Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Deception and Evil and Impostors

But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:13-17)

 

Truth is in Short Supply Today!

Christians believe that the Bible is divinely inspired.  But wait, some of them don’t.  Christians believe that Israel is to be protected and defended and all costs because they were given special promises in the Old Testament.  But wait, some of them don’t.  Christians believe that you can know for sure that you are going to heaven.  But wait, some of them don’t.  Christians believe that they should be actively involved in politics.  But wait, some of them don’t.  Christians believe that abortion is wrong.  But wait, some of them don’t.  Christians believe that the practice of homosexuality and intimate relationships outside the marriage bond is wrong.  But wait, some of them don’t.  So what are we to believe today? 

 

Truth is not Relative

Many people believe that truth is relative and that it depends upon circumstances.  They say you must find your own truth and I must find mine.  Now we can find our own beliefs and opinions but saying that we can find our own truth is another way Satan deceives. It makes each person his or her own god who defines truth.  But truth is always based on verifiable fact.  And it is true that as a Christian I believe the Bible is true based on internal validity checks.  If the Bible accurately describes me and my heart, if it accurately tells us about the Lord’s first coming, if it gives us good principles for living, then I am willing to accept the Bible as bedrock Truth.  However, before questioning the veracity of the Bible, a person should know what the Bible says and how to interpret it.   AND MOST PEOPLE INCLUDING CHRISTIANS DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY SAYS.  What they know is what someone has told them the Bible says. 

 

For years the formal church kept the Bible from its congregants.  When I was young and the Gideons gave out Bibles in our elementary school, some children could not read them but had to take them home and put them away somewhere.  They were told that only someone trained to read the Bible could properly interpret it.  Some churches believe that church doctrine is more important than Bible doctrine.  Unfortunately, the protestant churches who at one time renounced the idea that only a properly educated person could interpret the Bible have now gone down the road of professionalism in understanding the Bible.  If one does not have a seminary degree, one cannot teach in most churches.  Unfortunately, many seminaries are teaching people to accept a clergy system that the Bible condemns. They are producing a professional paid clergy that tells people what to believe.  Most preachers have produced book after book.  One preacher that I recently read about had produced and published 70 books.  Now I submit to you that God only produced 66 books and he combined that into two volumes.  What preacher has 70 books in him?  Devotionals books and books on customs and language are needed and helpful.  But what is most helpful is getting alone with God and prayerfully reading the actual manuscripts in perhaps several versions.    Most people, who have been convinced that the Bible is based on verifiable fact, still do not know what the Bible says.  They have read the 70 books and have neglected the 66.

 

Discerning People

If evil men and impostors (some versions say seducers and others say those who pretend to be something that they are not), wax worse and worse, how are we to know them?  A little common sense helps.  But we cannot recognize a counterfeit unless we have studied the real deal.  Study it.  Please.  That will keep us from following those who lie, who cheat, and who bully whether they are leaders in the religious world or in the secular world.  We need to be following or imitating those who are good and not those who are evil  This was true in the apostle John’s day and it is true now (see 3 John 1:11)..  We need to be identified with the truth in our practical lives if we are going to be able to convince others that we have the truth in our spiritual lives.  And I want people to believe me when I tell them that there is only one way to heaven and that is through faith in Christ who says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6).”  How will someone I love believe that I am telling them the truth about eternity if I practice and justify lies and liars in my personal life?

 

A Different Bible

I have spent many years reading and studying the Bible.  I read helpful authors but mostly I read the Bible.  I believe that if we are really saved (born of the spirit), then with the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can understand the basic message.  We do need a good concordance, a good dictionary, some helps with customs and history and some maps.  But mostly we need to read the Bible.  We need to compare Scripture with Scripture.  We need to understand that the Old Testament was written for us and the New Testament was written to those of us who are alive today.  

 

I am a wee bit confused as to what Bible many Christians are reading today because it is not the Bible that I am reading.  We can all be wrong but we cannot all be right in our understanding of the Bible.  And I for one would like to be right.  I do not want to be deceived and I don’t want to deceive anyone.  I want to preach with the authority of "Thus says the Lord."  Whether that truth is accepted or not, I still want people to know that what I am preaching is the actual bedrock message of the Bible.

 

Bruce Collins

 

Meditation for the week of May 20, 2018

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