(Part 3 of 4)
1 Timothy 4:2-8… “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (KJV). Imbalance and extremism come when leaders start to demand extreme requirements, telling you their rules for right walking and doing.
Results of imbalance and extremism in the church of Ephesus…
1 Timothy 1:6… “From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling” (KJV). The word “swerved” means they missed the mark. They missed the purposes of God. The words “vain jangling” refers to talking foolishness; fruitless discussions; meaningless talk; or giving messages that do not nourish, feed, or edify. Imbalance and extremism will do this.
1 Timothy 1:19… “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck” (KJV). Extremism and imbalance will shipwreck your faith. Paul, in verse 20, tells of two men who didn’t hold faith or a good conscience, and they began to criticize. Criticism is the first step towards deception, imbalance, and extremism. The word “shipwreck” means “stranded because of a navigational error or by collision, a failure to reach a destination.” For example, when tough economic situations arise, many start to question whether tithing is really a New Testament truth.
1 Timothy 6:3-5… “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself” (KJV). Extremism and imbalance brings sin, pride, strife, envy, suspicion, arguments, and absence of truth.
2 Timothy 2:14-18… “Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some” (KJV). Imbalances and extremism subvert the hearers, increase ungodliness, and cause people to err. Wrong doctrines are cancers in the body of Christ.
What causes imbalance and extremism in the church…
2 Timothy 1:7… “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (KJV). Some folks are very gullible; they fall for every fad that comes along. Many pastors never study out a teaching to see if it is false. Some in these times preach end-time doctrines so extreme that people fear and give up. There is a survival mentality preached because of fear. Some buy guns, others store up excessive amounts of food, but others drop out and quit.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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