Pastor Jerry Donovan
Peter warns the early church and us to beware of the false doctrines proclaimed by false teachers. He writes in 2 Peter: “2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Even so, many will follow their licentious ways, and because of these teachers the way of truth will be maligned. 3And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced against them long ago, has not been idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”
Peter’s main concern is false teachers who are unholy and communicate heresy. Separating themselves from apostolic doctrine concerning Christ, they preach their own private interpretations, misinterpreting doctrines about the second coming and the ultimate authority of Christ over us. But as deceivers, they teach as though they have received spiritual authority from the twelve Apostles.
Today a major example of this are the advocates of the prosperity gospel. Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans. They believe that if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity to them. This doctrine stresses the importance of personal empowerment. This is a collection of beliefs, actions and skills all working together to help them live a life that they design, as well as offering that it is God’s will for his people to be blessed. The reconciliation with God includes the relief from sickness and poverty, which are viewed as curses and broken by faith. This is believed to be achieved through donations of money, visions, and positive confession.
The prosperity teaching figured prominently in the 1980’s televangelism movement. In the 1990’s and 2000’s, it was adopted by influential leaders in the Pentecostal and charismatic movements in the United States and continues to be spread around the world.
Unfortunately, too many Christians expect Jesus to serve them like a rich uncle or Santa Clause. I Guarantee you that God’s will is not for Jesus to serve you.
Paul writes to the Ephesians in chapter 5: 15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
The big question becomes, “How do we know God’s will?” The last three chapters of Ephesians comprise a textbook of sorts of how we ought to conduct our lives. Learning more of how we are to live the Christian life answers the question of what God’s will is on a daily basis. Here, being wise means that we organize our lives around the things we ought to be doing, which is the will of God for our lives.
If you are looking for a place to believe in the Word, to belong and have fellowship with other believers, as well as being useful by answering God’s call, please join us for our Sunday Morning Worship Service: at:
10:30 am CDT at First United Methodist Church of Van Horn, 207 W 4th St., PO Box 67, Van Horn TX 79855; or at
11:15 am MDT First United Methodist Church of Sierra Blanca, Highway 1111 by the Railroad tracks, Sierra Blanca, Texas.