“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1)
It is a scary thought in our minds of the possibility of losing our salvation. Many claim this can not happen and give hundreds of theological verses to back up the point, others try and prove it by claiming just as much scriptural support but bending the scriptures to prove their point.
Now I am not fully arguing that one can lose his salvation as a dogmatic theology or belief. But I do agree with the Apostle Paul and what the Bible says and clearly there are verses that share in some circumstances it is possible that some will walk away from the faith that was given to them.
Does this mean that they will only lose their rewards as Pual alludes to when he shares from the spirit:
” If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” (1 Corinthians 3:14-15)
Either way there must be a holy fear catered in our hearts that we would walk in a way contrary to the Gospel and follow our own ways or even worse yet the way of demons!
In one of the most famous printed Christian books outside the bible, John Bunyan in Pilgrims Progress shares about a narrow way that pilgrim walks on towards the celestial city.
Yet throughout the book there are warnings of going off the narrow way which was clearly marked as a path that pilgrim knew to follow. At times pilgrim would veer off the path and God would give him a clear warning at times of the destruction of others who went that way, so this holy fear therefore built within Pilgrim a renewed desire to stay on the narrow way (Matthew 7:14).
So from this I gather simply that we must have a holy fear of falling away from the living God (Hebrews 3:12) and not to depart to the world as demas did (2 Timothy 4:10). Even if our salvation is not at stake there are enough witnesses in the word of God of God’s severity towards leaving His ways.
In the “Later times” of which many of us believe we are in there comes this clear warning from Gods Scriptures “some will abandon the faith.”
We must believe that in the end times of the earth even those of us who have renewed minds and hearts in the Lord Jesus will still not be prone from deception and being carried away by the events that will happen. Our Lord told His disciples on earth:
“Watch out that no one deceives you…” (Matthew 24:4)
And if our Lord was aware of the possibility of deception we should be all the more aware of this in our day and be on guard. In my own walk with the Lord there have been times when I was so convinced of a doctrinal position or I saw a situation only from one persecutive, later to find out simply that what I believed was not true really and that I needed to repent and look at things the way God sees them.
It is wonderful when God deals with this stream of pride in our heart for pride is the great blinding effect upon the discerning abilities of the man of God. Pride can not only result in our actions being un-Christlike but also it will lead us down a route of deception and error.
It should concern us all that there will be false teachers in these last times that are actually inspired by Satan himself and his demonic minions. Some people hold doctrines that came from demons and sadly some in the end times will believe these messages. These “doctrines” will bring great harm to the cause of Christ to even as the bible says cause some to “abandon the faith.”
This does not mean they will stop going to church or stop confessing to be a Christian rather worse they will believe things that will disqualify them from heaven and the life of Christ in them but still holding to all the exteriors of a religious profession. One of the puritans exclaimed this truth in his day that of all the roads that go to hell the saddest is the road that goes right under the pulpit. This should bring great sobriety and concern in our hearts not to believe every message preached but to compare what we here with church history and namely the simple biblical interpretation of Scripture. We must realize that there were many false gospels preached in the apostles days and there are many false gospels being preached today.
But what could these “things taught by demons” actually look like? How would we know we are under such a ministry, teaching or preacher?
When I look at the New Testament as a whole and see the tenor of teachings that relate to the faith of the Gospel, I see that the truth is shared over and over that the Gospel will result in us living different then we were before.
This is important to see that the message of salvation in Jesus Christ will make you a holy person and there will be a marked difference in your life as you progress in this faith. A salvation that does not make men holy is a doctrine of demons and we must beware of such doctrines. George Whitefield the famous open air preacher of the Great Awakening stated on this subject:
“It is an undoubted truth that every doctrine that comes from God leads to God; and that which doth not tend to promote holiness is not of God.”
So our concern should be that in these End Times we are not following ministries and teachers who are tickling our ears but not progressing us into maturity in the Faith of Jesus Christ. May we not follow any false Gospels that do not lead towards the walk of Discipleship and growth into the likeness of Jesus Christ (1 John 2:5).
For such a gospel then is a false gospel. May we realize the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a Gospel of Love yet this love when understood fully in our lives will lead us to grow in His character and ways by His grace.
We end this topic with a quote from Catherine Booth in her book “Popular Christianity” who speaks of this false gospel and her dismay of many that follow in its deception:
“Alas, many false, delusive, disappointing christs; so I have to show that there are many make-believe, mock salvations, which only deceive, disappoint, and damn those who trust in them. As I walk about the world, and as I look at professing Christians, my soul cries: O God, make haste to help us raise up a holy people, in order to show the world what salvation really means, for they do not know. They are utterly befogged and bewildered, and I do not wonder.”