Paul was amazed that the Galatians so quickly were deserting the gospel of Jesus Christ for another gospel which really was not a gospel since there is only one true gospel. (Gal. 1:6-7) In reality there were those sneaking into the church to corrupt the pure gospel of Christ. (2:4-5) Because of our pastor’s commitment to the Truth of Scripture you may not believe this to be a concern at Grace Life. Although I too believe we are safe from this error on Sunday mornings there are areas of our lives in which we must guard with care so that Satan can not, in any way, pollute the Truth of the Gospel in our daily walk.
One such area is that of the media gospel, what we read and to what we listen. It is so easy today to turn on the TV and hear someone speaking about Jesus, the Bible, salvation, etc. Beware! Just because you hear them speak the name of Jesus or read from the Bible this does not mean they stand on the truth of the gospel. The greatest danger is the fact that many of these so-called gospel preachers bring elements of truth into their message that hide or cloud the reality that they actually are presenting a perverted gospel. The same is true when you walk into a Christian book store. Just because it is on the shelf in such a store does not guarantee its validity.
As one who desires to follow Jesus Christ and the True Gospel you may ask, “How can I know to whom to listen and read?” Although there are no absolutes in this area of discernment I would like to suggest four.
- Ask any of your pastors their opinion of the preacher and/or author. Although we may not be familiar with all of them one of us could probably point you in the direction to find out more.
- When choosing a book be sure to look at the list of people that endorse the book. If there is no one on the list that you recognize be careful. Even if you have not been in church long you will probably recognize names like John Piper, Rick Warren, David Platt, John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah, Johnny Hunt, etc.
- Take note of where the writer is on staff; what church does he serve or in what school does he teach.
- Last and this one is a catch all, if you can’t find out anything about the author and/or preacher then don’t read or listen. There are too many good preachers and writers that you can trust to spend time listening to and reading those of whom you have no knowledge.
Remember, Satan is the master deceiver and he uses people with silver tongues and golden pens as instruments of deceit.
Jesus said in John 8:31b-32 “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Let us be people who desire and seek the TRUTH!