Guard Against Preaching the False Gospel
Wrtten by Rev. Zheng translated by Wu Simin on 8 May 2020
Following the COVID-19 circuit breaker, many turned online for work and leisure activities. While the Internet had indeed brought about connectivity and convenience, it also led to a spike in vice and crime, one of which is the spreading of fake news, false information and fictitious articles.
Not long ago a man had been charged with spreading false information under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act. He had posted about an “intel” that supermarkets would open only two days a week and instigated people to purchase additional stockpile. In other news, some people have been circulating videos with false claims to incite unhappiness and panic about the situation of foreign workers. It is wise of our government to take on a strict and firm stance in tackling the spreading of false information that may jeopardize the safety of individuals and the community. Dear saints, we need to be extremely careful when we read and forward online information. This is so that we do not partake in evildoing and fall into sin. Let us not become victims nor perpetrators of fake information.
There is also plenty of misinformation in the Christian faith community that causes believers to waver in their faith and threatens the unity of the church. Such information does not conform to the teachings of the Bible, they are usually lies spread by our enemy Satan, later circulated through believers who fail to discern, or even via the church’s pulpits and classes, and eventually evolve into false doctrines. The following four instances are some of these traps that we fall knowingly or unintentionally into when we comfort or advise one another.
“God loves you and He will not let you suffer.” This is a common trick used by Satan to induce children of God to question God’s love. In fact, the Bible tells us that as long as we are in Christ, there is nothing, not even death, that is able to separate us from the love of God; though we will have trouble in this world, we are more than conquerors. (Romans 8:37-39, John 16:33)
“God wants you to live a blissful life filled with laugher.” This is one of Satan’s sugar-coated lies that many Christians fall prey to. Christians who presume this as true would then grumble that God did not take care of them when they are afflicted and become angry with God. The Bible, on the contrary, assures us that God cares for everyone who belongs to Him. (1 Peter 5:7) Nevertheless, God cares more about our holiness than our happiness, in order that we may enjoy every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms, instead of taking temporal delight in “blessings” that cannot satisfy our souls from this dying world. God let us undertake all kinds of inflictions so that we can experience His faithfulness and hold firmly to our eternal life.
Another false claim that appears to be very true is, “It is most important for Christians to do good, even if we do not stay close to God.” Satan wants us to believe that we can do good by our own strength and we do not need to rely on the Lord. However, in the Gospel Books the Lord continuously calls us to, “Come to me” (Matthew 11:28, 19:14…), including the little children. He even promised us that as long as we come near to God, He will come near to us! (James 4:8)
One other false claim that causes many Christians to come to church for Sunday service but decline all other activities is, “Christians do not need the church, it is sufficient to believe in Jesus and have eternal life.” But the Bible says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” (Romans 12:10) And we are to do this through fellowship. Believers are the church; if we live outside of Christian fellowship, the greatest risk we face is fighting the spiritual warfare alone and throwing in the towel before even reaching the mid-point of our pilgrimage.
You can see from the instances above that false claims oppose the teachings of the Bible. Satan continually entices us into believing them through our fleshly desires. If we are not rooted in the bible, we are bound to be entangled by them. Think about this, O brethren: If the earthly judges strictly punishes the spreading of false messages that endangers human lives and social peace, how much more will the Righteous Judge deal with those who turn God’s children away from Christ and tear His church apart!
It is no wonder that Paul sternly admonished the church in Galatia when she was subjected to false gospel, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (1 Galatians 1:8)
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (1 Galatians 1:8)
Let us be diligent in studying the Bible and exercise spiritual discernment vigilantly, in doing so we may guard against believing and proclaiming of false gospel.