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Counterfeit Christianity | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
January 26, 2022 7:00 am

Counterfeit Christianity | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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January 26, 2022 7:00 am

In this message from Acts 8, Adrian Rogers shares three warnings about false religion, so we are not deceived.

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Adrian Rogers
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Alistair Begg

From the Love Word Finding studios in Memphis, Tennessee, I'm Byron Tyler, here with Kerry Vaughn, the CEO of Love Word Finding. Kerry, today Adrian Rogers starts part one in a message, Counterfeit Christianity.

Oh yeah, we have to be careful. You know, Simon believed not in the master, but he believed in the miracles. And sometimes we get caught up in that, Byron. We believe in the gift and not the giver or the blessing and not the blesser. You know, religion has no lifestyle change.

Only a personal relationship with Christ is there truly a change. That is so true, Kerry. You know, Satan is not against religion.

In fact, it is one of his chief tools and also most deceptive tricks. And Adrian Rogers says, when God opens the windows of heaven to bless us, the devil opens the doors of hell to blast us. Whenever there's revival, you can expect satanic opposition. You can expect the promises of God to deflect that.

Well, Kerry, this month we have an exciting premium we want to tell our friends about. It's based off of Proverbs 16, 16, God's wisdom is better than gold. And you know, do you want to be wealthy, not just financially, but in other ways?

Do you want to be healthy, not just bodily, but healthy in every area of your life? Do you want to be wise? We all want to be wise, right?

But not merely knowing facts and figures and data, but being able to use that knowledge for the benefit of the kingdom and others. This product, Dr. Rogers, uncovers the pearls of wisdom, wealth, and health in the book of Proverbs. You'll discover true wisdom. It's entitled, God's Wisdom is Better Than Gold. Well, and some might ask the question, Kerry, how is wisdom better than gold?

Adrian Rogers had this to say. Wisdom is in itself a treasure, and you have gold and not have wisdom and die a rich fool. But if you have wisdom, you are wealthy because you're able to see life from God's point of view. Wisdom is a thing of incredible and intrinsic value.

So you have to pity the rich fool. And Kerry, again, this premium this month, God's Wisdom is Better Than Gold by Adrian Rogers. As people write to Love Refining Ministries, Nicole from Ministry Services is back with us. And Nicole, those responses when people request resources like this book or want to share how the program has impacted their lives, you get to glean. I mean, this is an exciting part of your work at Ministry Services from the TV, the radio, social media. Oh, yes.

This is so exciting for me. Every day I get to read testimonies from our listeners or I get to hear them on the phone, share their testimonies. I see them on Facebook. I see them on our website. Also, we just we received so many of them and just to know when their lives are changed is such a blessing that the impact that Love Worth Finding is making in their lives.

In fact, we recently received one on our website. I would love to share that one with you. This one came in from one of our listeners and he wrote in. I came to know Adrian Rogers after his death as a Native American person. I'm happy to say I'm a Christian. And a better person because of Adrian Rogers teaching of the word. What a ripple effect of the ministry, the continuing legacy of Love Worth Finding.

That's why we get up and come in every single day, Byron, to hear those testimonies. We read in the book of Acts, living supernaturally. But we know also that when God works, Satan works also. Here's a question. True or false? Satan is against religion.

Don't answer it out loud. Some say true. Some say false.

Of course, the answer is false. Satan is not against religion. You're going to find out that Satan uses religion.

It is one of his chief tools in his bag of tricks. As a matter of fact, if you study the Bible, you're going to find out that the very first temptation in the Garden of Eden was a religious temptation. It was a temptation not to be ungodly, but a temptation, would you believe it, to be godly. If you do this, you'll be like God. It wasn't a temptation to fall down. It was a temptation to climb up, to be as God.

But do it my way. The devil, you see, is into religion up to his ears. Now, there was a revival in Samaria.

Let's read about it. Look in verse 5. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed to those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

For unclean spirits crying with loud voice came out of many that were possessed with them, and many taken with palsies and that were lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city. There's always joy when Jesus is present. There's always joy when there is real revival, joy unspeakable and full of glory. But notice in verse 9 how the subject changes, but.

Just underscore the word but. You know, when God opens the windows of heaven to bless us, the devil opens the doors of hell to blast us. And whenever there is revival, you can expect satanic opposition, but. There was a certain man called Simon, which beforehand in the same city used sorcery and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one, to whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying, This man, talking about Simon, is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of a long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon, now this is Simon the sorcerer, then Simon himself believed also when he was baptized.

And when he was baptized, he continued with Philip and wondered, beholding the miracles and the signs which were done. When God moves, the devil also moves. As we've said before, Satan tried to oppose the church from the outside, and that didn't work.

It just drove the church to her knees. So now he's going to try to oppose the church from the inside. And he does it, first of all, with superficial saints and a nice sense of fire. But now he also does it with counterfeit religion. And the devil is a counterfeiter. And what he does, rather than to deny the faith, he counterfeits the church. And that is the faith, and that is doubly dangerous.

