The Biblical Alert for Teachers

by Dr. Ken Matto

(James 3:1 KJV) My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

Before we begin the discussion on the biblical alert for teachers, it must be realized that teachers who are the elect of God will never come into condemnation or judgment. Our salvation was sealed on Calvary and initiated before the foundation of the world. If we taught an incorrect doctrine and it was deemed sin and then we were judged for that sin, then we must go to hell because then every sin was not paid for but this is not the case. When I use the term "teacher" in this study, I am applying it to all phases of the teaching ministry of the church, which includes the Pastor and Sunday School Teacher, whether children or adult.

What then is the condemnation which the teacher receives? The unsaved teacher receives eternal damnation but what about the saved teacher? Since the saved teacher cannot be condemned to hell, then another condemnation must be in view. Before we progress, we must do some word definitions to gain a better understanding of the condemnation which is in view.

(Rom 8:1 KJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

(Eph 1:4 KJV) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:


In James 3:1 the words:

Masters is: "Teachers," and in Greek it is "didaskaloi" (didaskaloi) where we receive our English word "didactic," which means designed or intended to teach.

Greater is also: "even more, of greater degree" and in Greek it is "meizon" (meizon).

Condemnation is also: "Judgment, decision, or sentence," and in Greek it is "krima" (krima).


I wish to partition this study into 3 parts for a more detailed examination. I have applied the following titles to our study.

I. Why will teachers be judged the harshest?
II. Who will judge the teachers?
III. What will be the sentence?



1. They influence their hearers
This is probably the most obvious principle which emanates from teaching. Teacher's influence the very lives of their hearers. People generally act on what they hear in two different directions: First, if they agree with the teacher, they will adapt their line of thinking; Secondly, if they disagree (even if the teacher is correct) they will align their thought patterns in the opposite direction. In either case a new line of thinking is either birthed or the old line of thinking is continued by enforcement from the teachings of the teacher. Teaching is a very serious thing and cannot be entered into lightly. This, of course, applies to teaching by writing also.
2. They must make decisions about acceptance or rejection of materials
When a teacher is preparing a lesson to teach in front of the church there will always be a deluge of materials to choose from. Whenever I teach, I use the Bible alone but in the past and there may be times in the future that I will use prepared materials. This is where discernment comes in as the teacher cannot accept materials at face value, they must be evaluated before usage. When ever I used prepared materials to teach Sunday School, I would make sure that the materials were sound and wherever it seemed to disagree with Scripture, I would make sure I brought that to the attention of the class. Just because materials are put out by your denomination or a Christian publisher, does not insure that they are sound. Some of these publishers have turned biblical truths into story time which results in washing down the hard realities of Scripture. Your responsibility as a teacher is to filter out the bad and give your hearers the truth.
3. They can increase in pride
A major danger of being a teacher is that we can swell up with pride. We may believe we have something over the brethren in the pews. If God has given a Christian the spiritual gift of teaching, they must realize that whatever they learn is only through the Holy Spirit opening their spiritual ears. Any information which is learned is to be shared with the church. Pride has no place in teaching because it is sin and sin blinds, even the Christian. Arrogant Christians grow in themselves while humble Christians grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.
4. The church will follow them
By the time of Christ's walk on earth, the Pharisees had so clouded the teachings of the coming Messiah, that they did not recognize who Jesus was. In the modern church, many churches have been clouded by anti-Christ teachings that they cannot recognize Jesus. They refer to him as a great prophet, teacher, a martyr, a great moralist, but never the Savior, Son of God, The Everlasting Father in the flesh. There is not only a rejection of Christ as the Savior in the modern church but of sound doctrine. Have you ever been in a free will church and used words like "election" or "predestination" in the way they were meant to be used? I have and I am no longer in those churches. If the pastor and teachers align themselves with a certain doctrine, then the church will also align themselves with those doctrines.
5. Credentials can cause one to be unteachable
Sometimes those with theological degrees may feel they have reached an educational plateau and therefore only teach and not learn. Some of the most precious truths of the faith I have ever learned were by the mouths of those who never set foot inside a seminary or Bible college. It is an unfortunate situation that in the modern church credentials are placed over faithfulness and biblical qualification. A degree does not guarantee the teacher:
A. is saved.
B. is qualified.
C. has the right heart for teaching.
D. has a good understanding of Scripture. In Seminary, the teachings of men overshadows the teaching of Scripture.
6. People put faith in those with more knowledge
Let me say here that having more knowledge does not necessarily mean that one is disqualified from teaching. It is what that person does with the knowledge. Having knowledge itself is not sinful but the normal pattern in the church is that those with knowledge build their base on the writings of men and not on the Bible. This is why we can hear a sermon or Sunday School lesson for an hour and only get 2 Scripture verses. A Bible teacher is to ascertain their knowledge from the Scriptures. An occasional quote from man's writings is not wrong but an occasional quote from Scripture is. (He who has ears to hear)



