Recently, one of my friends a wonderful bible teacher had email from a stranger. He said that his bible knowledge is superficial, and he must be ‘born-again.’ With courtesy, he responded that he was a believer and involved in ministry. And he should focus on reaching those who have not heard the gospel even once. Stranger responded: You cannot be in Heaven. Why? He must be baptized in certain mode, method and in certain denomination. Otherwise, the stranger said, he will never enter heaven. My friend responded: “Who appointed you to as Immigration officer for heaven? With what basis and rights, you judge others? Will the penitent thief on the right-side cross of Saviour at Calvary enter heaven?” The stranger suddenly became silent.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.” (Matthew 23:13) Luke writes that they take away the key of knowledge. (Luke 11:52)
1) Shut doors: They are self-righteous and declare the door as shut for others. Sadly, they believe in their own piety, discipline and traditions. They reject others spiritual right as they do not confirm to their image of external purity.
2) Do not enter: They do not enter heavens, because of their unbelief and misunderstanding of God’s Word. Their priorities are not concerning Kingdom of God, but their own self-righteousness, worldly acclaim and riches.
3) Disallow others: In their overdrive of righteousness, they discourage many. They claim certain rituals or offerings, or traditions are essential to enter heaven and thus discredit genuine seekers.
4) Take away knowledge: Pharisees they have missed the kernel inside and have only empty shells. Lord rebuked them for neglecting: Justice, mercy and faithfulness. (Matthew 23:23)
There are many false teachers who try to confuse believers if they are not rooted in the Word. All should study the Word as did the Bereans, earnestly, daily and with understanding. (Acts 17:11)
Let us deep dive into the Word to escape from false teachers.