Paul tells Titus that there are “many false teachers” abroad at his writing. I wonder what he would say today. There are certainly many more today than there has ever been in the history of Christianity. Of Course, Jesus himself, said there would be many false teachers and Paul told Timothy that there would come a time when people would reject “sound doctrine” and be turned to myths and follow dreamers and schemers of all kinds.

In Norm Geisler’s introduction to his book with Ron Brooks on recognizing the cults in our world today he writes, “Cults and new religions are exploding in unprecedented proportions on the American horizon. As the light of Christianity fades, darkness is flooding in from every side. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and New Age religions galore are all seeking the souls of human beings. Each professes to have the latest way to enlightenment, the prophet for our time, or the sure way to universal peace. Some experts say there are about 700 cults, while others say there are as many as 3,000. Cults of one form or another involve more than 20 million people in the United States, and they are multiplying at an alarming rate. Worldwide there are now over 5 million Jehovah’s Witnesses (who spend over one billion man–hours per year proselytizing), almost 9 million Mormons (presently growing at a rate of 1,500 new members per day), and tens of millions of New Agers. World religions that are diametrically opposed to Christianity are also growing at a frightening rate. For example, there are nearly one billion Muslims in the world. That is about one out of every 5 persons on earth! In North America alone it is estimated that there are between 4 and 8 million Muslims. And there are more than 1,100 Muslim mosques in the United States.”

Paul instructs Titus on several aspects of these false teachers that will help Titus, and us, recognize them and deal with them effectively. Four characteristics are specifically mentioned in verse 10; they are insubordinate, empty talkers, deceivers, and divisive. The best defense for a cult is a well informed Christian. Another writer says, “The best way for you and me and our kids to be invulnerable to cults is to study the real thing. Really study the Bible so when cult members come to you and try to persuade you to follow them, your Biblical cult detector activates and says, ‘No, that is not what the Bible says, and you are wrong. There is only one Bible. There is only one God. There is only one Messiah. There will never be another Messiah after Jesus Christ.’”

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1