Yesterday we talked about the fool who says in his heart there is no God. The verse goes on to say Psalm 14:1 “They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. 4 Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the Lord. 5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. 6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge. 7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!” We also see the fool described in Jeremiah 5:1 “Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city. 2 Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ still they are swearing falsely.” 3 Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent. 4 I thought, “These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the Lord, the requirements of their God. 5 So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of the Lord, the requirements of their God.” But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds. 30 “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?”
Many people over the years have gone to church and believed with all their heart that what they were hearing was truth. They heard doctrines and theology described that told them one thing or another and they believed with all their heart. They even told others to come and believe the same. They were told, if you believe as we do, you will go to heaven. The problem is there are just too many teachings that have led people astray. You have all the denominations and independents teaching something totally different from one another, but they all say believe us when we say we speak truth and you will be bound for heaven. That is impossible. As Psalm 14 said corruption is everywhere. Jeremiah said no one is seeking truth. Isaiah also said Isaiah 59:15 “Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice,” and as we have talked about Daniel tells us Daniel 8:12 “because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.” I’m talking about the church not those outside the church.
Jesus makes this powerful statement that most people ignore because they have believed what they were told at church. Jesus starts with this verse. Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Most people that attend a church think because they attend church, they have found the narrow gate. When other gospels are taught, that is false. Then Jesus said 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Paul also said Acts 20:9 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” The church is filled with these people. We also see in Luke 13:23 “Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!”
All this tells us we need to be very sure of what we have been taught and what we have believed. Many people will quote Paul when he said 2 Timothy 1:12 “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day,” but have not carried on with His teaching only to astonish him that they have turned away to follow other gospels. People in the church are dying thinking they have believed the truth only to find out when it is too late that they were deceived. Jesus said Luke 13:28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.” Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” We are told Proverbs 13:20 “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Yet people continue to follow teachers and preachers who lead them down a path where the dead are. Ecclesiastes 10:3 “Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense, and he says to everyone that he is a fool.” There are many walking down this path and loving it but as we saw earlier what will you do in the end?
There is only one way. John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I believe Jesus meant it when he said there was only one way. Somewhere along the line the church decided He did not mean it and went their own way. We were warned Deuteronomy 29:9 “When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. 20 The Lord will never be willing to forgive them; his wrath and zeal will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will fall on them, and the Lord will blot out their names from under heaven. 21 The Lord will single them out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.” When people ask why God was angry, the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.” The church has abandoned the word of God for their own words.
We cannot go our own way, nor can we follow those who are leading you in their own way. Isaiah said Isaiah 35:8 “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.” If you are on a path that leads to death and because of the abomination that causes desolation that has decimated the truth, you probably have been following men and women on a path of the fool. It is imperative that you at this point test the spirits. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” You test the spirits by comparing everything to the word of God and listening carefully. Test what I am saying. Read the gospels and see what Jesus said and did. See what the disciples did in the power and authority of His name and clothed with power from on High. As soon as someone says God doesn’t do miracles, healing, cast out demons, anymore, run away and leave them. When you see or hear talk of the rapture, run away and leave them. When you hear someone tell you that you are eternally secure following other gospels, run away and leave them. When you hear someone prophesy, yet it is not God‘s word, run away and leave them. A prophet only speaks God’s word and today prophets do not add to God’s word, they only tell the people God’s word that they really do not want to hear. You can only approach God through a certain person, run away and leave them. This list could keep going but I think you get my point. If you are part of a powerless church as seen today, run away and leave them. Highly entertaining or well organized is not powerful; don’t be deceived by that. When we test the sprits, we examine the word of God. Many only know what they have been told when it comes to scripture. Acts 17:11 “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
We are not supposed to imitate men and women who distort the words of God but find those who speak truth. Even in all this chaos they are out there. Isaiah 30:20 “Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.” Paul said 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6 “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus.” Colossians 1:21 “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”
Don’t be afraid to leave the false teachers and preachers and run away. 2 Peter 2:17 “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.” Don’t go with them. Matthew 15:14 “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”