Beware of fierce wolves!
We’ve all seen the sign “Beware of dog!” It is a warning; to proceed, is to do so at our own peril. The Apostle Paul, says something very similar to the elders of the church in Ephesus, but with a bit of a twist. He says, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them (Acts 20:28-29).” The twist is that the danger Paul speaks of, would come from “your own selves.” Indeed, this has been the case throughout church history. The greatest dangers through the centuries that have threatened the security, prosperity, health, and fruitfulness of the church have not been from outside forces, but from within, from “your own selves.”
But the warning is not just to church leaders, the Apostle Peter gives a similar warning to all believers –“to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1).” Peter speaks of the danger in almost matter-of-fact terms, and says that it would come in a very sneaky and deceptive manner. “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed (2 Peter 2:1-2).
Today, we need to be no less vigilant. The danger is still just as real. In recent months there has been a steady stream of books and movies that have been trumpeted as “life-changing” and “having the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his.” We should not be surprised, and we should not be taken in.
One such recent book and now movie is The Shack. Much has been written on this terrible book already, including on this blog, so I won’t go over ground previously covered. However, now the author, William Paul Young, has written another book where he discloses where he really stands on issues that were veiled in the narrative of his novel. There is a brief but excellent blog post at The Gospel Coalition by Gavin Ortlund. Dr. Ortlund outlines “three troublesome aspects of the book’s teaching…then one overarching concern about its method, then a concluding appeal.”
I would highly recommend it to you. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/book-review-lies-we-believe-god-william-paul-young
At SGCC we are soon to elect a new elder board. As we do so, I am reminded of the importance of men who will ensure sound doctrine, build up and protect the church. Pray for these men. Also, let us all be diligent to guard our hearts and minds against the schemes of the enemy.