Beloved, we live in the end times. Evidence of this is found in the increasing number of false teachers proliferating within the Christian Church. In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Paul, by the Holy Spirit, gives the signs for Christ Jesus’ imminent return:
1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
The term, falling away, refers to apostasy, turning away from the faith as revealed in the Bible, the Holy, inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God.
Throughout the epistles there are continuous warnings against false teachers, one such warning that stands out in Peter’s second epistle.
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 2 Peter 2:1-2
The only way to be aware of and avoid these wicked impostors is to know the Scriptures and rely on the Holy Spirit. Examining 1 John verifies this assertion:
I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 1 John 2:21
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. 1 John 2:27
We will be able to avoid false teaching and false teachers as we trust in Jesus Christ, know His Word and rely on His Holy Spirit.
We are enjoined by God, however; to go above and beyond the exhortation in the above paragraph. We are commanded in the Bible to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 3
This exhortation is also given by Paul in his first letter to Timothy and his epistle to Titus.
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia-remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine… 1 Timothy 3:1
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. Titus 1:7-9
We are clearly commanded by God to expose and refute false teaching.
There are those who have taken on something called discernment ministries who will expose false teachers and false teaching, but I have found that they show partiality in their expose’, something which is condemned by God.
19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. 20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. 21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. 1 Timothy 5:19-21
For believers in Jesus Christ to effectively expose and contend with false teachers, anyone who contradicts God’s Word must be held accountable and Christian leadership must take their God given duty seriously to rebuke such a one.