Posted by: missionventureministries | April 27, 2017

THERE IS NOTHING CONCEALED THAT WILL NOT BE DISCLOSED – Luke 12:2-3

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. (Luke 12:2-3) 

In these verses Jesus is clearly telling us that nothing that we do is concealed from God and everything will be disclosed. Even things that we do in secret and that only we know about, which we think is well hidden will be made known.  

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:10 that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive his reward, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” And Romans 2:6 tells us that God will render to each man according to his deeds.  

There are many people in the church today who are claiming to be a follower of Jesus, but who are covering up their secret sins. They look good on the outside and have the appearance of a Christian, but when they are alone they are engaging in things that are sinful and wrong. Many think that they can get away with things as long as nobody finds out about them. However, while sin may go unnoticed by man, we can be assured that it does not go unnoticed by our Sovereign God and one day we will be judged accordingly, either at the Judgment Seat of Christ or at the Great White Throne Judgment. 

In verse 3 we read: What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight. What you have whispered to someone behind closed doors will be shouted from the rooftops. 

Did you know that every word you say is being recorded in heaven? The Bible clearly teaches that liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. Your lies are being heard and recorded in heaven. 

Every time you say something unkind it is recorded. Every time you gossip it is heard and recorded. Jesus said in Matthew 12:36-37, but I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” 

Where will you stand on that Day of Judgment? Will you be condemned by your words? Or will you be acquitted by them? The truth is, whether you believe it or not, every one of your whispered words, those that you think no one hears but those to whom they are directed, will be echoed loudly in the judgment hall of God.  

The Lord knows exactly what we’re thinking every moment of every day, because, “The Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought” (1 Chronicles 28:9). In Psalm 94:11 we read that the Lord knows the thoughts of men. And Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:28 that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 

You will be held accountable one day, so be careful what you allow into your mind. Be careful what you watch. Be careful what you listen to. Be careful what you read. Be careful what you look at. Be careful how you present yourself and be careful what you say. 

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 to think on the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report; virtuous, and praise-worthy. If we guard what we allow to enter our mind our life is going to be so much better and most important of all, it will be pure and pleasing to God. 

Today we are judged by others simply according to what we do. The words that come out of our mouths, the places that we go; the actions that people see us do. But a day is coming when every private thought will be exposed. Every hidden desire, every lust, every passion, every motive, every rebellion, every attitude, every thought of the heart will be revealed.  

No wonder Paul tells us to set our minds on things above; because, not only does our character and our actions stem from our motives and the desires of our heart, but there is coming a day when God’s judgment will reach into the secret recesses of the heart. Therefore, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14) 

In this ministry we want our thoughts, motives, attitudes and desire to be pure. How about you what do you want to do? 

There is nothing covered that will not be revealed, however, there is good news, because Jesus said in John 3:17, I didn’t come to condemn the world. If you’re living in sin you’re condemned already, but Jesus came that He might bring salvation and forgiveness.  

Faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior is the only “step” to salvation. The message of the Bible is abundantly clear. We have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23). Because of our sin, we deserve to be eternally separated from God (Romans 6:23). Because of His love for us (John 3:16), God took on human form and died in our place, taking the punishment that we deserve (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). God promises forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven to all who receive, by grace through faith Jesus Christ as Savior (John 1:12; 3:16; 5:24; Acts 16:31), and make Him the Lord of their life. 

If you need to be cleansed of your sins, why don’t you bow your head and allow God to do that work in you today?

 

 

Posted by: missionventureministries | April 20, 2017

LET OUR SPEECH ALWAYS BE WITH GRACE – Colossians 4:6

Faithfulness in our Christian behavior must be followed by consistency in our speech. Paul is not only speaking here of preaching the gospel, but our conversation in general. Believers’ speech must always be filled with grace, as were the words of Christ (Luke 4:22). 

Whether undergoing persecution, stress, difficulty, or injustice, whether with your spouse, children, believers, or unbelievers—in all circumstances believers are to make their speech full of grace a habit. 

To speak with grace means to say what is spiritual, wholesome, kind, sensitive, complementary, gentle, truthful, loving, and thoughtful. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29: “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Therefore, the believers’ speech should act as a purifying influence. 

Believers must also know how to respond to each person. They must know how to say the right thing at the right time. In Peter’s words, they must be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15). 

The speech and actions of the new, born again man or woman is vitally important, because unlike the ungodly, who say “Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?” (Psalm 12:4), we as believers should echo the prayer of the psalmist in Psalm 141:3: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” 

Our speech is to be gracious—it is to be a blessing to others, with the ultimate intend of bringing them to Christ, because, God’s grace has changed us.

 We need to realize however, that our speech is not always gracious. Even after we become Christians we can commit mistakes by misusing our tongue. In James 3:9-12, James pointed out how some Christians used their speech to curse others. He wrote, “with the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.  Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” 

Even though our speech is to be full of grace we need to be aware because at times, evil will try to steamroll over us. In Acts 4 the Sanhedrin told Peter and John not speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But they replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20) 

They stood for the truth and that is what we should also do. Their words to the Sanhedrin, although confrontational—appealed the Jewish leaders understanding of a great truth that the Old Testament clearly taught—that people were to obey God rather than men. It was confrontational, but it directed them to one of their most deeply held beliefs. 

