A report released in 2005 by an organization called the Bible Literacy Project suggested that young Americans know very little about the Bible. That probably did not come as much of a shock. And while the report has importance, but then first things first, another fair number of Americans do not see why teenagers need to know anything at all about the Bible. And some of these same people may profess to be Christians.
If you have been reading the recent posts about the start of the denominations, perhaps you have been confronted with some things you never previously considered. I certainly hope so. All of the information comes from well documented sources – out of common history books.
I have a businessman friend who used to travel a lot. Once, while in Cleveland he learned that then President Ronald Reagan was to be speaking adjacent to the hotel where he was staying. He went outside to watch the proceedings. As things got started, a local “pastor” was asked to offer the “invocation.” At that time my friend overheard a woman, who was standing behind him, say to her companion, “When they start praying, they start lying.” He left.
If you have been following one of these mentioned religions (or even those we haven’t discussed yet) and you have noticed that you cannot find what they do, or what the preacher says in the Word of God; you had better run. You need to get up and go as fast as you can. If it doesn’t ring true, it isn’t. And the safety of your soul depends on getting it right.
When the modern equivalents of the “Pharisees” stand up to pray – godly people should file quietly from the room. If it seems contrived, it is. So, depart while you can.
Corrupt religions have been, and are built on the backs (and on the fortunes) of common men and women. And, it is nearly always about money.
As long as greedy men prevail, it will be about money to all except simple Christians. When it doesn’t seem to be about money, the ungodly will quickly add on other things equally hard sought by them: power and prestige. Without ever admitting to it, they often want you to adore and worship them. And oh, don’t forget to send in money. The Apostle Paul said some who taught the truth in his days even had those motives. Do you suppose he was wrong? His own experiences would indicate he was not.
Peter Popoff, who is both a false teacher and fake healer, was fully exposed as a fraud on national TV – but you will find him there still and with his hand outstretched accepting donations. Do you think he is a godly person? Is he filled with the Holy Spirit (he says so) and capable (as he has also said) of raising the dead? Anybody ever witness anything like that? The book of Revelation states that all liars will be cast into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.
Some crooked preacher once told Texas preacher J.D. Tant that he could raise the dead. Without hesitation, Tant shot back that he could too and proposed a public demonstration, to which the shill immediately agreed. He suggested they should go to the local morgue and raise twelve corpses back to life; offering that if the liar would raise the first, then he would raise the next eleven.
Some of you may remember Oral Roberts and his vision of an hundred foot extortionist Jesus? Who bought into that lie? There are many who considered him to be holy too. We don’t have to worry about him anymore – he has received his reward. But his son has taken to his deceptions. The nut usually doesn’t fall far from the tree.
How about Joel Osteen? A lot of people think the world of him and support him. Thousands attend his shows. A couple of years ago he said that if Jesus were alive today he would own a Lear Jet or a Gulfstream – did you nod in assent without so much as giving it a thought? But how did he figure that? We have just one record of Jesus ever getting a ride anywhere – and it was on a donkey owned by a stranger. I feel certain that Mr. Osteen has never ridden on a donkey anywhere. When he says Jesus wants you to be a success – did you buy into that too? A lot of “preachers” teach that one. But Jesus taught that he wants to you to believe that he is the Son of God – to repent, be baptized, be obedient and to be saved whether or not you succeed here.
Billy Graham wrote that baptism is “hardly mentioned” in the NT. I wonder how many times God needs to repeat himself to make his point. He also taught that you do not need to be baptized to be saved. A lot of people believe that one too. I wonder then, why was poor blind Paul told “What are you waiting for? But get up and be immersed and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”(Acts 22:16) How confused Paul must have been. I think I’ll stick with Paul and forget what the “Reverend” Graham suggested.
We have listed this one here previously, but then we won’t get hurt by telling it again. The late W. Curtis Porter stated that if Jesus had said (in Mark 16:16), that he who believes and is baptized would receive a Ford Thunderbird nobody would have ever had any trouble understanding him.
Who are these folks and the thousands of others going along with them actually following? See if you can guess. One fellow said, “Who are you going to believe – me, or your own lying eyes?”
These folks make up their own religions and then blame it on Jesus. And it is typically about accumulating stuff, whether they care to admit to it or not. Not Dr. Graham, Peter Popoff, the successors of Oral Roberts, Joel Osteen, his daddy before him or his entire family, teaches the truth of the Gospel of Christ. They may be pleasant or even charismatic folks one and all, but they are every one of them, false teachers. But don’t take my word for it. Please go to the source and look for yourself. Form your own conclusions; your life depends on it.
There are many others out there who are cut from the same cloth. The world is full of people who believe whatever suits them, and don’t ever stop to see if it is true or not. Some of them are famous. Then the world is also chock full of scoundrels and deceivers. Most of them smile and act nice, seeming to be very pleasant. They wouldn’t get anyone behind them if they acted like snakes, would they? And there is no shortage of either group. When one falls there is another waiting just behind the curtain to walk out and pass the plate. Remember what Jesus said, did and had – and compare his example to that of any Pope, televangelist, or to many of the titled pastors or reverends and the leaders of every denomination. Somebody is going to come up short. But it won’t be Jesus.
Are there scales on your eyes? Can you see or hear? Jesus said that just in different words.
Lies come easy to liars. And lies will be told. Things will be cast in a cool and soothing light, often scented and fragrant, painted in fresh pastels or cut deep into marble and sculpted. And smiling faces and soothing voices will sing or speak to you in a carefully arranged cadence using high and mighty sounding words – in swirling and stirring ways. Some can quote scripture with the best. But, lies are still lies when the sun sets. And religious lies will overthrow any who get near them. The best part is we get to pay the bill into eternity if we accept any of it. There is no second chance.
You have a perfect right to think and do as you choose, just as do I. And there is certainly nothing wrong with making money; even though Jesus said it would make things harder for us.
It is all about what you do. And, you have a perfect right to open up a Bible and see if what you have been told about God, His Son and His Body is true. That is what I would encourage everyone to do. When and if you find out that you have been lied to – again, I would suggest that you get up right away and leave. Jesus said, don’t look back (Luke 17:32).
Start searching for the truth from that very moment. You will find it before long, if you will just look. It is located between the covers of the Holy Scriptures – in any Bible. Angels have said, “Worship God.”
Unlike the leaders of all the false denominations and all eastern religions, Jesus never took anything: not land, not money — nothing. He never accepted a thing that belonged to someone else. He never asked for anything except some water, some kindness, a place to stay, or an offered meal. But he freely gave to all seekers the grace of God – he brought salvation to us, if we can just pay attention. All we have to do is to accept the terms. His apostles left their businesses and livelihoods to follow him to the exclusion of all other things. And not one of them ever had a title, wore a miter, a gold seamed robe, rode in splendor, or put on a two thousand dollar suit. We ought to pay attention to the details. All we have to do is to read and obey.
Someone said, if you miss heaven, you‘ve missed it all.
And the common people heard him gladly.