THE word of God is powerful and effective. The Bible says once it’s proclaimed, it doesn’t return to God void. The tragedy of our day, however, is that many people have turned away from the gospel with the belief that it doesn’t work.
When you watch their lives closely, however, you may discover that their commitment to the word of God had not been absolute. They would only have done piecemeal application, often mixing it with their own practices that are unbiblical. This has been going on even since the early apostolic age.
After having preached the pure, undiluted gospel of Jesus Christ to the Galatians, Paul expressed his shock upon realising that believers were now chasing after heretical doctrines that had nothing to do with the gospel. Galatians 1:6-7, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”
Many things that are now being done in the church cannot be backed by the scriptures. They are simply perversions of the true gospel. I always say whatever anyone says to you, whether he is a “major prophet” or not, if it doesn’t agree with scripture, particularly in the New Testament, I will simply toss it into the trash can. The scriptures are the final arbiter with regards to the faith, not a prophetic word. You have a right, in fact, you have a responsibility, to check if what a pastor or prophet says to you lines up with the scriptures. If it doesn’t, then you’re not bound by that word. You’ve got a right to reject it.
Scripture is there to back you up: Galatians 1:8, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
It’s sad that not many ministers of the gospel today are keen to throw this challenge, that their congregations are free to dare them if their messages don’t tally with the scripture.
A lot of people, particularly those who operate in the prophetic, can say whatever they say goes because they hear from God.
But this scripture debunks this notion because even an angel that brings a message which can’t be confirmed by the written word must be cursed and that message must be rejected. In fact, it gets worse! Paul says such an angel should be cursed.
One of the biggest tragedies we have today is that of men of God who seek to please their hearers. Galatians 1:10, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
If you’re a minister of the gospel, never preach just to please men. Don’t seek the approval of men, but that of God who commissioned you to preach the gospel. We’re dealing with the tradition of man here. The tradition of man nullifies the gospel, and this is why Jesus said you make “the word of God of none effect through your tradition” (Mark 7:13). It’s only people who are not strongly rooted in the word of God and in the faith who often end up deviating from the true gospel and seeking other teachings that cannot be substantiated by scripture.
Many preachers start off well, in the true gospel, as was with the case of the believers at Galatia, but end up in a serious mixture of the gospel and teachings based on the opinions of man. Colossians 1:23, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature under heaven…”
There’s need for grounding in the word to avoid slipping into error. Jesus told the Pharisees that they were walking in error because of their ignorance of scripture (Matthew. 22:29). They may have had “head knowledge” of the word of God, but they were spiritually ignorant. Many pastors are now incorporating their ideas and opinions into the gospel, but God isn’t under any obligation to honour your opinions. He only honours His word. Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”