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Confronting Error with Condemnation, Not Conversation

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
August 5, 2021 4:00 am

Confronting Error with Condemnation, Not Conversation

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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August 5, 2021 4:00 am

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We need to be reminded that the Bible warns us about false teachers there have always been and there always will be.

False religious leaders who operate for Satan, they operate out of the kingdom of darkness.

They operate as if they are messengers from God, especially in your church's doctrine is being taught from the pulpit. What's the right move, and how bold should you be well to answer that question.

John MacArthur looks at a shocking confrontation.

Jesus said with false teachers. If you've always assumed Jesus was gentle and reserved with everybody you may be stunned by what you hear. So let's get to the lesson.

Here's John with the next installment of his study how to talk to a heretic. Luke chapter 20 verses 45 through 47. Let me establish them in your mind follow as I read Luke chapter 20 beginning in verse 45. And while all the people were listening. He said to the disciples. Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the marketplaces and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets who devour widows houses and for appearances sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation strong words, unmistakable words, we need to be reminded that the Bible warns us about false teachers from beginning to end.

There have always been and there always will be. False religious leaders who operate for Satan, they operate out of the kingdom of darkness. But they operate as if they are messengers from God in the 20th chapter of the book of acts the apostle Paul met with the Ephesian elders and he said to them this. I have not ceased to warn you night and day with tears for three years warning you about what savage wolves who will come in, not sparing the flock and of your own selves, perverse man who will arise to do destruction with her heretical teaching is the implication expected from the outside and from the inside in second Corinthians chapter 11 verses 13 to 15. The apostle Paul said that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light that is to say, he comes as if he represents God so don't be surprised if his messengers are also disguised as angels of light. False teachers robes themselves in the garments of God.

They want people to believe that they represent God that they know God that they have insights into spirituality and divine truth in divine wisdom, even though they are the emissaries of hell itself. The apostle Paul in writing to Timothy helping him to understand ministry in the church said this in first Timothy for the Spirit explicitly says that in later times.

These times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons by means of the hypocrisy of liars, demon doctrine, energized by demon spirits in hypocritical false teachers who lie Peter second Peter chapter 2 verse one says false prophets also arose among the people. Just as there will also be false teachers among you who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, they will bring swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality because of them the way of truth will be maligned in their greed they will exploit you with false words, their judgment from long ago is not idle. Their destruction is not asleep and you remember, of course, the words of Jude make every effort to write you about our common salvation, but I felt the necessity to write you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith. Why for certain persons of crept in unnoticed, who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Master and Lord Jesus Christ. Beware beware beware of false teachers. There are many anti-Christ. They are everywhere and you who know the truth must protect yourselves from them never were false teachers more aggressive then during the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It was as if hell amassed its heaviest assault on any one person on the Lord Jesus, during those three years we would understand that we would understand to thwart the gospel purposes of God. Satan unleashed everything he had on Jesus Christ and when we asked who were the agents of hell.

Who are the agents of Satan who attempted to thwart the purposes of God, where they the criminals in the culture where they the tax collectors. The traders were they the prostitutes the thugs the thieves know the emissaries and agents of Satan were the most devout, the most religious the most respected religious leaders in Israel, the scribes and the Pharisees along with the Sadducees and the Herodian's, they all came together against Jesus Christ. They amassed all their ability all their demonically designed spiritual ability to attack him to bring him down to thwart the purposes of God. Keep it in mind the enemies of the gospel were and always our most formidable when they are religious, especially the Pharisees and the scribes because they controlled the dominant religion of Judaism at the time they are relentless in their assault on Jesus.

They didn't get along with the Sadducees because it had very different theology.

They didn't get along with Herodian's because the Herodian's were political and they were attached to Herod, who wasn't even a Jew. They had great differences with one another.

Did the Pharisees. The Sadducees and the Herodian's but on one thing. Hell brought them all together, that is on getting rid of Jesus, and on Friday of passion week. They succeeded by the purpose of God. They succeeded in having him crucified. As we come to Luke chapter 20. However, it is Wednesday of passion week. It is Wednesday spent a long day long day in which Jesus has been in the temple moving in and around the masses of people in the temple. He has been teaching the crowds and he has been engaged in confrontation with the Pharisees and scribes, the chief priests, the Sadducees and the Herodian's who all have made their assaults on him trying to discredit him publicly so they would have a just cause to have them executed because he was such a threat to the kingdom of darkness and to their own earthly position. They've tried everything they know and they have not succeeded. So we read in chapter 20.

In verse 40 didn't have enough courage to question him any longer about anything they were done they had exhausted all their options. It was over, they asked him no more questions and then we said in verse 41, Jesus begins to ask the question and mercifully compassionately kindly.

He brings up the issue again of the identity of Messiah is not just a son of David, but a son of God, the son of God. Now he is done. He's done talking to the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees in Herodian's except by necessity at his trial, he is done speaking to the crowds the people in verse 45 says while all the people were listening. He said to his disciples. This is a transition. People are still listening but he turns to speak to the disciples. This is what he will now do from here on.

