Jesus had this to say, and much more, to the religious leaders of His day.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27)
I wonder what He would say to us today. My guess is He could use the same words and still be right on target.
Even as Christians, none of us are perfect, but just how many who are in leadership positions today are truly Christians? Let me put it this way. Knowing what we know about the scribes and Pharisees, were they saved? What did Jesus say concerning this?
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
So Jesus cut right to the chase. With their attitude of self-righteousness, they were not saved. They were as lost as a feather in a strong wind out over the ocean. To get the full flavor of those Jesus was addressing, or dressing down, in Matthew 23, read the entire chapter. If these guys didn’t get their heart right before God through Jesus before they died, and some did, they must have a made a big splash when they landed in the fires of hell.
It is very tragic that today we too have church leaders who are playing church on their way to hell. Not only that, they are leading so many others along with them.
Satan is throwing every lie he can at people in these last days, because time is running out for him, and so many people are buying his false gospel. Apostasy seems to be growing rapidly in these final days before Christ’s return, as Jesus said it would.
Is it really easier to believe a lie than a truth? I suppose it is when that is what you really want to hear, and someone is pulling you in that direction, that someone being Satan’s henchmen of course.
Some denominations that were actually founded by strong Christians are now nothing more than spiritual graveyards pulling people away from God’s Truth. Schools of learning such as Harvard and Yale, once Biblically based are now nothing more than bastions of evil thought.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
The airwaves are saturated with religious teachers, preachers, evangelists, and pastors, who are wolves in sheep’s clothing, bilking the life blood from innocent people who are searching for the Truth. What do they get in place of the Truth? Instead of steak and potatoes they get watered down worm infested soup not fit to feed to swine.
Are there any men and women of God left who stand with God? Are there any left who aren’t trying to fleece the innocent? Yes there are, but if you don’t know the original, you may very well be taken in by the counterfeit. I’m referring to God’s Word in comparison to man’s word of course.
Why isn’t there a fire in the soul of self-professing Christians? Could it be that they have accepted the teaching of those who are nothing more than white washed sepulchres?
“1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. [Emphasis mine] 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:1-7)
Notice verse five again in the above passage. If you don’t know the Word of God for yourself, you will in all likelihood be taken in by those false leaders who appear to be righteous, but are not.
According to Jesus, they have put on a veneer of righteousness that looks good and sounds good, but they are phony. They are rotten inside.
I was listening to a minister yesterday, not by choice, that was spewing some of the most outlandish dribble I’ve heard for a while, and out in his audience were those innocent souls soaking it all up. Why? They did so because very few Christians are like the Bereans of Paul’s day who searched the Scriptures daily.
“10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:10-11)
Why are there so many white washed sepulchres with such large followings today? The answer lies in the laziness and gullibility of those who claim to be a Christian. All they can see is the glitter. They don’t have enough Biblical sense to discern real gold from fool’s gold. Again, why? They want to be spoon fed the Gospel and often accept a false gospel. I am convinced that the charlatans who prey upon others know this. They know that few will actually search the Scriptures for the Truth. Instead of reading and studying for themselves what God has to say, they depend on others to tell them. Bad idea!
Every Christian should have a “Berean” attitude about the Scriptures. When we have that attitude, we are blessed beyond measure because we actually get the Truth, not opinions of others or out-right lies. In addition, when we hear the false gospel of man, we smell the stench of “dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”
Whether people gather in a small poorly constructed building on a country lane, or a grand cathedral on Main Street, they need to know that what they are hearing is the Truth. When you turn on your television or radio to listen to your favorite ministers, are they providing you with the Truth or their opinion or a lie? If searching God’s Word is not part of your day, you will never know.
Behind the pulpits, on the radio and by the television are God’s men who preach the Truth. These are usually the guys who will encourage you to check out what they say by comparing it with the Scriptures. Unfortunately, there are many, many more who will either lie to you or are just plain ignorant of the Word. How are you going to know which is which? How are you going to know that what you are hearing is the Truth?
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
There is no thrill like knowing God’s Word, the Bible, for yourself. It is a rich, rewarding and humbling experience. It is communication between you and the Lord that can’t be topped.
Watch out for the white washed sepulchres though. They are abundant. They look good. They sound good. They tell you just what you want to hear, and that’s fine, if it’s the Truth. Is it? Find out for yourself. Get in the Bible today.