Summary: God helped Moses overcome obstacles that he would never have been able to conquer alone. And I am convinced that God will do the same for us too, if we will just let Him. (Powerpoint available - #161)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at mnewland@sstelco and request #161.)
A. Have you ever seen any counterfeit money? A few years ago some counterfeiters were producing $50 & $100 bills of such superior quality that most banks accepted them at first as genuine.
Even though that counterfeiting ring was broken up, authorities don't know how many fake bills were produced. But they assumed that there was at least a million dollars worth still in circulation. And it was about that time, if you remember, that they came out with a new design for those bills.
What is a counterfeit? Webster's dictionary says that a counterfeit is "something not genuine, but made to resemble & pass for something valuable."
ILL. There are all kinds of counterfeits. One TV program featured an expose of a doctor who had impressive diplomas on his walls, & a large medical practice. But he had never attended any medical school & the diplomas were fakes.
He was a quack, dispensing useless & dangerous drugs, preying on his victims, concerned only about the profit that he could make.
But it is not just in the medical world. There are counterfeits in almost all professions even the ministry. Some magazines contain ads stating that it is easy to become an ordained minister. Just fill out a form, send in the money, & by return mail you will receive a beautiful Ordination Certificate from the Universal Life Church.
Diploma mills offer college degrees in almost the same way. Enroll by mail, pay the fees, & depending upon how much you pay, you can receive an impressive -looking diploma conferring a Bachelor's or Master's degree, or even a Doctorate. But it is a worthless piece of paper, designed simply to fool & impress the gullible.
B. Now then, a natural question for us would be, "Are there any counterfeit Christians? And how do we recognize them?"
Jesus answers that in Matthew 7:20 21, "Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven."
"Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"
SUM. Now think about it. If a counterfeit is something that is not genuine, but that deliberately tries to resemble or pass for something valuable, then Jesus is saying that there will be counterfeit Christians.
And Jesus clearly tells us that no counterfeit Christian will ever hear God say, "Well done, good & faithful servant… Come & share your Master's happiness." (Matthew 25:21)
C. Now, I don't want to be a counterfeit Christian, & I trust that you don't want to be one either.
In fact, I would really rather be able to approach the end of my life with the confidence of the Apostle Paul who wrote, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7)