Summary: Sermon I Revised with added Content for a Revival
False Teachers – (Revised with More Content)
OPENING JOKE: “Transformed by an Elevator” A family from a remote area was making their first visit to a big city. They checked in to a grand hotel and stood in amazement at the impressive sight. Leaving the reception desk they came to the elevator entrance. They’d never seen an elevator before, and just stared at it, unable to figure out what it was for. An old lady hobbled towards the elevator and went inside. The door closed. About a minute later, the door opened and out came a stunningly good-looking young woman. Dad couldn’t stop staring. Without turning his head he patted his son’s arm and said, "Go get your mother, son."
INTRODUCTION: It is easy to be deceived - Tonight we are going to study the subject of ‘False Teachers’
Never before in history have there been so many false teachers and teachings in the world
It seems everywhere you go there is someone touting a new theological point of view
Illustration: “Australian Jedi Council” More than 70,000 people in Australia have declared that they are followers of the “Jedi” faith, the religion created by George Lucas for the Star Wars films.
A recent census found that one in 270 respondents say they believe in "the force", an energy field that gives Jedi Knights like Luke Skywalker their power in the films. (BBC News)
This is not surprising given the fact that the ‘Jedi religion’ in the Star Wars movies is much like many actual Eastern religions that believe God is an impersonal ‘force’ or ‘energy’ or ‘chi’ and that good and evil are determined by ‘points of view’.
NOTE: I am not preaching against watching ‘Star Wars’ for entertainment – my point is that everywhere we turn people are denying the God of the Bible and turning to their own created gods
Several research studies estimate that five to ten million Americans have been at least transiently involved with cultic groups. A study which randomly surveyed 1,000 San Francisco Bay Area high school students found that 3% of students reported that they were members of a cult group, while 54% reported at least one contact with a cult recruiter.
Between 1976 and 1997, the number of Americans who believed in astrology grew from seventeen percent to thirty-seven percent. During the same period, the percentage of Americans who professed a belief in reincarnation nearly tripled -- from nine percent to twenty-five percent. And crystal ball makers doubtless are glad to hear that those who put stock in fortune-telling nearly quadrupled -- from four to fourteen percent.
And through all of this, the “Church”, the “Body of Christ”, the “bringer of light into this dark world”, has sat mostly silent while people go head long into Hell
Tonight we are going to look to God’s Word and see what our responsibilities are concerning false teachers:
I. RECOGNIZE DECEPTION
Deuteronomy 13:1 “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder,”
a. Keyword: “dreamer of dreams”
b. In the Bible it was not uncommon that God spoke to people through dreams.
i. Joseph had a prophetic dream that he would one day be lord over his brothers which eventually came true.
ii. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon had a dream about the destruction of his kingdom which Daniel the prophet interpreted for him.
iii. Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father had an angel appear in a dream who told him to not be afraid to take Mary as his wife.
c. In this verse however, the Bible isn’t referring to a person who simply dreams something –
i. This verse is referring to a person who ‘dreams up’ or ‘receives a message’ that is not from God.
ii. Illustration: “Crossing Over with John Edwards” A good example would be these psychic television shows like ‘crossing over’ where a person acts as a medium to speak to the dead.
iii. Even though shows like these claim authenticity, they are often far from it.
d. Illustration: “Houdini’s Search for a Medium” Harry Houdini, the great magician, had two great loves in his life; his lovely wife and his dear mother. After his mother’s passing he became relentless about wanting to speak to her from beyond the grave.
i. He tried desperately to find a real medium to make contact with her. After visiting many charlatans he decided that instead of looking for a real one he would begin exposing the frauds.
ii. Over and over he would go to places where psychics were setup and would show how they were performing their feats of amazement. Some caused bells to ring and wind to blow, all of which they attributed to the spirit world. Houdini would perform these same feats and then show everyone how they were done.