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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Jesus Denounced False Teachers… so why don’t we?


This bit of timely truth comes to you from John MacArthur via Ken at www.apprising.org .

Many Christians today are greatly concerned about the rising influences of communism, humanism, secularism, and social injustice. Yet those evils, great as they are, do not together pose the threat to Christianity that false shepherds and pastors do. Throughout the history of redemption, the greatest threat to God’s truth and God’s work has been false prophets and teachers, because they propose to speak in His name. That is why the Lord’s most scathing denunciations were reserved for the false teachers of Israel, who claimed to speak and act for God but were liars.

Yet for some reason, evangelical Christianity is often hesitant to confront false teachers with the seriousness and severity that Jesus and the apostles did, and that the godly prophets before them had done. Today, more than at any time in modern history and perhaps more than at any time in the history of the church, pagan religions and cults are seriously encroaching on societies that for centuries have been nominally Christian. Even within the church, many ideas, teachings, and philosophies that are little more than thinly veiled paganism have become popular and influential.

As in ancient Israel, the further God’s people move away from the foundation of His Word, the more false religion flourishes in the world and even in their own midst. At no time have Christians had greater need to be discerning. They need to recognize and respect true godly shepherds who feed them God’s Word and build them up in the faith, and they also must recognize and denounce those who twist and undermine God’s Word, who corrupt the church and who lead lost people still further away from God’s truth and from salvation.

In Matthew 23:13–33 Jesus relentlessly condemned the false spiritual leaders of Israel, in particular the scribes and Pharisees, who then held the dominant power and influence in Judaism. Jesus warned about them in His first sermon, the Sermon on the Mount (see, e.g., 5:20; 7:15), and His last sermon (Matt. 23) consists almost entirely of warnings about them and to them. In this final public message, the Lord wanted to draw the people away from those false leaders and turn them to the true teaching and the godly examples of His apostles, who would become His uniquely commissioned and endowed representatives on earth during the early years of the church. He also gave the apostles themselves a final example of the confrontational stance they would soon find it necessary to take in their proclamation and defense of the gospel.

The unbelieving scribes and Pharisees whom Jesus addressed in the Temple stood alone in their sin and were condemned alone in their guilt for misappropriating and perverting God’s law and for leading Israel into heresy, just as the false prophets among their forefathers had done (vv. 30–32). But they also stood as models of all false spiritual leaders who would come after them. Therefore what Jesus said about them and to them is of much more than historical significance. It is essential instruction for dealing with the false leaders who abound in our own day.

In the first twelve verses of chapter 23, Jesus had declared that the scribes and Pharisees, typical of all false spiritual leaders, were without authority, without integrity, without sympathy, without spirituality, without humility, and therefore without God’s approval or blessing. Now speaking to them directly, He asserts they are under God’s harshest condemnation. In verses 13–33 Jesus pronounces seven curses, or woes, on those wicked leaders.

The scene in the Temple that day had become volatile in the extreme, in some ways more volatile than when Jesus had cast out the merchants and money-changers the day before. At that time Jesus’ anger was vented against what the religious leaders were doing outwardly, and that attack had outraged them (21:16, 23). Now, however, He attacked what they were inwardly, and that infuriated them even more.

In our day of tolerance and eclecticism, the kind of confrontation Jesus had with the scribes and Pharisees seems foreign and uncharitable. A person who speaks too harshly against a false religion or unbiblical teaching or movement is considered unkind, ungracious, and judgmental. Jesus’ indictments in Matthew 23, as well as in other parts of the gospels, are so inconsistent with the idea of Christian love held by some liberal theologians and Bible scholars, for example, that they conclude He could not have spoken them. What Jesus really said, they maintain, was modified and intensified either by the gospel writers or the sources from whom they received their information.

But the nature of Jesus’ condemnation of those corrupt religious leaders is perfectly consistent with the rest of Scripture, both the Old Testament and the New Not only that, but Jesus’ words in this passage fly from His lips, as someone has said, like claps of thunder and spears of lightning. Out of His mouth on this occasion came the most fearful and dreadful statements that Jesus uttered on earth. They do not give the least impression of being the afterthought of an overzealous writer or copyist.

Matthew 23 is one of the most serious passages in Scripture. Jesus here makes the word hypocrite a synonym for scribe and for Pharisee. He calls them sons of hell, blind guides, fools, robbers, self-indulgent, whitewashed tombs, full of hypocrisy and lawlessness, serpents, vipers, and persecutors and murderers of God’s people. He uttered every syllable with absolute self-control but with devastating intensity.