And I'm going to tell you something. If you live for God, are you going to have opposition? Whether you are an individual or church. I've often said, if you've never met the devil, it's because you and the devil have been going in the same direction. You turn around, and rather than being in collusion with the devil, you're going to find yourself in collision with the devil.

Now, there's great joy in that city. God begins to work. The three things I want to lay on your heart as we're thinking about counterfeit Christianity, and believe you me, these things are very real. And if there were ever a generation that needs to hear what I have to say, this is the generation that needs to hear of the dangers of counterfeit Christianity. Three things I want to warn you about. Number one, don't be dazzled by the satanic force of false religion.

Now, I chose the word dazzled carefully. Don't be dazzled by the satanic force of false religion. False religion has great force. Look in verse 10. It speaks of this sorcerer, and the Bible says to whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying this man is the great power of God. There was force in what this man was doing, and they were all dazzled by it.

Notice verses 9 and 10. There was a certain man called Simon, which before time in the same city used sorcery and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one to whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying this man is the great power of God. Now, here was a man who was using sorcery. Sorcery is just another word for witchcraft. And by the way, witchcraft is alive and well in the world today. Witchcraft is alive and well in America today. Witchcraft is alive and well in many churches. You say, oh, no.

Yes. And many people are dazzled by this. And they fail to understand that there is supernatural power. What Simon was doing was not just a bag of cheap tricks. It's not just that he was an illusionist. He was in league with the devil. Adrian, do you believe that there's anything to witchcraft?

Absolutely. Do you believe that some of these people have supernatural power beyond the shadow of any doubt? As a matter of fact, the world is getting ready for Satan's Superman, 666, who's soon going to come on the scene. And one of his chief tools is going to be sorcery and witchcraft.

And put in your margin, 2 Thessalonians 2, verse 9, it speaks of the coming Antichrist, the man of sin. And it says, even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, listen to this now, with all power and signs and lying wonders. All power, signs, and lying wonders. What does that mean, lying wonders? It means miracles that will deceive. You know, sometimes people will get into sorcery, witchcraft, whatever, and they say, well, there's really something to it, Pastor, as if that exonerates it, as if that somehow indemnifies it, if somehow that substantiates it.

There is something to it. But, friend, what there is to it is devilish. Now, again, during the great tribulation, demonic forces are going to be loosed on the earth and leading the nations of the world toward Armageddon. Put this verse down. Revelation chapter 16, verse 14, the Bible describes some unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the beast, the dragon, the false prophet. And here's how the Bible describes these in verse 14. For these are the spirits of devils, now listen, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and to the whole world, to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Demonic spirits leading the kings, the rulers, the potentates of this world, bringing them to Armageddon. The key verse is the spirit of demons working miracles. We've already seen that Samaria was a place where people were demon-possessed. And when Philip came to the revival, many unclean spirits or demons came out of people.

There is a deadly demonic force in the world today. Some years ago, we had a missionary in our church, not this church, but a church I pastored in Florida. That missionary told one of the most remarkable stories I've ever heard.

Now, the man was a godly man. He was not a liar, not an exaggerator, but from my judgment, one of the most self-sacrificing godly missionaries I've ever met. He told about in Africa going back into the bush. And he told about a witch doctor there that had come to faith in Jesus Christ. And this witch doctor who'd been practicing sorcery and magic and had been in league with Satan, now had given his heart to Christ and was saved. And the missionary and a native went to visit this man to confirm him in the faith.

They had a wonderful visit. They fellowshiped in the Lord. And afterward, the missionary was going back, and he noticed there was a fire. And this witch doctor had some of his religious magic paraphernalia there and was going to burn it in the fire. Of the things that he had, he had some gourds. You know what a gourd is?

It's a hardened pod that grows on vines, and people use them for different artifacts. He had some gourds. He had some feathers and things tied to them. And the man was getting ready to throw them in the fire. The missionary said, what are those? Well, he said, these are things that I do witchcraft with. I'm going to burn them. The missionary said, you're just going to burn them? He said, yes. He said, I tell you what. He said, the people back where I live, they don't understand these things.

They've never seen these kind of things. Would you give them to me? I want to take them back and show the people. The witch doctor said, no, you don't want them. He said, why not? He said, they have power in them. Well, he said, I don't believe in that. But he said, I would like to have them to show the people the superstition.

The witch doctor deferred to the American who's supposed to know everything, the spiritual leader, he said, well, all right, take them. This missionary said to me, we took those gourds, and on our way back, we had to stop and camp. We pitched our tent. And in the middle of the night, I heard a noise, something in the tent. He said, I looked down, and those gourds I'd laid between our cots were quivering and vibrating.

He said, I realized what a fool I had been. I got up that night, built a fire, and burned them, not mere superstition. There is devilish, demonic, magical power in the world today. Now, don't be deceived. Don't be deceived, don't be dazzled, friend, by the power of false religion. It is real.

