"Woe to you...Kingdom Deniers"
“Woe to you...Kingdom Deniers”
A quick announcement for those of y’all local…
We will order the workbooks this week for the next Bible study. Let me know if you desire to participate...if you have yet to do so.
As we saw our last time together, Jesus was encouraging us to live in humility before one another, to exalt not ourselves.
The Lord then moves into a series of declarations to the scribes and Pharisees, the religious rulers.
We would do well to give heed to these warnings.
We would do well to go before the Lord and ask if we commit these.
I suspect that we would be amazed at how we do…
Here are a couple of them…
13 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
14 ["Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]
15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
Jesus speaks bluntly.
He calls the religious rulers what they were - hypocrites.
They taught one way...often the correct Truth from the Word...but lived another.
Judgment was coming there way.
They would be held accountable for what they were doing.
What were they doing?
They were living lives of lies before the people.
They were shutting off the kingdom of heaven from the people.
They were not entering into the kingdom of heaven themselves.
They were actively seeking to dissuade the people from entering, especially those that were swerving too close to the truth.
The religious are alway far more in interested in keeping their “religious thing” going rather than entering into a true encounter/relationship with the Most High God.
The religious seek to gain control.
The religious seek to keep control.
The religious will manipulate...through a spirit of witchcraft...the people...all the while calling it “leadership.”
The religious rule with an iron fist.
As we have previously seen, they will heap burdens upon the people.
They will expect the folk to believe and act the way they dictate.
You think this does not happen today?
You would be wrong.
Today, “leaders” create rules and mandates that are not found in the Word.
To be a part of “their church” (which is often true...it is “their church”...the Lord has been removed) one must “give” a particular kind of way (anything other than joyfully, as your heart desires, freely, etc. is not found in the Word)
To be a part of “their church” one must agree with…?...any number of things.
It is a man-made trap that exclude people from the Kingdom.
But, it gets worse.
These hypocrites devour widow’s houses…I’ve seen this happen. They think nothing of abusing and robbing “little ole folk” in the name of the Lord. “Christian television” is full of this stuff.
Oh, these hypocrites can pray long, florid, moving prayers.
They sound good.
They look better.
The world will color them a “success”.
Many within the Body will be deceived.
Yet, they are white-washed tombs...Jude speaks of them.
They will receive not just condemnation but greater condemnation.
Wonder what that entails?
A hotter place in the lake of fire?
I do not know.
I do not want to experience it.
Finally, we see the degree to which these hypocrites will go.
They will roam land and sea to make one proselyte...to convert one to their way.
They are so successful that the convert becomes twice the son of hell that the original hypocrite is.
That is profound.
I have seen this.
I continue to see it.
It grieves the spirit to see man exalting himself and his plans.
The Lord is warning us.
Woe to us if we function in this way.
Ask God about it…
Fear not, things will get “worse”…