At our last study, Joe asked us to begin reading particular scriptures that the study laid out for us. One such scripture was 1 Peter 2: 2-3...but I didn't actually make it there right off.
As I am apt to do, I saw Peter and ended up reading 2 Peter 2: 2-3. I sat there blankly for a moment, because I knew these verses didn't go along with what I had been reading in the other scripture. But the verses...they really set me back. Let me share...
Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
Okay, so then I had to check the helps, because I really felt like God wanted me to see this scripture. I found this interesting: Teachers should be paid by the people they teach, but these false teachers were attempting to make more money by distorting the truth and saying what people wanted to hear. So...what does that mean for us??? Well, I think that God is cautioning us to be careful where we place our resources, and to be careful that who we listen to. This time of the year we are all inundated with requests for our money. Before we give, we need to be sure that the causes we support are actually valid ministries, and that the money given isn't being used to promote another cause.
One part of this scripture really stuck with me... their condemnation has long been hanging over them... does that mean that those who actively carry out these types of "ministry" are doomed? I think so... if you back up to verse one it says: But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves.
How do you spot a false teacher? By knowing the word...if you don't know what is biblical, you will be blind to the truth. God's word is definitely what you "need" to hear, but who said that God's word will always be what you "want" to hear? Those preachers and teachers who only preach a "feel good" message aren't teaching the word the way God intended. Like everything in life, you have to take the good with the bad, and there will be times when God pushes you out of your comfort zone to do something you are unprepared to do. You won't like it, and you won't be happy about it, but you will be asked. And if your minister isn't convicting you on a regular basis, then you might just have a problem. And as I read the scripture above... I believe that he has a problem as well.
We are blessed at GCC to have a staff of ministers who all challenge us to look beyond the "feel goods". They are encouraging us to step out of our comfort zones and go about the work that God has placed before the church.
So thanks Joe for the reading list...(and I did make it to the correct verse!) It's always good to shine up the "armor" that God has provided us with.