So, I was reading the book of 2 Corinthians a few days ago and a particular verse struck me so much that I became quite afraid. This was the verse
“You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of spirit than the one you received, or a different kind gospel than the one you believed.” 2 Cor 11:4 [NLT]
I’ve always known that the word of God warns us of false prophets that would arise in the last days. But for some reason, I thought they would be quite easy to spot. “Surely, it would be easy to spot someone preaching something completely different from all I had been taught,” so I didn’t get why Paul repeatedly warned against false prophets and false doctrines in his letters to the different churches.
But this verse made me realise that some false prophets and teachers would actually be preaching “Jesus” but not the true gospel of Christ. Wow!
I am not here to talk about false prophets though. I am here to talk about us. We need to be careful, we need to be wise. It is great to know the name of Jesus and the power wrought in His name. However, as we can see from the verse above, it is not everywhere the name of our Lord is being mentioned that the truth is spoken. Therefore, in addition to knowing His name, we must know the character and identity of Christ, so that we can discern the truth and when it is being spoken.
I’ll explain it this way. I like to think that I know my mum well enough. I know what she likes and what she doesn’t. I know how she reacts in certain situations. If one day I happen to hear someone saying she did something that is completely different from how I know my mum to act, I would know the person was lying even if they were mentioning her name.
The only way we can know Jesus Christ, His character, His personality is to have a personal relationship with Him and deep knowledge of His word.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 [KJV]
We need to imbibe the word of God. This starts with reading your Bible daily, but it doesn’t end there. For the word of God to become a part of us, we need to ensure that all our senses are constantly bombarded with the Word. I know that sounds heavy but it’s not… It all starts with the little things.
Stay around people that allow, motivate and encourage you to discuss the word of God freely. Watch videos that help you put the Word of God into relevant context. Ask questions. After all, this is how you would prepare for an exam and if you want to remember all that you have studied.
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11 [NLT]
We need to be like the Berean Christians, always checking what we are taught. This isn’t being cynical, it’s being wise. The word of God in our hearts is very precious and it is a constant target of the enemy, so we must guard it with all diligence. Remember that one of the oldest tricks in the enemies’ book is to twist the truth or to give half-truths. That’s what he did to Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:1-6) and that’s what He tried to do to Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4: 1-13). The difference was that our dear Lord Jesus knew His stuff so that even when the enemy tried to twist and contort the scripture, Jesus was able to rebuff all of Satan’s attempts to tempt him.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Pro 4:23 [NLT]
Remember that the word of God is alive. Where there is life, there is interaction. So make sure that you are not a passive receiver of the Word but that you are engaging with it actively.
Jesus loves you. Thank you for reading
Written By: Ayowade Adeleye (through the revelation and inspiration of the Holy Spirit).