Ever since Satan succeeded in getting Adam and Eve to fall into sin, through his lie about what God said, we have the calling to be sure that those who "preach the gospel" do indeed bring forth the "good news" of our salvation through Christ and His cross and Spirit. Satan did not after his victory quit bringing false doctrines to man. Instead he has increased his intensity, especially after Christ's birth, cross, resurrection, and ascension to God's right hand. He, the Deceiver, is today working very hard with his lie that we can become gods through sin. The form of his lie changes, but that makes it even more deceitful and dangerous.
Therefore we should hold on to the truth, and to the calling which we find in I John 4:1 . There we read, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." We should heed this warning, because there is such a strong effort put forth by Satan today to promote a wrong harmony and peace in the church world, by compromises rather than by clearer and richer understanding of that which God says in His Word. The tendency today is to get bigger in numbers, rather than richer in the truth. The preaching seeks to please man's flesh rather than to glorify God. The aim is to make men happy about fleshly advantages, rather than about glorification of our God and His Son.
The question we must try to answer is whether the preaching glorifies God and sets Him forth as the holy God that He is. It is God Himself Who through John calls us to try the spirits that preach. If they are of God, they are going to call us to glorify Him, not change His Word for the glory of man's flesh. Be concerned then with God's glory. Defend the truth that all of our salvation is His gift to us, including the desire for that salvation. That is what He declares in His Word. Try, that is, test, the spirits that preach.
Read: I John 4:1-6
Quote for Reflection:
"Death is not now the death of me, but death will be the death of my misery, the death of my sins; it will be the death of my corruptions. But death wil be my birthday in regard of happiness." R.Sibbes