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ASSEMBLIES OF GOD NIGERIA
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS|JULY-DECEMBER, 2023.
UNIT 2: The Supernatural Realm
LESSON 8: AUGUST 20, 2023.
TOPIC: REJECT DECEIVERS AND DEMONIC DOCTRINES
Memory Verse: 1 Timothy 4:1 – Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (KJV).
Lesson Central Truth:
Christians are to contend for the faith through God’s Word in the power of Jesus Christ.
Lesson Bible Text:
1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Peter 2:1-3; Jude 1
INTRODUCING THE LESSON
What is truth? Pilate asked Jesus this question just before the Lord was crucified (John 18:38). Earlier, Jesus had declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Pilate failed to recognise truth even whole looking Him in the eyes. Still today, people are searching for the truth yet clinging to lies. As Christians, we must not be deceived. In a world of falsehoods, it is our duty, to recognise, defend and preach the true message of Christ.
The letter of Jude is a letter of warning and of exhortation. The warning is that there are those within the church who are opposed to the truth. Jude spends much of the letter describing those who are threatening the church with their misuse and distortion of the Gospel. But Jude’s primary reason for writing is to exhort the church to stand strong and to contend for the faith.
We are being encouraged as believers, to be spiritually rooted in the Word of God. Beware of false teachers and their teachings. Allow the Holy Spirit to empower you with the Spriit of discernment and be alert always as the soldiers of Christ. The power of Jesus Christ is the greatest antidote to any form of false teaching.
1. DESTRUCTIVE DOCTRINES
A. Resist Deception – 1 Timothy 4:1-5
B. Recognise Subtle Deception – 2 Peter 2:1-3.
2. DEPRAVITY OF FALSE TEACHER
A. Arrogant People Who Claim Authority – Jude 1:8-11
B. Following The Way Of Judgement – Jude 1:12-16.
3. CONTEND FOR THE FAITH
A. We Are Called To Persevere – Jude 1:3-4, 19-21
B. We Are Called To Rescue The Perishing – Jude 1:22-25.
1. DESTRUCTIVE DOCTRINES
1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Peter 2:1-3
One of the challenges that confronted the early Church apart from persecutions from throughout the Roman world is the false teachers with their teachings within the members. Paul’s greatest concern was the destructive doctrines that threatened to slip in among believers and wreck havoc from inside. The Spirit of God used Paul clearly cautions that some believers (people just like you) will abandon the faith (the truth about Christ). What will cause them to abandon the faith? They will follow deceiving spirits and demonic doctrines. The false teachers abandon the gospel to teach lies and perversion that would lead others astray with them. As believers, we are encouraged to beware of these false teachers. They often come in different ways with their deceptive schemes and they are largely everywhere today as we speak. Beloved, staying to God through obedience, prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other believers is crucial in avoiding deception.
False teaching is not new. Paul’s reference to false teachers in 2 Peter 2:1-3 shows us that their deception is nothing new. As far back as the Garden of Eden, Satan has used deception to twist God’s clear commands and tempt people. Adam and Eve fell into the sin and human race has been paying the price ever since. False prophets led the people of Israel astray. In a similar way, false teachers were in the Early Church and led people away from the truth of the gospel. Today, they are also available and it is important we recognise false teachers by their wrong teaching. False teachers will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. False teaching is destructive and we must be aware of them. Beloved, don’t be deceived not all that teachings the Scripture that can live according to the principles of God. We also recognize false teachers by their wrong behaviour and character. False teachers are exposed by their evil actions. They destroy themselves, drag others down and damage the reputation of the church. Jesus Himself was warning about false teachers when He taught about false prophets, ferocious wolves in sheep’s clothing. “By their fruit you will recognize them.” We need to look just as closely at the character of preachers and teachers as we do at their messages. We can see so much greed and exploitation by false teachers today. They only focused on their gain and how to fool people to benefit themselves. The good news for us concerning these false teachers is that God has already condemned them long ago, and their destruction is on the way.
2. DEPRAVITY OF FALSE TEACHER
Jude 1:8-11 offers a vivid description of the false teachers, including the nature of their sins as well as the way in which they conducted their deception. The false teachers indulge in a variety of sins, which they may have justified by claiming to have had their practices endorsed by God through dreams. The nature of their sin was threefold, representing some of the most deceptions thay threatened believers even today:
– sexual indulgence and perversion
– the rejection of the lordship of God over their lives
– an arrogant dismissal of spiritual forces
These false teachers were compared to the lifestyle of:
– Cain, who tried to make an offering on his own terms and was rejected by God (Genesis 4:1-7)
– Balaam, who moved by greedy motives (Numbers 22 to 25)
– Korah, who rebelled against the authority of Moses and of God (Numbers 16:1-35)
Beloved, beware of apostate men and women who have rejected the authority of God.
Jude further describe the corrupt character of these false teachers and what the future holds for them. The Early Christians often met for a common meal, something like a dinner. They called these meals love feasts, or “Agape Feasts.” When these certain men known as false teachers came, they were serving only themselves. They ate greedily at the love feasts while others went hungry. At the Agape Feast, everybody brought what they could–some a little, some a lot; but they all shared it together. For some slaves who were Christians it might have been the only decent meal they regularly ate. The selfishness of these false teachers spoiled the fellowship. Our service to God must be a selfless one that must geared towards serving each other in love and anything outside of this will automatically make us become like the false teachers described in this lesson. The false teachers are shameless in the way they care only about themselves. They are like clouds blowing over dry land without giving rain, promising much but producing nothing. They are like trees without fruit at harvest time. They are not only dead but doubly dead, for they have been pulled out by the roots. The everlasting darkness will become their endpoint. Unless they repent, they would end up in hell and be there forever.
3. CONTEND FOR THE FAITH
Jude 1:3-4, 19-21-25
Jude noted that these false teachers have crept in unnoticed and therefore, they are in the church even today. We are not talking about evil in the world, rather in the church. these false teachers call themselves Christians, but their lifestyles are far from Christ-like. Jude refers to them as ungodly designated for hell. They look like they are in the church, but are not saved and therefore are denying Jesus. The church right now is full of false teachers and believers of Christ are called to persevere in their faith even in the midst of heresies from these biblically unqualified teachers. Jude offered us a wonderful exhortation to be encouraged as we persevere in the faith. We are to take positive steps to build each other in faith and to snatch others out of false teaching and sin through scriptural truth by the power of Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes the difference in the lives of believers and we must pray in the Spirit as we contend for the faith.
Jude provides good practical advice on how to respond when fellow believers are struggling with the consequences of false teaching. The proper response in this situation is not condemnation but mercy. As a church we believe that we are called to watch out for one another and to help protect one another from the dangers and the deceitfulness of sin. While Jude is clear that we are to contend for the faith and warns us about those who would distort the truth, here we also see that we are called to deal mercifully and wisely with those who err. Just as God the Father has been merciful toward us, we should be merciful toward others. And we should strive to see those who doubt or wander come to a place of repentance and restoration.
Lesson Action Word
Believers should remain firm in their faith and resist the influence of false teachers.
Learn from the lessons of the past to avoid pitfalls in the present. False teachers will attempt to lead us astray, but we must stand firm to withstand every form of false teachings.
Lesson Prayer Point
Father, let every satanic agenda and strategy to deceive the church and turn many away from the faith, be exposed and frustrated in Jesus Matchless Name. Amen!
Remain blessed as you join us in our Sunday school both online and at any Assemblies Of God Church close to you as we study together under the Feet of the Master.
Share your contribution and as well ask your question from the lesson.