Matthew 16:6 “"Watch out!" Jesus warned them. "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
Later in the same chapter Jesus explained that we wasn’t talking about yeast or bread, but the deceptive teaching the religious leaders were delivering to the people.
Matthew 16:12 Then at last they understood that he wasn't speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Would Jesus warn us about the teaching in our pulpits today? What do you think He would say? Now I know this is speculation but think about what Jesus would say to those who are responsible for teaching His Word.
I am sure you would like to add to my list, but since this isn’t an interactive blog site, you have to endure my suggestions.
- I think Jesus would remind the leaders about their stricter judgment because of their role in the church. Teaching God’s Word is not just being clever, or entertaining, it is about training ourselves in righteousness and in truth.
- James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
- He would recite Revelation 3:20 “See, I stand knocking at the door. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I will go into his house, and dine with him, and he with me.”
- He would be asking why He is often not mentioned or why He was not leveraged as the most important theme of the day? Jesus is often standing outside of many churches, trying to get in to have fellowship with that church.
- He would recite Matthew 23 1-3 Then Jesus addressed the crowds and his disciples. “The scribes and the Pharisees speak with the authority of Moses,” he told them, “so you must do what they tell you and follow their instructions. But you must not imitate their lives! For they preach but do not practice. Jesus is not a big fan of hypocrisy because he knows how it destroys trust and the value of following a leader who will do what he says.
- Jesus would ask another question: “Are you about what interests man, or are you concerned about the things that concern God?” Matthew 16:23 “Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”This is probably the most poignant question asked by Jesus, “what is your ministry all about, you or Me? Many ministries today say they are ministering Jesus, but at the end of the day for many of them it’s all about the visionary of the ministry and not Jesus Christ. Many faith-preachers will talk more about giving than they do about representing the Cross. Giving is definitely a character issue in discipleship, but it is not about fund-raising for million dollar jets and large ministry expenses. Jesus would have something to say to these folks: “you have your reward on earth, but you will be poor in heaven. “
Perhaps the last thing He would say to the pulpits today would be similar to all the other suggestions I have written. “You are blessed by your gifts and abilities, but you are repeatedly forgetting that it is not about your bottom line, your attendance numbers, the size of your staff, or the influence of your name. The bottom-line is where I fit in your priority list?”
- The Apostle John wrote about the works of a church in Revelation 3 where they had replaced Jesus for the good works of ministry. Revelation 3: 2 “I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
The one basic spiritual lesson that every believer needs to know about is the importance of what is taught, and it is equally important to know what is not taught. You become like the teaching you subject yourself to and even if that teaching is good in some areas, it will not make up for the things that are left out. We are told that the whole counsel of God needs to be taught, and not just the things that make us feel good.
Acts 20:27 “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”
One question you need to ask: “Does my church preach the whole counsel of God, or do we leave certain things unsaid?”
If the church you attend does not address:
- The moral issues in our day
- The holiness aspect of discipleship
- The idea of sacrifice and submission
- Rebellion against God as a believer
- Bible Prophecy and the future
- Israel God’s Blessing or Curse
- False Teaching and Truth
- Worship Is Not Singing
- The Cross and Social Justice
- Gods Leadership and Today’s World
If you are not hearing Bible based sermons or teachings on themes that affect the basic character of being a follower of Jesus Christ, then you are not getting the whole counsel of God. The above themes are only examples of what is important for the believer to know today, and most often they are left out of the pulpit series preached in our churches.
How about doing your own survey and see what you discover. Remember, you become an extension of the kind of teaching you are subject to accept. However, if that teaching is ignoring the basic character of Christ, you will find yourself less prepared to understand the God of the Bible, and definitely you will never understand the world that is being prepared to totally rebel against God.
Keeping it honest and truthful…K