Romans 16:17-23 Final Caution

Don’t follow blindly, check out God’s word for yourself

Paul continues his wrap up in our reading today. The saints with him send their greetings and he sends one last warning. Not a warning to shape up but one to be wary.

From the beginning of the sharing of the gospel to today, there have been those that have sought to gain from it. Paul warns the Roman church to be on the lookout for those who would “cause divisions and created obstacles contrary to the doctrine” (verse 17) they had received from those sharing Jesus’ words.

Boy do we have “divisions and obstacles” today! We visited some of them along the way with Paul. Works and eating and drinking were just a few he pointed out. I’m not going to go back over them, as you can look back at some of his warnings if you want to.

The biggest identifier I see Paul pointing to is the purpose of the doctrine. Is it serving Jesus words or man’s “appetites?” Is what is being shared placing a barrier between the listener and Jesus or clearing the path? Jesus tore down all the barriers between Him and us. Let’s not resurrect or construct more of our own.

I’m going to come right out and say it, the “Name it and Claim it” bunch and the “Health, Wealth, and Prosperity” group fit this bill for me. They have taken God’s truths and twisted them to try and convince the naïve that just by following their directions and giving to them that God will give them everything they could wish for. I was one of the naïve at one time and I listened to their flattery. But I didn’t stay there. I began searching myself and recognized their motives.

Paul tells us “to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil” (verse 20). That only comes through getting into the word yourself and letting Him show you the truth. Don’t blindly trust that the teacher you are sitting under is always on target. Check it out for yourself. Don’t be ready to jump ship at any “misstep” but be diligent in listening to what God really says in His word. And be willing to take your concerns to your teacher too. Maybe he needs to hear what you found too. Jesus uses all of us to grow His church.

Father God, thank You for the teachers You have set me under over the years. The majority of them were so diligent in searching out Your truths. Thank You for removing me from the ones who weren’t and for protecting me from their doctrines. I pray for those who are still being deceived by some of the worlds “ministers” today. Please protect the naïve and open their eyes to the truth. Can hardly wait for Satan to be crushed so that only Your truth remains. Unfortunately it has to get worse before it ends. Please wrap my family in Your arms during this time. And for those of my family who are still resisting Your truth, do whatever it takes Lord to bring them back to You. I love them and You too much to worry about their comfort now. I care about their eternity instead.

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