Defend Until the End
Inspired by Stand Up for the Gospel: Getting the Church Back on Track by Emmanuel Kwasi Amoafo
One of the main faults of the modern African church is complicating the gospel and turning it into something that it’s not. On one hand, some fall into the trap of “prosperity doctrine,” says Rev Dr Emmanuel Kwasi Amoafo, author of Stand Up for the Gospel: Getting the Church Back on Track. Prosperity doctrine is a toxic belief system that teaches a health-and-wealth form of the good news. This mindset turns what Jesus did for us on the cross into a selfish, materialist act. On the other hand, others become victim to a cold, hard, religious legalism. Legalism is heartless in that it focuses only on the dos and don’ts of the Christian life instead of the life change that comes with it.
The church has been warned that teachings like these would come. “Beware of false teachers” and “guard your heart” are two of many repeated biblical examples that remind us to be cautious. Biblical authors knew how detrimental false teachings could be within a church body because they saw the destruction with their own eyes. They saw the cause-and-effect of disunity and heresy. This was not God’s plan for his people, so they lovingly warned everyone in every possible way.
We know that this is one of the ways the enemy loves to attack us. We were commanded “beware” because it’s not matter of if, but when, false teaching will bear its ugly face in our lives. How do we combat false teaching? If we know it’s making it way to us, how can we best prepare to fight it off? According to Rev Amoafo, we turn to the book and person of Jude.
The Bible has the answer to this question. Even though Jude’s letter was written to the church in biblical times, it is full of valuable insight that can help lead us down the right path today. The Bible remains relevant (Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16). In Jude’s letter to the early church, he calls out false teachers in a Syrian Antioch church that taught a form of Gnosticism that was quickly making its way around. He saw it coming, brought it to light, and called it what it was: ungodly.
Verse 3 is Jude’s plea and mission. It says, “defend the faith that God has entrusted once and for all time to his holy people.” The gospel is everything. Jude experienced what the gospel could do and he knew how much others needed it, so he dedicated time to protect it from distortion. It takes boldness and strength from God to do what Jude did. Calling out wrongs can be scary because we cannot control how others react. What we can control is our own obedience to God.
We as Christians are called to live a life of holiness set apart from the things of the world. Rev Amoafo explains that “the content of the gospel is unavoidably linked with its implications of godly living and faithfulness to God.” If the gospel is changed, we cannot live as we have been called. It is our responsibility to maintain the gospel’s integrity. If not us, then who? These false teachings are dangerous to God’s Word. The Word is God (John 1:1), therefore we must live a life dedicated to preservation of what has been entrusted to us. It’s a big responsibility, but we have all the tools we need to get the job done in the Bible, prayer, community, and the Holy Spirit himself. We must stand up for the gospel because, as our lifeline, it compels everything we do and say.
How would you encourage a fearful fellow Christian to stand up for the Gospel? This blog will teach you about the false teachings in our churches today and how to stand up for and defend God’s Word.
Get your copy of Stand Up for the Gospel: Getting the Church Back on Track on Amazon or from Oasis International Distribution partners in Africa.
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