“Wicked” is a strong, some would say harsh, word. It’s not a word most of us would want applied to us. Yet it’s exactly the word Jesus used to describe a certain kind of servant who for all intents and purposes appeared outwardly loyal and dedicated. In Luke 19:11-27 Jesus tells one of His frequent parables. This particular parable has many rabbit trails down which we could wander, but for now I want to focus specifically on why Jesus singled out this servant with such strong language (v.22).
The parable relates the story of three servants whose master departs to receive a kingdom, promising to return as a king. Before leaving he entrusts ten of his servants with a substantial amount of money and commands them “Carry on business until my return.” There are others in the story also who openly rebel against the man’s rule over…
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Last year the History Channel featured the epic television event, “The Bible Series,” which was produced by Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett. This show captivated audiences and became the talk of many churches. Churches even purchased pre-written sermons to go along with the show, which according to outreach.com made it into 180,000 churches.
Roma and Mark were endlessly interviewed in Christian magazines, and on Christian radio. All along saying that they were sold out Christians and believers filled with the Holy Spirit.
And the churches bought it.
They promoted it.
And yet, as I watched “The Bible Series,” I personally became furious at how much they twisted the word of God. Not just omitting things for the sake of time–but changing the theme, the message, and the nature of Bible characters, and the nature of God Himself. That is unforgivable.
God will judge that.
I was furious.
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This needs to be posted again….just in case some church folks still think it’s OK to welcome tares, aka leaven, into their fellowships so, “They can grow up together”.
The Wheat and the Tares:
How many times have you heard someone in the church say something to this effect, “Let the wheat and the tares grow up together”? I have. It’s become what one might call a man made tradition in the church. Why is that? Well, because when used in that context, what church folk mean, is that we are supposed to allow the tares…in the church…remain there, and then at harvest time, the LORD will do the separating himself.
OK, that may seem very spiritual of these church going Christians, but…is that what Jesus really taught? I’ve gone over this teaching a number of times, and I can’t find one scripture reference that indicates that tares are supposed to be allowed to grow in the church, which is supposed to be the Body of Christ. Why in the world would Jesus want tares in the church when…
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There are people in the body of Christ who are very serious about developing the character of Christ and who live consecrated lives. These individuals have conquered much of the sin issues in their lives and have an anointing that they carry because of their obedience to the Father. Favor follows them and they seem to change the atmosphere everywhere they go. These kinds of people are rare and unfortunately subject to criticisms from fellow believers in Christ. They are usually accused of trying to be superior to others, all because they value holiness and have a sincere reverence of the lord. These individuals live differently than almost everyone around them and people are sometimes naturally convicted of their sin when they interact with them. These individuals exhibit the love of Christ and go out of their way to respect others but again, people respond to these individuals out of…
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We sit comfortably on specially provided green plastic chairs, our bottled water, with our Bibles, close at hand on the small table that serves as a pulpit. The young girls have lovingly covered the old table with a pristine white lace tablecloth…..a prized possession in this small house. Outside the half open door people wander or cycle down the road, sometimes turning to glimpse inside with curiosity. A mosquito is biting at my ankle and the pervasive scent of poverty dominates the air around us.
It is our last meeting in Yangon, Myanmar, before departing for Kuala Lumpur then onto Australia the next morning. After three days of seminar teaching we have come to our host’s house church to share fellowship and worship with those who live and gather here. It has taken over an hour to get here this morning by taxi through chaotic Yangon traffic. It is the…
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Every month, my church does a homeless ministry called “Love in Action.” We take a hot, home-cooked meal to an abandoned farmer’s market in the poor section of our city and serve it to whomever comes. Sometimes, we serve as few as a dozen; other times, as many as 100. I decided to get involved with this ministry several months ago, and in that time I’ve learned some interesting things about homeless people:
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