Therefore; like Jesus, the apostles and all honest people we must have the courage to expose and rebuke hypocrites who are living sinful, abusive lives and destroying the truth. “For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain…. 13  Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith.” (Titus 1:10-11, 13)

Yes, we should be gracious but we need to resist evil and speak God’s truth in love.  Our intention is to be a blessing to those we come in touch with; as our speech and actions reveal our graciousness. 

Our great goal is to win others for Jesus and to point them to Him, because people need Jesus. They don’t realize the depth of their sin and how their sin puts them in danger of hell. They think they’re good in themselves. They think they’re good enough and that they’re worthy of heaven. They think that they can earn their way into heaven; but they can’t. We need to tell them about Jesus, how He came and died in our place; and that if they believe in Him they will have eternal life. 

What a privilege God has given us as Christians to be a blessing to others through our speech and actions. What a powerful tool our speech is, therefore let us use it for God’s glory.

Posted by: missionventureministries | April 13, 2017

THE NARROW AND THE WIDE GATES – Matthew 7:13-14

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14) 

Here the Lord is teaching us that there are two ways and two destinations. One is heaven and the other is hell. 

In the Old Testament we see Moses saying to the people, “See, I have set before you this day life and death, good and evil. Choose life that you and your seed may live,” (Deuteronomy 30:19). And God told Jeremiah “Unto this people shall you say, ‘Thus says the Lord, behold I have set before you the way of life and the way of death.’” (Jeremiah 21:8)   

Joshua, who succeeded Moses, said, “Choose you this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) 

Elijah, told the people on Mount Carmel: “How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him. If Baal, then follow him,” (1 Kings 18:21). 

As we see, the most important spiritual decision that anyone will ever make in life, is the decision regarding their eternal destiny, which far outweigh the trivial ones that most people focus on a day to day basis. As the word of God tells us, we will live forever and we have two options, hell and eternal punishment, or heaven and eternal joy.  

Jesus is teaching us that there is a very serious choice that we need to make, a choice that renders an eternal finality. As we read our Creator’s words and teaching we still have a chance, but one day it will be too late; therefore His sermon leads to a choice that we need to make while there is still time. 

There’s only one possibility for your destiny and there are only two choices, not many, just two. There is a narrow way with a narrow gate. And there is a broad way with a broad gate. Jesus is talking about two destinations – life and destruction; and two groups of people, the many and the few.  

Verse 13 begins with a command, “Enter by the narrow gate.” The gospels itself is a command, repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel always comes as a command to obey. It is not enough to study about the narrow gate, to admire what Jesus said, because hell is going to be literally filled with people who admired Jesus and His teaching but did not follow it. 

You must go beyond being fascinated with the work of Jesus Christ and admiring Him, you must enter the narrow gate of salvation through faith in Him. 

Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by Me,” (John 14:6).  And in John 10:1 Jesus refers Himself to the door: “I am the Door, if any man tries to come in any other way, he is a thief and a robber.”  

In Acts 4:12 we read, “There is no salvation in any other name, for there’s no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” There’s only one way to be saved, there’s only one Person who is the Savior, therefore, faith in Him and obedience is required for salvation. 

Christ and Christ alone is the gate. Without Him there is no salvation and no heaven. There is no other way in; all other ways, although promoted by false teachers as heaven end up in hell. Any deviation from the person of Jesus Christ, the work of Jesus Christ, or the gospel of Jesus Christ by faith and grace alone will lead you to hell. You must make a commitment to come to Christ because He is the only way. 

When we continue reading Matthew chapter 7 we see Jesus making the comparison of the true and false disciples. The false ones are the ones who are on the broad way, and who have been lead astray by false prophets, doctrines and beliefs. They will tell Jesus one day: “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name cast out demons and in Your name perform many miracles?” Then He will declare to them, I never knew you, depart from Me, you that practice lawlessness” (vs. 22-23). 

As we are warned, when these, who are mislead, get to the end of the road, the news is not good as Psalm 1:6 says, “The way of the ungodly shall perish.” 

Therefore, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5) 

Remember: “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31); unless you have decided to spend eternity in hell and apart from Him.

 

Posted by: missionventureministries | April 6, 2017

THINGS THAT GOD DETESTS – Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19  a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19) 

HAUGHTY EYES 

The word haughty is defined by Merriam-Webster as ‘blatantly and disdainfully proud.’ The word is always used in the Bible in the evil sense of ‘arrogant, condescending and setting oneself above others’; and is set in contrast to being humble. 

Haughty eyes are said to be sin in Proverbs 21:4, along with a proud heart. To have haughty eyes is to have an arrogant demeanor; it’s an overall attitude of one’s heart that causes one to ridicule or ‘looks down’ on others. The haughty person just like Satan, sets himself above others, and ultimately above God. 

When we are haughty, we become the center of attention and everything revolves around us. There is little, if any, concern for what others think and no consideration for God. In pride and haughtiness, is where all sin starts. 

