The product recall was called “voluntary” by the company, but had they not pulled it back immediately, the FDA would have forced them to. The problem was one known within the industry as “mislabeling.” The package’s outside label said, “Quinacrine” – sadly, the package’s contents were actually “artemisinin.” A completely different drug – oops! If you had tapeworms and were prescribed quinacrine, artemisinin just wouldn’t cure what ailed ya’!
There was certainly no intention to cause harm on anyone’s part, but that wouldn’t have changed the consequences. Likewise, there are many false religions out there that are labeled as “Christian” but have very little to do with the gospel of Christ. They may use churchy-sounding words, even borrow some terms and phrases from Scripture, but when they’re all mixed together, the final product is “mislabeled.”
Paul addressed one such mislabeled message that had infiltrated the church at Colossae. To the crucifixion of Jesus, some false teachers wanted to add angel worship, keeping of ceremonies, and reliance upon human wisdom and tradition. To confront this heresy, Paul reminded the Colossians that in Christ they already had everything they needed for life and salvation (2:2-3). Then he added this warning:
I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments (v.4).
Paul acknowledged that the arguments that are most likely to fool us are those that sound good – close to the truth – but contain just enough falsehood to be deadly.
Friends, if any truth claim about obtaining a right standing before God adds ANYTHING to the finished work of Christ, that faith is mislabeled, and it will not cure the sin problem that affects everyone! Yet countless souls are ingesting doses of it all the time. Therefore, we need to speak the truth at every opportunity – lives are at stake.
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