They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them. (2 Pet. 2:1)

the church was a welcome sight! For several weeks I had been traveling without any opportunity to attend a service, and so as I sat down in the unfamiliar but warmly lit sanctuary, I was eagerly anticipating the chance to worship with other Christians.

The pastor began his sermon by reading from the book of Luke. Suddenly he stopped and, peering intently at the congregation, said, “Remember, the Gospels are not historical books and aren’t meant to be taken as such.” He went on to say the Gospels were merely models for behavior and from them we learn how to treat one another.

Later, I spoke to a church member about the sermon. She admitted it wasn’t “traditional” Christian doctrine and confided that many members had left the church because of the pastor’s controversial teachings. “But,” she added forcefully, “he’s a wonderful person and does a lot of good in the community, and that’s what really counts.”

When we discard scriptural truth, we snub the Holy Spirit and open ourselves up to the world’s lies. We also spiritually cheat those searching souls who trust us to faithfully preach the gospel. The Bible contains clear instruction for properly dealing with heresies. Whenever false teaching enters the church, no matter how appealing it seems, we need to courageously follow the Bible’s instructions for eradicating heretical doctrine and restoring God’s truth in our midst.

Make a list of common heresies that are accepted by some churches today.

Carol Chase and her husband live in Surrey, British Columbia. She is a retired administrative supervisor, enjoys gardening, and loves to pray for others.