Jesus, the Son of God, is the Messiah. God sent him to live among us, die for our missing God’s goal (aka sin), be resurrected from the dead into an incorruptible body and ascend to heaven to be seated at the right hand of God as King. Now that is a very big deal!
We have 4 books that tell the good news (aka gospel) of Jesus. We have his words. We know the truth about why He came and where He now resides. This is not about acceptable theology or opinions of those who are weak in faith. This is about those who are deceived themselves and would deceive us as well about Jesus.
We need to understand the seriousness of the potential deception and our responsibility to look out for it constantly. What are we to do? “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good…” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
Matthew 7:15-23 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?‘ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
Beware, there are many of them.
2 John 7 (NASB) — For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus the Messiah as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Some spend way too much developing and defending a theology. They dispute about words. They don’t use the words of Jesus. They do not exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit but fruit from the evil one. That fruit is envy, strife, abusive language, and evil suspicions.
1 Timothy 6:3–4 (NASB) — If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions.
Some times we don’t even know they have penetrated our churches. They are unnoticed. They are subtle and deceitful. Or they lead a very successful church. Maybe even a mega-Church.
Jude 3–4 (NASB) — Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus the Messiah.
Is Jesus central to everything you hear? Is it the Jesus you know from the 4 Gospel’s (aka good news)?
1 Corinthians 3:10–13 (NASB) — According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus the Messiah. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
False prophets (religious leaders) can be very crafty. They weave very complicated theologies. The message of the good news of Jesus is not complicated. It is definitely pure and holy.
- 2 Corinthians 11:3–4 (NASB) — But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to the Messiah. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different good news which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
- Galatians 1:6–7 (NASB) — I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of the Messiah, for a different good news (aka gospel); which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the good news of the Messiah.