Summary: There is enmity between the way much of the world thinks and what the Bible says.
April 1, 2007
Text: John 10:1-21
Subject: The Conflict Between Secular Society and the Church
Title: That Sure Sounds Good
Two weeks ago I began the conflict series that will culminate on Easter Sunday. I spoke to you about the inner conflict that takes place within a person from the time you first hear the gospel until you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Today I want to share with you about the conflict between the world and the church; specifically between secular humanism and born again believers – the true church.
I’m in the middle of a book right now by Bill O’Reilly from Fox News Channel. Mr. O’Reilly is a conservative commentator with not a lot in common with the majority of other news correspondents. To my knowledge O’Reilly is not a born again Christian. But many of the things he says in his book have a certain “Christian” slant. In his book “Culture Warrior” he touts himself as a voice of reason in a society gone mad. He speaks about the continual efforts of a liberal media to tear down the basic building blocks of society and this country by removing Christianity and God from any position of influence. For instance, he shared the story of a man in Vermont who, for four years, sexually abused a little girl from the time she was six until she was ten. When it was discovered he confessed his guilt but the judge sentenced him to sixty days, saying that jail would not help the man’s problem, and he needed help because he was a victim. Now there’s a problem – a liberal judge with no understanding of biblical principles. Here’s a second problem – the mainstream media, who is constantly bombarding us with the concept of protecting the children, never ran a negative report about the judge’s decision. In fact just the opposite happened. They ignored the child/victim and claimed the judge to be a man on the cutting edge of judicial thinking. The bad thing is that the media can be pretty persuasive in their words so they can make evil appear to be something good.
So you see where the conflict comes in. Secularism, whether people realize it or not, is a tool of the devil and is in direct conflict with the Word of God. It is imperative for the true church not to be taken by surprise in the battle for lives. It sure sounds good, but you be the judge.
I. THE MESSAGE SOUNDS GOOD. (1-6) 1 "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.” I want you to note that this section is closely connected with what Jesus had just said about the Pharisees and the “religious leaders”. They are spiritually blind. They said all the right things. They did all the right things. They looked righteous. But they were trying to enter into the sheep pen by circumventing the one true way – through Jesus Christ. There have always been false prophets. I believe that people really think they hear from God when they don’t stop to consider whether their prophecy lines up with God’s word. In 2 Chronicles 18, Jehoshaphat, the righteous king of Judah, aligns himself with the wicked Ahab in order to go into battle. Now Jehoshaphat thought he was doing the right thing, but he wanted Ahab to ask the prophet if the battle would be successful. The problem is, Ahab asked the wrong prophets. They assured him that the battle was theirs to win. Four hundred prophets told them this. It sure sounded good, but was in conflict with the Word of God that came from the prophet Micaiah. Here’s what he received from God in a vision. I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing on his right and on his left. 19And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’
“One suggested this, and another that. 20Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’
“‘By what means?’ the LORD asked.
21“‘I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.
“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’
The church is standing today in front of the greatest troupe of “lying prophets” that the world has ever known. They aren’t prophets from God. They are prophets of secular humanism. The words they speak sound like honey but reek of death and destruction.
Let’s go back to our original passage. The word translated “climb” means to go up or to ascend. The Pharisees were trying to ascend by their own righteousness. Jesus said that there is only one way to go up – follow the shepherd. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. Jesus alone can take us to our desired end. his sheep follow him because they know his voice… Does that statement concern you at all? Does that mean that if you don’t recognize His voice you can’t follow Him? Here is the point of conflict. Many in the church have not sufficiently studied the Word of God so they can recognize truth or fiction. When I first was saved I held on to the fact promoted by humanism that homosexuals are who they are because they were created that way. But as I matured in the word I found out that wasn’t true. The fact is that somewhere in their psychological make – up there is a real need for a same sex relationship, but the false prophets have led them to believe that it must translate into sexual needs and not just emotional needs. The message sounds good, but it won’t take you where you want to be.