Protecting Yourself

In recent months everyone has heard about the failings of different pastors and church leaders. The newspapers are full of different stories and they all come from a variety of denominations.

It seems that the ‘roaring lion’ has gained some seemingly powerful victories during those months or those people were ruined long ago and their secrets just became known (if true).

2 Peter is a good book to study. While many scholars tend to dismiss it as non-Peter and written by some scribe at a later time, (it isn’t and it wasn’t), the epistle is filled with solid divine teaching. The first chapter alone helps believers take the right steps in protecting themselves with strong words.

Those words are:

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral [h]excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they do not make you useless nor unproductive in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the one who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choice of you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; (NASB)

Here is the road map to spiritual victory, as you can see God’s promise at the end, if you do these few simple things, you shall never stumble.  Then it is obvious that faith does not go it alone.

You can have the greatest faith possible but if you lack knowledge your faith may be aimed at the wrong things. BUT we should point out verse 10. Those words are not to be used to point fingers at someone else and lay blame for their failings.

Instead, the verse is telling the individual believer that they must do these things. The word ‘you’ is used by God and has him telling you directly what you must do to endure this world and leave it with your faith intact.

And it is up to you to examine your life to see if you are following these words of instruction correctly. It is not for someone else to come up to you and say ‘you are not doing this, this and this so you cannot be considered…’ whatever complaint they may have.

This is one of the most important passages in the scriptures. Believers should take this to heart. After they have accepted Jesus as their savior, this should be the passage of scripture they should turn to in order to get direction in their new spiritual lives.

It has been our experience that the majority of new believers turn to the book of Revelation right after their salvation. They want to see where they are going first before implementing the important foundation passages to build their faith on.

They do not need to do that as anyone can read Revelation, even before they are saved, and see what God has in store for everyone. They do not need salvation to do that.

But they do need salvation to build their faith and protect it. Then you will notice that there is no instruction to put your eyes on church leaders. That action will not protect your faith for if you do that, you will be like Peter when he walked on water, taking his eyes off Christ and he began to stumble.

When you put your eyes on Christ, your faith should not be rocked by the many failings of those men and women of God who failed to adhere to those instructions. The act of keeping your eyes on Christ will help find what you are to do when spiritual leaders fall.

Condemnation, judgment, criticism are not going to be a part of your response. Brotherly kindness and love will be there but it will be the right kind of love.

We read those words when we went to 2 Peter to read the words it contains about false prophets. We wanted to read those words because we came across a new person (to us) who claims to follow Jesus yet teaches false doctrines.

If you do not want to fall to her words and jump on her sinful bandwagon, or other false teachers, then you need to heed those instructions found in the 1st chapter of that epistle. Peter’s words in the 2nd chapter warning of false prophets go like this:

But false prophets also appeared among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their indecent behavior, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

We investigated the website of Jory Micah and the articles about her at Protestia did not omit anything and did not lie. We were disturbed by many of the things she said and we quote:

My top mission is to help women shake off the chains of limitation and the shackles of oppression that the Christian Church has wrapped around them in the name of incorrect biblical interpretation and stale religion….

It was there that my fire for women’s rights in the Christian Church began!…

I became “armed and dangerous” with the truth of the Holy Bible and found out that they were misinterpreting scripture

I am a sold-out follower of Christ and I have made it my mission to tell others about His amazing, non-judgmental love, as well as His radical counter-cultural empowerment of women & girls

She may be sold out but not to Christ. These are the type of people you also have to use the words from 2 Peter 1 to protect yourself. They do not bring the truth nor do they know Christ as their Savior.

Church leaders are going to fail from time to time, typical Christian congregation members are going to fall and swerve towards teachings that tickle their ears then they go off and start a ministry teaching the opposite of what both God and Jesus taught.

1 Peter 1 and other passages of the Bible will protect you from such events and keep you from doing the same thing. When we see those quotes, we shake our head as not only we but just about anyone else can see she is misled and deceived.

There is no such thing as ‘rights’ in Christ’s church. There is right and wrong but no rights. Obedience matters to God and you need to obey God by following those words in 1 Peter 1 so that you do not fall and miss heaven like so many others are doing.

Learn from the mistakes of others and implement biblical teaching correctly. That way you can stand up to those who come and mock:

Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers [a]fell asleep, all things continue just as they were from the beginning of creation.”

By following God’s instructions in 2 Peter 1 you can withstand and not be swayed by such talk. Draw strength from these words written by Peter in the same chapter:

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

Build your faith on solid ground so that when attacks come, temptations strut their stuff, and other evil attempts to get you to walk away from Christ, you can stand tall and resist.

Then do not forget the words of Solomon when he wrote many times to go get wisdom and understanding. Those two characteristics will help you when you need to minister to those who may have taken a wrong turn somewhere in their spiritual lives.

Ministering the right way to those that have problems helps restore them to their faith and helps them reach heaven. You need wisdom and understanding to do that.

Protect yourselves by following the right words so that you will never fall.