If you believe, I want you to ask yourself a question:
Do you believe in the Creator, or do you believe in The Lord?
It’s a simple question, but the answer is anything but. In fact, for those who believe, the answer is everything, so I pray you take time to seriously reflect on your answer before you make it. Then read the rest of this post and decide whether or not you answered correctly.
It pains me to write this post. It pains me because I fear teaching incorrectly. I fear it because I know that God’s Word promises that He will judge the teachers more harshly than the average believer (James 3:1) and I have enough to answer for already. I do not need to heap coals on my head by leading others astray. However, I also know that God’s word promises that, if we see danger coming and do not sound the alarm, the blood of those who may have heard and been saved will be on our hands (Ezekiel 33:6). So I am compelled to warn those with ears and eyes to see and hear. Believe in The Lord, and not just in the Creator.
The difference is simple: if you just believe in God, you are still lost. What good does it to to believe in the self-evident? Even Satan and his demons believe in God, but they are not saved. Salvation comes through believing in and trusting on The Lord. But to be The Lord, you must humble yourself and submit to Him and to His law. If you do not submit to His law, then He is not Lord of your life and you are lost. Jesus said this very clearly, but also very forcefully:
“If you love Me, you will keep My commands.”
Now hear is the second and most imperative part of my warning. If you believe in The Lord, then you have no authority to change His law, or to pick-and-chose what parts of it you will keep. You must accept and try to obey all of God’s law or He is not your Lord and you are lost. This doe not mean we are saved by works: we are not! We will fail in our attempt to keep all of God’s law. God knows this. It is why He sent His only begotten Son to die for us so that our sins can be forgiven. But the Bible is clear: our salvation is not a license to live a licentious life (Jude 1:4). If you have made God Lord of your life, then others will see it in the things you do (Mat 7:16; Luke 6:44). Sadly, too many people who call themselves by Christ’s name have not made Him Lord of their lives. These people are wolves in sheep’s clothing and have crept into the fold to tear it apart (Matt 7:15).
The problem is that it can be especially hard when people who claim and appear to be servants of the Lord teach us things that do not agree with God’s laws. It is all the harder to recognize when such people are beloved, and speak to us about the worldly things we value. One such voice was encouraging people to stand for the Lord today, but even though he uses the language of the Lord, he is among the wolves. This person claims to be a Christian and is beloved by millions. He is preaching a message of peace and love and support for Israel. But he is like the serpent: teaching only part of God’s word and twisting that part he does teach. For example, today, this person told those who listen to him that we should stand with those who are being persecuted — whether they belong to the Lord or not. The problem with this is that it is another way of destroying with a message of peace.
God’s word is very clear: we are to be in the world but not of it (Romans 12:2). We are also told not to be yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14). Scripture is clear: we must be a witness to the world because this is how the world sees the Light of Christ: through us and the way we live as His disciples. But we are not to take the unbeliever as partners in our business or even as close friends. In the Old Testament, God repeatedly warned the people not to take wives from the pagan nations surrounding Israel. He said not to do this because it would lead them astray, into idolatry and rebellion against God’s and His law. This still applies today — even to other believers. The Apostle, Paul, goes so far as to encourage believers to give an unrepentant believer over to Satan — even if it means their death (1 Cor 5:5). So, when you hear a person who claims to be a Christian telling you to ally yourself with unbelievers for Christ’s sake, know that this is a false teaching from a false prophet. Do not follow that person!
This does not mean we are to hate. God has commanded us to love others as we love ourselves, but He said to ‘agape’ them — not befriend them (DO YOU KNOW SCRIPTURE: The Many Types of Love in Scripture). The point here is to know God’s Word, and the only way we can do this is to read it and seek the guidance of His Holy Spirit so that we will understand the way He wants us to understand — not according to our understanding, but by His. This is the only way we can know whether or not another person is teaching us correctly. If we do not know God’s word, the Holy Spirit cannot use it to help guide us. We must first hear the word before we can believe it (Romans 10:14). Once you have God’s word buried in your heart (i.e. made Him Lord of your life), then you can test everything you hear against the Spirit (1 Thess 5:21). If a message agrees with God’s word in its entirety, then it is of God and we should hold to it. But, if a message differs from what God’s Word teaches us, then it is of Satan and is evil: we should flee from it. In fact, we should oppose it and warn others against the false teaching. It is obedience to God and shows that He is Lord of our lives. At the same time, silence in the face of false teachings is rebellion against God.
So, let me ask you once more:
Do you believe in God, or do you believe in The Lord?
Now, what changes do you need to make in your life as a result of your answer.