Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sneak (05/12/16)
- TITLE: Warning: There are False Teachers Roaming Around
By Christine Hammock
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When most people reflect on the word “sneak” they probably imagine a sneak preview of a movie or maybe a thief that sneaks into someone’s home. Sneak as a verb means to go about stealthy, furtive, or in a shifty manner unobserved in departure or entrance. “Sneak” as a noun is a person that goes about stealthy, secretive and in a devious manner.
I’m familiar with the noun type of sneak in the category of false teacher. My husband was a pastor/minister for over thirty-five years. I know exactly what Peter referred to when he said, “False teachers will also sneak in and speak harmful lies to you,” (2 Peter 2:1 CEV). Over the years we had a couple of incidents where someone joined the church and gave the appearance of loving God. They came in speaking loudly about what they had accomplished for the Lord. It wasn’t long before lies were whispered--then mass confusion and distrust erupted among the congregation. However, my husband with God’s loving Spirit within defused the flare-ups. Later after the sneaks went elsewhere and questions were asked, he would quote Peter where he warned the church about false prophets and teachers. These were Peter words from 2 Peter 2:1 (CEV), “Sometimes false prophets spoke to the people of Israel. False teachers will sneak in and speak harmful lies to you. But these teachers don’t really belong to the Master who paid a great price for them.” In private my husband half smiling at what he was about to tell me said, “Well, they snuck in and did what Peter warned about. I detest sneaky people; but I guess that’s okay to say since Proverbs says, “God hates sneaky people,” (Proverbs 11:20, (CEV).
Jesus’ brother, Jude also warned about sneaky false prophets; “Certain people have crept in unnoticed (just as if they were sneaking in by a side door). They are ungodly persons…for they distort the grace of our God into decadence and immoral freedom…and deny and disown our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4 AMP). These people Jude warned the church about were truly “sneaks,” deceivers, without integrity.
Isaiah also wrote about sneaks, “Fools are fools and that’s that, thinking up new ways to do mischief. They leave a wake of wrecked lives and lies about God. Turning their backs on the homeless hungry, ignoring those dying of thirst in the streets. And the crooks? Underhanded sneaks they are, inventive in sin and scandal, exploiting the poor with scams and lies, unmoved by the victimized poor,” (Isaiah 32:6-7, MSG).
Have sneaks slipped in among “the church” unnoticed and is causing doubt concerning the Lord and His Gospel truths? Biblical warning after warning makes it clear that it’s to be expected in the last days. Anemic Christians and churches will not recognize false teachers that creep in undetected because they can’t differentiate between true lovers of the Master and people disguised in “sheep clothing,” (Matthew 7:15, NIV). Satan will continue his deception within the church to communicate a weak, human based gospel that disowns the Lord Jesus. That’s why it’s important for the church to stay on guard and protect God’s truths.
Those who love the Lord as their only Master will strive to defend the faith, as they’re motivated to fight by the Spirit. To guard the gospel is essential. It’s something worth going to battle for. Like soldiers they’ll go into battle for the real Gospel and persevere to defend the faith. They would never agree to a truce to accept a counterfeit gospel because they are determined to stand firm sharing the Gospel with the lost.
In today’s society many people shy away from firm convictions taught in God’s Word. They listen to Satan while he challenges the Christian faith. Those that take a stand and never retreat when defending the Gospel can prevent the sneaks from entering and defiling the truth.
Be warned! In the last days before Jesus returns, there will be many opportunities to defend the faith against sneaks. Christians be ready to defend the faith and the truths in the Word and share the Gospel; otherwise there will be many who will be destined for destruction.
“False messiahs and false prophets will appear.
They will work miraculous signs and
do wonderful things to deceive, if possible,
those who God has chosen.
Be on your guard!
I have told you everything
before it happens.”
Mark 13:22-23, (GWT)
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