This particular post will be the “first” in a series of posts, that addresses the absolute Biblical requirement for Christians to exercise Biblical discernment.
Matthew 24:3-5 NASB
“And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many people.” Emphasis is mine. Notice to whom Jesus addresses this warning, YOU are the one to whom Jesus tells us, is responsible not to be mislead. You are the one in whom is to see to it.
Have you ever had someone tell you not to get yourself tied in a knot about some one preaching or teaching about Jesus or expounding upon their understanding of Christianity, that just doesn’t sit right with you, with the response, “Some people speak to some hearts and not others!” Have you ever wondered what that response really means? Is this response not a polite way of saying, “Just because you aren’t comfortable with what is being said, doesn’t mean that I have to feel uncomfortable about it!” Or, how about, “Just because you reject this teaching doesn’t mean that I have to reject it!” And to some degree, there may be an element of truth in that statement, because as we know, we are not all the same in what attracts us or doesn’t attract us, we all have our own individual preferences and dislikes but . . . . somewhere along the line, there does need to be a deciding factor that either gives us the go ahead to proceed as we determine appropriate or step back and re-evaluate our determination to move forward or step back. In other words, where specifically is that line drawn for each of us that seeks to follow our Shepherd, that determines what we accept or reject? And even more important, what is the deciding criteria, that helps us make our determination? These questions are extremely important because if we have no line drawn in the sand or we have no determining criteria that guides us, whether we move forward or back off, we are in essence, a ship without a rudder, a leaf that is blown about by the wind or as some might say, a sheep without a shepherd.
In the Gospel of Matthew as quoted above, Jesus warned those who heard and would hear His words, about being mislead. In fact, Jesus did state that many would be mislead. And that brings up another interesting question. Can a Christian, someone who is born again and has God’s Holy Spirit within them, be mislead? Did you notice that Jesus, who was well aware of the guiding abilities of God’s Holy Spirit, still indicated that it was we ourselves, that were ultimately responsible for not being mislead? And if you disagree, why then would Jesus tell them and us to see to it that we were not mislead?
Does anyone doubt that the Apostle Peter, who at times was filled with the Holy Spirit, was mislead? For a refresher of a practical example of an instance, given to us in God’s Holy Word, we would do well to read through Galatians 2:11-14 where Peter was opposed by the Apostle Paul.
Receiving guidance and understanding from God’s Holy Spirit is one thing, obeying His guidance and understanding without question (or as in the case of Peter, without fear), is entirely another. So, the answer to the question, “Can a Christian who is born again and has God’s Holy Spirit within them, be mislead?” would have to be yes. All of us, would do well to be aware of the part that God expects us to exercise, in our quest to follow His will. Committing our way to the Lord and leaving it there at His doorstep to work out for us, is indeed a Biblical concept but that does NOT absolve us of our God given responsibility to participate in that process and utilize the “yard stick” by which all things are determined.
In additional posts we shall be looking at the “yard stick” by which we are to determine as to whether we draw a line in the sand or not. And we shall also look at some of the more prevalent “misleadings” that will increasingly challenge our path in the days ahead.
More to follow.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!