104119:128Amos 5:14-15)

Mark Them

Let’s break this extremely important Bible text down:

“Mark them” – Beloved, we are mandated to simply and truly hearken to this divinely given instruction, to personally own this truth and walk in it, to be possessed with the protective love of our holy and“Great Shepherd of the sheep.” (Heb. 13:20) One of the ways the “Great Shepherd” protects the sheep of His pasture, is by His other sheep, scoping out and marking the wolves whose venomous lies would devour.

The clear instruction of the Word is to “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine.” All human sediments, reasonings, and excuses must be crucified.

“Mark them” – the Greek word here for “mark” is skopeo, which means “to scope out; to take aim at, consider, watch.”

Believers are here mandated to wisely scope out closely, observe and scrutinize all teachings and spiritual leaders under the lamp of God’s holy Word. We are to closely discern between true and false doctrines and leaders and sound the alarm on that which is found to be inconsistent with holy Writ. This is to be done especially when dealing with foundational, essential truths (which are a salvation issue).

“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” Psalms 119:128

Looking closely at leaders from a Bible perspective is a mandate. Such only becomes a negative when done out of a critical spirit instead of out of love and obedience to the LORD and for the keeping of the way of the LORD in ourselves and others (1 Tim. 4:616). Disciples are to examine every teaching, philosophy, and notion encountered in the light of His holy oracles. In such, the disciple is to identify deceivers, false teachings and practices and “mark them,” that is, watch out for and take aim at them, while warning others. The Holy Spirit also says we are to “avoid them.” (Rom. 16:17)

Concerning this text in Romans 16, Donald Stamps, in the Life In the Spirit Study Bible, writes:

“At the end of his letter, Paul gives a strong warning to the church in Rome to be alert to all those who do inestimable damage to the church by corrupting and extorting the ‘doctrine’ (teaching) of Paul and the other apostles. They are to ‘mark’ the proponents of false doctrine and ‘avoid them’ and their ministry. Those marked may have been antinomians (i.e., against the law), who taught that because salvation is by grace, saving faith does not necessarily include obedience to Christ Jesus (cf. 6:1-2; 2 Cor. 4:211:3Eph. 4:14Rev. 2:4-5).

They believed that a person could live in sin and reject God’s moral law, and yet possess eternal salvation. These false teachers were eloquent orators, speaking with comforting words and flattering speeches (cf. Jude 16), but deceiving simple Christians.” (p. 1759)

This commentator denotes a specific teaching, all too alive and well in the modern church, that is to be marked and avoided along with those who propagate it.

William MacDonald states:

“It is an ungodly tolerance that has allowed so many pulpits in America to be filled with ‘false apostles and deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ’. Detecting a resemblance to conditions in Elijah’s day, J Sidlow Baxter writes ‘Such are the people who today, with sickly kindness, will tolerate teachers of errors in our pulpits because they are such smooth-mannered and amiable gentlemen. They would rather allow error to be preached and souls to be deceived than hurt the preacher’s feelings. Let Baal be worshipped rather than drought come! Let the cancer kill its victim rather than the cruel surgeon use the knife!…The best thing that could happen to some so-called Christian ministers of today is that they should be denounced in God’s name by their hearers’.

It is a sinful tolerance [1] that refuses to castigate a false church system that leads millions to eternal destruction with its perverted gospel. [2] That honors its head as a great evangelist at the same time that he is condemning evangelicals as wolves. [3] That labels God’s prophets as divisive when they denounce its idolatry, its mariolatry and its other heresies. [4] That sends converts back into its deadening clutches.

It is a sin to be undiscerning 

Romans 1:26-32

New King James Version (NKJV)

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[a] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[b]unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Thank you to my sister Martha Mac from http://so4j.com/ , Permission to use some resources for this post. Please visit her wonderful website with highly recommended resources click on picture below 🙂 

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