Do You Have Discernment?

29 Mar

Discernment is mentioned in the Bible as one of the spiritual gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to born again believers in Jesus Christ. Different Christians receive different gifts.  However, all Christians should pray for discernment in order to be able to make wise choices and to recognize truth from error. One of the things I have noticed is that Christians will judge other Christians, thinking they are being discerning, but in reality they are exhibiting  pride. When their beliefs are not shared by pastors or other Christians leaders they quickly label them false prophets and teachers.

But the fact is they refuse to be teachable. They refuse to search the scriptures with a mind that is open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. They refuse to change their beliefs even when the Holy Scriptures show that they are in error. Sometimes in our blinding pride we hang on to lies rather than admit we were wrong. We refuse to be corrected, even in the spirit of love. An old belief becomes familiar like a favorite slipper that we will not part with it.

There are more than a few false teachers among Televangelists and discernment is needed in order to weed out the bad ones from the Godly ones. Lately, I have been hearing Christians attacking  Charles Stanley, a Baptist pastor from Georgia and calling him a false prophet. The reasons given is always because they do not agree with  one or two things that he teaches or his interpretation of a Bible passage and they quickly label him an imposter or charlatan.  This isn’t discernment at all. It’s a refusal to have a teachable spirit. To be willing to learn and toss aside any false beliefs we have in exchange for the Truth.

One thing Charles Stanley teaches is the eternal security of the believer, or once saved, always saved. This is a doctrine that is clearly taught in the Bible, yet it’s one of the most debatable among  Christians. Jesus said that no one (which means no man, no devil, nothing!) can snatch us from his hands once we have been spiritually born-again. (John 10:27-29) Unfortunately, many Christians take verses out of context which can change the entire meaning of the passage. They try to make the scriptures agree with their own beliefs, wrest it until it seems to say something entirely different.  They refuse to believe what the Scriptures actually says and to toss out  all beliefs that do not line up with what God said.

It is very damaging to rush to judgment and call a man of God a false prophet just because we don’t agree with him. That is exhibiting a spirit of pride. Is Charles Stanley a false teacher? No, he is not. One way we can know is by the person’s fruit. A rotten tree cannot bear good fruit. Charles Stanley has been a preacher for more than 50 Years. He came from very humble beginnings, raised by his mother and called to preach the Gospel when he was a young man. He is humble and the doctrines he expounds are always scriptural. He doesn’t just preach, he lives the gospel.

 

Eternal security in one’s salvation rests on the Lord’s guarantee of every believer’s adoption as His child (Gal 4:4-7) and the seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21,22)  A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession. Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ’s perfect blood sacrifice as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ’s possession (1 Cor. 6:19,20)  This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven and protected by God’s unlimited power (1 Peter 1:4,5) If Jesus says nothing can snatch a child of His from His own hands, then you had better believe Him!

 

My God is not a fickle God. He never changes nor does He ever default on any of His promises. We as Christians need to be very careful that we do not go around judging others unless we truly have Godly discernment. We must be willing to be teachable and to receive correction from God’s people.

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