Religion projects itself as being mankind’s ultimate answer to all that is wrong, by presenting what is right. The trouble with this is, whom to believe! Virtually every humanly organized belief system says that it is the only true religion. Especially the “gatekeepers,” who exercise the influential dominance as leaders over their believers, try and sell the idea that they—alone—know God’s Will!
Amidst such dizzying confusion, can we still find out what is right and separate it from what is wrong?
First of all, just because you believe something is not a guarantee that you are right. You need corroborating evidence—a source beyond mere personal opinion. As a Christian, we are, by definition, followers, imitators, disciples, and believers of Jesus Christ.
Paul pointedly instructed Christians to, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1); Peter reminded Christians to closely look to the model of Jesus: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for [you], leaving [you] an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21); and Jesus Himself gave this overarching principle for His followers: “‘For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you’” (John 13:15).
We know about Jesus Christ and the Christian religion by the record of the Word of God. When those of Berea heard the preaching of Paul and Silas, “…they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
In that first generation of the Church of God the impact on that age was so great that those who stood in opposition accused Christians of turning the world upside down (compare Acts 17:6)! However, even in that time, deception overtook many believers and toward the end of Paul’s life, he stated, “…all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” (2 Timothy 1:15).
The apostle John had to confront those who were rejecting the truth of Christianity for the sake of personal status: “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the pre-eminence among them, does not receive us” (3 John, verse 9).
As it was in that long ago time, so, today, the challenge to avoid deception and clearly discern between what is right and what is wrong remains paramount! Only by seeking the source of God’s Truth—His written Word—will we also be able to prove those who serve God and those who don’t (compare Malachi 3:16-18).
Along with the truly faithful, names of infamy are written in the Bible—people who rebelled, who lied and deceived and who through selfish greed made merchandise of the people of God.
Will other names from our own generation find mention in future annals that document the history of Christianity in this time? As for how they might appear, the question remains–right or wrong?