Sermons

Summary: Moses faced three great obstacles – feelings of inadequacy, difficult people, & his own stubborn will. And yet God helped him through it all. (PowerPoints Available - #426)

MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER

RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK

(PowerPoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at mnewland@sstelco.com and request PP#426.)

TEXT: Matthew 25:21; 2 Timothy 4:7; Matthew 7:20-23

ILL. Several years ago in KY a man walked into a Dairy Queen, placed his order & paid for it with a $200 bill. The cashier gave him $196 in change & he drove away.

Sometime later the manager noticed that something didn’t seem right about the $200 bill, maybe because it had a picture of President George Bush on one side, & a picture of the White House on the back. Fortunately, police were able to track down the man & he was arrested for theft by deception.

As you probably know, real U.S. currency has a number of features designed to make it harder to counterfeit. If you have a $10 or $20 bill you can hold it up to the light & you’ll see that there’s a strip embedded in the paper that has the denomination of the bill printed on it. That strip also glows under ultraviolet light.

And there are several other features that you need a magnifying glass to see as well.

Here’s another example. Companies that make the products we use every day spend lots of money creating what’s called “brand identity.” That means they create a logo or identity for their company or product that is easily recognizable.

And these companies spend lots of money to keep others from duplicating their product or their identity. Despite that, there are plenty of counterfeit products being produced all around the world.

For example, authorities have found clones of a popular brand of expensive down-filled jackets for sale on the internet. When the jackets were examined, it was discovered that they were not filled with down at all but with chicken feathers swept up from the floors of poultry houses. This can aalso pose a real health risk by carrying bacteria & disease.

Another problem involves counterfeit medications. I think it’s obvious how harmful those could be since they may not have any of the needed medication in them. (Adapted from a sermon by Chip Blackshear on Sermon Central)

In the same way that we can be fooled by counterfeit products or money, we are also in danger of counterfeit religion. To be more specific, we are in danger of having a counterfeit faith.

ILL. Webster's dictionary says that a counterfeit is "something not genuine, but made to resemble & pass for something valuable."

A. If so, a natural question for us would be, "Are there any counterfeit Christians?” Jesus answers that in Matt. 7:20-23, "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. 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.

Is it possible that some prominent entertainers & politicians are “counterfeit Christians”? They proclaim their Christianity, & yet, in their words, their lives, & their public actions they are deliberately ignoring Jesus & His teachings.

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)

B. 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) In other words, I want to be found a good & faithful servant of my God. Don't you?

C. “Faithful servant” is what God called Moses in the O.T. And today, Moses stands out as one of the greatest leaders in all of recorded history.

But you & I know that Moses didn't start out that way. In fact, when it comes to making excuses to God, Moses sounded a whole lot like most of us. Yet God was finally able to count on Moses. And I believe that the outstanding characteristic of Moses' life was his spirit of service.

And once Moses was committed to serving God, it didn't take him long to discover that God specializes in the impossible. The more he was willing to do, the more God made it possible for him to do.

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