For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. – Colossians 2:1-5
We live in an age where heresy can spread to the entire world with the click of a mouse. All I’ve got to do is *click* and I can spread Arianism faster than Arius. I can only wonder how Paul would write if he were alive today. That is simply for the ponderings of one’s imagination. What I do have are the affectionate and pastoral words of Paul to the Colossians that remains applicable today. We were studying this text tonight at Bible Study. (Bible study is a marvelous time to study the Scriptures.) As Joey taught tonight. One of the observations and comments he had on the text was how Paul was concerned with false teaching not only among the Colossians but among the churches that were all near by. Paul’s goal was to present them all as mature believers in Christ and see that none of them were lead astray by false doctrine. Just because of the close proximity Paul in his pastoral wisdom knew that teaching spreads. It spread 2000 years ago by word of mouth and epistles. It took time for any kind of media to spread. The Ancient world lacked the technology we have today. Even with a lack of Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Blogger, MySpace, Email, and so on false teaching managed to spread.
I’m reminded of the debate betwixt Augustine and Pelagius. Sixteen-hundred years ago those two men managed to debate and without a forum or message board. There were no hash tags on Twitter. Yet the topics of these men managed to trend in the ancient world of Christendom.
Today we’re in the 21st Century and you can Tweet your Orthodoxy, you can Facebook your Heterodoxy, you can blog your heresy. With in a matter of moments false doctrine can spread from your fingertips to everyone on the World Wide Web.
So I must ask, how much harder than Paul must we toil and struggle to present the church mature in Christ Jesus? How hard, how frequent, how public, how wise must we be to teach the church of God so that they mustn’t be persuaded by the fine bloggery of modern day disciples of Arius, Pelagius, Eusebius, and so on? Beloved be not fooled, for every DesiringGod.org there are dozens of websites claiming to present the Gospel of Christ Jesus. But falsehood runs a rye. The toiling of the gospel minister today seems endless just as it was for Paul. Arm yourself brothers with that which is at your disposal. Tweet/Facebook/Blog/Preach/Teach/Proclaim the Gospel in the face of false teaching.
Ministers of the gospel stand with Spurgeon you may not preach as well as a Whitefield of Wesley, but you can preach no greater gospel than they. Toil in the gospel for the sake of the saints and toil in the gospel for the glory of God in the face of adversity and falsehood abounding. Though the toiling bring suffering, what worth is found in the gospel of Christ.