The sheer number of denominations that exist within Christendom is all the evidence one needs to conclude that confusion of doctrine exits within the “Church” today. Every survey and every study identifies consistent feedback: “Religion is a consumer product for many in the West – if they don’t like it, they move on – and if Western religion is a spiritual shopping center then denominations that once dominated the market are in danger of boarding up.” The sad fact is that If church-goers do not like what is being taught, they will just go somewhere else. God forbid they encounter sound doctrine and just what it is that the Bible teaches.
No one can deny that an increasing number of people are dropping out of church. For those who do continue the course, they face an increasing struggle in churches that do not teach sound doctrine; churches that are looked at as being incapable of supplying answers to the questions that are in the minds of those who attend. People are becoming disgruntled because their questions about topics such as salvation and just what the Gospel is are not being answered from pulpits throughout the West today.
Our spiritual growth is dependent upon whether we have sound doctrine or not. The apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16 that all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and for instruction in righteousness, but the apostle Paul also tells us that Christians are commanded to “rightly divide” the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). Elsewhere in Scripture, Paul tells us that we are to listen to him and we are to consider what he says and the Lord will give us understanding in all things (Gal 1:11-12, Eph 3:1-5, 1 Cor 2:7-8, 2 Tim 2:7, 1 Cor 9:17, 1 Cor 3:10).
All Scripture is written FOR you, but not all Scripture is written TO you. That this quip would sound strange to the average Christian is evidence that general Bible illiteracy and ignorance rules our modern day. The fact of the matter is that people, the majority of “church going” people, don’t know what the Bible actually says. Unfortunately that ignorance is encouraged and propagated by bad preaching and teaching and by having an “evangelical” mindset where doctrine is not all that important and what is really important is for us all to just “get along and get together in unity.”
We are encouraged to minimize the doctrine for the sake of unity. What needs to be understood is that if you do not have sound doctrine to unify around, there is no unity according to Christ. Thus the misunderstanding of salvation mostly comes from a pure lack of knowledge of what the Bible actually says. If one does not rightly divide the doctrine that saves them today (the doctrine for the Church, the body of Christ), from the doctrine given to Israel, they run the risk of finding themselves back under the Law program – in either the way they live or what it is that they are trusting for their salvation.
Satan and his angels of light work very hard to obfuscate the correct teaching of the Bible and the simplicity that is in Christ and the salvation that He has provided. Satan will use whatever he can use, whether that be God’s word or God’s people, to confuse those pursuing the truth and their proper understanding of doctrine (2 Cor 11:3).
When one understands the revelation of the mystery (Rom 16:25) given by the Lord Jesus Christ to the apostle Paul, questions about God and the Bible and what the Bible says become answered. Confusion about spiritual matters turns into understanding. One’s knowledge increases concerning the things of God and their faith is strengthened. They will find themselves exploring every nook and cranny of the Bible and they will search out every little detail that is brought to their attention. Right Division is the answer to the vast number of denominations that exist within Christendom today. Right Division is the answer to church-goers treating Christianity as a consumer product. Right Division is the correct way to approach the Bible, to understand the Bible, and to understand God’s will for our lives today.
It is this understanding that I pray you will pursue and through it, I pray that you will also endeavor to pursue the instructions given to us in Ephesians 3:9 –
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: