Summary: We can sincerely believe something that will send us to hell. An orderly, firm faith in Jesus is what we need to avoid deception.
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We’re in a series through the book of Colossians called “Jesus is Greater”, and I have to stop here and set up the things that Paul is going to say about Jesus today, because you need to understand WHY he says some of the things he was saying.
Review of the book:
Paul is a saved man, an ex-murderer of Christians, who is now the greatest missionary and church planter on the planet. He is in jail in Rome for preaching, and a friend named Epaphras comes and says, “Paul there are some false teachers, some people influencing my people in wrong directions that have come to Colosse. Can you help me know how to handle it?” And paul writes a letter to send back with him to help contradict some things that these people are being taught.
As we get into chapter 2, Paul is about to really start taking on the false teachers. This chapter is the key one in contradicting them.
Colossians 2:1 I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.
The word “struggling” is the word from which we get our word “agony.” Literally should be translated “how great a contest I am having.”
Leadership is a STRUGGLE. It is not an easy task. Leading your family, your wife, your church... it’s not an easy task.
Paul hasn’t even met a lot of these Christians or the ones in Laodicea, a neighboring town. He’s never taken them out for coffee, but he still gets imprisoned and beat up for the Gospel he preaches to them; he still prays for them.
2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,
3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
“the mystery” –
“complete understanding” -
“treasures of wisdom & knowledge” –
The false teachers were saying… “Yes, Jesus, is good… he’s good. But there’s more you need. You also need….”
Knowledge of Jesus isn’t enough – that’s what these false teachers were saying.
ILLUS: Jesus is the “case” that holds all the “little pieces.”
4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.
Over the next three weeks, we are going to get into more of what they were apparently saying that sounded so good, but was so deceptive.
For now, let me stop and say, are you aware that things can _____SOUND SO GOOD and BE SO WRONG_____? Are you really aware of that? Do you really know that something can SOUND SO SMART and BE SO FOOLISH?
And honestly, intelligence and education is no guarantee that the “wisdom” that you spout today is actually true.
ILLUS: Try Googling “wrong predictions”.
1. In the future, computers may weigh no more than 1.5 tons. (Popular Mechanics, 1949)
2. Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. - Economist Irving Fisher in October 1929, three days before the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression
3. Remote shopping is feasible, but will flop. – Time Magazine 1968
4. Ours has been the first expedition, and will doubtless be the last to visit this profitless location. - Lt. Joseph Ives, after visiting the Grand Canyon in 1861.
5. The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is a passing fad. - The president of the Michigan Savings Bank, 1903
6. This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. - William Orton, president of Western Union, in 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell tried to sell the company his invention.
7. Fooling around with alternating current is a waste of time. No one will use it, ever. – Thomas Edison
8. Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan. – Mary Somerville, 1948, pioneer in radio
9. There’s no chance the iPhone is going to get any significant smartphone market share. – Microsoft CEO steve Ballmer
10. “There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable and nothing but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers.” - Philip Franklin, Vice President of the white star Line
“fine sounding arguments”
It can sound so right at the time… and be so very, tragically wrong.
You – YOU – can be deceived.
You can sincerely believe something that will send you to ____hell______.
The question is, HOW DO WE KNOW? And what can we do to protect ourselves? Is it possible?