As I prepare to do a new series on the book of Revelation, I can’t help but think of how relevant the term “fake’ really is.
It is simply another term for the word “false”. It is everywhere. We are surrounded with it: “Fake News”, “Fake Citizenship”, “Fake Economy”, “Fake Marriage”, “Fake Worship”, and on it goes.
In so many ways, what is happening in our nation today is like the days when King Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, ruled Israel.
- He thought only of himself. How many of our politicians are like that today?
- She was the brains of the two. Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, King of the Sidonians. She introduced witchcraft to Israel, and encouraged the worship of Baal throughout the land. Baal was supposedly a fertility God. (Male and female prostitutes were used in the bizarre satanic rites that were a part of this seductive form of idolatry.)
- In 1 Kings 21, we read how Ahab wanted the vineyard of Naboth because it was great land and right next to the palace. (Naboth refused to give or sell the land to the King because it was a family inheritance. So, the King went to the palace and sulked. When he told Jezebel why he was so depressed, she basically said, “I will take care of the matter and she had Naboth killed so her husband could have the land. Sounds like some of the land schemes that have taken or are taking place among our politicians today.)
On many fronts today, we are faced with the challenge of separating truth from that which is false. The Apostle Paul wrote about this in Romans 1:18-25.
In verses 21-25, he wrote “For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming themselves to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals and reptiles.
Therefore, God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.”
Folks, things haven’t changed much. As I have watched the impeachment proceedings, it has been pointed out repeatedly who is sharing fact(s) and who is sharing fiction. There are days when it seems like fiction is prevailing.
But this is also happening on many fronts in churches, Bible colleges and seminaries across the land. Many of our universities won’t even allow a conservative on campus to speak or give a different point of view. I have had our people tell me that they visited a friend’s church and never heard the name of Jesus mentioned once. Many times, the sermons deal just with social issues. Obviously, there is a time and place for those discussions, but they are never to take the place of the gospel or whole counsel of God. In 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote, “But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.” (1:23)
In Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus gave the parable of the wheat and weeds. “He presented another parable to them: ‘the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while people were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and left. When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared. The land owner’s slaves came to him and said ‘Master didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’
‘An enemy did this!’ He told them. ‘So, do you want us to go and gather them up, the slaves asked him.’ ‘No’ he said. When you gather up the Let both grow together until the harvest. At the harvest time, I’ll tell the reapers: “Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but store the wheat in the barn.’”
The weeds were probably darnel. It looks like wheat, but it isn’t. It’s a fake. It is actually a poisonous weed.
Roman law prohibited sowing darnel in someone else’s field. The roots would become intertwined making it difficult to separate. It could only be safely done at harvest time.
We have an adversary who relentlessly seeks to corrupt the gospel or good new about God’s love and salvation through Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 wrote “But if our gospel is veiled (hidden) it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is she image of God. For we are not proclaiming ourselves, but Jesus Christ as LORD and ourselves as your slaves because of Jesus. For God who said, ‘let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.”
What is the solution for that which is fake or false, especially when it come to the gospel? The solution is ‘TRUTH’. In John 8:32, Jesus said “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
In John 14:6 Jesus declared, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
I close this meditation on deception with one final word from the Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Galatians.
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want you to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”
Folks, Jesus is the truth who sets you free. If you set Him as King of your life and anchor of your soul, you will not be deceived.
Living and Trusting in Him,
SOMETHING YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF …
The best way to make Ventura County aware of this church, is you, the people. It blesses me so much when one of you says to me, “Pastor, I want you to meet _____ (guest) who came as my guest today. From time to time, we will have a special gift for you and your guest. The guest needs to be someone you would really like to see make Jubilee their church home too.