No matter how twisted the teaching, no matter how publicly shamed the church may feel over the exposé of an unethical leader, no matter how dark the days become, no matter how helpless we may feel in guarding gospel doctrine and preserving gospel-worthy lives, we have this great sustaining hope: Jesus knows how to rescue the godly. Jesus is not only the greatest and truest teacher who ever lived, but he also is the great rescuer, who has redeemed us from sin and will keep those who are truly his from soul-destroying error.
The question is not whether you ever hear the voice of false teachers. You do — probably every day. The question is whether you can discern which messages are false.
If you watch any television, listen to any radio or podcasts, keep up on the news, or interact at depth with just about anyone in modern society, you are being exposed to some form of false teaching. If you cannot identify any voices you hear as false, it’s not because you aren’t being exposed, but because you’re falling for it in some way.
For most of church history, it took extraordinary energy and effort to influence the masses. Messages had to be copied by hand, and teachers had to travel by foot or horseback. There were no cars or airplanes, and no printing presses, websites, or Facebook pages. But today just about every false teacher has a Twitter account.
How, then, does the church discern true teachers from false ones in a world like ours, where it’s easier than ever to spread false teaching?