No more messages to the crowds. From now on. He speaks to his disciples very important transition. He said all there is to say nothing more can be said he's answered every question that could be raised.

He will turn and give instruction to those who are still following still showing interest still wanting to learn from him. Still following him. The attackers are gone and the crowd fades away. But there's one final message for everybody to hear disciples and people and it is the message of verses 46 and 47. Be aware of the scribes he goes out with a warning final message anytime somebody gives a final message got to be an important one. What is the last thing Jesus has to say to the crowds.

We want to know what that last word is it is a word of warning, not only a word of warning, but a word of condemnation. Beware of them. They are dangerous and they will receive greater condemnation and diverse 47 so he warns the people about them and he pronounces damnation upon them very strong words before we look at this. Let me frame the importance of this text in a current context K wrote a book called the truth war is the latest in a series of books through the years that I have written to address what I think are dangerous errors that exist in the church. I wrote the book the truth war to expose and to bring the judgment of the word of God on the aberrations and the dangers of a new movement called the emerging church or the emergent church movement is really post modern relativism corrupting the church is moved in. Among so-called evangelicals who now reject doctrinal certainty Scripture clarity and gospel exclusivity say that again the mark of this movement is a rejection of doctrinal certainty Scripture clarity and gospel exclusivity. It is neoliberalism. It's just the old liberalism that destroyed the major denominations in this country of the old higher critical theory. It's the old liberalism back in a new dress if you will, calling for camaraderie, collegiality, tolerance with those who do not believe the gospel. Do not even believe Christianity is the true religion extols the virtues of generous open dialogue rather than dogmatism calls for respect, tolerance and diversity and just to pull it all down. They have found a buzzword to define what marks the movement of the emerging church. It's the word conversation. That's their word. They want to engage everybody in a conversation so that we can all contribute our spiritual insights. One of the leaders of old liberalism was a man by the name of Harry Emerson Fosdick in 1928 Fosdick said this many preachers indulge habitually and what they call expository sermons. They take a passage from Scripture and proceeding on the assumption that the people attending church that morning are deeply concerned about what the passage means they spend their half hour or more on historical exposition of the verse or chapter ending with some appended practical application to the auditors. Could any procedure be more surely predestined to dullness and futility who seriously supposes that as a matter of fact, at one in 100 of the congregation cares to start with what Moses, Isaiah, Paul or John meant in those special verses or came to church deeply concerned about it nobody else who talks to the public so assumes that the vital interests of the people are located in the meaning of words spoken to thousand years ago. So Fosdick makes a prophecy in 1928 the future, he says belongs to a type of sermon which can best be described as an adventure in cooperative thinking conversation and adventure in cooperative thinking.

1928 2005 one of the leaders of the emerging movements as our sermons are not lessons that precisely defined belief so much as they are stories that welcome our hopes and ideas, and participation. Let's have a conversation conversation with those who disagree conversation with those who have another religion, no more dogmatism. We set aside time damnation for conversation.

One of the leading, if not the leading writer in the emerging movement has a book called the secret message of Jesus is always scary.

Jesus doesn't have a secret message, he revealed his message. Anyway, he says, in the secret message of Jesus, a shared reappraisal of Jesus message could provide a unique space or common ground for urgently needed religious dialogue and it doesn't seem an exaggeration to say that the future of our planet may depend on such dialogue so will set aside all of our doctrinal differences to save the planet.

Let the people go to hell. His last comment. This reappraisal of Jesus message may be the only project capable of saving a number of religions, including Christianity, so we all have to find the secret message of Jesus, which no doubt is hidden in our own spiritual psyches and have a conversation. Instead of condemning these other religions, we need to sit down and have a conversation and learn from their spirituality, learn from their spiritual experience. Learn from God in them. The prominent advocate in the emerging movement says quote what we have to do is show respect to one another and to speak to each other with a sense that even if people don't convert their God's people. God loves them and we do not make the judgment of who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. I think that what we all have to do is leave the judgment up to God. The ideas we would just have to be generous with everybody. This is the conversation you can have it with anybody and everybody because we don't have doctrinal clarity. We don't know what the real interpretation of Scripture is all that to say this when I wrote the truth war book. I was curious to see what the response would be the response from the emerging church people was they did not like it. I was not shocked and the response was this book is divisive. The book is unloving. The book is intolerant and they said if I really cared about people, and if I really had the spirit of Jesus.

I would humbly join the conversation and openly embrace the useful spiritual insights and other religions conversation, not condemnation will in response to this criticism. Why don't I join the conversation. I only have one question to answer. It's this. How did Jesus deal with those who didn't believe the truth.

