Praise the Lord.
The religious leaders had all the money (it says they loved money) they had a monopoly on power and because of this they had great influence on the religious population. Sound familiar? If they were here today (and they are) they would make sure they stand out on the TV. They would make sure everyone sees them pray in public, their giving would be made known, and they would exert their authority and make disciples of themselves. They would enforce their position by making sure the people side with them. They would connive the people to give them money to support their work, using false promises to ingratiate themselves with their audience. Not much has changed only the names and means. All of these qualities were found in the religious sect of Jesus’ day.
It’s hard to defend Christianity when they see the TV evangelists preach money as their gospel. To the unbelievers that watch them on TV they think all of the church is like them. It is they that have brought the church in a state of dishonor in the eyes of the unbeliever. And this is where the latter portion of 2 Cor. 2:17 is applied- “For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.”
When someone is told about their teacher being wrong that they have been learning from for years they immediately start a comparison list of what you have done and what they have done.
We do well to remember what Paul wrote: “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Cor. 10:12).
Their defense is often like Simon the sorcerer’s followers in Acts 8:9-11: “this man is the great power of God.” The Lord’s apostles wrote us that we would know who is with him or against him, NOT by their works, NOT by their power (Mt.7:21), but by their doctrine and lifestyle and love for the brethren (1 Tim.4:6; 1 Pt.2:21; 2 Thess.3:7, 9). God does not pour out His Spirit and power on those who teach falsely, they must repent first and correct their teachings and practices. There is no power from God unless one is under God’s authority. Which means they are servants to him first and then to his people, they are not masters (Jn.15:20; Mk.9:35; Col.1:7,4:7).
Too many are unaccountable for what they are teaching. They are hurting people’s lives both spiritually and physically. Because of this, so many are depressed, disillusioned, and are losing hope. We love people enough not to sit idly by but to be active in helping them understand what has taken place and help them get freedom that is in Christ Jesus. Love is an action, a commitment and in this case to the word of God which is the truth and to God’s people.
They don’t defend Christ when he is mocked or ridiculed by the world but they do defend their teachers WHEN THEY ARE QUESTIONED OR EXPOSED. It is a form of idolatry to follow man over Jesus and the word of God that is truth.
There are too many Christians that look with disdain on those who publicly defend the Christian faith. For numerous reasons, they have been convinced that we should not have a say about anything. What if the early Church lived by their example against the heresies that arose? We certainly would not have any Christianity today.
Did you ever read a review of a product before you purchased it? Maybe you wanted to buy a refrigerator or a car. Did you not appreciate that someone took the time to look at it in detail to prevent you from losing your money. Of course you did.
People refuse to open their eyes to see, their ears to hear. Go drive down the road with your eyes close and see if you don’t get into an accident. In fact anything that impairs your seeing can bring about an undesirable circumstance.
What if you had a babysitter for your child and someone knew he was molesting him, would you want him to tell you? Of course you would. it would be for the child’s protection.
Silence is part of the problem, silence on matters that are destructive to peoples lives. While people affirm they love Jesus, but where is the hatred for things Jesus hates? (Psalm 97:10-11; John 12:23-26; Lk.16:13; Heb.1:9; Rev.2:6,15). Where is the love for people to help them by telling them the truth? Sitting by idly and watching people get spiritually massacred is not love. Jesus didn’t and neither did those who were trained by him, they spoke up. And that is why we speak.
Till next week,
Elder Dr. Robert L. Harrison