Pharaoh's magicians perform miracles when Moses performed miracles of God. So as we think about counterfeit Christianity, the first thing I want to write on your heart is this. Don't be dazzled by that. If some magician, some soothsayer, some astrologer, some necromancer, some fortune teller comes and does things that you cannot understand, don't go trailing after him because you say, well, I know it's real. That is the point. It is real. That doesn't mean to follow after it.

It means to flee from it. Now here's the second point. First of all, don't be dazzled by the satanic power of false religion. Number two, don't be deceived by the superficial faith of false religion. Not all false religion is in the occult.

Sometimes it moves right into the church. Now begin to read in verse 13. Now remember, Simon now has been a sorcery. He's been practicing witchcraft. But now notice verse 13, then Simon himself believed also. Well, Philip has been preaching Jesus.

And now here is this sorcerer, this man full of demons who has been practicing witchcraft. And the Bible says, he believed also. And when he was baptized, he continued with Philip and wondered, underscore this next phrase.

Now, if you don't mind writing your Bible, beholding the miracles and the signs which were done. Now when the apostles, of which were at Jerusalem, heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John, who, when they were come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For as yet he was fallen upon none of them, for they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

This is the progression of Pentecost. Now these people in Samaria are receiving the Holy Spirit as they did at Jerusalem. Now notice in verse 17, then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Now watch verse 18. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God might be purchased with money.

Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter, for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Now I'm going to stop reading there just simply to say this, that Simon, quote, believed, end of quote. But he was an unbelieving believer. He was not a true Christian. His faith was superficial, not real faith. He is believing not in the Master. He's believing in the miracles. He sees the power being manifest there by that New Testament church.

And so he wants to be a part of it. But he never has met the Lord Jesus Christ. You say, Pastor, it says he believes. Wasn't he saved? Read verse 21 again and look at it.

Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter, for thy heart is not right with God. Now I wrote a book, the title of the book, Believe in Miracles, but Trust in Jesus. Trust in Jesus. God works miracles. Satan counterfeits miracles and works devilish miracles.

Never put your faith in miracles. Put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Simon never did really truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Not all belief is saving belief.

You may be a member of church. You may give mental assent unto the facts of the gospel, but you have never met Jesus Christ. Now I want you to put in your margin John chapter 2, and I want to begin reading verse 23. Let me give you the background of this passage of Scripture. Jesus had done some miracles in Jerusalem and in Cana of Galilee and other places, and people saw it. And when people saw the miracles that Jesus did, they began to follow him, not because they wanted Jesus, not because they repented of his sin, but they just saw the miracles and they followed him for the miracles' sake.

They were what I call miracle mongers. Now listen to this, John 2, verse 23. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover in the feast day, many believed on him. There's our word again, believed on him when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus, now listen, did not commit himself unto them.

Now you don't see it in the English, but in the Greek, the word believe and the word commit is the same word, just translated differently. You could say, many committed themselves to him, but he did not commit himself to them, or many believed in him, but he did not believe in them. They, quote, believed in him like Simon the sorcerer, but he did not believe in them.

Now listen to it. Let me read it again. And many believed in his name when they saw the miracles which he did, but Jesus did not commit himself unto them, for he knew all men, and he did not that any should testify of man, for he knew what was in man. Jesus knew these were not true believers. There are many of you, you say, I am a believer, but you're not saved.

You know the plan, but you don't know the man. You've seen what God has done, but there has never been a change of heart. You say, well, doesn't the Bible say believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved?

Yes, it does. The Bible also says the devil believes and trembles. You see, there's a superficial faith. There's a kind of faith that never really comes and bows the knee to Jesus Christ, never makes Jesus Christ Lord. It is the superficial faith of false religion. Now, we have today a generation of people who are, quote, very spiritual, but they do not believe the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Now, God has sent me here to tell you that you better get a bulldog grip on God's Word and God's truth.

Thousands of church roles are padded with moral whirlings who had spiritual experiences who have never been born again. You say, well, an angel spoke to me. I had a vision.

I was engulfed in light. I tell you, it'd be a whole lot better if you were to stand before the Lord and the Lord said, why should I let you into my heaven? And you were to say in John chapter 5, verse 24, because Jesus said, verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death into life. And on the basis of your Word, and on the basis of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and my faith in him, I seek entrance into heaven. Heaven's gates will swing wide and you'll say, enter into the joy of your Lord. Listen, friend, you had better beware of the superficial faith of false religion.

This man, Simon was a believer, but he wasn't saved. And coming up tomorrow, we'll hear part two of this important message, but maybe today you have questions about who Jesus is or what he means to you, how to fully trust him for your salvation. Go to our Find God's Love page at the website, slash radio. There you'll find resources and materials that can answer questions you may have about your faith. Again, go to slash radio and click the tab that says Find God's Love. Thanks so much for studying in God's Word with us today. Be sure to sign up for our daily heartbeat emails. You'll get daily devotions and message links sent straight to your inbox. You can find that at slash radio and join us tomorrow for the conclusion of Counterfeit Christianity, right here on Love Worth Finding.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-17 16:52:26 / 2023-06-17 17:01:06 / 9

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