January 18, 2017

Image result for picture of bug on windshield

Hardly a day goes by when I do not delete numerous spam emails trying to get me to purchase a fake Rolex watch or college diploma. Other emails promise that I will receive millions of dollars from a total stranger, usually in Africa. I recently read in Reader’s Digest about a guy that was taken in by this type of scam. I was surprised that he allowed his real name and picture to appear in the magazine. I would have been too embarrassed to show my face!

Most of these phony deals are easy to spot. But far more serious than losing some money to con artists would be to lose your soul because you bought into a false religion. Satan always has made sure that numerous spiritual con artists thrive at their trade. Paul warned the Corinthians (2 Cor. 11:13-15),

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

It’s not easy to spot an angel of light or servant of righteousness in disguise! That’s why the New Testament abounds with warnings about false teachers. It’s easy to be led astray. In his final words to the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:29-30), Paul predicted, “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” In what are to me the most frightening words in the New Testament, Jesus warned (Matt. 7:21-23),

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”

These repeated warnings mean that we must be very careful to make sure that our Christian faith is true, both objectively and personally. We need to know that Christianity is objectively true, that the testimony about Jesus Christ is genuine and not the work of spiritual con artists. And, we need to know that our personal faith in Christ is genuine faith, not the false faith that results in hearing on judgment day, “I never knew you; depart from Me….” Since our eternal destiny is at stake, we need to know that we have the real deal, not a phony substitute!

The aged apostle John wrote First John against the backdrop of influential false teachers to help his readers know that their faith was genuine and that they possessed eternal life in Jesus Christ. John Stott writes (The Epistles of John, Tyndale Bible Commentaries [Eerdmans], p. 42), “His great emphasis is on the differences between the genuine Christian and the spurious, and how to discern between the two.” He adds (p. 50), “The predominant theme of these Epistles is Christian certainty.” Stott points out that the Greek verb (ginosko) that means, “to know by observation and experience” occurs 15 times and the word (oida) meaning, “to know by reflection” is used 25 times. The verb (phaneroo), “to make known” is used nine times (and the noun once), and the noun (parresia), “confidence” is used four times. John wants us to know some things with certainty!

So how certain are you?

Is your pastor serving big helpings of manure or light?

Don’t swallow everything served until you’ve checked it for bugs.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Trey A. getting married this Saturday

Pray for Sarah, newly married ( a year) and they are so busy in their first church they really haven’t had time for each other.

Pray for Megan, baby number four, at 8 months she’s wondering if she should have stopped at 3, pray for her encouragement and for her husband to be more supportive.

For Jimmy H, his daughter has been missing for two years tomorrow.

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