When Jesus, who is co-equal with God the Father and the Holy Spirit from eternity past encountered people whose lives were an absolute mess, He didn’t look down on them with disapproval. He told them: “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). 

And in Isaiah 66:2 we find these words from the Lord: “Has not my hand created all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.

While pride always distances us from others, humility draws people close. Jesus came in humility because His mission involved drawing people back to God. Because God loves humility, He hates haughty eyes. 

A LYING TONGUE

Lying involves willfully making statements that are false. It reveals a lack of godliness, because a righteous man hates falsehood, but a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully (Proverbs 13:5).

Lying is a mark of an unfaithful person, because a trustworthy witness will not lie, but a false witness utters lies (Proverbs 14:5).

Liars love impure conversation and an evildoer listens to wicked lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue (Proverbs 17:4). Liars beware because; their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to put away the old self with its practices, which includes lying (Colossians 3:9). 

HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD

The definition of shedding innocent blood in reference to this scripture is to murder someone who has no blame. Since we are created in the image of God, those who shed innocent blood have disregard not only for human life, but also for God Himself, and the Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit (Psalm 5:6).

Abortion is something that is prevalent in our world today that exactly fits the description of the scripture that talks about “the hand that sheds innocent blood”. Babies are innocent and have done nothing that is worthy of death, but so many people feel that they have the right to kill a child because of the inconvenience they might cause.

The Bible tells us you shall not murder (Exodus 20:13)

The greatest example we see in scripture of the loss of innocent life is Jesus. When He was killed, even the man who sentenced him to death knew that there was nothing Jesus had done wrong to deserve to die. (Matthew 27:23-24) 

A HEART THAT DEVISES WICKED PLANS

Wickedness is defined as something ‘which is morally wrong and with a deliberate intention to hurt people’. 

This encompasses thinking or plotting evil against any individual for personal benefit or other evil intentions. Any sin is a wicked plan, but the heart of an evil man continually schemes to bring others to ruin, whether physically or spiritually. 

The heart devises evil plans, due to the craftiness and temptations of the devil. Those “who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day. They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips” (Psalm 140:2-4). 

And, for it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come —sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23) 

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Therefore, every intentions and reflections of the man’s heart is naturally evil if he doesn’t have a close relationship with his Creator and Savior – “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) 

FEET THAT RUN RAPIDLY TO EVIL

Those, whose feet are quick to rush into evil, display no resistance whatsoever to sin and they will perish. 

The Word tells us to: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11). 

We are to walk by the Spirit, and not gratify the desires of the flesh, (Galatians 5:16). And not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). 

We are to “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). 

A FALSE WITNESS WHO UTTERS LIES 

We’ve already seen that God hates “a lying tongue.” Here we have a more specific type of lying. God hates a false witness – someone who commits perjury, accusing an innocent person of something that they didn’t do.

The prohibition against bearing false witness is the ninth of the Ten Commandments, and the New Testament is equally condemning of it. Because, a false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will perish (Proverbs 19:9).

Christians are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and, as such, we reflect His nature. We have been released from our “old self” with its evil practices such as lying and bearing false witness.

ONE WHO SOWS STRIFE AMONG BROTHERS 

In many situations strife among brothers and even within the church seems unavoidable, but anyone who purposely causes disruption to peace in the body of Christ displeases God, since that person gives reason for others to sin and for them to sin further (1 John 2:9–11; 4:19–21). 

People, who gossip or slander others, usually feel fully justified in what they’re saying. But whether or not a person feels justified in what they are saying is beside the point. God hates it when someone spreads strife. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t deal with conflict or admonish each other. But we should do so in a way that minimizes the strife. 

Jesus very intently sought unity among His followers. Jesus prayed for unity among His followers (John 17). As a matter of fact, Jesus prayed that His disciples would have the same degree of unity and single-mindedness as He had with the Father. 

There should be unity above all in the family because: “The man who divorces his wife,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.” (Malachi 2:16) 

In closing, God has the cure for all these sins if we want to honor Him. Here are just a few of them. 

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)  

And lastly: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

 

Posted by: missionventureministries | March 30, 2017

CHARACTERISTICS OF A FALSE CONVERT – Acts 8:9-24

First we need to realize that salvation is not dependent on a prayer, a baptism or the religious history of our family. True converts examine themselves as the Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5). A true convert has a great desire to study the Word and appreciate being with other believers who have a like minded spirit, where Jesus is always the center of attention.  

We see in the account of Acts 8 that the Philip mentioned was one of the original seven deacons selected to serve in the Jerusalem church (Acts 6:5). Philip had a heart for evangelism, and, when the “great persecution” arose in Acts 8:1, Philip left Jerusalem to become an evangelist in Samaria (Acts 8:5–12). And we see that the Lord used him greatly. 

Now while in Samaria he encountered a man named Simon who had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery.  

But when Philip arrived they started listening to him as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ; and believing, they were baptized. 

