“Norovirus spreads through sick people and contaminated surfaces!”
“CDC now says coronavirus ‘does NOT spread easily’ via contaminated surfaces.”
Just these two types of statements have confused people throughout this pandemic. We are deluged with “expert opinions” on many sides of this and people are understandably confused. “Who do I believe??”
Yes, who do you believe?
When we have a catastrophic happening in our own backyard we start to question why. Many believe this global pandemic is a sign from God that the end is near. Many believe God is a God of love and wouldn’t do that to us. Many believe God is saying shape up or ship out. What do you believe? Who do you believe?
Christians are taught that God is in control. God is all powerful. God is all knowing. God is love.
God loved us so much He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and on the third day rose again, conquering death, proving He is God. So why would He put us through this?
We are living in a dying world. Our nation has taken God out of our most basic things of life; schools, government and even some churches. So, if we don’t want to have God around us should we be surprised if He turns His back on us?
Well guess what He didn’t.
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” ~ Joshua 1:9
Because of this pandemic more and more people are seeking answers to what is going on. More and more are seeking God. The problem is, which God is the real God. There are so many “false teachers” Jesus warned us that it could be hard to find the truth.
Towards the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry His disciples came to Him with several questions concerning the future. They wanted to know what signs will there be of His coming back, and about the end of the world. Jesus answered them:
“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” ~ Mark 13:32
Then He added a warning:
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” ~ Matthew 24:4-5
There are so many “preachers” and “teachers” out there it is hard to know which one is the one to listen to. One of the best ways is to look at their life and lifestyle.
Are they really living the life Jesus wants them to live, or are they living more of worldly “high life”?
What we might find surprising is how revealing the everyday lives of false teachers are about their falseness. They are not just false in their teaching, but also in their living.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?… Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” ~ Matthew 7:15–16, 20
“No doubt, false teachers may be difficult to recognize in the moment. If we don’t have access to their personal lives, or their doctrinal compromises haven’t yet been manifest publicly in their behavior, we may find it difficult to know whether they are true. But time will tell. They will be known by their fruit — not the fruit of ministry quantity and numbers, but quality and endurance — and ultimately the quality of their own lives.” ~ (David Mathis; DesiringGod.org)
There are a lot of “prosperity preachers” who only tell you what you want to hear (itching ears) so you will give them money to continue deceiving you. There are preachers who will mislead you, not out of any sort of evil intent, but just because they don’t know Scripture enough to give you the truth.
The Apostle Paul warned of these days:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” ~ 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Ask yourself where does the message come from?
“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” ~ 2 Peter 1:16
And then he says the false teachers exploit you “with stories they have made up” (2 Peter 2:3). So, the true teacher gets what he says from the Bible. The false teacher relies on his own creativity. He makes up his own message. When in doubt about the message always check the Bible.
Paul also taught that the Lord:
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” ~ Ephesians 4:11-16
Christ is the Truth, and the Holy Spirit who guides the church is the Spirit of truth. Satan, by contrast, is the father of liars. As followers of Christ, we must be committed to the truth. This means both that our words will be honest and the actions will reflect Christ’s integrity. Speaking the truth in love is not always easy, convenient, or pleasant; but necessary if the church is going to do Christ’s work in the world.
So how do you know who to believe? Look for the truth in the words of who you are listening to. Check the words with the Bible; check the words with the Truth.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” ~ John 8:32