You’ve got to stand for something or you will fall for anything. It’s true that many devious politicians will flip flop like a fish out of water on everything that they say and do. One day they are for something, tomorrow they are against it, and the next day they are not sure. They are good at following poll numbers as to what is popular, but they have no inner core of convictions. Politicians fraudulently do this to persuade as many voters into voting for them. However, as bad as this appears in the political world, it is much worse when it comes to preachers, teachers, and elders. They do such things to appease gullible members to remain and give them their money.
There are many passages which teach us the importance of “taking a stand” for God, and against the Devil and error. Paul told the Ephesians to, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. . . Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. . . Stand therefore” (Eph. 6:11-14). He also reminded the Corinthians of the meaning of being a Christian. He said, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein you stand” (1 Cor. 15:1). As he was closing his first epistle to Corinth, Paul admonished, “Watch you, stand firm in the faith, be brave, be strong” (1 Cor 16:13). Paul said to the Philippians that he wanted to hear “that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27). He also told these brethren to “stand firm in the Lord” (Phil. 4:1). Several other New Testament passages require that Christians take a stand for Truth, against error (Rom.5:2 ff; Col. 4:12; 1 Thess. 3:8; 2 Thess. 2:15; 1 Pet. 5:12). The responsibility is clearly and emphatically appointed to us – Take a stand with and for God, for truth, and against sin.
One would suppose that a faithful Christian would look at this evidence and take a stand. Many do! But, many others don’t! When Paul wrote to Timothy, he said, “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me” (2 Tim. 4:16). Most of us would like to think we would have stood firmly with him for the truth. But just “thinking” it is not “doing” it. Thus, he warned, “Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed unless he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). There is an ever present danger that we will not carry through with our convictions and stand for right, against evil. The road of time is littered with the remains of those who knew that they should have stood for Christ and the gospel, but failed to do so. “The cause of truth has suffered immeasurably because God’s people did not find the courage at the hour of trial to stand for that cause.” Too many fell for error!
The Apostle Paul addressed the question of “falling for anything” when he talked about the edification of God’s people. He wrote, “That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14). When Jesus warned of the danger which false teachers present, he said, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matt. 15:14). Note Peter’s warning: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness” (2 Pet. 3:17).
It is evident that a failure to stand for Truth, subjects us to the possibility that we will fall for error. God’s people have not been diligent in guarding against this danger. Practically every generation has had “issues” of right and wrong with which to grapple, and each time these questions arise, scores “fall for” error. There is no way to measure what the strength of the church today would be if we had not lost these people through apostasy. Had they stood for the truth of God’s word, they would not have fallen for such errors as instrumental music, missionary societies, benevolent societies, church supported colleges and fellowship halls.
I trust that by now you are aware that a major problem is developing in the church regarding the truth about marriage, divorce and remarriage. I thought we knew the basic truth about this subject, but evidently we don’t. Those who are teaching error regarding the matter are men who should know better. Moses in the old testament allowed men for the hardness of their heart to give a writing of divorcement to their wives and that for any reason (Deut 24:1). Women were never allowed to divorce their husbands and be remarried to another man. We know God hates divorce (Mal 2:16) and didn’t allow anyone in the new testament to commit more adultery as many suggest today. No! God reduced the husband to only divorce his wife and remarry if the cause for the divorce was fornication (Mt 5:32 f; Mt 19:9). Women are commanded to remain married to their husband until he dies in order to be remarried to another man (Rom 7:2,3 f; 1 Cor 7:39). If she divorces her husband she must remain unmarried or be reconciled back to her husband (1 Cor 7:10,11). Many in the church today teaches God allows divorce for both the man and the woman if the cause be for fornication. Brethren, not one scripture says such. No not one! Such is taught to keep brethren in the church pews in order for them to open up their pocket books.
Notice the words of Paul concerning false teachers. “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom 16:17-19). These are the kind of preachers who will tell you anything that you want to hear in order to make gain from you. After all, the larger the crowds who attend their assembly, the more they have job security.
History and the Scriptures say that they will teach their error and many will fall for it (Acts 20:29-30). It is not yet possible to determine what the effect of their heresy will be. It is rather obvious that it will not be good for the cause of our Lord. So, the warning that “you’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything, ” is an appropriate warning again. We had better make up our minds to stand for the Truth about God’s teaching on marriage or we will fall for anything that false teachers might say on the subject, depending upon the confidence we happen to have in the false teacher. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1-2). Does history always have to repeat itself, or will God’s people finally learn to stand for the truth of God? Only when we continue in God’s Word are we truly God’s chosen people and free from sin (Jn 8:31,32).