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Don't Read His Book
by Brian Price 3/18/2012

LISTEN TO THIS SERMON BY CLICKING HERE.

"And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some." - 2 Timothy 2:17-18

Timothy, from what we know from the Bible, was a young man, who Paul had taken under his wing as a student of the faith. Paul said that Timothy served with him in the gospel "...as a son with the father." (Philippians 2:22) Timothy was very dear to Paul, and had often been his companion in travel whenever Paul would go to preach the gospel.

Here in the book of second Timothy, we see that Paul wrote to his young counterpart, urging him to beware of men whose words would "... eat as a canker," (vs. 17). He goes on to say that these certain men have overthrown "the faith of some," (vs. 18). I imagine in those days, there were many who were trying their hardest to stop the spread of Christianity. Many perhaps disguised themselves as Christians, and then taught false doctrines with the intention of overthrowing the faith of the believers. Paul, like many of the early disciples urged the Christians to beware of these "wolves in sheeps' clothing." Our Lord Jesus even exhorted his followers to "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves," (Matthew 7:15).

Paul said in his letter to the Church at Ephesus about these kind of men, saying, that they "... lie in wait to deceive," (Ephesians 4:14). Peter said that many would follow their pernicious ways "... by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of," (2 Peter 2:2). Many false teachers and evil men have passed through the centuries speaking evil about God, about the Bible, and about Jesus. Their mouths are like open graves, or like open sewers, spewing out filth and wickedness with the intent of overthrowing the faith of Christians. They have nothing but contempt for God and the Bible, and their hatred is their driving force for their hypocrisy. As the Bible says, their mouth is "...full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes," (Romans 3:14-18).

It is a historical fact that Joseph Stalin, the ruler and dictator of the Soviet Union from 1941 until 1953, was on his to way to becoming a preacher as a young man, having attended the Tiflis Theological Seminary in the 1890's. [1]

1. Joseph Stalin, Biography, Spartucus Educational, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RUSstalin.htm
It was during his time at Tiflis Theological Seminary that he came into contact with Karl Marx's book(s). Soon after reading his book, he left Christianity, and began following atheistic communism. He later became history's most cruel mass murderer of his own people. The one who overthrew his faith, Karl Marx, is famous for his writing of The Communist Manifesto. Karl Marx was not just an atheist, but he was well known for his anti-God ideologies. He has been quoted as saying, "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness."[2]
2. Karl Marx; Joseph O'Malley (26 August 1977). Critique of Hegel's 'Philosophy of right'. CUP Archive. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-521-29211-5. Retrieved 23 April 2011. http://books.google.com/books?id=uxg4AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA131#v=onepage&q&f=false
Let me plainly say that Karl Marx was wrong about religion. Religion is not the source for people's unhappiness, but rather religion is the source of people's true happiness.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." - Psalms 33:12

"Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee." - Psalms 128:1-2

"He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he." - Proverbs 16:20

It is in fact atheism that is a major source for unhappiness. In 2004, the American Journal of Psychiatry reported the following:
"Religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and more first-degree relatives who committed suicide than subjects who endorsed a religious affiliation. Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members. Furthermore, subjects with no religious affiliation perceived fewer reasons for living, particularly fewer moral objections to suicide. In terms of clinical characteristics, religiously unaffiliated subjects had more lifetime impulsivity, aggression, and past substance use disorder. No differences in the level of subjective and objective depression, hopelessness, or stressful life events were found." - http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/161/12/2303

But Joseph Stalin is not the only victim in history that had a negative life-changing experience after reading an unbeliever's book. Many people throughout history have fallen victim to the teachings and writings of atheists, agnostics, and unbelievers of the like. I have recently read about a young man who took his own life after reading one atheist's book on religion after a college professor challenged him to read it. My very own uncle is an atheist, in which only God knows how that came to be. But I do know that he was a Christian as a young man. It is quite possible that he also stumbled upon someone's book and lost his faith.

You must understand that there are people out in this world who hate God, and they want to destroy your faith in him. According to one website, they have this quote from an old Soviet newspaper:

"We do not fight against believers and not even clergymen. WE FIGHT AGAINST GOD to snatch believers from Him. (Vechernaia Moskva, a Soviet newspaper)
Dearly beloved Christian, take earnest heed of men. They, like the Devil, wish to snatch you out of the hands of God, and throw you into hell. They wish to overthrow your faith in him, making your mind ill-effected against him in believing some lie about him. They often will quote the Old Testament law to justify their hatred for God, yet, as the Bible says, they wrest (twist) the scriptures for their own ungodly purposes "...unto their own destruction," (2 Peter 3:16). They, like Alexander the Coppersmith, greatly withstand our words. They use every tactic of hell to overthrow, to destroy, to kill, and to harm you and your love for God. Do not allow, as Jesus said, any man to deceive you. Because they willingly withhold the truth of the kingdom of God, that they might hinder you from entering in, and they themselves also do not enter in. They seek to make you two-fold more the child of hell than themselves, and they succeed by getting you to read their books. But like Ecclessiastes says, of making many books, there is no end. So too, of making many atheistic and wicked books that assault the good name of God and his Holy Book are endless, and as Jesus said, they hate him without a cause. Do not fall for their tactics. Pray God that he would deliver you from seeds of doubt, and words of men, so that they do not eat you as a canker, and thus overthrow your faith.

The very tactic and heavenly approach to counter such wiles of Satan, are to take the Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, and to continuously read and study, and listen to it. Because it is only by this means that you will increase in faith. To read the books of unbelievers and to heed their ungodly websites, and to listen to their wicked words is to destroy your faith. But remember the words of the Bible that you ought to be "...building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost," (Jude 1:20)

And remember that "...faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God," (Romans 10:17).

I pray God that he keeps you.

IF YOU DIED TODAY, WOULD YOU GO TO HEAVEN?

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