I'm sure many of you grew up with parents who made a mark on the wall by the door to indicate your height as you grew year after year. If our Heavenly Father were to do that, would some of us be shorter instead of taller, more immature instead of more mature? Or would we stand taller than ever? As Christians, we need to grow. We need to grow.
In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus tells us "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
The second step in the Great Commission is discipleship. I believe that a true Biblical church is right on discipleship. We must spread the Gospel message to others. We need to understand that. Church is not just so we have a place to gather, fellowship, eat and go home. Obviously, that is all a part of it, but there's more we are expected by our Lord to do. And, that's spread the Good News. The preaching of the Apostles confirms it. The belief of people all through human history confirms that, as well.
Let us bow our heads in prayer.
First, the Apostle Paul begins by stating that authority for his statement about this false teaching is the Holy Spirit, "But the Spirit explicitly says." The expression "the spirit says" is like saying "the scripture says." Here, Paul claims explicit divine authorization for his denunciation of these false teachers.
Secondly the timing is expressly stated as "in the latter times." I'd like you to understand, that this is not necessarily a reference to "the Last Days" but likely to some time after it was written. Like many Bible prophecies, it will have a near fulfillment, as well as a later fulfillment, which will happen a number of times throughout Church history.Thirdly, Paul deals with the causes of this false teaching. John Stott in his commentary outlines three causes of this false teaching. The causes of this error are three-fold. First, we are told that it is diabolical in it source. Those who introduce a contrived holiness, asceticism, are acting under the instigation of Satan. Behind the false teachers is the activity of demonic forces.
the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Now and forever, in Jesus' name