Summary: guarding against spiritual deception in the world we live in.
Intro: at our house we have posted a beware of dog sign, we did it as a joke because the only thing Milo could do to hurt anyone is maybe lick them to death. Webster defines the word beware—to stay on guard, to be alert. The Bible gives us some verses that say: keep your guard up
Keeping Your Guard Up
1. Beware of covetousness—Luke 12:15—life doesn’t consist of the abundance of things we possess.
· We must guard against coveting what other people have. Keeping up with the Jones’ is the downfall of many people. Sometime people try to keep up to be accepted.
· Guard against being jealous of other’s being blessed, complaining about why does God bless them more than me.
· We must realize everything in this life is temporal, but spiritual things are eternal. We must keep our focus on things above.
Ill) Midas touch—everything turned to gold, what a blessing, but then he found that his food and things he didn’t need to turn to gold did also, and the blessing becomes a curse. That is the problem with wealth, riches and material things, what many times starts as a blessing ends as a curse.
2. Beware of Religious Traditions—Colossians 2:8—after the traditions of men. We are warned to keep our guard up against allowing religious traditions to take the place of Jesus Christ.
· In a recent poll—people in churches where asked the purpose of the church, 85% stated the church was there to take care of their families. Only 15% stated the purpose of the church was to provide a place for Worship and train people in reaching souls for Christ.
· Religious Traditions hinder fellowship with other believers. Some people are so denominational that they can’t work with people outside of their individual church. We should never dissect the body of Christ.
· Some people become so dogmatic in their points of view, that they isolate themselves from anyone who has a different view than their’s.
This is so sad, because they will spend most of their time trying to argue their doctrine, rather than sharing their faith with the lost.
Ill) to show how religious tradition separates, in a cartoon I saw a while back, a group was stranded on a deserted island, but in the next frame, they had already erected three different churches.
3. Beware of Hypocrisy—Luke 12:1—Jesus tells people to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
· Self righteousness—feeling we have arrived or that we are more holy than someone else is a dangerous place to be. We are all sinners saved by grace. We must guard against spiritual pride as we grow in the things of God.
· Hypocrisy—putting on our Sunday best is something we must guard against in our lives. Being one thing at church and another the rest of the week is hypocrisy.
· Insincere worship—they worship with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. We need to all guard against going through the motion, letting church become a routine.
Ill) some will say what is the harm with a little hypocrisy, tell that to the
Millions who have suffered under communism. It is stated that Karl