Now even Simon himself ‘believed’ and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered Peter and John money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

Peter saw right thru him and answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” (Acts 8:20-23)

False converts don’t love God and don’t care if He ultimately receives the glory; rather, they are only seeking recognition and attention for themselves. Simon didn’t truly care for Jesus; he simply wanted Jesus to give him the desires of his carnal heart. He completely misunderstood salvation, because true salvation requires a change of heart. False converts think that it is through their actions that they are saved. They might say that salvation does not come through works, but their hearts declare something completely different.  

Simon wanted spiritual gifts so that he could be the center of attention and feel proud about himself. Christ, on the other hand, teaches his disciples that “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).  

Peter exposed Simon’s intentions and he was concerned about the consequences of his actions, but not because he disappointed the Savior, but because he didn’t want what Peter said would happen to Him. So he replied: “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.” (Acts 8:24) 

Not only was he worried about the consequences, but he also misunderstood how repentance works; which is a constant desire to be pure in front of God. Repentance doesn’t need others to intercede for them, but, instead, it is the act of a person who humbles himself before his Father and requests forgiveness and desires to change. And this doesn’t just happen at the moment of conversion; this is continual each and every day throughout the believer’s life.  

False converts hate exposure and confrontation. They defend themselves or, better yet, attack back in order to keep the confronter at a distance. They can’t believe that they could have sinned in some way. False converts are prideful and don’t ever own up to sins that they have committed. In other words, they are blind to their sin. 

Simon had all the wrong motives in coming to Christ, and, even though it wasn’t evident at first, his true character was discovered in due time. 

True converts trust Christ and seek to become more and more Christ like all the time. Those who claim to be Christians should display the characteristics of true Christians: sound doctrine, obedience to God’s Word, and love. They should diligently work to spread the good news of the gospel, as we are called to do (Matthew 28:19–20), knowing well that they might be mocked and ridiculed by many in these increasingly secular times. And although false Christians may sometimes be able to deceive us, they certainly cannot deceive God, as nothing in all creation is hidden from His sight. Everything is uncovered before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:13). At the end of the age, His angels will separate the true from the false converts just as the parable tells us that He separates the wheat from the tares. 

Therefore, the true believer brings forth the fruit of a new lifestyle, a lifestyle that is pleasing in the sight of Almighty God. If we are rooted and grounded in Christ, it should be evident. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He that abides in Me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit.” (John 15:5)

Posted by: missionventureministries | March 23, 2017

THE WHEAT AND THE TARES – Matthew 13:24-30

“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (Matthew 13:24-30)           

Here Jesus is talking about a familiar subject to His audience. In the agricultural society of Christ’s time, many farmers depended on the quality of their crops. After finding out that his field had been sabotaged the landowner in this parable wisely waited until the harvest. After harvesting the whole field, the tares would be separated and burned, while the wheat would be gathered and saved in the barn. 

His disciples could not understand the meaning of the parable so they asked Jesus and He explained it to them: “He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.” (Matthew 13:37-40) 

The similarity in appearance between these two plants is so great that in some regions, the tares or darnel is referred to as “false wheat”. It is a grass, related to rye, bearing seeds that yield a narcotic poison. 

The high value and health properties of wheat are opposite to the harmful properties of darnel, yet in Christ’s parable the owner of the field allows both to grow together. One reason is because wheat and darnel are exact in their appearances during growth. Both plants are lush green and can be distinguished only when they mature and produce fruit.

Wheat berries are large and golden, while darnel berries are small and gray. Thus, if the farmer attempted to uproot the tares before maturity, he would do damage to the wheat.  

Spiritual wheat and tares grow the same way within God’s church, identical in appearance, and to attempt to uproot the tares would result in uprooting some of the wheat as well. Just as the qualitative difference between the mature fruit of wheat and darnel is different, only by the fruit can the true believer be known (Matthew 7:15-20). Even after maturity, only God, and no one else, will have the tares removed and will destroy them in the furnace (Matthew 13:30). 

Christ’s parable contains at least two warnings that are important to how we deal with possible tares within God’s church. First, we need to be aware that tares are false ‘christians’. And secondly they are a reality. Counterfeit believers do exist and are at work within God’s church; Christ Himself says so. The fact that they are present requires that we be on our guard, clinging to the truth of God’s Word not to be deceived.  

In addition to counterfeit ‘believers’, tares in many cases are also false ministers and false church leaders, teaching counterfeit doctrines of demons. Tares in the church spread destructive attitudes and ideas that can influence true weak believers toward negativity, suspicion, cynicism, sarcasm, and doubt. Christ warns us of such deception in Matthew 24:24, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”  

Christ’s parable warns us not only to take great care to avoid the false instruction and attitudes of the tares, but also to be mindful about how we treat young, immature “wheat” that we may mistake for tares. We must be slow to judge, remembering that church members are at different stages of their walk with Christ. Though they may be pure in heart, even the wheat may not always act properly. Similarly, some of the cited ‘ believers ‘ can act correctly, may seem always to be doing the right things, but their hearts remain unconverted and corrupt, but God knows who belongs to Him and who does not (2 Timothy 2:19), and He allows both to grow together.  

