Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3536

Jump Start # 3536

  Galatians 1:6 “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel”

  Paul was amazed. He was amazed at two things the Galatians brethren were doing. And, what they were doing was not good. First, he was amazed that they were leaving the message that Paul had preached to them. They were moving to a “different gospel,” which he later calls a distorted or perverted gospel. How could they do that?

  But the second thing that amazed Paul was how quickly this was taking place. This wasn’t two or three generations later, like we read at the beginning of Judges, after Joshua’s generation died. There, about two generations later, Israel was bowing down to idols. But, that’s not the Galatian story. Paul is amazed at how QUICKLY or how soon all of this was taking place.

  Just about every N.T. book, other than Philemon, addresses the topic of error and false teaching. The slippery slope that some slide down can happen so quickly that they do not even realize it.

  But the question needs to be asked, not for our times, but for Paul’s time, why were some deserting the Gospel so quickly after they had received it? There were likely many people still around that had seen Jesus. Remember, after His resurrection, He was seen by five hundred at one time. So, we are not centuries away from the time of Jesus. Maybe thirty years. Thirty years isn’t very long. For us, it’s just the 1990s. We have folks today that remember the moon landing or the assassination of JFK. Thirty some  years is not very long.

 The time between when Paul first went to the Galatian region, on his first journey and the writing of the letter to the Galatians, would be about ten years. Ten years is really a short length in time. In our time frame, it’s 2014, seems like yesterday. How could some leave the message of Jesus that soon after they first heard it and believed it?

  First, there is always a curious fascination with the odd, the unusual, the different, the newly discovered. And, often that’s the package that error comes in. It’s a different way of looking at things, some will say. It’s something that no one else has ever seen. And, that’s all that needs to be said for some to sign up for that new gospel.

  For the Galatians, there was a strong Jewish push to demand circumcision for the Gentiles. Some had one foot in the Gospel, while their other foot remained in the Old Testament. And, in our times, it’s one foot in the Gospel and the other foot in the world or in denominationalism. Rather than leaving one for the other, some try to find a way to force a merger or a marriage between the two. And, in so doing, the pure Gospel is twisted and distorted. The new message isn’t the same as the ole’ Gospel message.

  Second, there are always proponents of error that push their ideas upon others. That was the Galatian situation. Had the Jewish influence not been so powerful, there is a strong chance the message would never have been distorted. Today, social media allows anyone to say anything, and they usually do. They don’t have to prove what they say with evidence and facts. Just throw out statements, wild and radical, and there will be those who latch on to that and go with it.

  Out of this comes some thoughts: First, everyone needs to know the will of God. Ignorance allows error to spread and grow. Truth has nothing to fear and truth never suffers under investigation. Error will hide. Error will deceive. Had the Galatians, had we, the knowledge that we ought to, error would find no footholds among us. Shame on us for not knowing. Shame on us for not being sharp enough to recognize the twisting of Scriptures, passages taken out of context and the misuse of God’s word.

  But, with this also, comes a responsibility upon the shepherds of God’s people to watch, guard and protect the sheep that have been given to us. Giving a platform for error to be taught falls directly upon clueless shepherds who have been blinded by the charisma of smooth talking preachers or they have drunk the Kool-Aide of error themselves. Error tends to die when it is confronted with truth and when it no longer has a platform to peddle it’s false agenda.

  John told brethren about the wicked Diotrephes, “if I come, I will call attention to his deeds…”. Could this be a reason why the majority of the N.T. books address error? God is trying to protect His people. Don’t hide. Don’t be afraid. Stand up. Confront it with the Word of God. And, when the salesmen of error won’t stop, no longer give them a platform to peddle their poison. That may mean changing Bible class teachers in the middle of a quarter. It may mean giving the preacher his walking papers. Toleration of wrong, only allows wrong to continue.

  When someone declares, “I’ve been misunderstood,” then speak so clearly so we can all understand. What are you saying? We ought to speak as the oracles of God.

  Third, the permitting of error will only destroy a congregation. Later in Galatians we find, “But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.” Error and truth cannot co-exist within a congregation. A battle will ensue. Lines will be drawn. People will leave.

  It’s hard when people we love and have worshipped with for years now want to side with a distorted Gospel. But our allegiance is with the Lord, first, and always. When we allow friendships and feelings to close our eyes to the destructive nature of Satan, we will lose.

  There comes a time to draw a line in the sand and stand with the Lord. Those times are upon us. They always have been. Joshua declared, “Choose you this day who you will serve.” Paul said, “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him.” We must side with the Lord.