Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #47

1 John 4:6

But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception. (NLT)

 

DISCERNMENT

            Over the last few days we have been discovering the importance of knowing and understanding truth. We also recognized that truth can be dangerous if certain guidelines for interpretation are not put into place. We also learned that simply knowing what is true will not keep us from falling prey to temptation or false teachers.

            It is incumbent my friends that we learn to hear and listen to the Spirit of Truth. This comes first with knowledge as we discovered these last days, but knowledge needs a friend, and that friends name is “discernment.” We live in a world where truth and lies are in constant conflict with each other..

            One of the tactics of Satan is to entice us to question Gods will and His Word. Go all the way back to the book of Genesis where Satan comes to Eve and he says to Eve, “Did God really say this?” He’s causing her to question what God said. And then he says, “You shall not surely die,” which is to say God lied to you, God said you’d die, I’m telling you, you won’t. And therein is the conflict framed up in its simplicity. God says one thing and Satan says another. So you have two systems working in the world, the truth and the lie.

            You may be thinking, common Pastor Ralph, surely, I can simply go to church and receive the truth. Think about this. If Satan was so bold as to approach Eve in the perfect garden of Eden, where no sin had ever been committed, what makes you think he won’t infiltrate the church and spread his lies to gullible and undiscerning people today?

            The Scriptures even mention this. Paul was writing to the Corinthian church and he warned against Satan’s deception. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 “I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.  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 of gospel than the one you believed.” NLT. Paul wasn’t mincing words was he?

            It is critical for us as Christians going forward that we approach life with biblical and spiritual discernment, but this will come at a price. You see, if we are going to be biblical Christians, we must seek and speak truth, Gods truth, and this is absolute.

            This of course flies in the face of modern society. In North America, we live in a society that is hostile to anyone who declares absolutes. “Thus saith the Lord” is mocked and scorned. All of us are surrounded by messages that say we must accept faith in many forms. We must value emotion over reason and trendiness over conviction.

I recall the story of a pastor who was visiting in a home which demonstrates this very mentality. The man of the house was sitting in a lazy boy recliner. Surrounding him we all kinds of religious books. From books by James Dobson and books by the Unity Fellowship, Unitarianism, he had Mormon stuff, he had Christian Science magazines. He had the Worldwide Church of God literature. He had Moody Press stuff. He had all kinds of stuff in this assortment. The pastor said, “You know, you have quite a mix of things here.” The response was simple and curt, The man said, “There’s good in all of it…there’s good in all of it.”

            Many Christians today lack discernment. They think they can fill their minds with all kinds of “information” and think that there is good in all of it.

            Starting Monday we will address three areas that we as Christians must brush up on if we are truly going to be “discerning Christians.”