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Separation from False Teachers

2 John 9-11, Rom 16:17-18, Gal 1:8-9

 

Theme: How to deal with false teachers

 

Introduction: False teachers were a huge problem in the 1st century church. However they also pose a problem to the contemporary believer. Although the form of Gnosticism may have all but vanished, the same lies are being perpetrated through other forms. Separating from these false teachers in a biblical fashion can be a challenge for some, but the bible clearly commands separation from those that teach different gospel messages and teach another way to heaven than through the Lord Jesus Christ. Separation means neither to associate nor to have any company with false teachers. This is not a form of hate, as some would imply, but obedience to the scriptures and a stand for the truth.

 

I. The Bible commands separation from those that do not hold to essential Christian doctrine (2 John 9-11).
A. Those that do not believe nor hold to the doctrine of Jesus Christ are not saved. Those that believe in Jesus Christ are saved (v.9).
B. Separation from those that bring not the doctrine of Christ is what John commands in verse 10.
C. Those that welcome and support false teachers are partaking of their evil deeds (v.11).

II. Those that cause divisions by teaching a contrary doctrine must be avoided at all costs (Rom 16:17-18).
A. Avoiding the false teachers is the clear teaching of Romans 16:17.
B. The false teachers are clever in their speech, words and eloquence and so deceive the simple. However they do not severe the Lord Jesus Christ and must be avoided (v.18).


III. Harsh condemnation awaits the False Teachers (Gal 1:8-9).

A. Paul curses those within the body of believers and also angels that preach a different gospel (v.8).

(Illustration)
Although this verse was written many hundreds of years before the Mormon religion was founded. The Mormon religion was founded by a man that was visited by a heavenly messenger. This man completely ignored the clear teaching of scripture here, and re-interpreted it to fit his itching ears.

 

B. Paul repeats the curse, but this time only curses men that preach different gospels (v.9).

(Application)
The KJV uses the word “man” however the modern translations (with the exception to the NASB) do not use the singular masculine noun here which some may interpret incorrectly and conclude that the Bible does not forbid women from teaching false doctrines. The Bible condemns women as much as it condemns men for preaching false doctrines as the context implies.

 

Conclusion: False teachers are as much a problem in today’s church as they were in the 1st century. Separating from false teachers by recognizing their lies is the best defense. False teachers are able to deceive the naive and simple (Rom 16:18) because the simple and naive do not diligently search the scriptures like the Bereans (Acts 17:11). The simple and naive give the false teachers their place of authority in the church. False teachers are condemned and will suffer for their teaching by God when he carries out his judgment against them.

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