LTRP Note: Written by a LT reader with regard to our “The True Meaning of Titus 3:10.”
To Lighthouse Trails Readers (from another reader):
In this world today I have learned to keep in mind the words of Isaiah in 5:20 which warn us of those who turn evil into good and good into evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness… Those, in other words, who twist truth and turn it into lies and make lies to become “truth”. It’s a true sign of the last days, but even the apostle Paul dealt with it in his time, thus he wrote to the Church in Rome:
Now I urge you brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. Romans 19:17-18
Dictionary.com describes “urge” as “to impel with force or vigor; urged by necessity; to urge a person to greater caution.” Thus Paul saw it as extremely imperative that we follow through with this warning. And the warning itself tells us that there are those among us who are taking advantage of many within the Body who lack the knowledge and understanding of God’s word. These people are “fleecing the flock” for all that it’s worth for monetary gain, reputation, position and power. They know just the right words to say to woo and lull the people and draw them away from Jesus and into the lies of Satan. They know just how to “tickle their ears” with what their flesh wants to hear. And they are masters at creating “false Christs” for us to follow.
The three main words in this passage of scripture are: “urge,” “note,” and “avoid.” “Urge” has been explained. “Note” is a verb which simply means to “mark,” “to make particular mention of,” “to observe carefully and give heed to.” in other words, don’t just ignore it, but bring it out into the light for all to see. Don’t let it have any power in your life or in the Church by letting it progress unhindered, but hinder it as much as possible.
The last word, “avoid” should speak for itself, but just in case, the dictionary says:
“to keep away from; keep clear of; shun: to avoid a person; to avoid danger; to prevent from happening;to make void or of no effect; invalidate.”
Thus, we are to recognize, make public note of, and stay away from those who teach false doctrines. The Bible says that we are the “Bride” of Christ and are to remain faithful in our marriage vows to Him. When we turn our attention to anything that is not of Christ and anyone who doesn’t serve Him (the true Jesus, not a false Jesus), we have become unfaithful to our wedding vows, and we have broken His command to love only Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. It’s a very serious offense in the eyes of God, and it’s what grieves the Holy Spirit.
So, the question about heretics should be this: does their teaching divide us from the “true Jesus”? Or is it leading us to a closer relationship to Him based upon the full counsel of God? After all, if this pattern was the right pattern to follow for the apostles and the early Church, then it’s right for us as well. Contrary to popular (false) teachings, the Word of God does not change.