Hazardous Waste

Hazardous WasteHazardous waste is usually something infectious that poses a hazard to human health. We try to eliminate it in various ways.

It’s time for true Christians to begin to classify false doctrine under a similar label.

And—do everything possible to rid themselves and their congregations of it’s contagion. Waste of the nature that usually goes under that title is bad; but false doctrine is worse. It can damn people to hell and ruin the lives of genuine believers. We make every effort to rid our hospitals, our cities, our homes of such waste. How much effort do we make to eliminate doctrinal waste?

People consider a civil duty to rid the country of hazardous waste; too many Christians have a very different idea about doctrinal waste—they think it ignoble to clear out such doctrinal trash—even though it is far more harmful.

It’s time for a drive in churches to eliminate every book, pamphlet, video, internet, DVD, or other hazardous doctrinal product from their homes, their churches and their bookstores.

Do you agree?

Well, then, where will you begin?Waste

Don’t Lose It!

Christian, did you know that you can lose your reward in heaven?

I didn’t say that you could lose your place in heaven: once a person is saved by Jesus Christ that is assured. But the reward, presumably the amount and/or the sort of reward it may be, can be decimated according to John the apostle:

Watch yourselves so that you don’t lose what we have worked for, but you may receive a full reward. (2 John 8, HCSB).

What was he talking about? False teachers were in the vicinity in which the recipient of the letter lived. They were seeking lodging while they propagated their false doctrines. John warns her not to receive them into her home lest she become guilty of assisting the propagation of error. To even give them an encouraging greeting was wrong (vv. 10,11). To do so is to “share in [their] evil works” (v.11).

Christians have not always adhered to these commands. They have bought and even distributed materials purporting to be Christian (without recognizing their falsity), they have literally opened their doors to Jehovah’s witnesses (while the latter held a convention in their city—I know personally of such a case), they have placed their books in waiting rooms, etc.

And, of course, there is always the possibility of one who thinks he is a believer because he attends a Christian church (but really isn’t) becoming influenced to “go beyond” what he has been taught by accepting false, damning beliefs, by such close associations (cf. v.9). To do so, is evidence that one never belonged to the truth after all.

So, keep away from false teachers because the effect upon yourself and upon others you may be trying to bring to Christ—recognize the danger of not heeding John’s words. Are you supporting the propagating of error in some way?

Look Out for the Unstable

When teachers continually change their views—certain, at last they have found correct ones (until the next ones)—you’re advised by Peter to watch out!

Here is what he wrote (speaking of how such people handle Paul’s writings):

The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction as they do with the rest of the Scriptures    (2 Peter 3:16, HCSB)

There are two crucial words in this sentence: “untaught” and “unstable.”

The unstable are frequently also the untaught. They launch out on their own, unaware of the difficulties involved in accurate teaching, to set others straight—even when their own views are far from correct. The obvious indication of a person like this is his instability. He is always changing his views at each juncture, as one such counselor does, publicly exclaiming to all and sundry “At last I’ve found the truth” (or words to that effect)!    Watch out for people like this!

The Test

There are so many “false prophets” in the church today that unless one knows (and applies) the biblical test for determining who is (is not) one of them, he is quite likely to be deceived by their teaching. What is the test?

In 1 John 4 we find it plainly spelled out—yet wrongly understood. The apostle wrote

Test the spirits to see whether they are from God .  .  . This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.

So, many go ahead and try to determine whether or not a group is Christian by asking whether they believe Jesus came in the flesh which (of course) is the wrong approach. By that test Romanism is a true religion!

“Wrong? How could that be wrong? Isn’t that the test John just set forth?”

No. It isn’t.  The flesh test is for Gnosticism and similar errors. These people denied the physical existence of Christ’s body—claimed it was a phantom.

“Well, then, what is the test?”

It is found later in the passage:

. . . whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

The first test is the specific application of the general test to a particular heresy (Gnosticism), of which the latter (v. 6)  is the general test that applies to every heresy.  The test is, then


Today, that means, whether they agree with the apostolic Word (in the Bible) on any given issue. When the apostolic Word is applied to Gnosticism this doctrine is proven false (see John 1:14;  1 John 1: 1,2).

Not Worth a Plugged Nickel

“I’ve heard that expression before. Have you got any idea what’s behind it?”



Well, in the old days—when money meant something—part of a coin was hollowed out and some less valuable material was “plugged” into the space.

“Oh. Then the coin wasn’t worth as much, and the person who scooped out the real stuff was all the richer.”

Yep. You got it.

“But it means something else when we use the expression today, I gather.”

Sure. If something is worthless, we say that it “isn’t worth a plugged nickel,” meaning that it’s really worthless, since it’s not even as valuable as something that’s valueless.


But, we could take it a step further—we could use the expression as an example of something that isn’t of any value because it has been adulterated.

“Hmmm. . . . Like someone tainting a biblical doctrine with some falsehood?”

Exactly. When you stuff the shell of a biblical teaching with unbiblical, eclectic, or otherwise valueless materials, it falsifies the teaching. . .

“And there’s a lot of that going on today?”

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Why would anyone write and ask me to do a blog on apostates? But she did, and so I guess I should say a word or two. We know about such people from 1 John. They went out from us that it might be made known that they were not of us, John tells us. So, there you have one test. John also looks at their doctrine—if they refuse to say that Jesus came in the flesh, reject them; if they confess it—accept them. That had to do with one particular heresy of the time. It’s not a general test, but a highly specific one. The specific test was if they agreed – or didn’t with the apostles. You can check out the verses for yourself—wouldn’t hurt you to study 1 John on the subject. (Also check out Deut. 13).

An apostate is one who once claimed to adhere to the truth, then turned his back on it and walked away. Or, perhaps, did all he could to destroy it. You don’t hang around with such people lest you become corrupted (1 Corinthians 15:33). Of course, if it’s a husband or wife, you’ll need to do all you should in your role as such, but you’ll need your church’s help. Otherwise, you’ll have a very hard time of it.

Of course you want to win apostates to Christ, if possible—but you simply must heed the warning in 1 Corinthians as well.


Another Warning . . .

From the apostle Peter.

Yesterday’s blog noted a warning that Peter gave during his Pentecostal sermon. It was timely and instructive. Some believed—and, as a result—escaped the judgment in which 3 million people were killed and countless numbers sent into slavery. Of course, the vast majority of unbelievers failed to pay attention.

But today, I’d like to consider another warning that Peter gave—this time to a church (or group of churches; we’re just not sure from his wording). Clearly, though, it was to believers meeting together as a congregation (or congregations). I am referring to his entire letter, usually titled, 2 Peter.

Again, and again, using the future tense, Peter warns his readers that false teachers who scorn the truth, and lead people astray, were on the horizon. If the church was not careful, they would be adversely affected by them. His words were timely, and they were explicit. There was no reason for any reader to mistake their intent.

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