There are so many verses in the Bible that are over-preached and then many which are conveniently ignored by modern-day teachers who preach unity at any cost. Yes, unity is a good thing, but to have true, Godly unity…it must be a unity based on Truth, not compromise.
“For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” (1 Corinthians 11:19)
Paul said there “must be” heresies among believers. The word heresies comes from the Greek word hairesisa (Strongs 139). It means a self-chosen opinion, or a religious or philosophical sect. Basically, any teaching (man-made) that is against (contradicts) the Bible’s sound teaching and sound doctrine, rightly divided (2 Tim. 2:15), is a heresy.
Often, God allows heresies or sects (divisions away from the truth of God’s Word) to arise. The Christians with the spiritual gift of discernment (or prophetic gift of standing on the truth) who very plainly see this will not have it easy in these times where truth is not popular at all, even among churches. This is a sacrificial gift as it is often ignored, misunderstood and even abused by leadership (spiritual abuse is very real and prevalent today more than ever). It’s very important for people with this gift to learn more about their gift and to stand strong. It is crucial to understand this gift (whether you have it or not) because it is the most abused gift. The apostle Paul said to “not” be ignorant of spiritual gifts.
Back to the verse. The apostle Paul was saying here in this commonly forgotten verse that heresies and false teachings are a test to see who will stay faithful to God’s Word and who will not. Often, the people who will not stay faithful to God’s Word will accuse the faithful of being divisive or ungraceful, or worse, thus bringing the way of truth into disrepute. This is a warped twist on the truth, and this is partly what the Bible means when it says, “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:2). This is speaking of the “many” people who divide away from God’s Word while at the same time falsely claiming to be “tolerant” or “graceful”. The Christians who stay true to God’s Word will be slandered or evil spoken of. This is exactly what happens today. The people who stay faithful to His Word are worthy of His Kingdom. We must not cave into deceptive teachings, for they are a test for God to see who is genuinely loyal to Him and who is not. So, stand strong today in the truth of God, and seek to understand God and how He mysteriously works!
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they draw to themselves teachers, having itching ears…” (2 TIm. 4:3)
Have a blessed day!
Christian Apologetics Research of Nevada