Sects vs. ChristianityAuthor: Josué Mora Peña
A sect or cult is a number of persons adhering together t o a specific doctrine or set of beliefs. A faction of dissenters from an established church (The Scribner Bantam English Dictionary).
A religion is not a sect, it is a religious organized institution; a system of beliefs and worship based on revelation and faith.
The sects have been in the world since the beginning of Christianity. The most dangerous are the ones which resemble the true Gospel. In 1 John 4:1, we read Dont believe every spirit
because many false prophets are gone out into the world. The church has never been freed from false teachers. 2 Peter 2:1 says: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you. How can we discern the spirits? How can we be sure that what we read and listen to is good or bad? True or false? Do we go to the Bible to find the answers and doubts that we might have? Even what Im stating in this sermon, is it biblical or twisted? Hence the need to read, study and know our Bible in order to be able to distinguish what comes from God and what comes from sects.
The Bible cautions us in Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 2 Corinthians 11:24 says: "Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. So, you see by these Bible scriptures that the Christian is always in danger, because even the Devil disguises in such a way that we are not even aware of it.
In 1 Timothy 4:1, Paul tells us that in the later days some will depart from the faith and the most painful thing about this is that they dont even notice when this is happening. Little by little they begin to go astray, believing a lie instead of the truth and by the time they realize it, they have already apostatized, they have renounced their religious faith. It is like the way the Eskimos kill a wolf. It is said that these people sharpen a two-edge knife and smear it with blood several times. Then they bury it under the snow with the blade pointing upwards. The wolf, wherever he is, starts following his nose until he finds the knife. He starts liking it with his tongue. Because it is too cold, he does not feel that he is bleeding and continues to bleed until he dies. It happens the same way when a Christian departs from his faith.
According to the first letter of John 2:18, the proliferation of sects or cults is a sign of the last days. Sure enough, we are living in the last days. Let us see some of the characteristics of a sect: One of them is that their leaders came out of a Christian church. Thats why, even in the first century, John wrote, They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belong to use, they would have remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us. When people in the churches begin to feel the sweetness of power, they follow after that power, whether they be clergy or laity.
Some examples: The leader of a certain group was a member of a Presbyterian church and then became a Pentecostal; the leader of another sect or cult belonged to the Christian Missionary Alliance; the leader of still another sect, attended a Congregational church; the founder of another very well know sect was born in a Congregational church, then was influenced by the Methodist doctrine and later became a Pentecostal, just to mention a few.
Another characteristic is that the leaders of sects have the last word. It is not the Bible. They are in control of the group, whether big or small. Other characteristic would be that they have their own rules imposed by the leader. They use the Bible in order to appear to be a good doctrine.
Now, during these past months, The Da Vinci Code book has been deceiving many believers, because they do not know their Bibles. Many do not know how to distinguish the truth from fiction. The Bible tells us also that in the last days, many will believe a lie instead of a truth and we are seeing precisely that. Christians are being attacked in so many ways and sometimes dont even know it. That is why the Bible says that because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold Matthew 24:14.
I believe that it is time for Christian to take a stand, to take seriously our commitment to Christ because more and more the Devil has been infiltrating in our homes by different ways. We know the world is not getting better but worse. It will be until Christ returns in His second coming to reign for 1000 years that will be able to live in peace in this world, made, created and preserved by God precisely for us.
What can we do as Christians in relation to the sects and all the wrongs in the word? Pray daily, read, study and meditate our Bible. The more we know about God, the more prepared we would be to resist temptation and overcome the world like Jesus did. Let us be faithful to our God in everything.