Everyone knows the basis of Christianity is the belief that Jesus is the son of God and that through Him we have our salvation. But it seems the belief stops there.
In the scripture we read above, Jesus spoke referring to Thomas. Jesus had appeared to the 10 disciples (excluding Thomas) after His resurrection. They tried to convince Thomas that Jesus was risen, but Thomas said he would only believe if he saw Jesus himself. Thomas was a good disciple, a man of God, a man who dined and lived with Jesus for years, but he didn’t totally believe in Him. He was an “Unbelieving Christian“.
Sometimes we Christians are already prejudiced towards certain topics that we switch off immediately we hear them. But the bible says to “Study to show yourself approved”. We shouldn’t so precipitantly conclude on a matter without seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance first. Gods people have been perishing for millenniums and still “Perish for lack of knowledge”. Resisting peoples’ words is foolish, as only “Fools despise wisdom and instruction”. I’m not saying to buy into some of the heresies being preached nowadays. My advice is to listen first, study and with Gods help, “Know the truth, and the truth shall make you free – John 8:32”.
Just like Thomas, if there’s one thing many Christians nowadays don’t believe in, it is the supernatural, the “illogical”. We have forgotten that “His ways are not our ways”. We have been beguiled into the mundane teaching of naturalism. However, scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:18 to “Look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Some Christians hardly believe in demons, satanism, heaven and hell, spiritual warfare, divine encounters with Jesus and so on. Even if they do, they do so tentatively because they’re people who need to see to believe. But 2 Corinthians 5:7 teaches us to “Walk by faith, not by sight”.
Truth be told, I can’t blame some Christians for zoning off at the first utterance of some teachings as some words have been made banal from over use. For example, I’ve heard the line “There’s somebody here, The Lord said…” so many times I go “Oh here we go again” immediately I hear it, but I listen nonetheless. I mean, it could be me God is speaking to. Here’s another scenario, if I step into a church and the pastor starts his preaching with “You know what? I’ve been thinking; homosexuality isn’t as bad as we think”. I’ll pick up my bible and leave without listening to another word (for obvious reasons). A lot of times it’s not hard to discern false teachings; Jesus said that “By their fruits (works, words and deeds) you shall know them”. However, if in another church, a pastor starts his teaching by saying: “Today, we’re going to be talking about Witches!” I’m sure many in the congregation will murmur “My goodness! I came to church to hear about Jesus, not stinking witches!” We should give fellow Christians a chance to speak whatever message God is trying to pass across through them, so long as it is edifying and in line with God’s word. For the topic of heaven and hell, it’s equally trite from misuse. Every Tom, Dick and Harry claims to have had a divine encounter now, but that doesn’t stop me from listening. In fact, I got saved through The 1st Testimony of Angelica Zambrano years ago. Study, “Try the spirits whether they are of God” – 1 John 4:1. One of my most loved verses in the bible is in 1 John 2:20 and it says “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things”. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are able to filter out any ungodly teaching and abide only in the word of truth.
Also, we tend to look askance when watching some miracle or healing ministrations. But for the sake of your own soul, don’t utter a word against any man performing miracles with the Spirit of God, no matter how unsure you are. Remember, the only sin that can never be forgiven is exactly that, a sin against the Holy Spirit!
It’s alarming how believers are incorrigible in their unbelief of the unseen. Any talk of say; demons, is now seen as unnecessary and even heresy in some parts. It is seen as “glorifying the devil” rather than exposing the works of darkness. No wonder so many are “Ignorant of his devices”. Ask yourself, why is satan trying so hard to hide his kingdom and make it seem non existent? Why does the world label the radical for God as “extremists”? Why is everyone who has had a genuine divine encounter with Christ seen as deluded? Why is there an unhindered incursion of usurping agents of darkness in the church of Christ! We are no longer “sober and vigilant“, we have left the devil to freely “roar about, seeking whom he may devour”. Then we blame our circumstances on “life”, while the truth is that there is more to the happenings in this life than the physical.
After I read Angelica’s story, I was so touched by the message. I later found out that she had had a 2nd and 3rd encounter with Christ, reading these helped me spiritually beyond words, and so I ignorantly believed everyone would be even slightly as touched as me. How wrong I was! Most people didn’t even bother reading her testimony. They called her all sorts of names. I was shocked to say the least. I pondered for months how anyone could not believe till I came across what Jesus Himself said in the parable in Luke 16:19-31. Here, the rich man begged Abraham to raise up Lazarus from the dead so he could go back to preach to his brothers to repent and not join him in hell. Abraham replied in verse 31 and said “If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead”. No wonder the world never believes. Jesus sending people to heaven and hell is His last desperate try to win the world over to His side before His coming. It’s like a lecturer showing his students the F’s they’re about to get if they don’t sit up, or a husband showing his wife divorce papers made ready if she doesn’t stop living in adultery. It is the final call to repentance!
We must realize, one of the major ways God talks to us as Christians is through other believers. This is why we go to church so often, to hear the word of God through the mouths of other believers, and to build fellowship amongst ourselves. If God spoke to us all the words we needed to hear, we wouldn’t need other believers. But our faith is built up with the words of others. As Paul said: “Faith comes by hearing… the word of God.”
Not only do we tend to “not believe” some teachings that don’t favor our lifestyle, we sometimes accept teachings we already have predilection for without even thinking twice about it. The perfect example for this in the bible was in 1 Kings 13:1-32. The said man of God who was a prophet was told by God not to branch anywhere from Bethel till he got back home. On his way back in obedience to God, another old prophet came to him telling him that God had told him the sent prophet could come and abide in his house. Rather than take the matter to God he went straight to the old prophets’ house to eat and relax, this cost him is life. I encourage you to read this chapter as it just shows how much Gods ways are not our ways. Frankly, it’s a sad story and only the death of Jesus hurt me more than this prophet’s.
Satan wants nothing more than to set every Christian against the other. A church with multiple doctrines. A church where some accept another marriage after a mere divorce despite what is written about divorce countless times in the bible. A church where some support abortion (wrongly) and some don’t (rightly). A divided church which cannot proposer, because the devil knows as Christ said that “A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand”. Why so many different teachings? Scripture clearly says in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that “God is not an author of confusion, but of peace”. The scriptures are plain. Our God is not an equivocal one. But just like Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:3: “I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ“
I know there are a lot of satanic doctrines being preached today, but also some good ones are being preached too. Jesus is revealing Himself greatly to Christians individually round the entire globe. Give the Holy Spirit a chance, listen, then discern through his help “The good, acceptable and perfect will of God”. Don’t make the decision of what is right and what is wrong yourself. We are not smarter than the devil. The bible says in Ezekial that he is perfect in wisdom. Without God we can do nothing.
Lastly, Jesus told Ulonma Oyekuru in one of her encounters with Him that Christians nowadays make decisions and declare things without even asking Him first. I was guilty of this, but now I’ve vowed to let The Lord make every decision for me. Why don’t you do the same? Why don’t you “Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”? as in Proverbs 3:5.
May The Only Wise God cause us to walk in His wisdom and discernment all the days of our lives in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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