Monday, 13 November 2017

A Hard Word: Does Your Ear Have An Itch?

"And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray." (Jesus; Mt. 24:11; ESV)

I saw this cartoon online recently and the first thing I thought was, "There is probably more truth than fiction here." Obviously we cannot and should not paint everyone with the same brush, yet it seems to me that when I look at much of the "Christian" (or maybe "pseudo-Christian" is a better word) world today, many seem to have traded in "what God has said" for "what you would rather hear." At the very least, there seems to be a growing tendency among some to recreating God in their own image and after their own twisted and hermeneutically-flawed interpretations of the Bible.

Maybe it's always been that way and we're just noticing it more and more now in this online digital age, where everyone can publicly share their own brand of heresies and two-cents worth for all the world to read and get more confused by. It's gotten to the point where I find myself needing to unplug from social media more and more, and return to curling up with my Bible or another good book, just to clear my head from some of the garbage and pseudo-Christian teachings out there. Again, I am not painting all with the same brush; there is lots of good solid and sound doctrine out there too. However some of the stuff out there, disguised as Christian, I'm sure must make the early Christian church turn in their graves!

And yet it really shouldn't surprise us. Paul said to Timothy, "For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, and will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions." (2 Timothy 4: 3-4; Amplified)

Remember someone else who once asked, "Did God actually say …?" (Genesis 3:1). It seems to me that he asks it still and unfortunately many, even in the church, are listening. 😢

Maybe it's just me, but when I look around me at some of the things the church now accepts as normal, things clearly contrary to "what God has said," not just in Old Testament law but also in the New Testament, it all looks like a whole new religion. What do we do with that? It worries me to think of how many people, despite all their good intentions and sincere beliefs, may one day hear an "I never knew you" from Jesus. It's a hard and troubling word, and yet it is there in our beloved Gospels. Again, what do we do with that?

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way
is easy that leads to destruction." (Jesus; Mt. 7:13; ESV)
Jesus said, "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. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]." (Matthew 7: 21-23; Amplified). Yes, that's a hard word.

Does your ear have an itch? Be careful who you let scratch it.

Something to think about. Peace.

Cartoon Sources: Unknown

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