What Should We Do Knowing There are False Teachers Trying to Deceive Us?
(1) Be Bereans
You remember, the story about the Bereans in Acts 17:11. There Paul says,
“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Ac 17:11)
And that’s the same for us. We should be eager and ready to receive the preached Word.
A few weeks ago, Apple had their annual developers conference. At the conference they show off their new products. I will tell you, I was eager for that day to come. I couldn’t wait to see what they were going to release this year.
I am sure you guys have things that you are ready and eager to see. Maybe it’s football, and you can’t wait for next season to start.
Paul is telling us in these verses we are supposed to have the same eagerness for God’s Word as we do for the next football season, the next Apple event, summer vacation, or whatever else we are looking forward to. Which means we should look forward to going to church to hear the preached Word. We should look forward to our quiet times. We should look forward to gathering with other believers to study the Bible.
Not only should we be eager to receive the preached Word, we should also examine the teaching afterwards. We are to go home, open up the Word, take out our notes, and make sure what the preacher said matches with Scripture.
Now, if we were to take a poll of the church at large today, I would bet the percentage of people who actually go home and examine the message is low. Instead, what most people do is take the preachers word for it, but we can’t do that. There are people out there who want nothing more than to deceive us. So it will take a little work, but what we are supposed to do after hearing the preached Word is to make sure it matches up with Scripture.
I am convinced that if people are eager to study the Word, if it becomes a steady diet for them, and if they check the messages they hear against God’s Word, it will cut down on the amount of people being deceived by false teachers.
(2) We should warn others if they are sitting under false teaching
If we know that our friends, family, or a church member is sitting under false teaching, I think we have a responsibility to warn them. That is part of what it means for us to be apart of a covenant community. We are to care of and look out for one another. So if we know of someone sitting under false teaching, we should go and warn them.
(3) We should run from false teaching
If we find the teaching we are hearing to be false, we should run from it. We shouldn’t sit under it any longer. If we do, we are risking being deceived, we are risking being made a child of Satan and facing an eternity in hell. So if you find the teaching you are receiving to be false, run from it. Don’t sit under it any longer. The stakes are too high.
I believe those things should be our response to false teaching.
- We should be Bereans.
- We should warn others.
- We should run from it.
Doing these things will help protect us from false teachers.
Question for Reflection
- What are some other things we can do to protect ourselves from false teachers?
Post adapted from my sermon False Teachers – Their Desire, Their Danger, Our Response