A pretty young Hindu woman was assigned to my desk for what the local University referred to as a “job the mystical teachings of jesus . The objective was for the girl to spend 4 hours with an individual whose profession was that which she hoped to enter upon graduation. So, she scheduled an appointment with me and, at the appointed time, set about picking my brain in regard to the communications and marketing field. She was so enthusiastic and wanted to learn all that she could about America and its people. Naturally, we reached a point where our conversation turned to religion.
She stated that it seemed everyone she met at school was overly concerned about getting her to convert to Christianity and how she was tiring of this. She said someone even left a Bible on the ground outside her apartment door and added, “If that’s what THEY think of their holy book, well…I threw it in the trash.” I said, “I assure you, that’s not MY mission. I’m trying to convert Christians to Christ.” She laughed. We had a great visit. She left with the Bible I kept by my computer and a promise that I was here if she needed help. My wife and I intend to have her over for supper.
Converting Christians to Christ? Yes, that’s my mission – and with a sense of urgency. Far too many Christians are simply clueless about the teachings of Jesus, especially in comparison to what they know of the teachings of their denomination. Face it, not only has denominationalism never gained anyone entrance to Heaven, but it proves to be a very shaky foundation when times of testing come.
Do you recall the parable of the two building contractors? The Bible has two records of this parable. One is in Luke 6:47-49. The other is in Matthew 7:24-29. These verses record that the people were “astonished at His doctrine.” Part of that doctrine was the story He told about building on a good foundation. Paul also refers to building a foundation as being part of the doctrine of Christ: In Hebrews 6:1, he says,”therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ…not laying again the foundation….” Paul then continues to list the content of the doctrine of Jesus.
As “Christians” – a word that means “little Christs” (after all, it’s Him we should aspire to; the Head of the Body) – we must set ourselves upon something solid, a rock upon which we can assuredly set foot. That rock is nothing less than the doctrine of Christ. You see, there are three types of doctrine mentioned in Scripture: the doctrine of man, the doctrine of devils and the doctrine of Christ and of God. Second John 1:9-11 reads as follows: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”
A CLOSER LOOK AT HIS DOCTRINE
Let’s look at 2 John 9 in the original language, okay? Get out that concordance and check this out for yourself: ‘Whosoever goeth onward’ (Greek: pas o proagwn). In other words, ‘Every one who goes ahead.’ Proagw literally means “to go on before.” (See Mark 11:9). That in itself seems fine, industrious, like an ambitious self-starter…but wait! The text then says: ‘And abideth not in the teaching OF Christ’ (Greek: kai me menwn en te didache tou Christou). NOT the teaching about Christ, but the teaching OF or FROM Christ.
There it is! THAT alone is the standard of Christian doctrine; the teachings FROM Jesus TO all those who choose to follow Him. Over thirty times the Scriptures make some reference, some variation, to following Him; only ONE to being “born again.” I believe God’s trying to tell us something. We Christians make every effort to get people to be “born again” in accordance with our particular denomination’s system for doing so, but make a universally meager attempt at teaching the Doctrine of Christ and thereby making disciples as Jesus commands us in Matthew 28:18-20: “…Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Our negligence in obeying this command explains MUCH of the problem in the Body of Christ today. We’re vastly illiterate to what the Teacher taught and display a gross lack of concern regarding that of which we ARE aware.