Yet Jesus was never cold or indifferent, even toward His enemies, and on this occasion His judgment is mingled with sorrow and deep pathos. It is not the Son’s will any more than the Father’s that a single person perish, because it is the gracious divine desire that everyone would come to repentance and salvation (2 Pet. 3:9). At the end of His denunciation, Jesus extended by implication another last invitation for belief, suggesting that He would still gladly gather any unbelievers under His wings as a mother hen gathers her chicks, if only they would be willing (Matt. 23:37). (Online source)

John MacArthur

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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We’re Not in Kansas Anymore (Humor)


The kids at Calvary Christian School ducked under their desks at the sound of a tornado approaching their school. It was later discovered however that what they actually heard was the church’s new contemporary praise band rehearsing in the auditorium…

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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King of Contemporary P&W (Satire)


Hank:  Did you boys hear all of that racket & commotion this morning at church? It was like a bomb
went off on the stage, I tell you what…

Dale:  Hank, that is what we contemporary worshippers call praise &
worship music.

Bill:  I kind of liked it when the guitar player set his guitar on fire while he played the solo to In-A-Godda-Da-Vida.

Boomhauer:  I tell you what, man, that ol’ boy, he played that, boom! ,   that wuz good…

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Powerful Praise (Satire)


Man on Right: Did you hear that explosion at the contemporary church across the street?

Man on Left:  That wasn’t an explosion, Gus, that was the praise band doing a sound check…

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Someone Pass the Hair Spray (Humor)


The praise band received a call from the senior pastor reminding them to dress to accommodate the aesthetic sensibilities of the elders but due to static on the call what they heard was to dress to infuriate the conservative proclivities of the elderly…

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Granny was a Straight Shooter (Humor)


Granny:  Alright, Mr. Reformed Preacher Man, now that I’ve loaded my six-shooter with pork rinds and rock salt, you go ahead and tell me about how the book of Revelation is mostly allegorical…

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Back to the Future (Humor)


Thanks to Scope Features for the image.

Emmet Brown:  Marty, I built a time machine and traveled into the Tribulation..

Marty McFly: Doc, I don’t believe in the Tribulation, I’m a Preterist.

Emmet Brown:  Great Scott, Marty…you need to go back to the future.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Sin Unto Death (Humor)


You might be interested to know, Pilgrim, that I believe there is a sin unto death… and touching my toupee is one of them.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Why Men Don’t go to Church (Humor)


Caller: Hi Brad, I didn’t see you at church this morning, are you OK?

Brad: I couldn’t come this morning because I’m writing a book about why men don’t go to church…

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Shall We Continue to Sin That Grace May Abound?


I found this piece of satire at Ken’s www.apprising.org site and found it hilarious. It points out a serious issue very effectively. We cannot claim Jesus while continuing to revel in our sin.

Paul addressed this issue in Romans and 1st Corinthians. Christians do not continue to drink iniquity as if it were water (regardless of whether it is bottled or tap). So, the idea of thieves continuing to steal after “becoming Christians” is absurd.

You may be wondering why the truth man would bring up such an elementary principle. The answer is that people need to hear this! Search the Emergents and liberal denominations and you will find homosexuals and heterosexual fornicators being welcomed into their assemblies and even pulpits! And what makes this worse is the continuing practice of sin goes right along for the ride!

And what about other sins? Look at the Barna and FOTF research that indicates that virtually the same behavior goes on in the lives of those who call themselves Christian as those who do not. So should we continue to sin that grace may abound?

Where does the madness stop? Can real Christians continue to sin as if nothing has changed in their lives spiritually? I say no because I believe the Bible says no. The Bible teaches that those who are saved are transformed. They become new creatures. They are conformed to the image of Christ over time. They repent and grow out of their desire to sin.

No one is saying that Christians suddenly and perfectly stop sinning. However, it is ridiculous to say that Christians continue to live as if nothing significant happened to them when they were saved. It is not valid hermeneutics to suddenly redefine a sin into a non-sin.

So think carefully before you go around telling people to “just be you” and that “God wired you a certain way because that is how He wants you to be” because such talk can be recklessly misleading. Check what the Bible teaches about sin. You will come away with a different perspective than the one in the cartoon above…

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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