Sunday, November 08, 2015

Preach to Us Smooth Things

Smooth like butter

Isaiah 30:9-10: “That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the LORD; who say to the seers, “Do not see,” And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits”. 

Isaiah was a prophet in Israel during a very difficult period in the history of the nation. They had rebelled against God and were not repentant. Isaiah preached judgment on the nation. But the people did not like it. Look at how God Himself described the people in Isaiah 30:9-10. They wanted Isaiah to preach deceit and flattery. They wanted to be like others.

The same is true of our society today; even in our Churches that have over the years been built on tradition. We want to be like others. We are calling for a new form of teaching, a new form of doctrine, a new form of tradition. Preach to us new things; new ways of life and new morality.

Isaiah resisted the call. He was hated; he was persecuted, and finally, according to history, was sawn asunder between two boards. (Hebrews 11:37-38)  That has been the lot of men who stood for the truth over the centuries. Stephen was stoned to death. Paul and Peter were executed. Jesus Christ Himself was crucified. People do not like hard sayings. People do not like the truth. Tell them the truth and they will hate you; persecute you and where it is possible execute you.

You who are here today have a choice between standing with the truth, the hard facts of the Scripture, the true doctrine on one hand, and the new morality and the new preaching and teaching on the other.
Take for instance, the teaching today about the Christian and wealth; the Christian and affliction; the Christian and the worldly standards. The Christian needs to take a close look at what the Scripture says and give it the correct Biblical interpretation.

Now let us look at what the Bible says about this age in which we live. In Titus 2, Paul is giving instruction to this young Pastor Titus in Crete. He had the problem that most of our Churches have today – how do I set this Church in order so that the whole doctrine and truth is preached? Paul instructs him to speak sound doctrine – not what people want to hear. Let women be reverent, young men to be sober-minded; servants to be obedient; rebuke with authority.

In another Pastoral Epistle this time to Timothy at the Church in Ephesus he wrote: Second Timothy 4:1-5: “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.  But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.” 

The Apostle Peter also writing in the same vein urges us all to be careful, See Second Peter 2:1-3 “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.” 

Let us be wary of the new morality, new doctrine and new revelations. I have the inclination to cling to the dictum which says; “If it is new, it is not true and if it is true, it cannot be new.” I still have the old religion.

Let us carefully examine these things before we give in to them. Let us milk our own cows, then we will have the cream and not diluted milk. Resist the smooth things. In understanding be men!

God bless you all.

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