Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 1 Timothy 4:1
Three things jump to the forefront of my mind when I reflect on the difficulty of sharing the Gospel.
1) Dark periods in Church history which critics of the Christian faith won’t let us forget.
2) The branding of the Bible as irrelevant and in conflict with today’s human rights.
3) Pastors who have led congregations astray from biblical principles – even breaking the laws of their land – and have in so doing, attracted international publicity.
Progress over the centuries, especially the last few decades, has allowed for the average person to become more educated and able to reason. With the Internet, you can find information to argue for or against any belief or fact in the world. The Word of God and the Church are included in that long list of controversial, debatable topics.
In this Age of Information, we as Christians must be able to defend what we believe to be true. But for us to do so we need to know the Truth of God’s Word, and for the sake of our integrity, which the ungodly scrutinises with a microscope, we need to live out what we believe.
Acts 2:42 tells us that in the 1st Century Church, “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer“. Some of the difficulties associated with sharing the Gospel with others, such as the three mentioned before, become less challenging when we as Christians know how to “correctly explains the word of truth“. (2 Timothy 2:15).
There are persons out there saying that “the Holy Spirit instructed me to do this”, and yet what they do is contrary to the Word of God. In 2014, a married Nigerian pastor impregnated more than 20 women and girls of his congregation, including his wife’s young niece, claiming that the Holy Spirit told him to have sex with them. He was arrested for sexual abuse.
I’m certain many more outlandish stories have caught your attention as well.
Let us approach the study of God’s Word with diligence and discipline. It is the only way we can help to prevent others – even ourselves – from being led astray by false doctrines which will pull many away in the last days.