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We conclude Jesus Sends The Twelve Apostles with a frank discussion of common Christian myths and how Jesus dismisses them. 

Jesus Sends The Twelve Apostles-2

Continued from Jesus Sends The Twelve Apostles

Myth 2: If we trust God, we should trust all people, even our enemies. Like we studied in the last lesson, there's weeds in the wheat. After being with Jesus a short while, we begin to be filled with such a naïve, innocent nature that it seems natural to trust everything that calls itself "Christian". Some unscrupulous ministers (weeds) will even teach such things, expecting you to ignore the cautions you get even from the Holy Spirit. Some say, "there shouldn't be any sinners in church." There wouldn't be any churches if we kept the sinners out. No Pastors, either! We're all sinners. Some of us are following Christ and some aren't. Some church members are following Jesus, some aren't. Some Pastors are following Jesus, some aren't. Some churches are following Jesus, some aren't. Look, there's too much at stake to trust everybody until they prove untrustworthy. I kinda' like what President Reagan said, "Trust, But verify." Jesus said, "I'm sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes…" Vs 16-17 Where is our shrewdness? The Bible says to know those who labor among you and not to commission someone to service quickly. The Bible teaches us to trust only in God, but somehow, all we want to hear is what these false teachers say. Why aren't we in our Word? How much unnecessary pain must we endure because we listen to false teachers instead of the genuine God? Look! We can't trust any teacher, not even me. We can't trust any church, not even this one. We can only trust God. We'll learn who to trust if we follow His Word and test all things. If any teacher suggests they're above such scrutiny, don't listen to another word they say.

Myth 3: God is one of our important values, like parents, children, peace, etc. Vs 34-39 A recent popular "Christian" song says we need to get back to the basics, then lists a bunch of good things, like love, truth, family, etc. What I don't like about it is that it lists faith and Christ as if Jesus was just one of the good things we need to get back to. I'm sure they didn't mean to imply that, but it was there. A well known politician made millions writing a book of virtues. It bothers me to see things like this because they imply that life in God is simply ethics, and that loving God is one of the "virtues" you should cultivate in your life. Let's be very clear. Jesus Christ is above all. Mt 10:34-39 sets the standard. He's saying, "If you don't have me above everything, even life itself, then don't bother." Jesus isn't a virtue or moral we can acquire with due diligence. The only way to have Jesus is as a gift, because none of us could earn Him. The only way to receive that gift is to believe in the Giver, including His position above all. Let's not make the religious mistake of demoting God to virtue status.

Myth 4: To receive a reward in heaven, you must pray the 'sinner's prayer'. Most of us are taught a kind of formula to receiving Jesus. 1. Repent. 2. Ask for forgiveness. 3. Ask Jesus into your heart. 4. Thank Him. Bing-Bam-Boom you're "saved". Most make it more complicated even than this, adding things like testifying and baptism to be thorough. All these things are good, but they aren't all required. Jesus does something many Christians would consider amazing if they actually read it. In Vs 40-42, Jesus actually suggests that accepting His true followers is the same as accepting Him and this acceptance will gain people rewards in heaven. Wouldn't that tick a bunch of ministers off? What? You don't need my emotional alter call? All that's necessary is that we believe in Him. Jesus says if we even give a cup of water to someone because they follow Him, we are rewarded in heaven. Why? Because if we didn't believe in Him, we wouldn't do it.

Well, I hope you're not all too mad to come back next week. If anything I said sticks in your craw, please, let's review the Scriptures together.

Dear Lord, help us to look in your Word first. Give us a thirst for understanding that isn't quenched. Teach us not to trust everything that calls itself Christian. Let us be people of your Word. Thank you.

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