There is nothing like a glass of ice cold, crystal clear water. It’s one of the most valuable privileges we have in this life. For the residents in Kanawha County in West Virginia, this privilege was lost. Yesterday, residents began reporting a foul odor in the air. Investigators soon discovered that a 48,000-gallon tank of chemicals had been leaking into the Elk River, which is the source of water for about 300,000 residents. Before they could send a warning about the poisonous water, 1,000 calls had already been placed to 911. According to the authorities, they are only allowed to use the water to flush their toilets right now.
Pure water is so valuable. When this is taken away, it’s devastating. The same is true spiritually. The only pure spiritual water comes to us from Jesus (John 6:35). The problem is, some have added different ingredients to Jesus life saving water, making it corrupt.
Some add mud to the water. Scripture is extremely clear on matters of worship, church organization, moral guidelines, and salvation. Over time people have slapped their muddy opinions into Jesus’ pure water. Let’s remember that the Lord isn’t a God of confusion, but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). He has made things clear, and we have muddying things up. Let’s look to the pure words of Scripture for the answers.
Some add sweeteners to the water. Everyone likes a sweet, warm, fuzzy, feel good message. This is why our society has adopted mottos like, “everyone’s right,” “do whatever makes you happy,” “let’s all just get along,” and “don’t judge.” There is no sweeter message, no words that tickle the ears more, than ones which give us permission to do anything and everything our hearts desire (2 Timothy 4:3). The truth is, there is a right and wrong way (John 14:6), and we will be held accountable for everything we do by the Bible’s rules, not society’s (John 12:48; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Some add poison to the water. Poisonous chemicals like half-truths, one-verse theologies, and the blatant ignoring of God’s commands have tainted Jesus’ life saving water. Obviously not all religious organizations agree with each other. Many of their teachings even contradict each other. The only way to see which is right is by comparing their teachings to God’s rulebook. If any religion is teaching or practicing something contrary to Scripture, they are poisoning Jesus’ life saving water.
There is nothing more valuable than the clean, pure water of the Word. Let’s close with an important reminder from Paul about those who try to “change the water.”
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:6-9).