The Old Testament tells us about a preacher (prophet) who lied to a younger man (1 Kgs. 13). The lie was told in all good conscience. It was told with the intent of helping the young man (1 Kgs. 13:11-19). The young man believed the lie, benefited in an earthly way, but ended up losing his life (1 Kgs. 13:20-28). Thus, we know that religious leaders will sometimes tell a lie with the best intentions. We also know that religious followers will sometimes believe a lie.
How could the young man have avoided being killed by the lion? He could have rejected the lie. How could he know the lie was a lie? If he had stopped to consider that he knew what God revealed to him and what the old prophet said was contrary to it — let God be true and every man a liar (cp. Rom. 3:4).
So, does your preacher lie to you? Does he tell you salvation is by faith alone? The Bible says it is “not by faith only” (Jas. 2:24). One must also repent, confess, and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 3:19; Rom. 10:9-13; Acts 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).
Your preacher may have the best intentions in the world. However, if what he says contradicts the Bible, it is a lie. If you believe it, you will suffer the consequences. You know what God has said, it’s in the Bible. Therefore, reject the lie and listen to the truth (cp. 2 Jn. 9-11; Gal. 1:6-9; Jn. 17:17).
Steven F. Deaton