Dealing with False Teachers

Scripture gives us many pictures of the things that will happen in the end times. Among them is that there will be wars, rumors of wars, famine, and earthquakes. Jesus Himself said that there will be many false prophets, people who will teach false doctrine, deceiving many people (Matthew 24:11). Some of these false prophets will even perform signs and wonders, deceiving many, including some believers (Mark 13:22).

In his second letter to Timothy, Paul pointed out that a time will come when people will listen to those who teach what they want to hear, rather than the truth of God’s Word (2 Timothy 4:3). As believers, this is why we need to hold fast to sound doctrine, the truth that can pierce through the lies of the enemy. Those of us who teach others must hold on to the words of truth found in God’s Word so that we can encourage others with sound doctrine and refute those who teach doctrine that is contradictory to His Word (Titus 1:9).

The teaching of false prophets and teachers is the enemy’s attempt to divide us. And it is for this reason that believers should not fight against this teaching with argument and debate. Those things will only serve to fuel division by creating quarrels (2 Timothy 2:23). Instead of getting into a war of words with others, we need to promote unity. We can do this through kindness to all, by being able to teach. We need to endure evil with patience, correcting those who teach false doctrine with gentleness (2 Timothy 2:24).

Those who teach false doctrine are caught in the snares of the enemy. Their judgment comes from God, not from us. It may well be that He will grant repentance to those false teachers and false prophets, leading them to a knowledge of His truth. And it may well be that they will be set free from the snares of the one who has captured them for the purpose of doing his will. God can set them free. Our part is to hold on to the truth, correcting with gentleness and sound doctrine and then step back and allow God to do the rest.

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