“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”
Nowadays parents teach their kids the phrase, “stranger danger.” It’s not that they’re paranoid or want them to be afraid of everybody, just cautious… and safe. Spiritually speaking, it would be great if adults adopted that same attitude. God often brings new people into our lives and that is a blessing. However, it is wise to get to know others and their spiritual beliefs as we form deeper bonds.
Believer, be on guard. A false teacher doesn’t say, “Hey, listen to me, I’m here to lead you astray.” Heresy never flaunts itself, it’s too smart for that. It quietly passes along alluring thoughts and, once in, it goes to work like a virus.
Viruses are microscopic and underestimating their danger is risky. In order to survive, they need another living organism, which means every human is just another opportunity to covertly infiltrate, duplicate, and dominate. Once inside, they hijack the host’s cells and spread the infection; their tactics bear an uncanny resemblance to false teachers. It’s an ugly word picture, but an effective one.
Doctors say washing your hands is the easiest way to ward off a virus. It doesn’t dilute the pathogen, but it also won’t allow it to stick. Likewise, you can fight false doctrine by washing your mind and heart in the Word of God. Read it, study it, know it well, pray it into your life, and talk about it with like-minded believers. Saturate yourself in the whole of God’s Word and deception will not stick. It can’t because once you put it under the microscope of the Bible, you’ll recognize it for what it truly is, an attack on your soul.
– Pastor Jack