Anyone managing people knows that it’s not an easy thing to do well. I had the blessing of managing for 27 years of my life, although I did not always see it as a blessing at times. God taught me much over those years about myself and about others. Most of the people did their job. Typically a small percentage caused the problem. Left unchecked a few bad apples can spoil the whole bushel.
The Lord used Moses to lead the people out of Egypt. They had an eleven day journey to enter the Promised Land. They sent twelve spies to scout out the land. The scouts reported that it had an abundance of food. There was only one problem. Giants lived there (Num. 13:33). Ten of the scouts convinced over two million people to disobey God and they refused to enter into the land.
Two Good Apples
Joshua and Caleb tried to convince the people to enter the Promised land. The congregation turned on them and wanted to put them to death. Why? They gave a good report and knew that the Lord was with them (Num. 14:9). It’s not always easy to follow the Lord faithfully. A few bad apples convinced over two million to act unfaithfully. An eleven day journey turned into 40 years!
The Church is no Different
The Bibles says, “Do not be deceived, evil company corrupts bad habits” (I Cor. 15:33). False teaching had influenced the Corinthian church concerning the resurrection. A bad teacher convinced some of them that there was no resurrection (I Cor. 15:12). False teachers can be very deceptive and influential. They will lead you away from the truth and from obeying the Lord.
how should you protect yourself from such leaders and teaching?
1. Realize that there will be false teachers in the church. The apostle Paul warned the church at Thessalonica, “…savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29). Their motivation is not to glorify God but themselves; “…among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:30).
2. They get the gospel wrong. They teach that the performance of good works, the promise of good works, or the evidence of good works must accompany faith in Christ to prove that such faith has resulted in eternal life. For them it is Jesus plus something equals salvation.
3. Know the word of God. Become a Berean. They searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether the things the apostle Paul taught were correct (Acts 17:11).
4. Realize that a college/seminary education doesn’t make one right. Peter and John were uneducated and untrained men, but they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).
5. Understand that in God’s kingdom the majority opinion doesn’t rule. The word of God sets the standard. Joshua and Caleb acted faithfully. The other ten had the majority vote but it was wrong.
6. Truth triumphs over feelings and experience. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:31, 32). Feelings and experience are fleeting, but the truth of God’s word endures forever (Is. 40:8).
7. Last of all learn to know what a good Biblical leader looks like. They teach the Bible in a historical grammatical way. They are examples to the flock in life and in doctrine (I Peter 5:1-3; I Tim 3:1-15).
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