Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, Aug. 6, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
CHECK THEM OUT BY THE BOOK!
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 8:13-22
Text: Isaiah 8:20
Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Introduction: There are many, many cults and isms out there.
There is Calvinism, Catholicism, Campbellism, Charismaticism, and criticism. There are Methodists, Mormons, and morons. There are Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Primitive Baptists, and Paul Crouch.
How can a person tell who is right and who is wrong?
Well, first of all, let me say that a believer has access to the wisdom of God. He is indwelt by the Holy Ghost, and the Bible says of him:
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Here are some helpful guidelines for checking out the many voices that beg for an audience:
I. EXAMINE THEIR “BIBLE” BY THE BOOK!!!
2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
A. On the Bible
- Luke 4:4 – Did their “bible” omit “but by every word of God”?
B. On the Blessed Son of God
- Luke 2:33 – Did their “bible” change “Joseph and his mother” to his father and his mother”?
C. On the Blood
- Col. 1:14 – Did their “bible” omit “through his blood”?
II. EXAMINE THEIR BELIEFS BY THE BOOK!!!
Ephesians 4:11-14 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
The Bible speaks of “doctrines of devils” in 1 Tim. 4:1. Check out what they teach:
A. About salvation
- Do they teach that a person must do works in order to be saved or to stay saved? — Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Church of Christ, Catholics, charismatics, Freewill Baptists, etc.
B. About the Spirit of God
- Do they exalt the Spirit of God above the Son of God?
- Do they pervert the teaching of the Bible on the spiritual gifts of the believer and the sign gifts of the apostles?
C. About the Second Coming
- Do they delay the promise of the imminent return of the Savior?
- Do they teach a split Rapture — that not all saints will be caught up to meet the Lord when he returns?
D. About separation
- Doctrine is adorned by godliness. Things “which become sound doctrine” are godly acts (Tit. 2:1-5).
III. EXAMINE THEIR BEHAVIOR BY THE BOOK!!!
2 Timothy 3:5-7 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
A. Does it stress the importance of the local church?
B. Does it strive for holiness and personal separation?
C. Does it set a good example for all believers to follow?