II Timothy 3:14 “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;”
As we read the exhortation by Paul to young Timothy we find the command to continue. In verse 13 we see that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” There is no question about it, we are living in these last days! It is important for us to continue in the things we have learned!
I am going to assume that the vast majority of my readers are Independent Fundamental Baptists. I will now make several declarations, and then we will swing back to the main theme of this article:
- I am unashamedly an Independent Fundamental Baptist.
- You cannot truly identify as a Baptist if you are not both Independent and Fundamental, as church autonomy and absolute Bible authority are two of the hallmarks of our Baptist (and I believe Biblical) faith!
- While I realize that you do not have to be an IFB to be saved, there is nothing wrong with being an IFB! I firmly believe that if a person were to go into a room with a Bible (with no previous denominational teaching) he would come out an Independent Fundamental Baptist! In case you doubt me – Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregationalist historians have ALL admitted that the first Christians were Baptists!
- There are many “Christians” who attack those who identify as IFB and are working overtime to show you the errors of your ways!
- These individuals are usually compromisers who need to validate their compromise!
- They go by New Independents, Recovering Fundamentalists, and other such absurdities.
Let us divert back! I firmly believe that as Independent Fundamental Baptists it is our duty to continue in the things that we have been taught! There is no need to apologize for believing what we believe! I want to use the IFB to give us three things that I believe will help keep you an Independent Fundamental Baptist!
I- Right Influences
Paul admonished Timothy to continue in the things that HE had taught him! Paul understood this idea of influence. He knew that there would be seducers that would try to distract Timothy from the right way! By the way, that word simply means “that which leads astray”. Seducers are not always evil people! Many young people are being led away by quasi-Christians who pretend to be trying to enlighten them by unshackling them from their archaic beliefs! Look, I can’t argue with them- The Bible is Old! I also believe it is timeless and inspired by God, so I am going to stick with it!
Because of that, I want to choose people who believe the Bible 100% to be the ones who I let influence me! Remember, you can’t choose how someone influences you! You can only choose WHO influences you!
F – Right Friends
Yes, friends do also carry influence. The first point was more for choosing mentors, heroes, and leaders you follow. Sadly, I have known people who have had great parents, great preachers, and have gone to great Bible colleges, and yet somehow they ended up out of the Will of God! It wasn’t for the lack of good influences!
Proverbs 13:20 gives us a great warning “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” You will be tomorrow who your friends are today! Make sure you choose wisely! By the way, the most influential earthly friend you will ever have will be the one you marry! Be careful, prayerful, and get counsel!
B – Right Books
The Bible is the book of books! It should be the first and most important book of your life! That being said, you probably are at some point going to read something else other than the Bible.
You should read books that please God! Use Philippians 4:8 as a filter for things you should think on! This will keep you out of books filled with cursing, so called “romance” novels, eastern mysticism, and unbiblical life views! Trust me, there are Millions of books with bad content! Ask your pastor and parents about books that will help you!
If you are going to read Christian books specifically, make sure your parents and/or preacher would recommend the author! Young preacher boys, I would avoid reading guys who are semi-Fundamentalists! You see, this isn’t a “eat the meat and spit out the bones” situation. These guys are intentionally putting bones in hard to find places! They want to lead you astray! They want to shake your faith on some issues! I am not going to call them out directly, but I believe you should get every author you read approved by Godly leaders you trust!
IFB – Influences, Friends, Books
Choose wisely! Stay the course! Keep serving the King of Kings!
Church Planter | Jasper, IN