The Blind Leading the Blind! #2

Sunday, June 30, 2019

“Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:12-14 KJV).

Do the blind still lead the blind? (Yes, they do!)

The Lord Jesus did not hesitate to tell the truth about the religious leaders of His nation. These educated men had been entrusted with the Old Testament Scriptures, but they were evil. They hid God’s Word from the common people. Frankly, despite their godly appearance, they were enemies of the truth. They claimed to be serving the God of Abraham but were anything but!

Jesus, in today’s Scripture, said Father God would judge those wicked priests, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and so on. According to Jeremiah chapter 23 and Ezekiel chapter 34, corrupt religious leaders had been a pervasive problem in Israel for centuries. Unfortunately, a similar condition has largely crippled the Body of Christ for nearly 2,000 years.

Today, most Bible colleges, seminaries, and denominations train shallow Bible users and perverted Gospel preachers. These graduates matriculated through courses and classes, took and passed examinations, received certifications, and underwent ordinations. Philosophies learned, committees satisfied, and denominations approved. But, does God endorse them? Are they even members of the Church the Body of Christ? Or, just members of manmade denominations? Is the Spirit of God leading them? Or, is it simply the spirit of man? Did they learn the Bible? Or just suppositions, speculations, and hypotheses about Scripture?

Consider the leading “scholars” in Christendom today. They are experts in church history, fluent in Greek and Hebrew and Latin, longtime seminary professors, popular counselors, best-selling authors, members of denominational churches, and hosts to large television and radio audiences. However, how many have actually trusted Jesus Christ exclusively as their personal Saviour? Are they nothing but Christians in name only? Since much of the processing church is clueless about the Scriptures, they exalt non-Christians as Christians and pagan teaching as Christian. Indeed, “they be blind leaders of the blind….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “As Christians, should we hate our parents?

 

The Blind Leading the Blind! #1

Saturday, June 29, 2019

“Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:12-14 KJV).

Do the blind still lead the blind? (Yes, they do!)

We have an English expression derived from today’s Scripture. Physical blindness is not under discussion. It is spiritual blindness. Those in the position of leading others to God have no idea how to reach God themselves. While they may hold a religious title, they are just as clueless about spiritual truths as skeptics!

Long ago, there was an evangelist who had “preached the Gospel” for over two decades in his particular denomination. Now facing death, he paced the floor, worrying aloud, “Am I going to Heaven when I die?” (Where did all this man’s followers go upon death? In all those years, had he ever preached to them a pure Gospel of Grace? That is quite scary! If he was worried about eternity, what peace had he offered them?!) Stop and think, dear friends, of how damaging denominationalism truly is. It does not matter what group or sect. People are so confused about even such basic Bible facts as a clear Gospel message. Yet, they would not hesitate to say, “I am a Christian, and I know Jesus!”

The Gospel of the Grace of God (Acts 20:24) is found mostly succinctly in 1 Corinthians 15:3,4: “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” We do not have to wonder if we will make it to Heaven. If we rely on or trust the simple truth that Jesus Christ at Calvary paid our sin debt in full, that makes us fit for Heaven. We are showing God we as sinners cannot please Him. We are admitting that He had to do for us what we simply cannot do for ourselves.

Alas, leave it to sinful man to complicate it….

A Liar, a Lunatic, or the Lord?

Friday, June 28, 2019

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” (Matthew 16:13 KJV).

There is an old expression, “Jesus is one of three—a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord!” Friend, whom do you say He is?

Read the first accusation leveled against Jesus, John 7:12: “And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.” Compare to Matthew 27:62,63: “Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.” To some, Jesus was nothing but a liar, a fraud, an imposter. “And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub [Satan!], and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils” (Mark 3:22).

Now, another insult, Mark 3:20,21: “And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.” Jesus was here called a “crazy,” a nut, someone who should be locked away in an asylum! “And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?” (John 10:20). “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Finally, the Apostle Peter, after Jesus’ resurrection, uttered four words (correctly identifying Him!): “Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea” (John 21:7). See the context of today’s Scripture: “[15] He [Jesus] saith unto them, But whom say ye [believers!] that I am? [16] And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did the Samaritan believers not receive the Holy Spirit upon believing in Acts 8?

Do Not Look Back!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed (Genesis 19:17 KJV).

Here are God’s instructions to Lot and his family. Will they be snubbed?

