Thursday, July 1, 2010

Watch out for roadblocks

As you take the initiative to share the Good News you will notice that many people have been taken advantage of by "Christian" evangelists or teachers. My wife just shared with a young lady who had been so hurt by a cult that it is difficult for her to trust other ministries. Scripture gives you 20 questions to expose false teachers and these same questions will help you work through these issues if someone you are sharing with has been taken advantage of. Here are the 20 questions:

1. Do they claim to have a "special" revelation from God - truth that only they have (Gal.1:6-10)
2. Are they proud and arrogant? (2 Peter 2:18)
3. Are they greedy or materialistic? (2 Peter 2:3)
4. Do they take advantage of people? (2 Peter 2:3)
5. Are they physically rough with people? (2 Cor.11:20)
6. Do they have a hidden agenda or are they secretive about their true beliefs and teachings? (2 Peter 2:1)
7. Do they flatter people, using fine sounding arguments that are actually empty but deceive the naive? (Rom.16:18, Eph.5:6, Col.2:4)
8. Do they claim to show great signs and wonders? (Mt.24:24, Mk.13:22, remember Jesus’ warnings in Mt.7:22-23, 12:39, 16:4 and Lk.11:29)
9. Do they promise people freedom? (2 Peter 2:19)
10. Do they enslave people - either through legalism or demanding you follow their methods or uncommon form of Christianity? (2 Cor.11:20)
11. Do they consider themselves teachers of God’s Word yet have a poor understanding of it? (1 Tim.1:7)
12. Do they turn away from sound doctrine, confidently teaching strange doctrines, myths and stories they have made up, which differ from sound doctrine and appeal to peoples’ fleshly desires? (1 Tim.1:3-7, 2 Tim.4:1-5, 2 Peter 2:1-3, 17-22)
13. Do they act foolishly? (2 Cor.11:19)
14. Do they act sensually and cause others to also, appealing to peoples’ fleshly desires? (2 Peter 2:1-3, 17-22)
15. Do they act out the kinds of things they did before knowing Christ? (2 Peter 2:19-20)
16. Do they lead people away from simple and pure devotion to Christ? (2 Cor.11:3)
17. Does their ministry cause speculation and fruitless discussion? (1 Tim.1:3-7)
18. Does their ministry distract people from doing God’s work by faith? (1 Tim.1:4)
19. Does their ministry continue going further and further away from the truth, getting crazier and crazier; does it go from bad to worse - remember the law of diminishing returns? (2 Tim.3:13 - and remember 1 Cor.4:6 - “...Don’t go beyond what is written...”)
20. Do people malign and talk bad about Christianity because of them? (2 Peter 2:2)

Those are the 20 questions. Point people to the right Jesus and help people that have been pulled off track! Don't let anyone lead you or those you are sharing with away from a "sincere and pure devotion to Christ." (2Cor.11:3)

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