Need For Discernment, Inspired by Pastor Gregg Johnson

2Timothy 4:3-4, “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”.

There is a great need for discernment in the 21ST century church. In the Pentecostal movement where souls are being added to the kingdom of God in thousands every day, there is a great need for INTEGRITY and CREDIBILITY demonstrated by pastors, preachers, teachers, prophets to mention a few. The reason for this is because as the Pentecostal movement continues to rise and great things are happening, we are also seeing a lot of damage being done in the name of Christianity and integrity and credibility are lacking in some of the lives of the individuals who call themselves Christians especially in the leadership arena. The integrity of the word is compromised through twist and manipulation of the word of God causing many to live in error and heresy.

As born again believers we must have discernment (the ability to distinguish between right and wrong), especially when conditions are obscure, ambiguous or even misrepresented. Of all the things Solomon asked for when God gave him a blank check to ask for anything he wanted, he asked for wisdom to discern, 1Kings 3:9, “Therefore give to Your servant an understanding (wisdom) heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil”. Three more scriptures to strengthen the discerning spirit, Ezekiel 44:23, Luke 12:56, and Hebrews 5:12-14. Why is discernment so key to our Christian lives? We want to live in TRUTH. John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” No one likes to be deceived by anyone, and what a tragedy it is when you discover you have been deceived just because you couldn’t discern what was presented to you especially when you did not know the word. Eve was deceived because the serpent manipulated God’s word and she could not discern, Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent was more crafty … He said to the woman, “Did God REALLY say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

In the light of too many preaching going on in our land, we have to be very careful what we feed to our spirit and mind because many of today’s preaching may appear sound until you apply wisdom that brings about discernment through the word of God you find that there may be SOME truths and a lot of errors, misinterpretation and manipulation that comes with it.

Four areas where great discernment is needed are; 1. Discern CHARACTER over CHARISMA, 2. Discern DOCTRINE over DECEPTION, 3. Discern PROPHESY over PRESUMPTION, 4. Discern MIRACLES over MANIPULATION. I only have time to share on the first two.

1. Discern CHARACTER over CHARISMA. A person of charisma could be a person with gifts, talents even good looks. Charisma appeals to the flesh. Remember Saul who was appointed king when the Israelites demanded for a king? They did not receive a king with character but a king with charisma to be like other nations, 1Samuel 9:2, “And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people”. Absalom the son of David was another man with charisma who tried to elevate himself. Is it not true today that we have many preachers with charisma (likeable, articulate, charming, good looking) but the big question is, do they have character? There is nothing wrong with Charisma yet Character should supersede charisma. Charisma can put anyone on top, Character will keep them there. In this age, many prefer what they like to hear rather than what they should hear. You know the end of Saul and Absalom. 2Timothy 4:3-4, “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”.

2. Discern DOCTRINE over DECEPTION. Paul addresses this with his spiritual son Timothy in 1Timothy 4:1 where he says “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” Which means, moving away from preaching the essential doctrines of Christianity and the whole counsel of God. Teachings appearing to be powerful but lacking the power fueled through the truth of God’s word. It’s easy to catch something that is wide open, when you talk about deception, it’s subtle, covered with some truths or may appear to be truth. Paul tells Timothy to be grounded in the word and teach the word, then says In vs. 6 “If you put these instructions before the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching that you have followed (NRSV). Without discernment, many Christians are being led by doctrines that are not sound. Remember all teachings are judged by its agreement with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Read 1Timothy 6 and the entire 2 Peter which are eye opening to discerning between Doctrine and Deception. Blessings Ev

****** This message was preached from Mission Church pulpit I converted into this writing*******

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