There are a number of fine teachers of the Word of God, and there are a number not so fine. While some endeavor to get things right in the sight of God, there are those who are more interested in furthering their own personal agendas, regardless of what God thinks. Who people listen to will largely be determined by what is in their heart. Those who sincerely love God will endeavor to gain Godly teaching, whereas 2Timothy 4:3-4 points out: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables”(KJV). Like it or not, regardless of one’s position, each person will stand before God and give an account. The teacher will be held accountable for what he or she teaches, and the student will be held accountable for what he or she receives or rejects. Scripture is very clear that the teacher will be held more accountable: “My brethren, be not many masters (teachers), knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (James 3:1, KJV). Do keep in mind however, that both are responsible for the way they apply the Word to their life –good or bad.
Scripture exhorts everyone to do his or her best to rightly divide the Word of Truth (see 2Timothy 2:15). We are called to diligently search the Scriptures for the veracity of what we teach or what we are taught. Furthermore, we are to utterly reject error and outright heresy. Error has no wrongful agenda behind it, as it has more to do with being mistaken. On the other hand, heresy is intentional and demonic in nature. This is evidenced by 1Timothy 4:3, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (KJV). Those with their own agendas desire others to agree with them, even if they are wrong. They would rather bend Scripture to reinforce a lie, than allow it to correct them. Already, many false teachers are itching to lead people astray.
How do we deal with heresy? Titus 3:10-11 clearly says, “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself” (KJV). These are indeed very strong words, but based in love in order to lead the heretic to repentance, and ultimately reconciliation unto God. It pays to remember that God takes a dim view of those who lead others astray. As followers of Jesus Christ, if we are going to closely walk with our Lord, one of the things we need to do is get into His Word, especially in the last days. For those who do not like correction, here’s a question that Paul posed in Galatians 4:16: “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth (KJV)?”