Everything but the Truth…

Recently, CNN broadcast a television program in the USA, exploring
the essence of true Christianity. “Experts,” TV evangelists and pastors
were interviewed, giving their version and understanding of what is a
Christian–and what is the true gospel message. Even though I did not
watch the entirety of the broadcast, what I did see was more than
enough! Depending on the speaker, concepts were introduced that we need
or must not preach a “prosperity gospel,” as God does or does not bless
His people physically. Some ministers open their church doors to just
about anyone, holding the most outlandish or God-rejecting
beliefs–without teaching the need for change. One preacher stated that
God’s people could be “raptured” at any time to go to heaven, while
others just gave a “positive” gospel message–a “social” gospel, so
that people can feel “good” and have a jolly good time in church.

listening to this hotchpotch of spiritual confusion, I was reminded of
God’s powerful words in Isaiah 8:20: “To the law and to the testimony!
If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no
light in them.”

The New Testament clearly tells us who is a
Christian, and who is not. Romans 8:9 says: “… now if anyone does not
have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” A true Christian,
then,  is one in whom Christ’s Spirit dwells. He lives and thinks
as Christ does. He believes in the gospel that Christ taught–the
gospel of the Kingdom of God. He grows in the knowledge of Christ (2
Peter 3:18). He is able to discern between the spirit of truth and the
spirit of error (1 John 4:6).

With the Spirit of Christ within
him, a true Christian is subject to God’s Law (Romans 8:7). God’s Law
is in his heart (Isaiah 51:7). According to the unequivocal testimony
of Scripture, the one who claims that He knows Christ–that he is a
true Christian–“and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the
truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). Christ came to keep His Father’s
commandments–the Ten Commandments, statutes and judgments–and He
expects of His disciples to do likewise (John 15:10; 14:15). Rather
than doing away with God’s Law, He came to reveal its spiritual intents
and purposes. He came to “exalt” it and “make it honorable” (Isaiah
42:21; compare Matthew 5:17-19). Obedience, therefore, is essential, as
Acts 5:32 shows.

What we are experiencing today was prophesied
long ago to happen. Christ warned His true disciples in Matthew 24:4-5:
“Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name,
saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” Religious preachers
DO confess that Jesus was the Christ, the Savior of mankind, but they
deceive many through their wrong teaching. They claim that Christians
don’t have to keep God’s Law anymore–or that they are “free” to
worship God and Christ in any way THEY want. However, a true Christian
AGREES with Christ who said: “…’And in vain they worship Me, Teaching
as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment
of God, you hold the tradition of men…” (Mark 7:7-8).

Some have
pointed out that we are observing a “religious revival,” especially in
the United States. If so, this renewed interest in “Christianity” does
not appear to include a willingness to seek God’s truth and to keep His
Law. People who are becoming “religious” seem to flock to “teachers” of
their choice–who are teaching anything BUT the truth, it seems
(compare Jeremiah 5:31; 6:19; 2 Timothy 4:3-4). God’s people must not
be swept away by this dangerous mud slide and treacherous river of
Babylonian confusion. Rather, they must KNOW and hold fast to the true
God, and they must keep His Word of truth–nothing less will do!

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