Yesterday I received an email from a young sister in Christ who has a friend who has just read Rob Bellâ€™s book, Love Wins, and she, a professing Christian, now believes that in the end all people will go to heaven and that God uses hell to eventually convert everyone. My young sisterâ€™s concern was can a person be saved and believe lies about God. That is an excellent question.
Can a baby still be a baby and while being raised wrong, still grow into an adult? Yes, if basic physical needs are met a baby will grow into a physical adult. Whether or not that adult can function psychologically and socially depends on his or her upbringing. So it is with Christians.
When we first get saved we are babes requiring spiritual milk. No doubt my sisterâ€™s friend is a spiritual babe who fed on tainted meat. Not only was she not ready for solid food, but she ate putrid food that has sickened her spirit.
When Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple, His disciples asked him when these things would happen and what sign might give warning. Jesus answered:
â€œAnd He said: â€˜Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, â€œI am He,â€ and, â€œThe time has drawn near.â€ Therefore do not go after them. But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.â€™â€ (Luke 21:8-9)
We as believers are warned by our Savior and throughout the Bible to not be deceived. A child is easy to deceive if he or she is trusting of the deceiver. A child is unable to discern evil in the way a more mature person can. And when we as baby Christians introduce false doctrines into our lives, we are easily deceived.
And here is the most evil part of it; the deceivers know this full well. Peter had only harsh words for these false teachers:
â€œBut these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a manâ€™s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.â€ (2 Peter 2:12-17)
Verse 13b says, â€œthey are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast on you.â€ Rob Bell is going to make a lot of money off this book. There will be study guides, seminars, and DVDs to sell to the unsuspecting public. He is going to, if he isnâ€™t already, enjoy some fine luxuries no doubt, and it will be at the expense of those people who support him. Peter compared these false teachers to dumb animals who should be caught and slaughtered. Please understand that Peter, nor I for that matter, is promoting violence or murder of false teachers. He is simply comparing their unworthiness to an unthinking animal.
Jude, Jesusâ€™ half-brother, echoed Peterâ€™s words when describing these false, apostate teachers:
â€œThese are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.â€ (Jude 12-13)
We need to pray for men such as Rob Bell and Joel Osteen; their futures are very dark. False teachers of the gospel who peddle Christ for personal gain face a judgment no one should face. Nevertheless, if these men do not repent that is indeed their future. The Bible is clear on that. Writing about apostate teachers, Wiersbe comments:
They make a lot of noise about things they know nothing about! The Phillips translation of 2 Peter 2:12 says they â€œscoff at things outside their own experience. The New International Version reads, â€œBut these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand.â€ Whenever her pupils were noisy in class, one of my teachers used to say, â€œEmpty barrels make the most noise!â€ And so they do!
The main issue at hand here is these false teachers offer a false liberty. When youâ€™re willing to believe one lie about the Bible, youâ€™ll be able to believe anything. This is the greatest deception of all and it is so destructive to those who have heard the gospel and received it, and then are deceived.
So yes my young sister in Christ, I do believe that baby Christians can be deceived by an empty barrel making the most noise.
More on this deception tomorrow…
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers