It’s easy to prep a sermon when you don’t have to be bothered with things like honesty and truth. Sticking to the words of inspired Scripture forces a preacher measure his words and carefully present only what is actually in the text. It is a challenge. It’s especially frustrating when your wisdom dictates a sermon that cannot be taught from the Biblical text. What to do?
Some have taken to crafting their own message from their imaginations. Then they give it the imprimatur of truth by declaring, “God told me…” Recently a preacher wanted to weigh in on the homosexual marriage debate. I’ll not name him,(1) but he said that God told him we should change our attitude toward the LGBT community and we should be accepting of them. I guess because God told him we should all hold our tongues and rejoice that the sin of the practicing homosexual is no longer sinful! God told him it was ok! Some have gone so far as to craft entire books of sayings and teachings given them by God, teachings that often directly contradict clear Bible teaching.
Sadly, some just follow along and accept whatever comes from the mouth of their preacher. Shame on them and their preacher! Let’s begin with a few passages.
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8, 9).
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
“For God is not a God of confusion…” (1 Corinthians 14:33)
It is clear that anyone who brings “new” teachings, not found in Scripture, to the pulpit is to be accursed. It doesn’t matter how that supposed revelation came to be it cannot stand if it contradicts Bible teaching.(2) Paul declares that one who brings such teaching is to be “accursed.” This precept is so important that Paul repeats it again in the very next verse. This teaching parallels other similar thoughts in Revelation 22:18, 19, Deuteronomy 4:2, 2 John 9, et al. The false teacher is deceitful and knowingly brings his illicit teachings to the mind of the student. Paul notes that these teachers have disguised themselves so as to infiltrate churches and destroy from the inside (Acts 20:29-31).
Our final verse notes that God does not create confusion. The context is that of chaotic, charismatic worship, but the fact remains that God does not create confusion. One who brings a new or altered teaching because “God told him to” has created confusion and therefore proven himself a false teacher.
New revelation, when sent by God, was always confirmed by great signs, wonders and miracles. The miraculous deliverance of Israel from Egypt and the attendant wonders at Sinai confirmed the coming of the Law of Moses. Likewise, the miraculous manifestations on Pentecost (Acts 2) and again at the home of Cornelius (Acts 10) confirmed the new church age and the extension of the gospel to the Gentiles.
Unless and until modern preachers can confirm their new teachings with Bible-caliber miracles, let them be silent or preach only from the established truth of Scripture.
Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at preachersstudyblog.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.
- I do not wish to promote or give any additional publicity to the man.(↩)
- We note that both Islam and Mormonism were allegedly brought by the angels Gabriel and Moroni.(↩)