All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. -- 2Timothy 3: 16-17 (NLT)
Beloved we are living in the end times. The Bible warns us specifically about what will happen in these times as we will see many fall away from the faith. Many others will start to chase after myths and abandon sound doctrine. I write a lot about doctrine because false doctrine leads us astray and away from God whereas correct doctrine brings us closer to God and the work He has for us to do before He returns.
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. -- 1Timothy 4: 16 (NIV)
Only two things Paul warns Timothy to watch closely -- his life and his doctrine. And look why! It will save both himself and his hearers! This is not a small matter. I bring it up because the further into the end times we go the more insidious false doctrine becomes. It masquerades as sound doctrine. It mixes a little leaven with the truth so the untrained ear thinks what they are hearing is right. Every time we hear the name Jesus we should not be compelled to shout amen. The name of Jesus is probably the most misused word we find in the modern church.
Today's devotional is specific to a poorly thought out theology I have heard propagated twice now in the past several months. Realize that the people behind the poor theology may very well have the best of intentions but God does not care about our intentions. He cares about our obedience. So this is not an indictment against anything other than the teaching. I believe it stems from another recent trend I see where preachers or diviners of God's Word hold a belief or position and then seek to use the Bible to defend it. That is a dangerous practice -- to approach God not wanting to hear from Him but rather wanting Him to rubber stamp your own theology. I have heard people misuse Scripture to support the most ungodly or nonsensical positions you could imagine. The position in question today is the belief that the context of verses from the Old Testament determines that they do not apply to new covenant believers. The first time I heard this it was regarding everyone's favorite verse after John 3:16:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -- Jeremiah 29: 11 (NIV)
The logic goes something like this
-- because this was written and intended for the remnant of
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. -- 2Chronicles 7: 14 (NLT)