Besides providing the instruction in His parable, Jesus Christ provides the perfect example of how to treat and interact with a tare. He had to deal with a tare close to Him throughout His ministry. John writes, “Jesus answered, ‘did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?’ He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.” (John 6:70-71) 

How Christ dealt with Judas sets the example for how we ought to deal with recognized tares; we must pray that they will see the light and have a change of heart. Jesus knew Judas; He knew his character and heart. Yet, Judas was given duties just as they were given to the other disciples. Judas appeared to be as religious as the other eleven, but Judas was only like them in appearance, not in character. 

Jesus never revealed to the other disciples that Judas was a tare. Even in John 6:70-71, specifically identifying who He meant to expose; Christ only mentions the presence of a tare, forcing the disciples to look inward and evaluate their own hearts. It is clear the disciples were unaware of Judas’ corrupt character even after spending more than three years with him. At the final Passover, the disciples had no idea who would betray the Master. Each of them began to say to Christ, “Lord, is it I?” (Matthew 26:22). If He had revealed Judas’ nature to them, or had the disciples been wise enough to guess, they would have had no need to ask this question. 

Instead of singling out Judas and treating Him poorly, Jesus showed love and kindness to him, His own disciple who would betray Him. Christ showed His enemy courtesy, respect, and humility, and even in a position of servitude, washed Judas’ feet. He never revealed the tare among them, but instead allowed Judas to expose his own character through his final actions.  

Even though we must try every spirit and expose false teachers (1 John 4:1; 2 Corinthians 11:12-15), God, in His infinitely greater wisdom than our own, will be the One to separate the wheat from the tares; because only the Reaper can do the reaping – Revelation 14:14-19. 

As wheat, our responsibility is to grow in scriptural knowledge, kindness, patience, and godly love, producing healthy and good fruit. We are to share His Word and His love, which requires an attitude of meek, humble, and godly service. Most importantly, we have the responsibility to grow into the perfect image of our Savior, Jesus Christ, remembering to pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)

 

Posted by: missionventureministries | March 16, 2017

HONORING GOD IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP – 2 Corinthians 6:14

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14) 

What does it mean to be unequally yoked and what type of a guideline should I have? 

The concept of “yoke” gives you the key. The yoke was a piece made of wood and used to fasten the oxen to the farm cart or to the plow. 

Paul is telling that believers should not be bound together with unbelievers. And he equates the believer and unbeliever as a partnership between righteousness and lawlessness? And continues to say that light and darkness have no fellowship. In the next verses Paul asks the question: what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.” (2 Corinthians 6:15-16) 

The point is that if you are in the same yoke, pulling the plow down the same trench, that is, if you are working side by side in the same enterprise and partnering together with an unbeliever…you’ve got a problem. 

In a dating relationship you may ask what path honors the Lord. Ask yourself objectively; is there agreement in faith, family and mutual values in this relationship? Where there are sincere questions asked, couples get to know each other, faith and family issues are discussed and prepare the couple for a relationship that has success and pleases God. 

Wise dating waits for God’s best and is not suddenly smitten by surface feelings, knowing that if they fall “in love” with someone who does not practice faith in Jesus Christ, the probabilities for a long-term successful relationship is extremely low and probably non existent.  

It’s hard enough to work through personality differences, diverse family backgrounds without adding disagreement in the foundational issue of faith in God and obedience to Him. You should start with belief in Jesus Christ and love for Him as your beginning point for being together in a dating relationship and as you accomplish this, you have a good basis to start building.  

Committed Christian relationships are not perfect, but they persevere since they have a common goal to honor the Lord Jesus Christ. Be careful to not let the feeling of “being in love” obscure the reality of the other person being a genuine Christian.  

Emotions can accelerate bad decision-making, if they are not moderated by wisdom and accountability. This is why wise young people engage the wisdom and counsel of their parents and follow God’s word. Choosing to date someone is not like spontaneously shopping for what’s on sale; it is prudent process that involves prayer.  

It is much better to stop an unwise relationship in it’s initial stages, than to later have to untangle a complex web of emotions and possible physical indiscretions. Be wise to date in groups; don’t be alone together in compromising situations.

Lastly, wise dating honors the Lord by honoring your body with purity. True love does not prove itself in sexual intimacy, because “love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:3). When you wait until your wedding day; you will be honoring your marriage and the Lord.  

If you focus your energy and emotion into spiritual growth, you will have no regrets. Wise dating prayerfully recognizes a greater objective that is purposed in Christ. The Bible also says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Having any kind of intimate relationship with an unbeliever can quickly turn into something that is a hindrance to your walk with Christ.  

Yes, we are called to evangelize the lost, not be intimate with them. There is nothing wrong with building quality friendships with unbelievers, but that is as far as it should go. If you were dating an unbeliever, what would honestly be your priority, romance or winning a soul for Christ? If you were married to an unbeliever, how would the two of you cultivate a spiritual intimacy in your marriage? How could a quality marriage be built and maintained if you disagree on the most crucial issue in the universe; the Lord Jesus Christ? 

Keep in mind that the most important decision in life is whether we will serve God or the devil. 

