Summary: Growing towards maturity.
Ephesians 4:14-16 “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (NIV)
I. Until we reach the full measure of Christ:
1. There is the danger of immaturity.
1 Cor. 3:1 “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly--mere infants in Christ.” (NIV)
1 Peter 2:2 “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,” (NIV)
2. There is the danger of deception.
Scheming "Methodeia" where we get our word methods. They have a method to confuse you.
Matt. 24:24-25 “For false Christ's and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect-- if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.” (NIV)
I. The counterfeiting or deception of the cults:
1. Counterfeiting: The Savior. Joseph Smith, Muhammad, Buddha etc...
2. Counterfeiting: Salvation-- These people believe that if they would kill themselves then you would find a greater degree of salvation.
3. Counterfeiting: Authority---Bible is the finished work///Cults added to the Bible.
4. Counterfeiting: The Church--They minister to each other---They minister death helping each other to die.
5. Counterfeiting: The Trinity--Father/Son/Holy Spirit--Satan has The Beast//False Prophet//Anti-Christ.
6. Counterfeiting: The Goal of Christianity--- "Press on to the goal of heaven" NO The goal of Christianity is to be like Jesus Christ.
II. THE HIDDEN APPEALS OF THE CULTS
1. A Sense of Belonging
2. A Discipline Structure
3. A Sense of Importance--Only they go to heaven//Chosen Few//were special//they believe they are the only ones.
4. You don’t have to Think—You Check your brains at the door
5. A Sense Of Paranoia They may not go into a cult this way but they are taught that everyone is against them.
6. A Sense Of Superiority-- To leave the leader is to leave God.
III. HOW TO DISCERN A CULT
1. A Fanatical Commitment To A Human Being--Cult is always man lead, man inspired, man appointed, man honoring always a earthly leader that is honored like God.
2. Extra Biblical Revelation-- Rev. 22:18-19 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” (NIV)
3. Denial Of The Deity Of Jesus ---John 1:1"In the beginning was the Word (Logos "the mind of God), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (NIV)