Paul concludes his epistle in Romans 16:17-20 with a sober warning of the danger of those false teachers who would by their beautiful, pious sounding and uplifting-sounding messages draw us away from the Truth of God’s Word. All these are deceitful servants of Satan. In verse 20 we read of how God is using us to bruise and crush Satan under our feet. This reminds us of that first promise God made to Satan in Genesis 3:14-15 of how He would bruise and crush and eternally destroy Satan one day. We long for that day when sin and Satan will be forever forgotten.
False preachers are not in the ministry to serve Christ, but rather to take advantage of their churches and earn a comfortable living and live a lavish lifestyle. Romans 16:18 warns us.
May we value and guard our precious Faith, our precious Salvation. II Peter 1:1
We have a precious Saviour. I Peter 2:7
We are saved by faith in the precious shed blood of Jesus. I Peter 1:18-19
As Christians, we enjoy a precious unity made possible by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:3-16, Psalm 133
We feed on His precious Word and are blessed. II Peter 1:4,19-21.
These are the precious Gifts of God we are to guard. That’s what the warfare of Ephesians 6 is all about. It is a spiritual warfare against Satan and the influences of his deepening evil world-system today. Paul’s preaching included this warning. to the Ephesian Church in Acts 20:28-31. We Christians today need to take heed to these repeated warnings in every generation. We ignore this warfare to our own peril.
WHO ARE OUR ENEMIES?
Today it is fashionable for Christians to look back on the Fundamentalist Movement of the first half of the 20th century that fought the battles against Theological Liberalism and brand such Fundamentalists as being negative and judgmental. They believe they have progressed beyond such negativity and that all that is needed is a positive preaching from the pulpit.
This fight against error has been fought down through the centuries and it is needed more than ever before in our present day of immorality, theological error, confusion and unbelief. The Apostle Paul warned young Timothy over two thousand years ago in II Timothy 3:13 that from generation to generation evil men would grow worse and worse, that the apostacy would grow deeper and deeper until Christ returns. He reminded him that his only protection would be the Holy Scriptures which he had known from childhood.
Note Paul’s repeated warnings to “stand fast” in God’s Word. I Corinthians 16:13, Philippians 1:27 and 4:1, I Thessalonians 3:8 and II Thessalonians 2:15
In this message, I warn you of the dangerous people, movements and influences which would attempt to rob you of your precious Gift of salvation. In II Corinthians 11:13-15 Paul warned then and the warning is just as relevant today. The Apostle John also warned of this danger in his short, one chapter Epistle of II John verses 7-11.
Our enemies are people, movements and influences espousing another Christ. They are under the curse of God, according to Galatians 1:6-9. Other warnings are found in II Corinthians 11:13-15 and II John 7-11.
Satan himself is known as the accuser of the brethren in Revelation 12:10.
Not only Satan, but those who reject God’s Word are by default Satan’s servants. Notice, for example in II Timothy 4:14-15, a man by the name of Alexander was an enemy of God and of God’s people.
WHO ARE NOT OUR ENEMIES?
Our enemies are not fellow Christians who have honest differences of opinion and interpretations of Scripture, as long as they adhere to the Fundamental doctrines of the Christian Faith: the verbal, plenary, inerrant inspiration of the Bible, the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, atonement for sin through faith alone in the shed blood of Christ and Jesus’ bodily resurrection from the dead. These are absolutely essential to being a Christian. No other Christ can save us. Galatians 1:6-9.
We are to endeavor to guard that unity in Christ with fellow believers with whom we have honest differences of opinion on lesser matters of understanding Scriptural interpretation and church polity. Read Ephesians 4:3,13, and I Corinthians 1:10-18.
Let us learn to distinguish the enemy (those in Satan’s army) from Christians with whom we have honest differences of opinion on many matters. Let us receive them as brothers and sisters in Christ, but not to doubtful disputations. Romans 14:1.
WHY ARE THE ENEMIES OF CHRIST DANGEROUS?
They are deceptive. II Corinthians 11:13-15
They are divisive. Acts 20:29-30
They are debased. II Peter 2:14,19.
They are hirelings. They are in the ministry just for the money with no heart for the people. John 10:12-13
We learn in II Timothy 3:1-8, 13, that as we approach the end of the Church Age just before Christ returns the apostasy grows deeper and more deceptive and thus more dangerous.
HOW DO THEY OPERATE?
They use good words and preach impressive messages that draw in the people. II Timothy 4:1-4
Don’t be impressed with impressive sermons.
Don’t be charmed by charming personalities.
Beware of preachers who always make you feel good about yourself and never make you feel uncomfortable.
Remember false preachers are skilled at making merchandise of you.
II Peter 2:1-3
False preachers are hirelings, just in it for the money. John 10:12-13
Watch your own heart if God’s Truth makes you angry.
Be warned, be clothed in the armour of God described in Ephesians 6. and stand fast in The Faith; making progress in the battle against the growing darkness of Satan’s Kingdom.
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