When we speak of the teacher's being judged, this judgment will come in a few ways which we are going to discover. The majority of Christians believe that God will judge the teachers, and this is true, but there are others involved in the judgment of teachers and I believe you will see that we are on the correct track.



A. God
In the ultimate judgment, God shall be the one to judge the false teachers and then cast them into an eternal hell. Whether the unbeliever is a teacher or hearer, their final destination shall be hell.
B. True Believers
When an unbeliever is teaching a false gospel or doctrine, the true believer will make a judgment as to what that person is teaching. If the true believer is using the Bible as his or her standard, then that Christian has the right to judge that teacher and deem their teachings as heresy.
C. Unbelievers
When an unbeliever is teaching a false doctrine, then the other groups that judge them is the unbelievers. However, this group has no spiritual discernment because the Holy Spirit does not dwell in them. They will deem the false teachings as truth and endorse them in concert with worldly living based upon the principle found in Romans 1:32:

(Rom 1:32 KJV) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.



A. God
Since the penalty for the believer's sins were paid for at Calvary, God may decide to send a chastisement to a Christian teacher if they continue to teach falsely. Normally God will raise someone up in the audience to challenge the teacher to take a second look at a particular doctrine. If the teacher refuses, then they may be chastised.
B. True Believers
The minute you open a Bible and teach, the true believer is going to be scrutinizing the teaching and it is their responsibility to make judgments on the material being taught.
C. The Unbelievers
Whenever true Bible teaching takes place, the unbeliever immediately will judge the teachings according to their worldly thoughts and will condemn true Bible teaching because it condemns them.



A. The ultimate sentence will be an eternity in hell.

B. On earth until the final judgment, let us look at a great paradox. Another sentence which God will pronounce may be growth of a ministry.

(2 Th 2:9-12 KJV) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, {10} And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. {11} And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: {12} That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Here God is warning that those who continue to preach falsely or have false ministries may experience growth as a form of judgment. God is warning that He is going to send a great delusion on the church in the last days before the return of Christ. Have you noticed who has the biggest churches and TV/Radio ministries? The Charismatics! They are spewing a false gospel which has crept into every church in this country and world. Signs, Wonders, and Tongues are being propagated in violation of the Word of God, yet millions are going after them. Here is the Great Delusion. Many people think God is growing these churches because they are in line with Scripture but He is growing them as He sets the stage for judgment and will be judging the corporate church, as to whether they will be following signs and wonders or the truth. In contrast, who are your smallest churches? The ones who refute tongues and hold to the Bible alone as its authority.


A. No Condemnation - Romans 8:1 - Sins paid for at Calvary

B. Removal from public ministry

God may decide to take an unteachable teacher out of teaching for a while until He has time to break the will of that person. An unteachable person, can completely ruin a Sunday School class or a congregation if they are a pastor. If a person will not learn the easy way, they will learn the hard way. If they remain rebellious, they may never regain their teaching position.

C. Personal Situation may Deteriorate

(1 Ki 3:3 KJV) And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.


(1 Ki 11:9 KJV) And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,

Sometimes the Lord may engineer circumstances in concert with our rebellion which may cause us to resign from our position. Don't think it won't happen because in the above 2 verses, we see the contrast in situation. Solomon rebelled against the Lord but not with swords or arrogance but with the tool that most Christians fall by, DRIFTING!

So as we have seen that God is not the only one who judges the teacher. I believe the Scriptures are also conveying to those who wish to be teachers, that they will face harsher treatment than the Christian who is a listener. This is why James warns us that we should not be teachers, because in this sinful world, even from believers, we "receive the greater condemnation." If you want to teach, then keep these principles in mind.