Dealing with Propagandists, Victims and Would-be Victims of False Teaching

Jude 1:3-4,12,16-19,22-23 NLT

3 Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. 4 I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ…12 When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you…16 These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. 17 But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. 18 They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. 19 These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them…22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

The Scripture above makes a clear distinction on how we should deal with propagandists, victims and would-be victims of false teaching.

For the propagandists, we are warned that fellowship with them can shipwreck our faith. And the appropriate response is mentioned in 2 John 1:10-11, “10 If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. 11 Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.”

For the victims, we should show compassionate interest in guiding them out of such false teaching into the biblical truth.

For the would-be victims about to be lured away, we must give strong resolute warning and instruction as described in the imagery of snatching them away from the flames of judgment. We must also show our great disapproval of their sins despite showing mercy. That call for spiritual wisdom to handle such situation as the firm way of warning and instruction and hating the sins simultaneously may come across as condemnation.

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