The second most important decision in life is who we are to marry. A good marriage can bring happiness, joy, security, true friendship, companionship and honor to God. The wrong marriage partner can literally destroy our life and bring nothing but misery, poverty, stress, dishonor and might even destroy our health. 

Marriage is a lifetime covenant contract between God, a husband and a wife. God hates divorce, so don’t marry someone that you do not plan to live with, for all of your life, Malachi 2:16.

Posted by: missionventureministries | March 9, 2017

DO YOU EVER WONDER IF YOU ARE REALLY A CHRISTIAN? – Romans 8:7-11

The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.  (Romans 8:7-11)

Have you ever worried about whether or not you really are a Christian? A Christian is a person who has the Spirit of God living in him or her. If you have sincerely trusted Christ for your salvation and acknowledged Him as Lord and Savior and you are now willing to obey Him, then the Holy Spirit has come into your life, and your are now a born again Christian.  

How do you know for sure, let’s take a look: 

  • When the Holy Spirit is living within you, you will believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son and that eternal life comes only though Him (1 John 5:5).
  • You will begin to act as Christ directs because: Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires (Romans 8:5)
  • You will find help for your daily problems and in your praying because: The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27).
  • You will be empowered to serve God and to do His will because Jesus said: You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
  • And you will become part of God’s plan to build up His church (Ephesians 4:12-13).

As we see from our text (vs. 7-9), Paul divides people into two categories, those who are dominated by their sinful nature, and those who are controlled by the Holy Sprit. All of us would be in the first category if Jesus hadn’t offered us a way out. Once we are truly born again, the Spirit lives in us by faith and we are certain to live with Christ forever. The Holy Spirit is God’s promise and guarantee of eternal life for those who believe, trust and obey Him.

True believers have a great zeal to daily consciously choose to center their lives on God. They use the Bible to discover God’s guidelines, and then follow them. When perplexing situations arise they ask: “What would Jesus want me to do?” And, when the Holy Spirit points out what is right, they do it eagerly and with confidence knowing that He is guiding them. 

The undeniable evidence of a true Christian is a changed life. We need to remember that if we do not change the way we live; our eternal destiny will also never change.  

A changed life begins with obedience to God. When a person decides to follow God, a change takes place and there is tremendous joy (Galatians 5:22). We must realize that although sorrows do occur in the life of a believer, the Holy Spirit will give us a joy and peace that cannot be removed.

God has commanded His people to be holy and live a holy life.

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” ( Hebrews 12:14)

“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)

Are you living a holy life, or are you ‘pretending’ as the hypocritical Pharisees of whom Jesus warned His disciples about?

Never take advice from anyone who is not living a humble, holy, Christ honoring life; because hypocrites will very subtlety teach you “doctrines of demons,” God has warned us about these people in His Holy Word.

The Lord loves us and told the Israelites through Moses:  See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

Choosing between life and death was also emphasized during the ministry of Jesus. Read John 3:14-21, 33-36.  

What awaits the one who rejects Jesus? Eternal separation from Him. 

What awaits the one who receives Jesus? Eternal life with Him.  

What will you choose?

Remember, God wants to bless our lives beyond our imagination and He will if we choose to obey Him.

deuteronomy-6-vs-5-7

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7) 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart. That is the purpose of life, and there can be no greater. Everything centers on that. That is the one great lesson which ought to be learned in every home, to love God. 

The way to love the Lord with all of our heart is to keep His commandments, which means to obey His word and do what He says (John 14:15). Whatever He is speaking to us through His Holy Spirit, we should do it. There are so many blessings waiting for us through obedience and doing His revealed will. Trust that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide you every step of the way and help you to accomplish God’s purpose. Because doing God’s will and obeying His principles means loving Him with all of our heart. 

Love the Lord your God with all your soul. The way to do this is to consciously renew our mind with the word of God. When negativity, thoughts, or sinful actions come into us, we make the choice to cast them down quickly, and renew our mind, with the Scriptures. Whatever our battle may be, we should find a Scripture in relation to that problem and go to war against the enemy.  

Loving God with all your soul also relates to our attitude. If we have a bad attitude, then we should immediately ask the Holy Spirit to help us change our thoughts. Remember, if we continue to ponder on our thoughts, eventually they will become very powerful and become an actual action. We might find ourselves in an outburst of anger, unnecessary argument, fight, or doing something that we will later regret. So the key is recognizing where we are and we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We destroy arguments and the pretense of evil advice with the Word of God and by obeying the Holy Spirit.  

What is the soul? The Bible says: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). As we see from this verse, the word “soul” means “life.” The soul is in essence the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part. 

The soul and the spirit are connected, but separable (Hebrews 4:12). The soul is the essence of humanity’s being; it is who we are. The spirit is the aspect of humanity that connects with God. 

We need to understand that the soul of man, that is, his life, is never directed towards God until after the spirit has become regenerated. Man can never love God or the things of God until he is born from above. He may have a troubled conscience and feel very bad, and still remain dead in trespasses and in sins. When the Spirit of God illuminates the spirit of a man with divine light and life, that man begins to yield his affections and faculties to God. 

