Lover or Loser
Years ago, Mom, Dad, Mike and I were attending a quiet service where we could not talk. Most people would use sign language for "I love you." When you do that you hold up your thumb, pointer finer and little finger with fingers three and four down. We noticed Dad was off just one finger - the little finger - it was folded down too. He was holding up the loser sign! We all got so tickled! (southern for can't stop laughing) Dad was such a good sport, he laughed too, but he never did remember which was love and which was loser. No one else seemed to notice and if they did they knew Dad and knew what he meant!
Isn't that how Scripture is? We cannot take away or add to it because it could change the meaning. More importantly, we have been told NOT to do that. Deuteronomy 4: 2, "You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."
In Deuteronomy as the Israelites finally enter into the land God appointed, He told them how they could obtain His blessing. They were to obey Him. The same thing every parent since Adam and Eve have asked of their children. Listen and obey. And God's desire has not changed either - not after 34 centuries! We must listen and obey God's word.
The Israelites were to explain about sin and judgement. They were to tell about the Messiah coming. They were to teach the judgements of God. They were not to add to or subtract from God's word. Deuteronomy 12: 32, "See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it." God knows that a half-truth or part-truth can be equally deceptive as a full-blown lie. Adding to God's Word or removing sections of it can cause great damage!
Some people - even ministers - are adjusting the Word of God to fit their agendas. I will be the first to admit that I wish I did not get my feet stepped on at times. I wish some of my faults were listed in black and white in the Bible. Or in RED! But just because that scripture is difficult does not mean we can change it. We cannot adjust God's Word! We must be very careful not to allow ourselves to judge the Word instead of it judging us. When a scripture painfully points to my sins it forces me to make a decision. Will I deny the guilt or deaden my conscience? That is what happens to all of us.
Revelation 22: 18, "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll." This testimony comes from a faithful and true witness - Jesus Christ telling "all of have ears to hear". It comes from Him to show us how important this truth is! It comes as a warning! As Christians we have a great responsibility to remember God's Word is perfect! We are responsible for way we treat it, study it and live by it. When we attempt to add to or subtract from it is sin.
God wants all to be saved but not all want to repent and believe the gospel. Paul warned In Acts and Peter warned about false teachers, wolves that come into the church to deceive the people of God. The false teachers are non-believers acting as believers. We can be protected from these false teachers by learning and living God's Word! Acts 20: 29-30, "I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them." 2 Peter 2: 1-3, "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping."
Are you being a responsible Christian learning God's Word so you will know if you are being deceived?