“Hook, line, and sinker,” is an old fishing proverb describing folks who are easily misled. They are like gullible fish that swallow all the tackle; hook, line, and sinker. God’s people should not be gullible that they will fall for any and every false thing. Jesus said to be, “…wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Mt.10:16). Paul said, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Eph.5:17). We need spiritual wisdom to combat the devil, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor.2:11). God’s wisdom cries out to folks to take hold of it (Pr.1:20-33). It resides in the counsel of the Lord. “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way” (Ps.119:104). Without the counsel of God, we will gullibly fall hook, line, and sinker to false teachers and teaching.
Through the counsel of the Lord, Christians should not be gullible when it comes to biblical error. However, many have blindfolded themselves when it comes to false teachers. They act as though there are none around. However, the bible affirms that false teachers are ever present (2 Pet.2:1-3; 1 Jn.4:1). The devil uses them as his ministers for his purposes against the truth and the church (2 Cor.11:13-15). They have the appearance of godly sheep but are in truth, spiritual wolves. Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Mt.7:15-15). False teachers teach false doctrine (1 Tim.4:1-2,16). I’m not talking about inadvertent error, but a purposed agenda. They refuse to remain in the old true paths of the apostle’s doctrine (Jer.6:16; Acts 2:42). If they can, they will come in among God’s flock, or even arise from within the flock (Acts 20:28-30).
This is the reason every local congregation needs biblically qualified “shepherds” (faithful elders; Tit.1:9), and “sheep dogs” (faithful preachers, deacons, and teachers; Tit.2:2), to combat false teachers and their error. We must teach sound doctrine to every member so that none are gullible (Tit.2:1; 2 Tim.4:2). “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph.4:14).
Anyone listening ought to search the scriptures to make sure what they hear is consistent with the word of God (Acts 17:10-11). This is the way to prevent a child of God from falling hook, line, and sinker to false doctrine.