In the closing remarks of Paul’s letter to the Romans; he shows his love for this church and gives greetings to the many unknown heroes who labor diligently for the Lord. Within this last charge; Paul urges them to continually be aware of those who try to trap unsuspecting people into false teaching.
Notice how the groups against God are not necessarily trying to eradicate the Church directly but indirectly by infiltrating it to entrap the people to put the people in bondage so they become shipwrecked in their faith or so they keep their eyes on themselves instead of putting their eyes on Christ. It’s a brilliant strategy, because the ones ensnared by the deceit continues to be “busy serving the Lord” while really serving themselves so they can feel accepted and worthy and maybe even entitled.
This is a real problem in the Church today.
False teachers are very intentional of promoting their lies. Sadly, they capture those week in the faith, those struggling to be accepted and those who want control.
The way to combat false teachers is to be so familiar with the Truth that when a counterfeit comes; one can easily detect it to be false.
There are some that think that they must study the occult and the ways of the Devil so they can be wise to his ways, but this is not so. Become so familiar of the Truth that false teachings can be easily seen.
I always think of a bank teller. They are probably trained to notice some discrepancies that may be found on a bill, but for the most part: they are put with the real money. They count it, touch, see it. The texture becomes familiar in their hands and their eyes see consistent patterns within the bills. The money quickly runs through their hands, but when a counterfeit comes; they can easily find it because they are so familiar with the truth of what a real bill is.
I had a pastor that always said that our doctrine has to be on razor point. We need to be so on point with our Scripture because being off a little today starts a path that can take us way off course. Think of a ship on the ocean that is off on their course by one degrees. It doesn’t sound like much. The ship would become a few feet off course after a hundred yards; not much to be concerned about., but if it stayed on that course for five hours; it would be many miles off its course. This ship being off one degrees would cause a world of problems to the ones in it and probably those around it.
Many years ago, I was attending a church that had a false teacher enter it. From the pulpit, he would boldly say, “This might sound strange, but hear me out.” He would then say things close to Scripture but was off just a little. Everyone rejected it at first, but most, after justifying it in their mind, accepted it as Truth because it was seasoned with Scripture even though it was used out of context. Sadly, I watched that church evolve and to this day continues to subtlety preach their lies while engaging many to become workers of their salvation serving their own desires.
In Paul’s final chapter in Romans; he urges the Church to be aware of false teachers and to purposely avoid association with them. That sounds rude, but they don’t love people. No matter how smooth and sweet they say it; their only intent is to trap people into a false doctrine. This usually leads to a ship wreck of faith or it pushes people into a legalistic lifestyle that serves themselves.
Be diligent in preaching the Truth and be on alert of false teachers trying to slip into your church. Get yourself so familiar with the Truths of the Scriptures that you can teach them to others and quickly call out any false teachers that come your way.
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. Romans 16:17