Recently, I passed by one of our old church buildings at which we attended denominational services over 20 years ago. The people we knew there are now long gone (in Heaven, or elsewhere); the current pastor is apostate (I talked with him years ago). Looking at the structure (it sure looked much larger when I was a little boy!!), I recalled good memories and friends, but the bad doctrine and spiritual confusion I did not miss. I still have no regrets leaving legalism, for grace teaches me how to live (Titus 2:11,12). Thank You, Lord, for bringing me out of that spiritual nonsense and into Your marvelous grace! I now have the privilege of helping others do likewise!

Concerning today’s Scripture, God will soon destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality. He commands Lot and his family to escape; after much urging, they get moving. Lot “sat in the gate of Sodom” (verse 1): he was a politician or other governmental official. He and his wife were reluctant to abandon their lavish home, social standing, and other comforts. As they fled, God commanded them not to look back.

“[24] Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; [25] And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. [26] But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Lot’s wife was so materialistic, worldly-minded, she had to take one last look, lamenting, “Oh, look at all that we are leaving—the wealth, friends, celebrations, delicacies!” (Glance at Luke 17:28-33.)

Friends, when we come to faith in Christ, let us not yearn to return to the old life. As alluring as they are, the exquisite stained glass windows, the “feel-good” ceremonies and songs, and the “humbling” edifices are nothing compared to the eternal truths of God’s Word rightly divided!

Jesus, Please Leave! #10

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

“And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:34 KJV).

Friend, what would you do if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself happened to knock on your front door or ring your doorbell?

Read Christ’s words in Matthew chapter 12: “[43] When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. [44] Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. [45] Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”

Here is Israel’s sad condition. Messiah Jesus could cleanse her of her devil possession, but since she refused His influence, her spiritual state would further deteriorate. Once Israel rejected Christ’s offer to liberate her from satanic bondage, she opened herself to more spiritual corruption. The Antichrist will thus arise one day (see 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; cf. John 5:43).

Satan works wherever God’s Word is absent. If we are “too busy” to renew our minds with the Scriptures rightly divided (Israel’s problem!), we automatically fall for Satan’s lie. Lost people stay unsaved, and Christians remain confused. The answer is to preach and believe sound Bible doctrine! Second Timothy chapter 2: “[24] And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, [25] In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; [26] And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

Friends and brethren, may we hold to Pauline doctrine, Romans through Philemon. As the Holy Spirit through Paul penned, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord [Jesus!]. But if any man be ignorant [refusing Jesus], let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:37,38)!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Does ‘not’ belong in Isaiah 9:3?

 

Jesus, Please Leave! #9

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

“And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:34 KJV).

Friend, what would you do if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself happened to knock on your front door or ring your doorbell?

The Bible instructs, “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). To “quench” means “to stifle,” “to restrain the influence of.” When we refuse to follow the Spirit of God, we are saying, “Jesus, please depart!” Watch unsaved people “quench the Spirit” when the Apostle Paul preaches to them in Acts chapter 17: “[31] Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. [32] And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. [33] So Paul departed from among them.

Paul urged us members of the Body of Christ not to quench the Spirit. Notice Ephesians chapter 4: “[17] This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, [18] Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: [19] Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. [20] But ye have not so learned Christ; [21] If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: [22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; [23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; [24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

Saints, if we are not walking with a renewed mind—thinking as Christ would—then we are basically asking Him to leave us too. We have rebuffed His guidance and life. May we not be like the foolish people of today’s Scripture….

Jesus, Please Leave! #8

Monday, June 24, 2019

“And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:34 KJV).

Friend, what would you do if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself happened to knock on your front door or ring your doorbell?

As far as the record of Scripture is concerned, the Lord Jesus never again set foot on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. They requested His departure—and He obliged. Someone may ask, “What about those there who wanted to believe on Jesus but had not yet heard of Him and never got to meet Him?” Well, the message of Messiah was still proclaimed there, even after His parting.

Now healed, the formerly devil-possessed man wanted to accompany Jesus (Mark chapter 5): “[19] Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. [20] And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.” God’s testimony was still there east of the Jordan River, but the Saviour Himself had withdrawn. See also Luke chapter 8: “[38] Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, [39] Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

Today, there are various ways to say, “Jesus, please leave!” It can be a lost person mocking God’s preacher and grace doctrine. They prefer their works-religion. Or, it can be individuals who have already believed on Christ as personal Saviour, who hang on to the Law system as means for Christian living. They may even live like the world, quenching or putting out the influence of the Holy Spirit. As the old preacher said, “I went in the world and found the church, I went in the church and found the world!” Sadly, the Lord is often rejected even now….