Chapter 13: 7-17
7 “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp.
12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
I pray that you are helping and supporting your Pastor. So many of us are tired as we try to serve a lot of people. We worry about failure, and we stress over those that are lukewarm or nominal Christians. We wonder what we can do better; better sermons, more time, more effort, and on and on we go. We live in constant fear of losing our children as they feel like they live in a fishbowl, never allowed to make mistakes and fail like every other kid without fearing that dad will lose his job or be called up to the front to be made a spectacle of. Many pastor’s kids walk away from the faith after they see the way their families are treated by supposed ‘Christians.’ They simply want nothing to do with it. If you have a godly, loving, and servant pastor, then praise God for him and do all to support him.
Over the last decade or so, maybe a bit longer, the idea of ‘progressive Christianity’ has crept into too many of our churches. There is no such thing as progressive Christianity. God’s ways do not change with the times, and He is not swayed by popular trends. We in the Lord’s churches need to be careful not to fall into this false doctrine. There are hundreds of thousands of people in ‘progressive’ churches that have never heard the Gospel in its true ‘naked’ form. They do not understand nor have they been taught about God’s love, even though they talk about love all the time. And they seem entwined in a ‘religion’ that never calls them to change; rather, it validates their sinful lives. So let us explore a bit of what Paul has to say here.
- Jesus has not changed, verse 8
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. When God identified His name to Moses in Exodus, he called himself ‘I AM.’ He is the ever-present. There is no turning with God. God never has to be corrected, and He has never and will never make a mistake. From Genesis 3:15, Jesus was coming to the cross. In fact, before the creation, Jesus was coming to the cross.
Jesus is still the only way, the narrow gate, and the only name whereby we must be saved. People still have to repent of their sinfulness, still need to admit they are sinners, and trust only in Jesus. People need to come to grips with just how sinful and far from God they are. People need to understand that they deserve Hell and all its fury, and only Jesus got in the way, and only He offers salvation. God is not tolerant of other religions, and NO, we do not all worship the same God. Jesus is the same all the time.
- Learn true Doctrine, verse 9
Sadly, too many of us spend way too little time in the Scriptures. We have so many other things that take our focus away, and we find ourselves unable to discern between truths and lies. We chase everything that says Jesus and never stop to see if it is the real Jesus or some fake Jesus that is leading us astray.
There are many ‘professional’ teachers in the churches, and thus too many of us are not forced to study so as to teach a Sunday School class or lead in a discussion. I love our mid-week discussions, and I love hearing the people I pastor talk about encounters with Jesus, and we always seek to align what we feel with what the scriptures say; if not, those feelings need to be challenged.
Islam talks about Jesus, Mormons talk about Jesus, Catholics talk about Jesus, JW talks about Jesus, even Buddhism mentions Jesus, and on and on we can go. Other religions, like Conservative Jews, avoid Jesus altogether, and still others have this Jesus that does not even exist. He is some kind of wishy-washy person that loves everybody and affirms everybody. Hogwash! The Word of Faith’ religion’ led by the likes of TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, and many of their ilk talk about a Jesus that wants you to be rich, and you get there by making them rich. Fundamentally, if they have been on Oprah, they are often not teaching the truth about Jesus.
You and I are to ‘search’ the scriptures (Acts 17:11), and we are to take responsibility for knowing the truth so that when falsehoods come along, we can see them, acknowledge them, and hopefully move out of their way and take our loved one with us.
Too many churches are dependent upon programs to attract people and not just the plain teaching of the Bible. This is not to say these programs are bad, but in the New Testament, Paul often taught into the wee hours of the morning so that, one night, a fellow slept, fell, and died. Paul healed him and kept preaching.
What we are seeing is a clear division between the false and true churches here in real time. Those that embrace the LGBTQ2 agenda and blaspheme Jesus with their doctrines are not of God. They never were, and unless they repent, they won’t ever be in the future either. The real eye-opener is to see how many ‘churches’ have embraced this doctrinal abomination. It saddens me because I realize that Satan has built a lot of counterfeit churches, and true Christians are a hated and maligned minority.
Too many pastors give pep talks and do not really dig into the scriptures to find the doctrines, the foundations of Jesus our Rock. Jesus’ words brought conviction, Stephen’s words in Acts 7 made them want to kill him, and Paul’s words got him thrown in prison. Sadly, too many of us do not speak these doctrinal truths; we are simply made to feel good, never called to repentance, and never challenged to be more like Jesus.
Let me leave you with these words of God found in Micah 6:8.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
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