Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Are they or Aren’t They?
 
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:12-15 NKJV)
 
Christians Have Two Problems Today!
 
In my opinion, confusion abounds in the Christian community. You can take any of our current problems in society and there will be a so-called Christian expert on both sides of the issue.  They will use the Bible to support their positions.  And the world watches and wonders what Christianity is all about.  
 
The real problem, however, is that Satan has Christians talking about things that keep us from talking about the things we should be talking about.  We should be talking about the sin that we have in our own lives and the Savior who loves us in spite of our sin.  Politics and political leaders will never solve our problems because when they solve one problem, their solution tends to give us ten more problems.
 
I believe that one reason for the confusion is that Satan is sowing tares among the wheat.  There are a lot of religious people that look like Christians and who say they are Christians who have never been born again.  Satan is using them to keep the unsaved from understanding that the Gospel they are seeing played out in the public sphere is anything but the Gospel or Good News that the Lord and the apostles preached. They don’t see those who are real and who demonstrate the love of God. Thank God there are many of those.  
 
Another reason for confusion is that true Christians are following those who were once faithful but who have “lost their first love.”   We end up following back slidden leaders.
 
False prophets and False teachers
 
We could list a lot of Biblical examples of false apostles and teachers.  I would list Balaam as one. He knew the truth and even prophesied from divine inspiration.  But he used his influence to defeat the children of Israel because of his love for money and power.  We could mention Diotrephes (3rd John),  Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1 Timothy 1.  All of the New Testament writers warn us to be careful as to whom we believe and as to whom we follow and support.  
 
Back Sliders
 
I personally believe Saul was a backslidden believer.  He was weak and feared men rather than God.  One reason I believe that is because God gave him a new heart after he had been anointed by Samuel to be the first king.  But the real reason I believe Saul was really a true worshiper was because when the witch of Endor called up Samuel, I believe she got the real deal instead of the sham visions she usually had.  And all that Samuel told Saul came to pass.  One thing he told Saul was, “Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines. And tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines (1 Samuel 28:19 NKJV).”  Where was Samuel when he was called up?  I believe he was where the Old Testament believing Saints went, which was a place of rest.  Saul and his sons (which included Jonathan who was an obvious believer), were all going to be with Samuel just like the thief on the cross was going to be with the Lord in paradise when he died.
 
The lesson here is that true believers in the one true God can still cause a lot of trouble when they make self-willed decisions instead of trusting the Lord when the battle with Satan and the flesh is engaged. Saul had problems with Amalek and Amalek represents the flesh or our self-willed decisions.  I believe a lot of us are following Saul’s today.
 
I believe Solomon started well but ended up backsliding.  We read, “For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David (1 Kings 11:4 NKJV).”
 
Solomon was obviously “saved” in the New Testament sense when he was relatively young.  But as he got older his pagan wives turned his heart away from loyalty to the Lord.  He built pagan temples on the Mount of Olives.  I believe he was restored to the Lord late in life because of things he writes in the book of Ecclesiastes.  For example, he says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments.  For this is man’s all.  For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil  (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NKJV).”  However, decisions he made while in a backslidden condition caused the Kingdom to be divided.
 
My Concern
 
Do we discern the false apostles today or do we follow them because they appear to be successful and because they tell us what we want to hear?  Are we following  backslidden leaders today?  Many who were once faithful have turned away from the Lord when they got “older and wiser.”  Whom we follow makes a great difference when it comes to preaching the good news of the Gospel.  
 
Let us pray for discernment.  And let us pray that we are not among those who are weakening the testimony of the Gospel, either by failing to really believe God when He tells us we need to be born again, or by living in a backslidden condition.  We need to be part of the solution to all of this confusion and not part of the problem.
 
Bruce Collins
 
Meditation for the week of June 26, 2022
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