By: Clement Utukogu
WHAT CHRIST EXPECTED OF CHRISTIANS IN THIS END TIME – Now that most of the teachings and works of the false teachers or pastors have been revealed, what is expected of us? “Of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). What should we do? Here are some scriptural admonitions:
WE ARE TO MARK THEM AND AVOID THEM: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). Those whose conducts and teachings contradict the Word of God are to be marked and avoided. This requires discernment and judgment in light of the Bible. And they cannot be marked and avoided, unless they are judged according to the Word of God.
WE ARE TO REBUKE THEM: “Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13). This was written to Titus, because there were those who go from house to house subverting whole houses with false doctrines (Titus 1:10-16). Churches are subverting whole houses with their false doctrines today, and we are contented with sitting silently, idly, our arms folded and looking away, while they do this, without rebuking and admonishing people on what to do. The faithful servant of the Lord should be “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9).
WE ARE TO HAVE NO FELLOWSHIP WITH THEM: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). Reprove means to censure, condemn, find fault, rebuke, and to refute. How can we obey this Scripture unless we try them by the Word of God?
WE ARE TO WITHDRAW FROM THEM: “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us” (2 Thessalonians 3:6).
We are to withdraw from those whose doctrine and conduct do not conform to the Word of God. The context clearly shows that obedience to sound doctrine is what Paul has in mind when he says, “If any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet, count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother” (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15). Paul advised Timothy to “withdraw himself [thyself]” from those who “consent not to wholesome words … and to the doctrine which is according to godliness” (I Timothy 6:3-5).
WE ARE TO TURN AWAY FROM THEM: Concerning the last days, he says that some will have “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. from such turn away” for such people are “never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:5,7). How can we turn away from them if we do not identify them, and this requires that their message be compared to the Word of God. It is the business of the true preacher to: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). This is usually an unpopular and thankless task but it is the duty of the God-called man.
WE ARE NOT TO RECEIVE THEM INTO OUR HOUSE: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 10,11). There is no doubt about whom John is referring to, it is “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ…” (2 John 9). By radio, TV, music and literature, false prophets are brought into the homes of many Christians today. Brethren, this ought not to be!
WE ARE TO REJECT HERETICS: “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject” (Titus 3: 10). We should reject those who deny redemption by the blood of Christ. There are many who deny this or some other doctrine of the Word of God. If they will not respond to being admonished, then they are to be rejected.
WE ARE TO LOOK OUT FOR THOSE WHO PREACH ANOTHER GOSPEL: Paul warned about those who preached “another Jesus … another spirit … or another gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:4). How can we know them unless we judge their Jesus, their spirit, and their gospel by the Word of God? Paul called such preachers “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13). He explains in verses 14 and 15 that these preachers are the ministers of Satan. The God-called man must be just as faithful today in exposing the ministers of Satan.
Paul warned the Galatians about those who “pervert the gospel of Christ”. He also said, “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9). Multitudes today are preaching a perverted gospel. Those who teach that tithing is a requirement for salvation, that is, salvation by works, are teaching a perverted gospel. If we fail to expose these false prophets, then we have betrayed Christ and His gospel.
WE ARE TO SEPARATE FROM THEM: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch no the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
This makes it plain. God’s people are to come out of apostasy and religious error. How can any Bible believer remain in the congregation of the dead? “A man who wanders from the way of understanding Will rest in the assembly of the dead” (Proverbs 21:16). How can they remain among compromising evangelicals and wishy-washy fundamentalists?