BE CAREFUL, VERY CAREFUL in choosing who and what to believe! The early ecclesia, the church, followers of Jesus the Messiah, were deceived following the death and resurrection of Christ as many are deceived today. Today, as in the early church, many will chase after money as their god, or try to redefine the person of Jesus and/or confuse people with rules and laws building mountains of behavioral activities.
There are those today who “create” a new twist to belief as in “The ‘Church’ of Scientology,” the prosperity gospel, and “Think and Grow Rich” preaching.
One of the most insidiously half religious-half secular teachings is the New Age “theology.” The New Age preaching infects the mind with little cherubs flying around leading the gullible into happy-happy thoughts, finding eternal bliss in yoga, positive thinking and the avoidance of milk and meat. New Agers have no problem with smoking a roach, but “god-hep-yew-if-yew-smoke-tobacco-around-me.” Secondhand smoke is bad!
New Age preachers encourage followers to find salvation (although that word is never used) in the clouds, everything of beauty, happy TV shows and promises, and they tell us that we’ll never be sick or poor. Their Paradise ministries tell us we “deserve” the very best of health and wealth. For god-sake, don’t mention Jesus or Blood or sacrifice or discipleship or hell or that Jesus is the only “way and the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (niv)
My friend, this may sound offensive, but we don’t deserve anything apart from the sacrificial Blood of God in the flesh, Jesus Christ.
I remember the day when pastors preached the Word. They were instant in season and out of season. They reproved, rebuked and exhorted with long-suffering and doctrine. Can you? I remember the congregation singing “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name” and “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” Do you? And what about children in Sunday School memorizing the 23rd Psalm? Now we have 7/11 songs (7 words repeated 11 times or vice versa). There was a time when everyone (including the pastor) showed respect to the House of God by the way they conducted themselves in dress and conduct.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “I can’t believe your fickleness—how easily you have turned traitor to him who called you by the grace of Christ by embracing a variant message! It is not a minor variation, you know; it is completely other, an alien message, a no-message, a lie about God. Those who are provoking this agitation among you are turning the Message of Christ on its head. Let me be blunt: If one of us—even if an angel from heaven!—were to preach something other than what we preached originally, let him be cursed. I said it once; I’ll say it again: If anyone, regardless of reputation or credentials, preaches something other than what you received originally, let him be cursed.” Galatians 1:6-9
“But there were also lying prophets among the people then, just as there will be lying religious teachers among you. They’ll smuggle in destructive divisions, pitting you against each other—biting the hand of the One who gave them a chance to have their lives back! They’ve put themselves on a fast downhill slide to destruction, but not before they recruit a crowd of mixed-up followers who can’t tell right from wrong. But there were also lying prophets among the people then, just as there will be lying religious teachers among you. They’ll smuggle in destructive divisions, pitting you against each other—biting the hand of the One who gave them a chance to have their lives back! They’ve put themselves on a fast downhill slide to destruction, but not before they recruit a crowd of mixed-up followers who can’t tell right from wrong. They give the way of truth a bad name. They’re only out for themselves. They’ll say anything, anything, that sounds good to exploit you. They won’t, of course, get by with it. They’ll come to a bad end, for God has never just stood by and let that kind of thing go on.” 2 Peter 2:1-2 (msg)