False doctrines are like a spiritual disease. Without our knowledge, these false ideas can grow within us.
Before leaving them, Jesus had warned his disciples of what would characterize the end times: the seduction of Christians, apostasy, and above all the many spiritual excesses that certain false teachers would bring into the Church. The Bible warns us against doctrines that lead many sheep astray today. Here is a non-exhaustive list of examples of false teaching today.
1. The prosperity gospel (Luke 12:15)
This very popular doctrine in the United States focuses mainly on blessings, wealth, and material possessions. Crudely, churches and ministers advocating the prosperity gospel focus their sermons on finances and don’t hesitate to monetize donations, prayers, and blessings in order to enrich their ministry.
Give them $100 and you’ll see a financial miracle in your account before the end of the month. Give them €5000, and there you will hit the jackpot: God will erase all your debts! Yes, God wants to bless his children and does not rejoice when some struggle to make ends meet or live in poverty. However, this same poverty does not mean that we have missed out on something in our spiritual life, or even worse, that God does not love us.
In this case, what about Christians who live in Third World countries? Are they less good Christians than us? Doesn’t God hear their prayers and their desire to get by?
The reality is that if we study the Word well, God does not call us to live in poverty, but neither does He call us to live in wealth. What God wants is for us to learn to live in contentment and to give thanks for what he makes available to us every day!
The purpose of our life is not to lay up earthly treasures, but heavenly treasures that will last forever! God does not call us to live in poverty, but neither does He call us to live in wealth.
What God wants is for us to learn to live in contentment and to give thanks for what he makes available to us every day! The purpose of our life is not to lay up earthly treasures, but heavenly treasures that will last forever!
God does not call us to live in poverty, but neither does He call us to live in wealth. What God wants is for us to learn to live in contentment and to give thanks for what he makes available to us every day! The purpose of our life is not to lay up earthly treasures, but heavenly treasures that will last forever!
What the Bible says: “ Do not indulge in the love of money; be content with what you have; for God himself said, I will not leave you, nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
2. Positive thinking and personal development
Coming straight from the New Age, it consists in attributing to our thoughts the capacity to create everything that our imagination can wish for. Before you even believe in God, you must believe in yourself and your abilities, because you have the power to accomplish anything.
You just have to look for this force deep within yourself and unleash it! This doctrine is based in particular on the biblical episode where Abraham had to “see” the promised land before obtaining it.
Many ministries today preach a watered-down gospel: they tell you about success, self-fulfillment, potential, and destiny that you and only you are able to unleash, add a few verses taken out of context, and a little touch of Jesus and you are self-sufficient.
But is that really what the Bible says? Not really… By studying the Word, we learn that without God, man can do nothing and that everything we are able to do, we can do through Christ!
Man is nothing without God and all that we are and have is only the fruit of His grace.
What the Bible says: “ I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and in whom I abide bears much fruit, for without me you can do nothing. ” (John 15:5)
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3) The omnipotence of man (Philippians 4:8)
Doesn’t the Bible say we are gods? In any case, that is what this doctrine puts forward: a form of human deity, as Psalm 82:6 says. According to this current, the Christian cannot be subject to illness or weakness. Now, if a man is a God, does he still need to depend on his Creator?
It is extremely dangerous to assert that a Christian cannot be sick or weak. If this doctrine were true, why are some Christians never cured of their disability? Why do others die of cancer and serious illnesses? Even in Christ sickness can reach us.
The truth is that there are things we will never have an explanation for and situations we go through that God allows for a reason. A Christian can die of an illness, even having received all the prayers and laying on the hands of the world. Some may say it was a lack of faith or an evil spirit, but it could also just be God’s will for that person because we know that each of us is called to carry his own cross. Man is not all-powerful. As soon as he comes to Christ, he receives a form of spiritual authority which allows him in particular to fight the enemy and the demons, but that does not make him a superior being.
What the Bible says: “ And that I should not be puffed up, because of the excellence of these revelations, there was put a thorn in my flesh, an angel of Satan to smite me and keep me from being proud. 8 Three times I prayed to the Lord to remove him from me, 9 and he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness. I will therefore boast much more willingly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Wherefore I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in calamities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:1-10)
4. The “Kingdom now” (John 18:36)
This gospel preaches that the kingdom is already there (on the earth) and that we must already reign here below, enjoy great financial and material wealth and experience great success in business.
This doctrine is contrary to the words of Christ who declared that his kingdom was not of this world and who teaches us throughout his ministry that our first home is that which awaits us in New Jerusalem (John 14:2).
What the Bible says: “ Do not lay up treasures for yourselves in the earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break through or steal ” (Matthew 6:19-20).
5. The denial of the deity of Jesus Christ… (Hebrews 1:13)
…and that He is the Son of God. According to certain religious currents, Jesus would be a prophet, a political figure, or a simple man who influenced his time. To answer this question, we recommend that you read our article on the divinity of Jesus.
What the Bible says: “ For in him (Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily ” (Colossians 2:9).
6. Serve with the angels (2 Corinthians 11:4)
According to this doctrine, we would be called to exercise with the angels, to come into contact with them so that they can help us in the ministry. However, the Bible clearly affirms that angels are at the exclusive service of God and submit only to Him.
In other words, they cannot communicate with us unless God has ordered it. Angels are not men. They have very specific missions which are distinct from our ministries. We do not have to try to enter into contact with them and even less to pray to them!
What the Bible says: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who are to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14)
7. The Bibles Revisited (Revelation 22:18-19)
Don’t be surprised to see “gay-friendly” Bibles like the Queen Bible James. Certain influential ministries do not hesitate to rewrite the Bible according to their thinking and their own interpretation. The reason: the Lord would have given them the order. However, we read in the Bible that it is forbidden for any man to modify the text.
What the Bible says: “ I declare to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to it, God will smite him with the plagues described in this book; and if anyone takes away anything from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, described in this book. ” (Revelation 22:18-19).
These 7 false doctrines are only a small selection of all the false teachings that are given today in the churches. There would still be a lot to say, but with this article, we wish to encourage every Christian to be extra vigilant and exercise discernment. Let us learn to know God in the intimacy of prayer and in meditation on the Word. It is then that we will be able to distinguish between what truly comes from Him and what is corrupt!