The Christian who is enjoying unbroken communion with the Lord will then be able to say, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name” (Psalm 103:1). 

Love the Lord your God with all your strength. Loving God “with all your strength” speaks of the ultimate expression of our heart, soul and mind. It is the outward expression of what is going on within us to the outside world through our speech and physical actions.  

The Apostle Paul tells us to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10). He is telling us that the unlimited power and strength of Christ are the source of strength for those who belong to Him.

As Christians, we are to be strong in the mighty power of God. This means that our strength is not our own; it is not human or fleshly. Our strength is not of the world, but our strength is found in Christ—in our having a vibrant, dynamic relationship with Him. As Paul tells us in Philippians, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). In other words, there is no other source that gives man the strength to overcome the world with its trials, its temptations, and death. It is through submission to God’s strength that we overcome the power of Satan: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

God want us to love Him with all our strength every single moment of every single day. His Great Commandment for us “to love,” is a display by His own eminent love for us in order that by us aligning ourselves with the strength of God through our total submission to Him that we are able to withstand the deceit of the evil one.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. As we grow in knowledge and understanding of who God is, we begin to love the characteristics that define Him, such as wisdom, truth, righteousness, and purity (Psalm 11:7; 90:12; Hebrews 1:9; 1 Timothy 6:11). Spending time with God causes our hearts to hunger for holiness, and we find satisfaction only in more of Him, because He is the perfect embodiment of everything we long to obey in His commandments.

You shall teach them diligently. Our first responsibility is to keep His words on our heart, to think on them, to meditate on them, to reflect on them. From infancy we are to teach then diligently to our children. Diligently means with hard work and perseverance. No one else can do it for us. The Pastor, Sunday school teachers can help but it is the utmost responsibility of the parents to love the Lord with all their heart and to share that love with their children.  

Our children are always watching us and modeling our attitudes and behaviors. They are parroting back our attitudes about Christ and His church. We cannot train up children to love the Lord with all their heart if we do not love Him first. 

Spiritual growth has to take place in our own lives. Do you have an intimate love relationship with Jesus Christ? Is He the priority of your life? Jesus said, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). 

Strong Christian families believe in, value the Word of God, and model it in their personal lives because they love Him. Moses admonished the children of Israel to become role models of this love in their homes. If you love Him, you will obey Him and teach your children about our awesome God and Creator. But remember that we cannot give our children what we do not possess. Therefore we should take this commandment of God very seriously in our own life. 

Talk about them when you sit at homeGod’s Word should be an integral part of our home life. How can we make it so? Talking about spiritual matters should be a common and easy part of the communication that takes place within the home.  Prayer can become a component of the family’s daily life. As the family sits around the home discussing the matters of the day, there is no reason why spiritual issues cannot also be addressed in an educational manner.  The home can be a sanctuary of faith where praise is continually on the lips of all family members, starting with the example of the parents. 

When you walk along the road: This implies teaching your kids when you go places together. Maybe it’s just to the grocery store. Or maybe it’s a family outing or a hike together. Those are great opportunities to talk about God and the way other people act and how Christians are to act. It is also a great opportunity to point out God’s beauty through His creation.  

When you lie down: When your children are getting ready to go to bed you have a great opportunity to quiet them down by reading from the Word of God. You can also talk with them about anything that is going on in their lives and to pray with them and to assure them that God is watching over them. 

When you rise up:  This presents another opportunity to teach our children. Teach them how to start the day off right with the Lord. Again, our example teaches a lot. If kids are always grumpy in the morning, be an example of how to start off with a cheerful heart. Remind them: I can do all this through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). 

CONCLUSION: 

If we want to raise godly children, we must love God fervently and we must teach our children diligently. 

Children are a gift of God, and He has placed them under our care.  Therefore, we are to always remind our kids who God is no matter where we are or what we are doing.  We can ask and talk to children about God during football games, while doing laundry, taking them to school, while they brush their teeth, at dinner, at breakfast, or any other time.  They are under our care, our protection, and we are to train them as God has commanded us. We need to teach our children respect and how to worship the one True God. 

The Lord is with us to guide us and help us through His Holy Spirit to bring up godly children; therefore: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Posted by: missionventureministries | February 23, 2017

GOD HAS COMMANDED US TO EXPOSE FALSE TEACHERS – Matthew 7:15

false-profets-matthew-7-vs-15

One of the most misused verses in the Bible is, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). Every Scripture verse should be read in its context, if we are to properly understand its true meaning. In verses 2-5 of this same chapter it is evident that verse 1 is referring to hypocritical judgment. A brother who has a beam in his own eye should not be judging the brother who may have a speck in his eye. The lesson is plain; you cannot judge another for his sin unless you have confessed and forsaken that sin.

Those who cling to “Judge not, that you be not judged,” to condemn those who expose error should read the entire chapter. Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits (v.15-16). How can we know false prophets unless we judge them by the Word of God? Did the Lord mean that we are not to judge them by their way of life and their doctrine? Certainly not, because you cannot know without judging, i.e. checking them out by what the Bible teaches.

