Friday, January 28, 2011

Satan drags the religious to hell!

As we piece this together....that is the time between the arrival of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians and when Paul is writing his second letter to the Corinthians; it seems clear that there are those that are pushing the agenda that Paul is a false teacher and/or Paul is ministering entirely in the flesh.

I don't think there is any doubt that this exact parallel goes on today, and has since Paul's time. Take a look at what Paul did in his first letter. He called out sin where it was found, he called men to repentance, he called men to practice church discipline and he called men to righteousness. When people speak The Truth in this world, whether it is with all the meekness and humility that can be mustered or not, there are going to be the luke-warm Christians that will call you to judgment. The interesting thing is, they will accuse you of being the one who is judgmental. This is what Paul is dealing with, and Paul uses the word plead and beg, both within 2 verses:
2Corinthians 10:1-2 Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.
2 But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.

As I side note, we can relate to Paul here can't we? Who among us is not more bold in emails than we are in person. I would encourage this: if email, facebook or twitter is the only way you can be bold for Christ; then so be it. Be bold in whatever venue you can! The question isn't, can you be bold in these arenas, the question is, will you be bold?

Back to the chapter:

Paul spends the rest of the chapter basically saying, yes we boast, but we boast in the Lord, and we boast in the fruit the Lord allowed him to produce in Corinth and beyond, through those Corinthians taking the Gospel further.

Corinthians 10:14-16 For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ;
15 not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men's labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere,
16 to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's sphere of accomplishment.

Paul wraps up this section making sure that he, nor his reader should confuse who gets the Glory:

2Corinthians 10:17-18 But "HE WHO GLORIES, LET HIM GLORY IN THE LORD."
18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

Chapter 11
Verse 3 is a HUGE point; look at what Paul says in verse 3 and stop to consider whether this sounds strangely familiar:
2Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Paul makes the point that The Gospel is simple. Before we continue, let's demonstrate it's simplicity:

“We are all sinners deserving of eternal condemnation and the only way to be redeemed from what we rightly deserve is through the blood of Jesus Christ and putting are trust and belief in Him for salvation and that belief leads us to repentance and absolute surrender to Him as our Lord and Savior”

Simple, yet rarely received:

Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

SIMPE RIGHT! Too simple according to many. Men tend to complicate things....enter Satan. Satan seizing the opportunity slithers his way in and before we can say, “Another Gospel” we have hundreds of religions claiming to be Christians when they are a long way from The One and Only True Gospel.

Pick your favorite “Christ plus” religion:
Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness, etc.

Paul makes it clear; if it is any Gospel other than what he preached, don't be DECEIEVD!

2Corinthains 11:4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

Mormonism and Jehovah's Witness say Jesus isn't God
Catholicism says Jesus' sacrifice on The Cross was not enough, we still need to do more
Islam says Jesus was a prophet and nothing more

Are you seeing the trend....false religions attack the deity of Christ and His work on the Cross.

Satan drags the religious to hell just as easily as he does the worst pagans in the world:

2Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

Those that follow secret societies are aware of a group called Free Masons. Whether the beginnings of this group was noble or not does not excuse the fact that, at it's highest levels today, it is flat out Satan worship. Why do I bring this up? Very rarely do you hear Free Masons speak openly; however, you can find some footage of some of them admitting that they believe that they serve “the good Satan”. In part, or whole, many of these dark societies have been deceived in to believing that Jesus and Satan are brothers, or some other variation. They have been further deceived in to thinking that they are the ones serving “the winner” when in fact they are only bringing evil to the depths that will land them in the deepest pits of hell. The ultimate point is, this is an example of Satan disguising himself as an angel of light; which is how those of the secret society called the Illuminati think of themselves; “the enlightened ones”. As you read this, many of you may be thinking, “OK, he has really lost it now.” You need to remember:
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

As I finished reading this chapter I couldn't help but think of the article I read today about a country in Africa that has ramped up its persecution of Christians. The article made the point that the country has authorized Catholic, Lutheran and Islamic churches. Isn't that interesting that those “sects” would be left untouched as they brutalize and kill true followers of Christ. It reminds me of what Jesus said:

John 15:18 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

Knowing this would allow us to connect the dots as to why Paul would establish his credentials as a true minister of The Gospel in this way as he makes a clear distinction between himself and the false teachers that have emerged:
2Corinthians 11:22-27 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.
23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.
24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.
25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—

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