Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

by Rayola Kelley

One scripture I have pondered much is Hebrews 4:2: “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”

Christians know that they are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Faith is an active word but one rarely hears how salvation is contingent on this act. In our time there appears to be an over-emphasis on grace at the expense of faith, which results in confusion about both subjects.

It is important to point out grace is God’s part in providing salvation, but faith is man’s response that enables him to receive it.

According to the verse in Hebrews the gospel was preached but not everyone mixed it with faith. As a result, the people never entered into rest (Hebrews 4:3). Rest points to the Christian’s place in Christ where he or she experiences satisfaction and ceases to wander in the spiritual wilderness of unbelief and insecurity.

After observing Christians for years I have noticed a mixture of philosophies invading the hearts and minds of many believers. These philosophies attract the soul of man. They appear to be wise and reek with the promise of a love that will bring peace and satisfaction.

This false love seems wonderful but many fail to see how unrealistic and sinister it is. For example, it is self-serving and tolerant only when self is benefited. It harps on unity and peace as long as it is never challenged in its philosophies and attitudes. It must make a person feel good about self instead of calling him or her to accountability for erroneous, immoral beliefs and practices.

Most of all, these philosophies are religious in nature. They talk about the “goodness of man” and even occasionally make references to God.

Of course, it all seems so harmless and spiritual. Many innocently assimilate these concepts into their Christian beliefs, thinking that they compliment them. In reality, these philosophies do not compliment Christianity but undermine the faith that was first delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

When a person mixes error into their Christian belief, faith ceases to be a predominate factor. In fact, real faith will eventually be drowned out by these spiritual substitutes.

Christianity is not a philosophy but a life that needs to be walked out daily by faith and obedience to the pure Word of God. It is not limited to the mind or perception but must penetrate and revolutionize a person’s disposition and lifestyle. This is why the Apostle Paul gave us this warning in 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.”

These philosophies are based on the lie that goes back to the Garden of Eden: “…then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).

One must note that the philosophies that are being promoted by one of the most popular day-time talk show hosts offers spiritual enlightenment that will help individuals see the solution. According to those who promote this enlightenment, it is able to produce better mental and emotional well-being. And yet when you examine this concept, you can’t help but see that Satan gave this same promise to Eve: “…then your eyes shall be opened.”

This enlightenment is supposedly the secret behind finding paradise. But the procedure for doing this often borders on self-hypnosis or indoctrination.

These dangerous mental procedures serve as a mask that denies the real problem while creating a false reality. This reality allows man to determine what he will accept in his world. But instead of man defining truth according to good and evil, he now accepts it on the basis of whether it is positive or negative. If something is negative it can be discarded whether it is reality or not. Therefore, everything in a person’s world will be positive, creating an euphoria that is pleasant and self-serving.

Even though many of these philosophies make reference to God or some higher power, Jesus is visibly missing. It is important to point out that if the real Jesus is missing from any spiritual belief or concept, it belongs to the antichrist system.

This brings us back to what god are these people making reference to? When you break it down, man himself is actually the faceless, nameless god behind these erroneous philosophies.

According to these beliefs man has the ability to change reality, environment or world with his mind or through words. In fact, the solution lies within man’s power and needs to only be discovered. In the end, the mind (or words in some cases) often becomes the source of worship as man refuses to recognize his sinful condition, eternal destruction and a Holy God who will not wink at his arrogant idolatry.

What is this blatant, antichrist substitute known as? The New Age.

Many people fear the Muslims and rightfully so, for they are bent on annihilating Christians and Jews. They are after worldwide submission to their satanic beliefs (or the heads of the “infidels” who dare defy them). Do not kid yourself, the Muslims’ goal is simple, they want the whole world to be Muslim. They are obvious enemies but as Jesus said; “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28).

However, the greatest threat to Christianity is not the outspoken Muslim belief, but New Age philosophies that combine blatant occult and cultic beliefs into its ridiculous and godless mixture.

The New Age has gained great momentum even among Christians because it attracts those who do not love the Word of God and who fail to tremble at it, and obey it. (Ezra 9:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:10). These individuals prefer the false reality and images of feeling good about wretched self, fallen mankind, and Satan’s world. Anybody who wants to mix in an idea of God with spiritualism, the so-called “goodness of man” the exaltation of environment or the fantasy of harmony and peace among all, will automatically embrace these New Age philosophies.

Sadly, Christians have innocently bought into these humanistic beliefs. As a result of mixing this satanic lie in with the truth, some have become weak in faith, subject to delusion, resentful of the pure presentation of truth, flippant with the Gospel and spiritually bankrupt in their knowledge of Jesus Christ and their perception of God.

We are embarking on the Christmas season. It is during this time Christians need to remember how Jesus humbled Himself, gave up the glories of heaven and came as a babe in a manger. Jesus as a babe should remind us that it is important to go back to square “A” and take stock of our lives before God. After all, our Christian life begins with a miraculous spiritual birth but only faith will mature each of us past the milk stage to the meat of perfection.

During this season, will you examine yourself and see if you have become a New Age Christian who has lost sight of the simplicity of a life that was brought forth in a manger and left by way of an old rugged cross? Make sure you do not possess a mixture that has drowned out real faith, erected a different god, substituted spiritual fluff in the place of true godliness and given you a temporary euphoria at the expense of truth.

If you find you have this deadly mixture, take this time to ask God to erect the real Jesus in the midst of all the celebration. Come to Jesus, humble in attitude, sincere as a child and desperate as the prodigal son and He will welcome you back by putting the robe of righteousness on you and cleansing and healing you with the Living Waters of the Holy Spirit.