Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Have we been truly Liberated?

2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.

Today all of us want to make our own mistakes and make them we do! We think we have become enlightened about moral issues and refuse to follow principles that are good for society and that can be found in any decent legal system. The principles that have stood the test of time are usually found in the Bible and the younger generation doesn’t read that old book anymore, and the older generation has done their best to reinterpret it so that the younger generation is not offended. After all we are an enlightened liberated society. OR ARE WE?

False Teachers In this passage, Peter tells us false teachers will exist in the church just as false prophets existed in Israel. They will teach destructive heresies. That is they will divide people with their departure from orthodox established Biblical truth. They will be covetous. Because of them, unbelievers will take a dim view of Biblical truth. Many will follow them. Why do people follow them? I think verse 19 answers that. They promise liberty. Is that what results from their teaching? I don’t think so.

Anarchy and its Results Many false teachers maintain that any restraints or limits placed on our actions are restrictions of our liberty. We keep hearing about victimless crimes and of the right to live our own lives and the right to defend our own rights. All of us have fought with unreasonable restrictions in our lives; but where there is no respect for authority, there is anarchy. Anarchy, where there is no recognized governmental authority, creates confusion and disorder. Everyone has to fear everyone rather than just fearing an established governmental order. Where there is anarchy, there certainly is not liberty.

While all of us would like the liberty to make our own decisions, we all need guidance in making those decisions. When those decisions are made by listening to teachers that are telling us to do things that will bring us into bondage, we are certainly not getting liberated. Just talk to the person who was convinced to start smoking or the person who was convinced to try addictive drugs if their freedom brought them true liberty. Talk to the teenage single mom who was convinced that old fashioned standards of morality were too restrictive. Having a child without a wedding and without a father willing to take responsibility for the child is anything but liberating for the mother.

However, while false teachers may convince our young people that old fashioned standards of morality are too restrictive and that they need the liberty to make their own mistakes, the real problem is that false teachers deny accountability to the living God who made them. False teachers may look successful, may have published books, may have gone to well-known seminaries, but when they deny the Lord that bought them (chapter 2 verse 1), they are certainly not liberated themselves nor are they liberating their listeners.

What is True Liberty? When people talk about freedom, they forget that everyone serves someone or something. Freedom is simply the ability to decide who we are going to serve. When the original colonies won the American Revolutionary War, they no longer had to serve England. But the colonies did set up a new constitution and a new government and those living in the new United States had the freedom to serve the new government. They did not have the freedom to serve no government. The US was free from England but those living in the US were not free to do as they pleased.

False teachers convince people that true freedom will involve throwing off Biblical teaching and the restraints that go with it. But these teachers are themselves slaves of corruption. They are not free. Those who listen to them will become like them and will be enslaved by that which ultimately destroys. The scary thing is that many of those who are teaching these enslaving divisive doctrines are religious teachers within the church.

The Options I am glad that we live in a country that does not demand that we worship a certain God a certain way. That is one important freedom that we have in this country. However, because of that freedom, we each have to decide whether to worship the god of self-centered pleasure and so-called liberty or whether to “repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15).”

In this country, we can believe whom we want to believe. I believe God. That has given me the liberty to serve a new master. That master is the Lord Jesus Christ. I have found His yoke to be easy and His burden to be light (Matthew 11:30)

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of June 29, 2014

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