The nineteenth chapter of the book of Genesis contains the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Most are familiar with the account and with the fact that God sent two angels to Lot, the nephew of Abraham, prior to the destruction giving him instructions to get out and to take any family with him. It was Lot, his wife and two unmarried daughters that fled from the city that day. However, there were at least two daughters which were already married which died in the city. When Lot had heard the word of God concerning the destruction, he “…went out, and spake unto his sons-in-law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-in-law” (Gen. 19:14). What Lot told them was truth. It was what God had said would take place and it did take place, just as God said it would. However, it is a fact that multitudes of times, God’s word is rejected and the one who has proclaimed that word is ridiculed in some way. Now certainly one should not just accept anything and everything that someone says is the word of God, but when it has been revealed to be what God’s inspired word actually teaches, then it should be accepted.
The apostle Paul foretold, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Tim. 4:3-4). However, no matter if man desires to hear it or not, no matter if man believes it or not, no matter if man will abide by it or not, just as the truth of God’s word to the sons-in-law of Lot was proven to be true in the end, so shall the truth of God’s word be proven to be true in every other age and account when the day of judgment comes. What God says is truth. As Jesus said in His prayer for His apostles, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The apostle Peter, by inspiration of God wrote, “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (I Pet. 1:24-25). Paul stated, “…let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged” (Rom. 3:4). He that is proclaiming the truth of God’s word is not mocking, but is but the earthen vessel in which the treasure of God’s word has been carried and dispensed to man.
Man may boast of his learning and degrees, but it is by the preaching of the simple gospel of Christ that man is saved, not by the words of man’s wisdom. Paul wrote, “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (I Cor. 1:20-21). Of those men that were chosen by the Lord to be apostles, only Paul was actually what we could call an educated man. And his aim is seen in his words, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (I Cor. 2:1-2). Many using “good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom. 16:18) by filling their minds full of the innovations of man, thus corrupting their minds, “…from the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Cor. 11:3).
Many are the doctrines of man that have been inserted into the true gospel of Christ. The apostle Paul said that there would be some who would “pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:7). He then warned, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8-9). God’s word teaches that one must obey the gospel of Christ in order to be saved (Heb. 5:8-9; II Thess. 1:7-8). One can claim that such teaching is ridiculous, but it does not change the truth of that teaching. One can present the Bible doctrine of the one church that Jesus built and in which all the saved are (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1:8-9; 4:4; Acts 2:47; Eph. 5:23) and mere men may accuse the teacher of being narrow minded and cultish, but God’s was is narrow (Matt. 7:13-14) and the message is still true. One may show from God’s word how a child of God can be eternally lost because of continued sin (II Pet. 2:20-22) and some may say that the teaching is preposterous, but God’s word still says the same as it did before all the degrees of man began to speak. It is a bit late to try to ask them, but if you could ask, I’m pretty sure that the sons-in-law of Lot would advise you to just accept the word of God as He gave it and not accuse the teacher of just mocking. (Send any questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Robert Oliver is a long time columnist for The Sampson Independent.