Have you ever considered whether or not you (not someone else) could have a belief system that is not The Truth? Unfortunately, we all have, and most likely currently have, false ideas concerning God and how a relationship with Him works. That is why the more you understand the teachings of the Bible, based on the literal interpretation of Scripture, the more readily you can identify the lies within your own thinking. You can also more readily identify false teaching when it is presented to you.
Without knowing the foundational truths of THE FAITH, and relying on the Spirit of Truth to lead you into truth, one can easily be turned from THE FAITH by a false apostle (John 14:16-17). False apostles are individuals who claim to be ministers of God, and look like they are! But instead, they are “deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:13-15). These individuals will speak about the righteousness of God and encourage people of THE FAITH to do “good things”. However, notice what their destiny is. They will be judged according to their works (works of the Law). This speaks of the judgment in Revelation 20:11-15. Those at this judgment, will be cast into “the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).
If you are a born again Christian, your name is in the Book of Life (Rev. 20:12,15). A believer of The Faith is granted eternal life not according to their works/”deeds of the Law”, because no one can be justified by “the deeds of the Law ” (Rom. 3:20). Justification (salvation/redemption) is based upon your works of faith (James 2:20-26). FAITH in the Redeemer (Jesus) to save you from your sins and make you right with your Creator is what God requires to accredit righteousness to your account in heaven (so to speak) and has nothing to do with your own personal righteousness. Works of Faith is what God is looking for! If one is saved/ born again spiritually, God has already judged a Christian as being “not-guilty” due to their FAITH in Jesus Christ’s death as the payment for their sins. Their sins have already been judged at Calvary on The Cross. Salvation, justification and being righteous has always been, and always will be, by this FAITH (what you are relying, trusting and depending on) and GRACE (unmerited favor) alone. Yes, Christians will be judged, but not for their sins (Rom. 14:10). It will be a rewards ceremony. Everyone “invited” has already won eternal life! The “Judgment Seat of Christ” will be the granting of rewards to “the redeemed” based on how well they have cooperated with the grace of God and walked according to His Spirit, not relying on their flesh (own strengths, abilities, intellect, willpower, etc.) (Rom. 8:1-8). Those justified will be rewarded for their works of faith and the work they have done to bring others the good news about Jesus Christ.
The false apostles spoken of in 2 Corinthians, are living very religious lives. They are moral and religious people who are deceived about the real Truth. Their doctrine will lead to the same place they are headed, the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).
So how can anyone know if they believe the True Gospel that Jesus proclaimed in the Bible? First, you must realize that every “church” and “minister” does not preach The Gospel. You can do your own research to figure out how many different belief sytems, denominations, and “flavors” of Christianity there are. But, it is safe to say that there are thousands. This does not mean that only one is right, and all the rest are wrong. It does show us however, that the enemy of our Faith, the Devil, has been very successful in confusing humanity about what Christianity is. It should make us all aware that there are a lot of “gospels” being proclaimed. Understanding the reason for the “Story of the Bible” is the key to interpreting it. Not some “secret key”, but one that is often overlooked and can get lost in our study for The Way, The Truth and The Life. The Story of the Bible is the story of how God has made A Way for all of humanity to escape the penalty and power of sin, by which the Devil can hold us captive. This is the reason for the Story of the Bible.
Have you ever met a false apostle? If you have been saved more than a short time, you have. You may not have known it though. If you have been saved a long period of time and have never identified anyone as a false apostle or teacher, you may want to explore how naive you are concerning The Truth. Most believe that they know the truth about God and how a relationship with Him works. But unfortunately, much of the time, our knowledge and beliefs are solely based on what we have heard, and not on what God has revealed about Himself in the Scriptures. If what we have heard is The Truth, then we are o.k. But if what we have heard is a lie, mixed with some truth, then we are in trouble! Truth mixed with a lie equals a lie. False apostles teach false doctrine “riding on the back of truth”. They read and teach from the Bible. That is why it is the Devil’s best tactic. They don’t tell you to renounce Christ. Instead, they encourage you to serve Christ, but NOT HIS WAY. A way that is similiar, loaded down with misunderstood and misinterpreted Scriptures, leading to destruction. That is why every Believer needs to know The Truth! Others, not basing their Faith on the word of God, have by their own reasoning, come to believe their own devised conclusions about God. This is the way they manufacture a “god” to be to their own liking. They make assumptions and use the things and examples from this world as the foundation of their faith.
No one naturally gravitates to The Truth. I know that isn’t popular to say, but Romans chapters 1-3 informs us that all of mankind, left to our own reasoning and devising will never come to the right conclusions about God and how a relationship with Him works. The Gentiles without the Law never did (chapter 1). And the Jews, with the Law, didn’t either (chapter 2)! Of course, there has always been “a remnant” (the few) that have been saved throughout all of time (Rom. 9:27,29). But most, EVEN WITH a knowledge of God, will establish their own way of thinking concerning God and how He works, and what is required for His acceptance. This describes the way humanity establishes it’s own way of righteousness. And every “way” we establish is a form of “law”.It is some form of a “checks and balances” system. A system based on us doing something in order to receive something from God. This type of system is how we operate in the natural world. And there is nothing wrong with that. The problem comes when you practice that same system within God’s Divine Design for redemption. We are not to practice this mindset (law-like thinking) for initial redemption, or to receive the continued benefits of that redemption. That is not the way our redemption works. “But now the righteousness of God without the Law is manifested , being witnessed by the Law and prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them who Believe” (Rom. 3:21-22).
The Bible explains how God has made A Way for mankind to be in right relationship with Him. God’s Divine Design for redemption was thorough and complete (2 Pet. 1:3-4). He made A Way for us to be forgiven of the things we have done that were not right (sins). He also made A Way where the power of sin no longer has to control any area of our lives. No Believer will ever be sinlessly perfect, but God has made A Way that the sin nature will no longer dominate our daily lives (Rom. 6:14). All the information that we need to have joy, peace and victory over sin and the Devil is found in the Bible. You don’t have to purchase the latest fad in the “Christian” bookstore. But, you can find the explanation of the New Covenant right here on this website. It can be your information station to understand the foundation of God’s redemption plan. I hope it ignites the life and “fire” of God within your heart that will shine bright for those around you to see!