What Christians need more than anything else today is spiritual DISCERNMENT…. satan and his horde are DECEIVERS…. and they are good at it…. they have had thousands of years of “practice” on humans.
Really…. people just dont realize how easily they can be deceived in spiritual matters…. and only those who have surrendered their lives to Christ and are under the protection of GOD can hope to “escape” from such abuse.
Preachers, pastors and church leaders are good “targets” because if they will believe a “lie” then hordes of sheep may be captured in one “fell swoop”.
Today we look at the extremes and try to give you some guidelines….. on the one hand, there is formalism.
Formalism appeals to intellectual people; it is RELIGIOUS WORSHIP in the total absence of emotion….. on the one hand, we have the cult of the JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES…. they persuade people according to LOGIC and HUMAN REASON…. and “converts advance” towards God by their own WORKS… trotting the streets, distributing their literature and REASONING with people supposedly gives them “favor” with God.
Also included in formalism is the Roman Catholic Church…. these are a step ahead of the JW’s…. because their doctrine accepts the supernatural (thus defying human REASON and LOGIC)… but they have succumbed, to “chants”, “incantations” and “candle magic”…. and a “rigid” doctrine of salvation by “works” of the flesh… and the blasphemous veneration of the virgin Mary…. they have “imported” into their religion much from RITUAL OCCULTIC PAGAN WORSHIP….
At the other extreme we have charismatic pentecostalism…. where “feeling” is everything and “manifestations” are expected….. and the person with an “experience” to share is universally hailed as spiritual…. without discernment, these people become easy targets for UNHOLY spirits if their lives and attitudes are contrary to GOD’s WORD.
Within this whole mess of “RELIGION” are Christ’s true sheep… looking for guidance and light… even if temporarily, in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This then is the explanation of the second parable, Matthew 13:24 – 30, the “good seed” here is NOT the Word (Gospel) [as it was in yesterday’s (first) parable (Matthew 13:1-23)] , but is that which the Word has produced, the children of the kingdom (we know this because Christ said so Himself in Matthew 13:38) …. these “children of the kingdom” are scattered thoughout the world, (and mixed up in all these various “religious” denominations) among “the children of the wicked one”… Satan has placed his “counterfeits” among them and they are so “indistinguishable” that only the angels can be trusted to separate them… in fact, so great is Satan’s power of deception that many of these “tares” actually believe in themselves that they are “wheat” (children of the kingdom)…. Satan has given them a strog DELUSION that they may believe a LIE about themselves and their standing before God.
BELIEVE THIS….. when Christ appears, many that THOUGHT they were OK will be left behind for judgement….. and many that MEN THOUGHT would be left behind will go with Him.
Therefore it is totally INCORRECT to think that ALL Roman Catholics or ALL Jehovah’s Witnesses will be condemned to hell….
The SYSTEMS of these religions are ROTTEN TO THE CORE…. but among the “innocent” worshippers God also has His chosen few…. the faithful REMNANT…. it was always so in Israel… and it is always so today… the TRUE CHURCH of Jesus Christ is NOT any single organsiation on earth….. but is a body of “faithful and true” saints from every part of the earth (from out of all countries, nations, languages and peoples).
GOD alone knows those that are His…… however, YOU CAN be certain about yourself… so TAKE HEED that you are nor “deceived” by the evil one.
Prayer for Today:
Loving Heavenly Father, as humans we are no match for the deception of the devil…. but as your dear children, we pray that you would give us SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT… that we may so order our own lives under the direction of your Spirit that we will escape his snares…. and fulfill your holy and perfect will for our existence on this planet… in Jesus’ name we ask this… Amen.