Voiceover: The life that we live now is so valuable to us. To prove how valuable our life is, we make sure that we do things that we need to do to protect it, and even live lifestyles to prolong it and make it stronger. However, some of the things that may be dangerous and unhealthy for us, and maybe even deadly, are sometimes not so obvious. What do you think we should protect ourselves from?
Boy 1: Number one danger in the world today— I think it is laziness or apathy; unwillingness to put forth effort and to be motivated and driven to get something—I think everyone talks about wanting to be successful and make money and things like that. But at the end of the day, that takes hard work and practice and effort.
Boy 2: I would just watch out for people on social media, you never know who somebody is. Sometimes it could be a bad person, they could just be being fake using you, you never know.
Girl 1: Other people. I’m afraid of everything.
Girl 2: I think people should be careful of other people’s opinions. I think you should—if you feel something that you really enjoy, and that you really think that you’ll be great in, I think you should with your own instinct.
Boy 3: Fear. You know, protect yourself from being scared of doing what you actually want. I feel is probably the biggest thing of why we we are missing on so much, is because we’re scared of doing whatever you actually want to do.
Brother Mark Vasquez: There are things that we need to protect ourselves from, that could harm our physical bodies as well. Some of these things aren’t as obvious. So some may categorize these things as silent killers. Silent killers are referred to in this way because of how they could appear in life. The Collins dictionary defines it as:
“a disease that has no obvious symptoms or indications.”
Brother Mark: An example of a silent killer may be:
[On-screen text graphics]
High blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer.
Brother Mark: We shouldn’t just protect ourselves from things that could destroy our physical bodies, though. What we need to protect ourselves from, is anything that could destroy our soul. What is it that could destroy us? Let’s begin our Bible reading in 2 Peter 2:1:
False Prophets appeared in the past among the people. And in the same way, false teachers will appear among you. They will bring in destructive, untrue doctrines, and will deny the Master who redeemed them, and so they will bring upon themselves sudden destruction.
[2 Peter 2:1 Good News Translation]
Brother Mark: False teachings taught by false preachers or prophets bring about destruction upon oneself, which includes their soul. The saddest part is that in our day and age, not many people are looking at or examining the doctrines, or what is being taught. The proof of this was also mentioned by Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:3-4:
For there is going to come a time when people won’t listen to the truth, but will go around looking for teachers who will tell them just what they want to hear. They won’t listen to what the Bible says, but will blithely follow their own misguided ideas.
[2 Timothy 4:3-4 Living Bible]
Brother Mark: Is this not true in our time, that people don’t listen to what the Bible says? And yet others will proclaim, “It’s not true that I’m not following the Bible? My pastor uses the Bible. So how can it be said that we’re not listening to the truth, or following the Bible?” The Bible reminded us though, people will go around looking for teachers who will tell them just what they want to hear. Although one may be listening to someone who’s holding a Bible, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that person is teaching what the Bible really teaches.
Let us remember dear friends, that in the same way that specific physical sickness, need specific treatments. The issue with our soul is no different. The way to protect our souls from destruction lies in God’s truth and wisdom, which is found in the Holy Scriptures. Apostle Paul explained this in 2 Timothy 3:15:
And you remember that ever since you were a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
[2 Timothy 3:15 Good News Translation]
Brother Mark: Others may say, “That’s why I make sure that I go to a Bible-yielding church and I even take notes and jot down the verses when my minister reads them from the Bible.”
Does it mean to say that, because a preacher is holding the Bible and using the Bible, then what he or she is teaching is the truth? Let’s read 2 Timothy 3:7 this is what the Bible tells us:
Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
[2 Timothy 3:7 New King James Version]
Brother Mark: The truth referred to is God’s word that’s written in John 17:17 which is found in the Holy Scriptures, or the Bible.
So how then, could it be that one is holding the truth, the Bible, but not teaching or preaching the truth? In 2 Peter 3:16, this is the answer that’s written in the Bible:
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also, the rest of the Scriptures.
[2 Peter 3:16 New King James Version]
Brother Mark: What false teachers will do is twist or distort the Scriptures, which if this is believed in and accepted by those who hear it will lead them to their destruction. This is very similar to seeking for the proper medication for a specific illness one may have. We wouldn’t just take any kind of medication without guidance, if we have a certain condition; for example, high blood pressure, diabetes. We would seek for the proper medicine that would best treat the illness and cure us from the one who has the authority to give that medicine.
When it comes to medicine for our soul, to protect it and ensure its health and salvation. There’s also a need to examine what medication or teaching we are receiving. The truth is, all professing Christians, preachers and lay members are proclaiming that they belong to God, that they are in the truth. But what should we look at, so as to know who is truly of God? Here’s what the Savior himself teaches, in John 7, will read 16 down to 17:
Jesus answered them and said “My doctrine is not Mine, but his who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God, or whether I speak on My own authority.”
[John 7:16-17 New King James Version]
Brother Mark: What people must examine to know, if we are of God, [are] the doctrines we are receiving and upholding. It does us no good if we are following our teachings and doctrines that are not of God, that wouldn’t be bad medicine. So how can one determine if what they are receiving is the right doctrine? The right teaching or the right medicine for their soul? In Galatians, 1: 6, down to 8, it says this,
I am surprised that you! In no time at all you are deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ, and are accepting another gospel. Actually, there is “no other gospel,” but I say this because there are some people who are upsetting you and trying to change the gospel of Christ. But even if we are an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel that is different from the one we preach to you, may he be condemned to hell!
[Galatians 1:6-8 Good News Translation]
Brother Mark: The apostles teach us to ensure that what we are receiving is based on the truth they preached. Did you notice the consequence of a teaching is different than theirs? It will result in complete destruction. That’s why we need to protect our souls from this kind of destruction.
Friends, it is necessary that we take the time to compare what others may be preaching to what the apostles taught. Why? Because if there is any difference between what others are saying and preaching with what the apostles taught, then that would be a different gospel and would destroy our soul instead of protect it.
So who is the one that we should seek for? To teach us the true knowledge of God for our salvation? In Malachi, we’ll read 2, 7, this is what the Bible tells us:
It is the duty of priests to teach the true knowledge of God. People should go to them to learn my will, because they are the messengers of the Lord Almighty.
[Malachi 2:7 Good News Translation]
Brother Mark: Who should we seek to teach us the true knowledge of God? The Messenger. The Bible told us they are the messengers of the Lord. People should go to them to learn My will. And as much as we look for medicines that will ease our sicknesses and life and protect our physical bodies, we need to all the more take time to take measures to protect our spiritual lives to safeguard our soul.
The way to protect our soul is by seeking for the one true church that the Lord Jesus Christ, and His apostles preached the only church with a true messenger in these last days. In this way, no matter what the problem, no matter how great the challenge, and even against all odds, just remember to trust in God, He will always provide us the solution. Thank you for joining us. We’ll see you next time.
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