The Command to
Keep Away From Them

Dan Corner

Used by permission. [You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce this article,
but only without additions, alterations or exclusions.]

In Romans, Paul declared various facts about salvation and the real gospel itself. Among other things he mentioned Christians must persist in doing good to get eternal life (2:7); if they live according to their sinful natures they will die spiritually (8:13); that God wonít spare them if they become unbelieving but will cut them off from the life-sustaining tree, just as He did the Israelites who went into unbelief (11:19-23); and that salvation is nearer now than when they first believed (13:11). Then to the same Christians Paul stated the following:

Rom. 16:17 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. Rom. 16:18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
Verse 17 is a command and warning about false teachers that are doing two things in particular: (1) causing divisions and (2) placing obstacles (or stumblingblocks) before the Christians by their teaching. These are two outstanding traits of those who change grace into a license for immorality, according to Jude. Jude devoted his entire epistle about those who change GRACE into a license for immorality and how dangerous these teachers are. Among other things he wrote:
Jude 1:19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.


Jude also stated of these same false teachers:
Jude 1:11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaamís error; they have been destroyed in Korahís rebellion.
Balaam was an Old Testament character who taught the enemy of Israel (Balak or Balac) how to stumble the Israelites spiritually and therefore cause God not to be with them in their battles. Balaam did this devilish thing for money. Jesus himself mentioned how that was an offense or stumblingblock:
Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. (KJV)
Again, Jude stated the same truth about the grace changers, that is, they have rushed for profit into Balaamís error.

The word translated ďstumblingblockĒ in Rev. 2:14, KJV is the same Greek word found in Rom. 16:17 and defined as follows:

skandalon, skan'-dal-on ("scandal"); prob. from a der. of G2578; a trap-stick (bent sapling), i.e. snare (fig. cause of displeasure or sin):Ėoccasion to fall (of stumbling), offence, thing that offends, stumbling-block.
In other words, a stublingblock is a hinderance or cause of a fall. According to Rom. 16:17,18, false doctrine is the cause of others falling. This is especially true of the teaching of eternal security. This is what they are doing to you, your family and your friends though you might not recognize it.
1 Cor 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!

Rom 11:19 You will say then, ďBranches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.Ē Rom 11:20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. Rom 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Rom 11:22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. Rom 11:23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

2 Pet 3:17 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.

How Does God View The Grace Changers?

Just like the book of Jude, Rom. 16:18 is an inside look at eternal security teachers:
For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
This is the way we must view these people, if we believe the Bible is true. Hence, these teachers are not godly people, even though you might have heard they were in the past or think you know some today. How could they be godly since they are teaching a false gospel (a security-in-sin gospel) and stumbling others? Donít be deceived by them quoting Scriptureóthe devil can quote Scripture! And donít think because they appear righteous that they are. People filled with wickedness can appear righteous (Mt. 23:28; 2 Cor. 11:15). To deny these truths is to deny the message of the Bible. Paul stated in Rom. 16:18 these people are not serving Christ but instead their own appetites. Again, the eternal security teachers are NOT serving Christ. Do you believe the Bible? If you think this is too extreme, then what Scripture do you base this upon?

These grace changers teach their vile doctrine for the sake of financial gain, according to Jude 11. So if you call yourself a Christian and claim to believe the Bible is Godís word, Keep Away From Them. For you to disregard this command from God because you think you wonít be adversely affected by their poison reflects pride in your heart. For you to think you are different than multitudes that have been stumbled and deceived by them shows you have been somewhat deceived already. Please know you cannot sin in this way and not be hurt by it. Keep Away From Them.

If you are a Christian you are commanded to contend against these peopleóand not support them in the slightest way, especially financially. They are false teachers, who are deceiving and stumbling Christians into sin. Hence, no Christian should ever financially support their congregations, ministries or religious endeavors of any sort. You should never work with these people for any reason, even one that seems unrelated to teaching. To give them any credibility is to hurt the cause of God. Keep Away From Them. So, donít read their books, magazines or literature. If you do you throw yourself open to doctrinal deception. They donít know or understand the God of the Bible or the plan of salvation. What kind of spiritual insights could they have? It doesnít matter what topic they seem to be sound in that might not be related to the believerís security ó Keep Away From Them.

These people are deceivers even though they are smooth talkers and might give even give the illusion of teaching holiness at times. Their version of holiness is not the holiness of the Bible. They are trying to convince you that a Christian cannot die spiritually and get back on the road to hell. This is no friend and certainly canít be a true shepherd or spiritual leader. Some of them will confuse the issue and try to make the emphasis true conversion and genuine faith instead of a mere profession of faith as being the all-important issue. Their theology canít recognize the truth that a real Christian can die spiritually and not inherit the kingdom of God after physical death.These same teachers will frequently say of a person who professed faith in Jesus, who would afterwards return to sin he was never saved to begin with. That is one way to easily recognize them. Donít be deceived by these deceivers. Keep Away From Them.

Donít listen to them answer questions over the radio, donít give them a link from your web site, donít give them any money, donít attend their churches, donít recommend their books, tapes, etc. You are actually sharing in their wicked work by doing so. You are helping to stumble others by your internet links and compliments. You will never read even one complimentary word in Jude about the eternal security teachers! Never. That is how God views these grace changers.

Eternal Security ďApologistsĒ

Dear reader, would you go to a Jehovahís Witness, Mormon or Catholic apologist for insights about the Bible, that is, assuming you know such sources are not representing the true plan of salvation? They might have some sound materials on creation and other areas, but they will still deceive people about salvation itself. How then can you go to and even recommend the books and radio and TV programs that the eternal security apologists have? Donít you realize their message of eternal security has rotted to the core their concept about God, sin, salvation, endurance, Christian responsibilities for spiritual survival, etc.? Their message is laced with spiritual poison. If all the Christians who know that eternal security is a false and deadly teaching would stop befriending these savage wolves in sheep clothing, this problem in our dark day would not be nearly as great as it is. You are to contend against them (Jude 3,4). To show tolerance (Gr: leave alone) to these teachers is not wisdom, Christian love or being merciful. To show tolerance to these people that are leading Godís servants into immorality by their teaching is a sin (Rev. 2:20). Jesus is bothered by this, according to that Scripture!

How To Please God

Dear reader, are you sincerely trying to please God? Please ponder what Paul wrote about this subject:
Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! Gal 1:9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Gal 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
To try to please God means you are not going to compromise with those preaching another gospel, like the eternal security teachers are doing. Notice the emphasis is not on the Trinity (even though it is Biblical), but on the salvation message itself. Those teachers will be damned to hell just on the basis that they are teaching a false gospel (Gal. 1:8,9). Their end will be what their actions deserve (2 Cor. 11:15). Do you believe the Bible? If so, then Keep Away From Them. They are NOT serving our Lord Christ.
Rom 16:17 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. Rom 16:18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
Keep Away From Them! They are NOT serving our Lord Christ.