Friday, May 28, 2010

Questions To Ask To Avoid LIARS

On Sunday we will be continuing our study through 2 Peter that we have called “LIAR” since it is a book written to warn us about the dangers of false teachers in the church. As I was studying this week I came across a message by Dr Ed Dobson who used to pastor Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, MI. I remember Dr Dobson from when I was a student at Liberty University and he was one of the Vice Presidents who did a lot of preaching at the school and at Thomas Road Baptist Church. Dr Dobson will forever be one if, if not, my all-time favorite pastor to listen to. Due to illness (ALS) Dr Dobson no longer pastors but I love going back and listening to sermons he preached including a series he did at Calvary Church back in 2005 through 2 Peter.

As I listened, Dr Dobson shared three questions that we ought to always ask ourselves regarding every teacher we hear. It doesn’t matter if it is a pastor or teacher at our church; at the Christian School we attend, or whether it is a preacher on television, the radio, or teachers who have written books and articles. False teachers are all around us so we ought to ask these 3 questions:

The first is a question of character. Does this person reflect the character of God and of Jesus Christ? In the King James Version of Scripture, 2 Peter 1:21 says “holy” men spoke from God as they were moved along by the Holy Spirit. “Holy” men! We must look at more than what preachers and teachers say and write. We must also look at the way they live. Do they, in how they live their lives day to day, reflect the character of God and of Jesus Christ?

The second question was must ask is a question of interpretation. Does what I am hearing or reading fit with Scripture properly interpreted? Dr Dobson went on to say that proper interpretation is literal, grammatical and historical. Proper interpretation is literal in that is looks at the plain meaning of the words. Proper interpretation is grammatical in that it follows the rules of grammar in the text. Proper interpretation is also historical in that it reads and interprets Scripture within the context in which it is given. Does what I am hearing or reading fit with Scripture properly interpreted?

The third question is one of objective. Is the desire of this teacher or preacher to conform me to the image of Jesus or are they trying to recreate Jesus in their own image? That’s what many are doing today. They are, as 2 Peter 2:1 describes, denying the “Master who bought us.” They are denying the truth of the person and work of Jesus as seen literally, grammatically and historically in the Bible, and they are substituting these truths for their own made up truths, “false words” according to 2 Peter 2:3. They are recreating Jesus into their own image rather than making their chief objective to see each person who hears or reads their teaching become more conformed to the image of Jesus as seen in the Bible.

2 Peter 2:1-3 tells us that false teachers are still with us. These false teachers distort the truth of God’s Word. They deny the person and work of Jesus. They deceive the masses. They are devoted to themselves more than they are to God. They deal with made up stories. That’s why we must ask these questions about each teacher we hear – even those who teach at Grace Church.

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