Call to Discern

Mar 22, 15 Call to Discern

6) A Call to Discern – in the series: About the New Age

 

True Christianity believes that Jesus the Christ is part of the “three persons in one” Godhead, the Trinity, which consists of: the father, the son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. God is the creator and mankind is his creation. Man is not on the same level as God. Man is broken because of the fall in the Garden of Eden. The results of Adam deciding to believe satan who told him that mankind could be “like God”, means that now people are spiritually dead which also then means that eventually each person physically dies.

 

Mankind’s spiritual life used to enable him to have a close relationship with our holy God. Jesus willingly sacrificed himself on our account so that we could again come into a relationship with our God. Jesus is the only Savior of the human race and that is because he is the only divine son of our holy God. He is an amazing mystery: Jesus is completely a man and he is completely God too. Only Christianity believes that Jesus is God and that we cannot be our own Savior, which means that we cannot work our way to heaven.

 

The following Bible verses show that the New Age belief system is actually very old. Satan just keeps using the same tactics to keep us for himself.

 

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude 1: 3.4 ESV

 

In the above Bible verses, Jude, one of Jesus’ half brothers, begins his New Testament (NT) letter stating that he intended to write about something else but he felt compelled to write:

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

 

In another NT book, 2nd Peter, Jesus disciple writes in depth about this same thing in Chapter 2. He begins by writing:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies (which means lies that they will try to pass off as Christian ideas), even denying the Master (Jesus) who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.  And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

 

These are just a couple of warnings in the NT. What both Peter and Jude are telling us as Christians is that we need to be aware of infiltrators, evil sneaking in. We need to be able to “Discern”.

 

Our duty as Christians is to discern:

 

Discern means to recognize or perceive clearly. In regards to Christianity this means you need to be able to recognize when an idea is NOT Christian.

 

IN order to discern, one of our main responsibilities as a Christian is to keep the Christian message pure. The only way to do this is to know what Christianity believes. Besides attending a Bible-believing church, we need to read our Bible every day. I highly suggest a good study Bible so you can better understand those tough passages. I like the ESV study Bible. I ask God to help me fall in love with His written word, to give me a passion to want to read it and to spend time “chewing” on it. Satan loves when a Christian does not know how to discern lies from the true Christian message.

 

As a Christian, we need to find other Christians to hold us accountable. We need to pray with and for these people and ask them to pray for us too. Recognize that we need the covering of prayer because as a Christian, we are now on satan’s radar.

 

Our enemy:

Jesus states in John 10:10:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

 

When Jesus speaks of “the thief”, he is speaking about satan, who is also known as the devil. There are many warnings about him in the Bible.

 

In John 8:44, Jesus also says when he is speaking to the Pharisees, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

 

This is the character of our enemy: he is a liar, a murderer, who wants to destroy us.

 

One of the ways he does this is through false belief systems like New Age.

 

Don’t be afraid. Recognize that he is only a created being so he is not even close to being as powerful as God but we need God’s power to protect us from his influences.

 

Discerning also means we have to recognize that just because someone or something states that it is Christian, it may not be. This is very evident in books because some “Christian” publishing houses are more liberal or loose in their “theology”, their belief in God.

 

Recognize that because we are now indwelled by the Holy Spirit, we have become a stench to this world’s culture. We are an absolute offence. Recognize that people who still belong to this world culture, can’t see or hear or understand the Gospel.

 

There are so many places that address this in the New Testament and here are just a couple:

 

1 John 4:5-6: They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

 

1 Cor 2:14: The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

 

Pray for those who you know are currently lost to the New Age belief system. It is seductive because it is so supernaturally charged; New Age followers believe they are interacting with beings of truth and light but those are actually demons masquerading.

 

2 Cor 11:14: And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

 

So much of the early church’s main battle was against beliefs now found in New Age. Over and over in the Bible, we are warned to be careful lest we too become prey. Historic writings in the first and the second centuries by reputable Christians also refute New Age teaching trying to creep into Christian beliefs.

 

Especially today, as we approach nearer to the return of Jesus, the New Age, Syncretism way of cafeteria-style religion, is alive and flourishing so we must stand firm.  It is up to us Christians to continue to “contend for the faith”.

 

Some questions for Christians:

 

1) Do you know people who believe in the New Age belief system?

 

2) In 2003, a reputable Christian survey group, Barna Research, found that: One out of five USA Adults believes in reincarnation. One out of ten USA born-again Christians believe in reincarnation. Does this surprise you? Is this a problem?

 

Ponder:

Hebrews 9:27:

“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment”

 

3) What does this Bible verse written by the apostle Paul mean?

Romans 10: 8-11:

“But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (NIV)

 

4) What does “Discern” mean? *

 

5) What does Jude mean when he writes to Christians that we must “contend for the faith”?

 

6) What are your responsibilities as a Christian then?

 

7) Jesus told us through Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”  What does this mean as a Christian?

 

 

 

 

 

* (Answer: Discern means to recognize or perceive clearly. In regards to Christianity this means you need to be able to recognize when an idea is NOT Christian.

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