“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Gal. 1:8, 9)
False teachers and false teaching occurred early in the life of the church. They have been active ever since. They are active today. Some of them teach false doctrine on purpose as agents of unheavenly angels and some do so out of ignorance. Either way, they are not pleasing to God and neither will those whose ears are open to their teaching be.
When Paul wrote the Galatian churches there was no New Testament as we know it today. It made teaching and believing false doctrine easier than it should be today. Why, since we have Pauls original teaching as well as the other inspired writers, do false teachers still exist? More importantly, why do people believe them?
Paul told young Timothy to accurately handle the word of truth and to pay close attention to not only himself but to his teaching. The way for approval was to study the word. It is still true today. The Psalmist knew all about those who failed to get the truth straight, “All day long they twist my words;” (Psm.56:5). Peter warned about those who distort the scriptures to their own destruction. (2 Pet. 3:16)
Peter suggests that we be on our guard against these teachers and teaching of error less we be carried away. How do we avoid that? He says, “… but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” (2 Pet. 3:18). Notice the harmony of the New Testament writers. Study the truth and know the truth.
Regardless of how much you like or love a Bible teacher or preacher or pastor do not believe them without checking to see if that is what the Bible teaches. Not just a verse but the entire word of God. The Bible agrees with itself and any teaching that violates that rule is false.
Task for Today: You guessed it. Study the Bible for yourself. Question every teaching of man. Compare the overall message of the gospel with what is taught in the word of God. Let God be true and every man a liar is good advice. You can’t do this with a casual reading before you go to bed or when you first wake up. That is reading and not studying. Knowing the truth of God’s word is the single most important piece of knowledge available to you.