If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with GODLINESS, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, …1 Timothy 6:3-4
Yesterday, in Part One, we learned from Matthew 16:18, Christ Himself said without an iota of doubt, that the church that He shall built on the rock of truth and faith, shall be one church of people where Hell has no power over. The real believers of the real Church of Christ, shall consist of people who come together in real faith, in absolute truth and to such men, death has no power over them.
And the very absence of death speaks much of the presence of eternal Life.
From the clear description given by Jesus Himself, we are now facing the fact, the reality and the hard truth; that not a single man-made church on this earth, or any one of these institution who claims to be the true Church of God, could even possibly come close to qualifying as one.
To counter this line reasoning, any believer who dies for instance, at his funeral, his pastor would be commonly seen declaring that he ran a good race, he fought a good fight and he is now safely in the arms of the Lord. That is how man-made churches equate themselves as of God or that they are from God. But the truth is most of us are not even aware that the Hebrew word for Hades is “Sheol” or what Sheol is.
Instructions To The Church
If I were to pick a context in the Bible that vividly describes how a real church conducts itself, it would be none other than 1 Timothy 6. This is a portion of Paul’s letter to Timothy, then a young man known to be a faithful leader in his own right.
In 1 Timothy 6:1, “Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and HIS DOCTRINE MAY NOT BE BLASPHEMED.” The first instruction given to Timothy, is let all masters do things that shall be counted as honorable before men and God, and done with the primary intent of ensuring that God’s Name and His doctrine is not blasphemed. In Matthew 12:22-32, Jesus clearly identified blasphemy as the deliberate act of calling what is good evil and vice versa, and He went on in Matthew 12:33-37, to explain that the tree is known by its fruit, that by looking at the fruit a tree produces, we could tell between what is the truth and what is blasphemous.
Then Paul went on to instruct in 1 Timothy 6:3-5, that anyone who teaches otherwise and DO NOT CONSENT TO WHOLESOME WORDS, AND TO DOCTRINES THAT ACCORDS WITH GODLINESS, he is therefore proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and by all these the destitution of the truth. Paul also clearly instructed us, THAT FROM ALL THESE WE ARE TO WITHDRAW OURSELVES.
In short, what Paul is saying is this; if you go to a church, and if all they do is they malign the truth, they teach things that leads people to all kinds of ungodliness, and the church is full of quarrels and disputes over worthless matters that does nothing good nor brings forth any intention to promote wholesome words of truth, it is therefore better for us to leave that church and withdraw ourselves.
Move further in 1 Timothy 6:5-10, Paul explained the meaning of sufficiency; that godliness with contentment is greatly beneficial to men. He is saying, a church that is godly and its people having sufficient to eat and to wear, will be a church of contented people. But if we have a church led by wolves in sheep clothing, with leaders who repeatedly surrender themselves to temptation and greed, and instead of leading men to doing things that promotes truth and prosperity, such are leaders who will drown their men in destruction and piercing them with many sorrows. And Paul cautioned us this, that the love of money is a root to all kinds of evil, and that leaders who love money are the real reasons why we see strife happening in churches.
After warning about the evils of men, Paul urged the people to flee these things and PURSUE RIGHTEOUSNESS, GODLINESS, FAITH, LOVE, PATIENCE, GENTLENESS. We are to fight the good fight of faith, and not to let go of eternal life or to do things leading to eternal damnation. 1 Timothy 6:11-16
Notwithstanding the above, here’s another characteristic of a real Church of Christ; that the wealthy among the people in the church are those who continually do good, and always ready and willing to give and to share (1 Timothy 6:18). And if you see anything otherwise, or wealthy people in a church who keep to themselves or the church itself do not have any source points of blessing its people – you’ll know something somewhere is not right and amiss.
And finally, Paul ends by pleading with Timothy, to guard what was committed to him, TO AVOID THE PROFANE AND IDLE BABBLINGS AND CONTRADICTIONS OF WHAT IS FALSELY CALLED KNOWLEDGE. 1 Timothy 6:20
Definition of a False Church
In describing what is good, respectable and honorable leadership to God, therefore we can conclude that a false church is a church that have patterns or characteristics of one or more of the following:-
- A false church is a church that calls good as evil and they teach what is evil as good. A false church is a blasphemous church.
- A false church is a church that does not teach wholesome words of truth or doctrines that leads people to becoming more godly. Instead they content with sin, and they promote tolerance towards sin.
- A false church is a church that delights with getting into disputes and arguments over useless words, out of which the false church brings envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings, and a church full of men with corrupt minds and they do all these in total avoidance or complete ignorance of the truth.
- A false church is a church that shall always consist of people with anxious minds because they lack all the goodness of God; holiness, godliness, the essential needs of life and honest leadership.
- A false church is a church led by wolves in sheep clothing, leaders who loves money and because they love money, they themselves are the root cause to all kinds of evil among all of the other men in their churches. Instead of teaching people to share, to give and to conduct themselves with honesty, they imply to other men to steal, lie, cheat and deceive like them. And if you do such carnal things, it is acceptable because false churches are carnal churches, they still accept the carnal you and therefore by their wry logic, God too will accept you.
Hence, to be part of a false church and trying to learn the good ways of God from inside a false church is therefore no different from trying to ride on a horse carriage, running on all broken wheels. You shall more likely end up hurting yourself from a great fall before you get to anywhere.