To further the point, Jesus tells us: “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly” (John 7:24). Here our Lord commands that we are to judge based upon the Word of God. If judgment is made upon any other basis, other than the Word of God, it is a violation of Matthew 7:1.

Those who are unwilling or incapable of discerning or judging between good and evil are in this manner revealing either their disobedience to God or their lack of knowledge of Scripture. The Bible tells us that the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1)

When we allow false teachers to freely spread their poisonous doctrines, because Christians do not have the courage to expose them as Jesus and Paul did; wolves in sheep’s clothing are thus enabled to ravage the flock, thereby destroying many and sending them to eternal damnation.

Jesus said to the religious Pharisees, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Matthew 12:34). To many evangelicals and some fundamentalists, this would be unacceptable language today, it would be to unloving, and unkind, but these words comes straight from the mouth of the Son of God. The most loving thing that we can ever do is tell people the truth – and you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).

Our Lord further called them “hypocrites…blind guides…white sepulchers…serpents…and you generation of vipers” (Matthew 23:23-34). Yet, we are told today that we are to fellowship with men whose doctrines are just as unscriptural as those of the Pharisees. Some say that these kinds of people are Bible believing Christians and insist on working with these heretics. And, according to many, we are not supposed to rebuke them for compromising the Word of God. Remember the Pharisees believed in God and were supposed to be the most religious group of all and Jesus rebuked them sternly.

Today these false teachers have come into the churches with their books, music, literature, movies, psychology, and their speeches, and have turned the Father’s house into a den of thieves. It is time that men of God stand up and expose their errors for everyone to see. Jesus took action and dealt with them when He cleansed the temple. Jesus told them My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.” (Mark 11:17)

The Bible tells us that we are to test them. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Everyone that calls themselves a Christian needs to be tried against the Word of God.

We are to watch out for them and avoid them. “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them” (Romans 16:17). Those whose conduct and teaching contradicts the Word of God we are to watch out for and strictly avoid.

We should have nothing to do with them. “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). We are commanded to have nothing to do with these false teachers, prophets, apostles, etc., but we are to expose them. We should not be quiet, but follow Paul’s warning to Titus, you must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (Titus 1:9). How can we obey Scripture unless we expose false teachers by the Word of God?

We are not to receive them into our house. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (2 John 1:10-11). John is speaking about those who run ahead and do not continue in the teaching of Christ. We need to remember that false doctrines are not only brought to us by false ministers, but also by  those that come by knocking on our doors teaching a false gospel, via radio, TV, music and literature. People that are uninformed let these false teachers into their home unbeknown of the danger that lies ahead.

We are to look out for those who preach another gospel. Paul warned about those who preached “another Jesus … another spirit … or another gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:4). How can we know them unless we judge their Jesus, their spirit, and their gospel by the Word of God? Paul called such preachers “false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13). He explains in v. 14-15 that these preachers are the ministers of Satan and that their end will be what their actions deserve.

We are to separate from them. “Therefore, come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). This makes it very plain; God’s people are to come out of apostasy and religious error.

Many mistakenly believe that it is wrong to expose error and to name the guilty teachers; but as we have so far seen, the Bible teaches otherwise.

Paul named Peter publicly. Peter was guilty of unscriptural practice. “As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy” (Galatians 2:13). When the integrity and purity of the gospel is at stake, then we, as true Christians, have no choice other then to expose the error and name the guilty party.

Paul named Demas for loving the world. For Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica (2 Timothy 4:10). Those who forsake the cause of Christ for worldly living and pleasures should be named and exposed.

Paul named Hymenaeus and Philetus. He told Timothy to “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some” (2 Timothy 2:15-18). False doctrine overthrows the faith of some, so those who are proclaiming it must be exposed; otherwise their lies will spread like gangrene.

As we read in the Old Testament Nathan also identified and exposed the king. There was a man in a very high place who was a secret adulterer. Surely this man who held the highest office in the land could not be rebuked by a lowly unpopular prophet. However, Nathan went right into the presence of David, revealed the sin in a parable form, and then told the infuriated David, “Thou art the man” (2 Samuel 12:7).

There are many other examples in the Bible about exposing false prophets, too numerous to contain in this short writing.

The biblical point is that, likewise, we need to be ready and willing to name those individuals, churches, schools, and other organizations that are denying biblical inerrant authority, compromising the doctrine of God’s creation, requiring humanistic works for salvation, or bringing in other heretical doctrines.

We obviously need to be sure of our facts when we do this and also to bring such charges only if motivated by genuine concern for those apt to be led astray if we don’t speak out. We had better beware of “false teachers … who will secretly bring in destructive heresies” (2 Peter 2:1).

Faithful messengers will warn the sheep of these heretics, and identify them by name. It is not enough to broadly hint of their identity, for the young lambs will not understand and will be destroyed by these wolves if we do not have the courage to expose them.

Discipline yourself in the study of the God’s word so that you will be able to guard against false prophets. Be like the citizens of Berea, who examined the Scriptures every day to see what the apostle Paul said was really true. (Acts 17:11)

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