“Why are there different types of churches? Don’t we all worship the same God? Aren’t we all going to the same place?”
There is a big movement in today’s society to knock down the walls of religious separation. “We’re all working to get to the same place anyway!” seems to be the common theme.
Perhaps you have heard this before. The idea is we should all lay down our differences and find a common ground.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Let me tell you a little story.
There was a shepherd who had a beautiful flock of sheep. Every night he would take his sheep to a special pasture with a wall around it to keep them safe.
There was only one door to this sheepfold and the shepherd constantly kept watch over it. Anytime a wolf tried to get in to steal the sheep, the shepherd would fight the wolf off. There was nothing the shepherd wouldn’t do to protect his sheep.
One night the sheep decided to hold a meeting.
“You know, this wall is a little too confining. We should come up with a plan to knock it down,” one sheep told the others.
“How about we sneak around behind the shepherd and knock it down while he’s not watching?” another sheep decided.
That night the sheep went to work slowly tearing down the boundaries around them. After much work, the wall on that side finally crumbled.
“Ah, much better!” the sheep decided. “Now we can mingle with all the other sheep in this world.”
The only thing the sheep didn’t realize was that outside that wall were wolves dressed up like sheep. The wolves looked innocent on the outside, but on the inside they had really big teeth.
The wolves would befriend the sheep, gain their trust, then suggest they make other changes to their wall. They still had three other sides they needed to tear down, after all. This time, the sheep had help slowly tearing down the second wall.
“We don’t agree with this brick,” one wolf would say.
“This one needs to come down too,” agreed another.
The second wall didn’t take quite as long to knock down, thanks to the help of their new friends.
After the second wall came down the other two were a breeze. It didn’t take anything to blow them down.
The shepherd looked on sadly and tried to warn the sheep of what would happen if they removed the walls he so carefully set up for them. But the sheep wouldn’t listen.
Once all the walls were torn down, the sheep were easy targets for the wolves. There were no longer safe boundaries for their lambs.
The lambs that watched their parents tearing down the walls no longer wanted to be sheep. They now saw the wolves on the other side and were deceived into believing that their lives were so much more exciting.
They soon rejected the shepherd and ran off to live with the wolves. Many never came back.
The parents were really sorry when they realized the mistake they had made, but it was too late. They could apologize to the shepherd and put the walls back up, but their children were now on the outside.
They prayed that one day their children would come home and leave their wolfish lives behind.
Okay, you may have recognized the theme as biblical . If you want to read what Jesus actually said about the sheepfold, look at John 10:7-18.
However, my story is what we see happening with many of the Lord’s churches today.
They want to pick and choose what they believe.
Second Timothy 4:2-4 says, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
If we set aside what God’s word says and are not willing to “contend for the faith once delivered to the saints,” (Jude 1:3), our inconsistencies will not only affect us, but our children who are watching us.
Jesus, our Great Shepherd, warns us:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)
So what can we do about the walls that are falling around us?
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)
The apostle Paul continues to tell us that we’re not fighting against flesh and blood “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:11-12)
Those wolves look safe because they are wearing sheep’s clothing.
How can we know who the false teachers are?
We need to read our Bibles.
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-8)
Any good preacher will tell you not to just take their word about what the Bible says, but to go home and study God’s word for yourself.
God didn’t give us His Bible just for preachers to read. He made it available for us to read as well.
“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)
Will you study your Bible?
A Church may look like a church on the outside, but it’s important to know what is being taught on the inside of the building. Any group of people can call themselves a church, however they might not be teaching the Bible as truth. It is important that we make sure we are enquiring and searching for the doctrine beliefs of a church before you allow the teaching to influence you. — Brenda McGraw
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