“And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them.” – Romans 16:17 (NLT)
Once again, Paul gives clear instruction concerning how to handle those who are divisive and spread false teachings. We are to stay away from them. Have nothing to do with them.
And with this single passage, we have eliminated an extreme amount of leaders and ministries that should be avoided due to false teachings and confusion that is seeping out of their mouths and buildings. Unfortunately, too many have fallen for the traps and the lies that entangle them and keep them in these places, and this has come because of a lack of understanding of the Truth. In our American church culture, we don’t actually know the truth that we claim to believe in. And this is due to not getting into the Word and finding out for ourselves.
Growing up I was always told to never just take a pastor’s word for it, or any leader who was given opportunity to speak. I was told to always back up what the speaker said by seeking the Scriptures. This has kept me rooted and anchored in the Truth of the Word, and in Jesus Christ, in the hardest seasons of my life (and I have had some major shakings in my very short 25 years of life). Sadly, not many can say the same.
It has always been important to stay rooted in the Truth and to avoid those who cause division and spread false ideologies. But even more now than ever before! We have so many who have risen up seeking some kind of platform or attention, and they have spread lies and false ideologies claiming them to be the “truth.” We are living in the days predicted long ago. The days when false prophets and false teachers are everywhere.
But there is a remnant being separated out by the Lord. Those who, like the Levites in the wilderness, have never bowed to another. They have remained planted in the Truth of the Lord. And just as in the days of Elijah, when Jezebel was killing all the prophets of the Lord who refused to bow to the system and worship Baal, there is a people who have never bowed to the system. They have kept themselves pure and holy, fully devoted to the Lord.
It has always been important to know the Truth of the Word, and now, in the days we live in, it has become a matter of life and death. If you don’t know what is found in the Book of Life, the Word of God, then you will be swept away by the tsunami of lies and false teachings that are continuing to sweep through the church.
“Now all glory to God, who is able to make you strong, just as my Good News says. This message about Jesus Christ has revealed His plan for you Gentiles, a plan kept secret from the beginning of time. But now as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this message is made known to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they too might believe and obey Him. All glory to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen.” – Romans 16:25-27