When something or someone who is called by God turns away from Him unto error, selfishness or anything contrary to the truth; very bad things start to happen. Life alienated from the truth leads to deception, delusion, misconceptions, illusions, fantasies and ultimately apostasy. Most of the time this horrible road to spiritual oblivion starts with a misstep here and a misinterpretation there; over time these mistakes build up and error usurps the truth.
Anyone who ministers to God’s people, whether one at a time or in a congregation, must do everything within their power to make sure their words are seasoned with salt and the focus of their heart remains fixed on God and His Word. If lies are allowed to enter, deceit will surely follow. If distractions are allowed to fester, defeat will surely be the final outcome. Honesty, integrity and truth absolutely must be at the heart of a ministry and a minister.
It is so very easy to get off track. It is so easy to make a wrong turn and soon end up totally lost. It is so easy to allow a wrong decision to become the new basis for truth. It is so easy to justify that which is wrong because it has become what is right. This is why we must stay vigilant and never harden our hearts toward God or become sloppy, lazy or naïve.
In Acts 20, Paul stopped at Miletus and sent for the leaders of the church at Ephesus. During his time with them, Paul spoke the following words in Acts 20:28-30:
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood.
29 For I know this: that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also from among your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them.”
Anyone charged with the oversight of even one of God’s elect must first and foremost take heed unto themselves. Keeping oneself pure and strong in the Lord is necessary to ever watch over and feed the flock.
Paul warned of grievous wolves who would enter and devour the flock at will. Paul also warned of men arising from within the church who would speak perverse things and lure people to become disciples of them. Anyone who really cares about the state of the church needs to wake up and realize that wolves stand at the door licking their chops anticipating a feast of the weakest believers.
Anyone who is charged with the oversight of God’s flock must always be vigilant for people rising up from within who seek to draw away disciples after them and in so doing divide the assembly. We must always be keenly aware of the threats surrounding us yet completely trusting in God to be our source of strength, protection and wisdom.