One day several disciples went to Jesus to ask about the time of destruction that was to come on Jerusalem and its temple. Jesus warned them to be on the lookout for charlatans who would try to lead them astray by claiming that the time had already come and that they themselves were the promised Messiah. The disciples were not to be fooled because before that would happen there would be a extremely difficult time of international war, famine, earthquakes, and terrible signs that filled the sky. Jesus warned them about the spiritual damage that could come from those so-called prophetic voices that claimed knowledge of the future. He was concerned that the believers to whom he was writing be led astray by false teaching.
So, how can the fact that Jesus’ warned his disciples be applied to the life of a believer today? Are we responsible in some way for what might be called the purity of the faith? One example might be the recent decision in our nation’s capital to declare the legality of same sex marriage. Some would consider that a legal, not a moral, concern, and therefore not relevant. But aren’t laws a reflection of what a people hold to be right or wrong? If so, then the issue becomes ethical, not merely legalistic. For example, speed limits are not arbitrary decisions but exist because we hold the moral principle that human life ought not be endangered by fast moving cars. It seems logical, therefore, that if we believe that marriage is intended by God for one man and one woman, we should let our voices be heard against any change in the divine plan. Jesus warned about false teaching, so should we not correct heresy whenever it arises?
I get the feeling that we tend to handle Christian heresies by pretending they don’t exist. “Get along, go along” is the mantra we constantly hear. Since the context in which Jesus spoke had to do with events yet future should we not allow the amillennialist to believe one thing and the premillennialist something else? Jesus warned against charlatans who would distort truth so shouldn’t we do the same? But, you say, which position is right? I believe responsible Christian scholarship should go to work and solve such issues. The time is over for scholars to start with the conclusion and then expend all their energy on proving it in a scholarly way.