Dangerous Deceptions

There are many teachings in the world today that are very popular with the masses. Many of them are, in fact, dangerous deceptions.

They are dangerous because many have been and continue to be deluded into thinking the teaching is sound and reasonable. In all truth, many people have no real desire for sound and wholesome teaching. Instead they follow their own desires and look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths (cf. 2nd Timothy 4:3-4 NLT).

Many of these teachings (and their teachers) are promoted as being biblically sound. The only biblically sound teachings are those that exalt God and lead us to desire and emulate his holiness, purity, and love.

I have already made several unpopular posts on this blog that brings God’s Truth to light on some of the erroneous teachings that have misled many into a dangerously deceived state of mind. The nature of the backlash that arises when these cherished teachings and traditions are brought into question shows how deeply entrenched they are among the masses.

The contemporary popularized statement “once saved, always saved,” is an unfortunate oversimplification of security outlined in the classical definition of the “perseverance of the saints.” Slogans such as “once saved, always saved,” and “eternal security” often easily gain a reverential status normally reserved only for biblical texts and become symbols of “evangelical orthodoxy.” Indeed, it comes as a shock to some when they discover that their symbols are not actually biblical terms.

SOURCE: Holman Bible Dictionary; “Security of the Believer”

I realize and understand that “doctrines” such as “once saved, always saved” tend to divide, as one’s understanding of biblical text differs from someone else.

The Holman Bible Handbook has this to say on the topic:

For many Christians who struggle to understand their faith and the meaning of salvation, the question of security looms very large. Texts like John 10:27-29 affirm that no one will pluck them out of the hand of the Lord. They seem to provide assurance concerning security.

Texts like Hebrews 6:4-6 and 10:26-27, however, with the warnings of the impossibility of being renewed, seem to offer insecurity. Because this issue of security touches Christians at a deep level, a few would like to reword the texts of Hebrews or dismiss the entire book from their authoritative canon.

This way of dealing with the NT will not work because such disturbing texts can be found throughout other parts of the Bible (see 1 Cor 10:6-22). Instead, we must realize that there is a built-in tension written into the biblical texts. Remember that God knows what people are like and that Jesus was not confused by their “believing” (John 2:23-25). Remember also that in Hebrews 6 there is not just one “impossible” but two (6:4, 18): the one a warning and the other an assurance.

This built-in tension in the Bible reminds us that when God sent Jesus, He was not playing a game. The cross was the most serious moment in the history of the world. God expects us to treat it with utmost seriousness. Believing is not just a matter of words; it involves the way we live (see James 2:14-26). Therefore the entire Bible is laced with warnings about the way we live.

Prior to building a fortress and raising a doctrinal flag, I would encourage everyone to be sure they have a COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING as to this and any other doctrine that is not clearly and distinctly taught by Christ or his apostles. Just because you heard someone profess to you from the pulpit that what they are teaching is biblically sound, doesn’t make it so. 2 Corinthians 11:14 says, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” Consider when Jesus was in the wilderness and Satan misused Scripture in an effort to tempt him (see Matthew 4:1-11). Satan has always twisted the word of God – all the way back to the tempting of Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:1-6).

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing. If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is vain. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

James 1:16-27 (Revised Standard Version)

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Karl Rhoads

I am a Married, Forgiven, Imperfect Follower of Christ. I am a recovered alcoholic (since July 12, 1999) and an ordained minister of the Gospel of Christ (since July 6, 2002). I have been saved from the grave (more then a few times) by the loving hand of the God and Father of our Lord, Christ Jesus. My heart's desire is to meet the needs of others with the love of Christ as he directs and enables me to do so.

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