How did Jesus deal with those didn't believe the truth, who were totally religious, who set spirituality at the pinnacle of human experience. How did Jesus deal with people in religion religious leaders that have a conversation or did he issue a condemnation, but I just want to do what Jesus did well. Clearly, Jesus did not engage in postmodern conversation. He did not deal in some abstract, relativistic dialogue on the themes of spirituality throwing around ideas about God and ideas about himself as Jesus that were as flexible as rubber. Here are our Lord's final words about religious leaders, not irreligious religious Jewish religious leaders and what he says here, frankly, is not new. Go back to chapter 11 of Luke new verse 37 when he had spoken a Pharisee asked him to have lunch with others. A perfect opportunity to have a conversation right. This isn't even a formal setting. This isn't even a synagogue or a sermon or a public meeting in the temple. This is a lunch at the Pharisee's house so we went in and reclined at the table and the Pharisee would have a lot of other Pharisees there as well and when the Pharisee saw he was surprised that he had first ceremony wash before the meal he didn't follow the Pharisee a prescription for some ceremonial washing.

He just sat down eight and here was the Lord's word to him. The Lord said to him, now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup in the platter, but inside of you. You're full of robbery and wickedness that is a short conversation that is a go nowhere conversation and then to make a worse verse 40 you full duty, not who made the outside make the inside also give that which is within his charity and then all things are clean for you while you that's damnation.

Curse you Pharisees, you pay tithe of mint and rue, and every kind of garden urban you disregard justice and the love of God, these are the things you should know without neglecting the others what you Pharisees you love the front seats in the synagogue and the respectful greetings in the marketplaces you you're like concealed tombs and the people walk over your unaware of it being defiled until the head is some kind of conversation.

Chapter 12 of Luke. When this massive crowd comes together.

Verse one. So many they were stepping on one another, he began saying to his disciples first of all, beware of the leaven or the influence of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. You know this is nothing covered up hypocrites cover things up. Nothing.

They cover-up that will not be revealed nothing hidden that will not be known. I'm going to on mask. There hypocrisy of the text before us in Luke 20 has a parallel in Mark 12. Also, a brief text, but it has another parallel in Matthew 23 only in Matthew 23. It takes up an entire chapter, the full text of what Jesus says about the Pharisees and scribes is in Matthew 23. You can read it on your own are going to go through it today, but it is the full text of what Jesus said on that Wednesday, of which Luke only gives us a small portion. It is a blistering denunciation a blistering Dia tribe on the false religious leaders. No conversation, no collegiality, no dialogue, no cooperation confrontation con them nation without compassion.

The number chapter 19 verse 41, when he came to the city what he do he wept and we just heard again that he declared to them that he is the Messiah son of David, son of God that is a merciful effort again to declare who he is. These days are full of sadness on his part and full of compassion as he gives invitation to them to believe.

But when compassion is exhausted and invitations amended to have con them nation you're listening to John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. The title of his study here on grace to you how to talk to a heretic. Now it could be that you tune into day in your thinking yeah well it's one thing for Jesus to correct the false religious leaders of his day because after all, he's God and so he wants to do that he can but it doesn't mean we're supposed to take the same approach today does it mean Scripture says Judge not lest you be judged. So John, what about that, what do you say to people who say that we need to apply Jesus example more carefully will the New Testament says rebuke heretic confront the heretic keep confronting the heretic and if he doesn't respond thrown out. It's like a discipline situation. There's only one way to confront error and that's with the confrontational message of the truth of God, and I think a way to understand that there's assumed to be a certain wounding in that process is that when the apostle Paul taught the armor of a believer. He said that the word of God is the sword we all know what a sword is for right and MS explained in Hebrews 412 the word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, it's cutting deeply into the joints and marrow in the thoughts and intents of the heart, so that the word of God comes like to me. We have the prophet say comes like a fire, and we have the New Testament say comes like a sword. So we assume in confronting error that there is going to be some cutting and some wounding and some injuries to people's complacency and sense of security and pride in all of that we are called to speak the truth.

The truth itself comes like a sword. It's it's not that you're supposed to be unkind in wielding it. But the truth itself is what Jesus said in John 77. You hate me because I tell you your deeds are evil.

That's where the hate comes from but that is the truth. That's the path of the gospel, the good news is you can have your sins forgiven a reminder again as we been doing over the last few days. The new book Jesus unleashed is now available that would been waiting for this for months. It's here, Jesus unleashed 150 pages hardback and it takes you to the life and ministry of Jesus as he confronted heretics and false teachers. It is instructive. It is powerful. It is dramatic and it is life transforming truths or get a copy of Jesus unleashed affordably priced and free shipping on US orders. That's right, this book will show you how serious the Lord is about confronting error and it will help you stand boldly for biblical truth to order your copy of Jesus unleashed. Contact us today.

Shop or call us at 855 grace.

You can reach our customer service team between 730 and 4 o'clock Pacific time. Jesus unleashed his affordably priced and shipping is free again.

Order this new book when you call 855 grace or place your and as this book will help give you a perspective on Jesus.

You may never have considered the MacArthur study Bible deepen your perspective on the entire Scripture like no other resource can. What sets the study Bible apart 25,000 detailed study notes written by John that explains virtually every passage, the MacArthur study Bible comes in the English standard new King James and new American Standard version of Scripture. There are also many non-English translations available to see all the options, go to That's our website or call our toll-free number at 855 grace now for John MacArthur and the staff here. I'm Phil Johnson reminding you to watch grace to you television Sundays on DirecTV channel 378 or check your local listings for channel and times and then be here tomorrow when John continues unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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