Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
That was the word that I chose to summarize this year’s Africa Ministry Training Course (AMTC) when each participant was asked to do so at the end of the seminar. This was a record-breaking year for AMTC, bringing over 70 participants from across the globe to London for a weeklong study of biblical doctrines, spiritual cultivation, and RE training.
What really stood out for me from this year’s seminar were the classes on “Evangelism and Discerning the Spirits,” in which the speaker discussed the errors preached by a former minister. A sister from Paris Church also testified about her personal struggle in discerning falsehood that was being preached by one who at that time was her own local church pastor, and whom she knew all her life. These classes made me realize that the battle for truth is real, is actively ongoing within our church, and that we must all fight it. The rise of a false prophet from within the church as prophesied by Elder John in the book of Revelation has come to light today, and it would be foolish for us to pretend that the spiritual battle is remote or removed from us.
As a result of the seminar, I began to ask myself three questions, which I invite you to ask yourself as well:
- Do I know the truth?
It is easy to think that if we can recite the 10 basic beliefs, then we know the basic doctrines and can stop there. But from the recent struggles within the church, affecting even those whom others thought were spiritually advanced, it has become obvious that superficial knowledge is not enough. We need to know the biblical foundations of the doctrines, be able to discern the true from the false, and be able to defend the true gospel from those who may attack it. Especially in this time when false teachings have led many astray, let us strengthen our knowledge of doctrine and become pillars firmly founded on the teachings of the apostles and prophets.
- Do I believe in the truth?
Do we have faith that the gospel we preach in the True Jesus Church is indeed the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit, and the only path to salvation? If we compromise in our faith about the truth, if we doubt that the True Jesus Church is the only true church of God, then we are already beginning to be corrupted by the lies of the world, opening the door to further deviations from the true gospel. If we have any doubts, we need to ask God to help our unbelief, work to understand this doctrine, and humble ourselves to obey the truth that is revealed by the Holy Spirit.
- Have I lived out the truth?
When I saw the spirit of the volunteers and ministers who have gone on missionary trips to Africa, I realized how insufficient my own attempts have been toward living out the truth. How many of us live as missionaries, preaching the gospel in season and out of season? Have we sowed any seeds of the gospel? Have we shone the light of Christ to everyone around us? It is not enough to simply know and believe; our Lord Jesus Christ has also charged us to go out and preach the truth. So let us shake ourselves out of the numbness of our busy lives and go out to fulfill the great commission of our Lord.
May the Lord help us to treasure the true gospel that He has entrusted to us in the True Jesus Church, and may He give us the courage and wisdom to proclaim the truth to the ends of the earth.