Summary: The child of God must be careful of false doctrine, which often looks good on the surface, but is spiritually fatal just the same.


Text: II Kings 4: 39-40; Matt.16: 6-7, 11-12

Intro: Not too many years ago, a law was passed which dealt with truth in advertising. That law required companies not to make false or misleading claims about their products. But in spite of that law, consumers must still be on guard. They simply cannot believe every claim made in advertisements.

Some companies make the boast that their product is “all natural.” But the truth of the matter is that the government will allow a company to advertise a product as “all natural,” even if it contains only ten percent natural fibers.

Other companies have advertised artificial stones that are supposed to look and sparkle just like real diamonds. But many who buy some of these artificial stones find that they don’t even compare to the real thing.

The cold, hard fact of the matter is that we must be careful of being too gullible these days. So much of our present-day world is colored by half-truths. This is especially true in the area of many of the philosophies of the day.

There are many voices clamoring for our attention these days. Not all of them deserve our confidence, however. We must be care what we feed our minds and hearts. Ingesting the wrong thing could be detrimental to one’s spiritual health.

Such an idea is illustrated for us in our text today. We will notice the importance of truth, as set forth in God’s Word, via this biblical illustration.

Theme: In this illustration we notice:


A. The Situation Caused By Sin.

1. The children of Israel had once again forsaken God.

a. Though Jehoshaphat was a godly king, the people of Judah still worshipped false gods.

I Kings 22: 43 “And he (Jehoshaphat) walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the Lord: nevertheless the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places.

44 And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel.”

b. Jehoram, king of the Northern Kingdom, was a very wicked man.

II Kings 3: 1 “Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.

2 And he wrought evil in the sight of the Lord; but not like his father, and like his mother: for he put away the image of Baal that his father had made.

3 Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.”

2. Famine was one of the consequences predicted to befall God’s people when they turned from God.

Deut.28: 45 “Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:


48a Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things…”

II Kings 4: 38a “And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land…”

NOTE: [1] The idea of God actually judging sin seems to be a foreign one to many in America today. How about this lady?

The idea of hell and judgment are nowhere to be found [in Betty Eadie’s bestseller, Embraced By The Light, on the N.Y. Times bestseller list for more than 40 weeks, including 5 weeks as #1].

In November 1973 Eadie allegedly died after undergoing a hysterectomy, and returned five hours later with the secrets of heaven revealed by Jesus. Eadie says that Jesus “never wanted to do or say anything that would offend me” while she visited heaven.

Indeed, Jesus seems to be relegated to the role of a happy tour guide in heaven, not the Savior of the world who died on the cross.

Richard Abanes, in Christianity Today, March 7, 1994, p. 53.

[2] Some seem to think that since God doesn’t always judge sin immediately, He probably won’t judge it at all. They tend to think a little like our nation’s former A.I.D.S. czar.

President Clinton named Kristine Gebbie, a lesbian, as the new AIDS czar. Four months later she spelled out her perceptions on traditional morality. She said, [The United States] “needs to view human sexuality as an essentially important and pleasurable thing. [Until it does so], we will continue to be a repressed, Victorian society that misrepresents information, denies homosexual sexuality, particularly in teens, and leaves people abandoned with no place to go. I can help just a little bit in my job, standing on the White House lawn talking about sex with no lightning bolts falling on my head”

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