Social media, movies, even books can be strong tools of the devil. Most recently, I was in utter shock at the great number of professing Christians that were excited to jump aboard the “Heaven is For Real” movie bandwagon. My disdain for the movie (and the book) centered around a straying from Biblical truth, and inconsistencies in the movie that drift towards our cultures craving for a man made authority over what has been given through scripture. If you missed it, you can view my blog on the movie at this link, “Heaven is For Real May Not Be For Real”.
This morning, my heart became troubled once again for fear of my brothers and sisters in Christ falling prey to yet another heretical news story that flies in the face of the teachings of scripture. It seems that an article regarding a young boy and reincarnation has surfaced. In the article, this young boy of three years had claimed to remember being killed in his “former life” and was able to lead police to the site where his bones were buried. The boys therapist, a Dr. Eli Lasch, was reportedly present when the boy told his story to police and led them to the buried corpse. The Dr. is said to have conveniently written a book entitled, “Children Who Have Lived Before: Reincarnation Today”, about other children he has spoke with who’ve had similar stories of their past lives.
This article has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter and so many Christians are once again falling for this rouse, sharing the article with friends and commenting on how amazing it is. This has burdened my heart, and concerned me for those who would claim the name of Christ, yet seemingly begin to buy into, as the Apostle Paul said in Galatians, “A Different Gospel.” So very briefly, I want to take a moment to present some scripture in hopes of strengthening my brothers in sisters in Christ pertaining to false Gospels in hopes of protecting you from the lies of Satan that seek to draw us away from our Lord.
1. Our World (and the people in it) Is Not Reliable….God is.
“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.” 1 Timothy 4:7.
Paul writing to his protégé Timothy here warns him of the dangers of believing “Godless myths.” Rather, Paul tells him to train himself up in Godliness. Why? So that Timothy would know better. I am convinced one of the main reasons modern day Christians so easily fall into believing things contrary to scripture is because they don’t know the scriptures themselves. In our modern day Christian society, what it means to be a believer in Christ has been so watered down the many believe that Christianity is merely adhering to a set of moralistic rules and coming to church on Sunday’s. Yet there is no seeking, no wrestling with the scriptures in private, and no intimate personal relationship with the Father. Christianity today has been turned into more of a feel good club that invites sinners to come as they are (which is true) yet requires no internal change from them. We fall prey to these absurd stories because we really don’t know, nor do we care to understand, the doctrine and theology of our faith. We have grown content in simply knowing basic Sunday School stories with no hunger to know the deeper things of our Savior. Yet Paul pleads with young Timothy to be trained in Godliness to avoid these pitfalls.
“O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.” 1 Timothy 6:20-21.
2. Don’t Be So Quick To Believe Everything You Hear (Or read).
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1.
Paul warned Timothy to be trained in Godliness for the very reason that John points out in the verse above. We as believers are to filter everything in this world through the scriptures. I am horrified and saddened at how easily professing Christians will buy into these sensationalistic stories and actually grow angered when the Bible speaks against them! Test everything through the scriptures.
3. False Prophets Exist Everywhere In Our World Today.
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:1-3.
Notice the verse above mentions, “…in their greed they will exploit you with false words.” Greed and the desire for attention is at the heart of our human condition. In our sin nature, even the best of us at times wants the spotlight. If a Christian falls into this sin of wanting attention on him or herself more than God without ever turning in repentance, apostasy takes place. Apostasy happens when a professing believer begins to turn from the true Gospel and preach or teach a distorted version of it. Judas Iscariot was apostate. He walked with God daily for three years and was as close to him physically as one can get. Yet Judas never understood the true Gospel. And so he fell away. Now let me clarify one thing as a side note. A true believer in Christ CANNOT fall away! You cannot lose your salvation if you are a true believer.
“And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me” John 6:39.
The question with an apostate is not, “Did they lose their salvation?” The question is, “Were they ever saved to begin with?” Let Judas example be a warning to us. That merely being near Jesus related things, like going to church, listening to Christian music, or attending Bible studies is no different than how Judas was near Christ. Again, Christianity is not a checklist of things you’ve done, its all about your acknowledgement of what HE has done. Its about a personal relationship with Christ. For if a person begins to follow or believe in a different Gospel than the one preached in the scriptures, Paul says in Galatians 1:8, “Let him be accursed.”
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” 1 John 2:19.
4. Is The Bible or Man Your Authority?
I have actually seen professing Christians grow angry in defense of a false teaching such as reincarnation, saying things like, “Who are you to say God couldn’t work this way?” And in response to this question, I would gently say, “Who are you to say that God does work this way?” You see, both of these statements are centered around the same question. That question being, “Who is your authority?” I would never tell someone how God works based on my own opinion of who God is. We as believers are commanded to let the Word of God be our light in this world. So to anyone who would ponder this question of reincarnation, lets allow the Lord to settle this matter once and for all.
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,” Hebrews 9:27.
Dissect this anyway you would like, but it is impossible to get around what the writer of Hebrews is saying here. We will die ONCE. If reincarnation were true, then we would be appointed to die more than once, because we would have more than one life. We have one life given by God the Father, and the we will stand in judgement according to who we served in this life. Job says it like this;
“But a man dies and is laid low; man breathes his last, and where is he? As waters fail from a lake and a river wastes away and dries up, so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep.” Job 14:10-12.
Job states that once man has been laid to rest in death, he will not rise again until the day of the Lord comes.
“He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.” Psalm 78:39.
Psalm reminds us that our lives are like a wind that passes, and do not come again.
And in one of my favorite accounts of scripture, the thief on the cross is hanging beside Jesus and puts his faith in Christ. Jesus doesn’t tell him that he will be given another earthly life to try and do better. Rather Jesus says this;
“And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43.
We are appointed one life, and then judgement. In a world driven by mans desire for attention, many false teachers will arise telling tales that are alluring and tickling to our itching ears. But let us not fall into deception. There is one Gospel and one truth. Do not fall into the myths of this world. Do not let the enemy lead you astray. Train yourself up in Godliness, because Satan prowls around you as a lion, waiting to devour you at any given time. Be clothed in the armor of God that Ephesians 6 points us towards. When it comes to books, blogs, movies or Facebook posts, filter everything through the lens of scripture. As a child would run to his earthly father in search of truth, let the Word of God be your authority so that you may always be dependent on Christ.
“Little children, make sure no one deceives you” 1 John 3:7-11.