There is Poison in the Pot!

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There is Poison in the Pot!
Text: 2 Kings 4:38–41 (KJV 1900)
38 And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets. 39 And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not. 40 So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof. 41 But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot.
Introduction: The “sons of the prophets”
* In the days of Elisha there was a company of young prophets, called the sons of the prophets, located in the city of Gilgal.
* The Bible says in verse 38 that these sons of the prophets were “sitting before Elisha.”
* This means that they were gathered around the prophet Elisha while the Prophet taught these young prophets the Word of God.
* This was much like our Bible Colleges and Theological Seminaries that we have today. At these institutions, young men, who have been called by God to preach, sit under the teaching of elder, more experienced and knowledgeable men of God.
A time of spiritual famine in Israel
* The passage that we are dealing with tonight is set in a time of spiritual famine in the Land of Israel.
* The majority of the people had been lead astray from God by political figures like wicked Jezebel and her husband King Ahab.
* You remember the story of Elisha’s predecessor Elijah and how Elijah prayed and fire came down from heaven and on that day the prophet Elijah killed 400 prophets of Baal.
* These young ‘sons of the prophets’ were the only hope for the nation of Israel.
* These young men were keeping alive the Word of God in a time when the whole nation had turned its back on God.
A very clear and powerful objection lesson
* Every story in the Bible has a reason for being there. The story of our text tonight is no exception.
* This reason this, seemingly incidental, and insignificant, little story has been preserved in the Word of God is a great object lesson.
* First of all it was an object lesson that pertained to the time in which it happened.
* Though there was a famine in the land Elisha prepared to feed the prophets with whatever could be collected.
* He asked his servant to prepare the stew pot for a meal.
* One of the prophets went out … to gather whatever he could find growing wild to put in the stew. Finding a wild vine, he gathered some of its gourds… . cut them up, and put them into the pot.
* The wild gourds that had been added to the pot of stew may have had a horrible taste or may have caused some violent physical reactions in those who tasted the stew.
* The sons of the prophets began to cry out to Elisha that there was death in the pot! There poison in the stew! * Now here is the object lesson: * In Elisha’s day a spiritual famine had resulted from the people’s turning from God and His Law. The people were hungry spiritually. * In an effort to satisfy their need spiritual need, the poeple had embraced a false religion called Baalism. * This mixture of truth and error looked harmless enough, but proved disgusting and deadly to the nation of Israel. * God’s prophets, like the meal that Elijah added to heal the stew, helped counteract the deadly effects of Baalism in Israel.
An object lesson for today’s Church
* Just is this was a vivid object lesson for the prophet Elisha in the Old Testament, this object lesson will serve us well in today’s church as well.
* Just in the days of Elisha, false doctrines have crept into the modern day church as well.
* These false teachings are leading God’s people away from the Truth of God’s Word.
* These false doctrines have crept into the very institutions that train our young pastors, preachers, and missionaries, and threaten death and destruction to the church!
* The prophets of our day, (Pastors and Church leaders), need to do like the sons of the prophets and cry out there is poison in the Pot!
* The very preaching and teaching that is supposed to feed the flock is tainted with the deadly poison of false doctrine!
* Every pastor needs to cry out and warn the church of the spiritual imposters that are leading the church away from the word of God!
I. The old skeleton of modernism.
* The old skeleton of modernism has changed its face, but has never went away.
* Modernism first arose more than a century ago.
* It was based on the assumption that only science can explain reality. * The modernist scorned the idea of divine revelation, miracles, or anything supernatural. * In other words, the starting point for modernism was a rejection of the truth and inspiration of Scripture.
* The belief that the Word of God was the final word in all matters of faith and practice of the church was abandoned by the modern theologians and church leaders. * When modernism first began to dominate secular society’s worldview, many in the religious world were more than eager to try to get in step with the spirit of the age. * Some abandoned their belief in the supernatural elements of Scripture and tried to reduce the Bible message to the moral elements of Jesus’ teaching. * Because of the influence of modernism, many so called ‘mainline’ denominations ultimately abandoned the Bible, becoming even deeper spiritual wastelands.
* Under the influence of modernism, churches and seminaries adopted the mindset that the “modern man” can no longer be reached with the old methods of preaching the miracles of the Bible.
* This led to an onslaught of new Bible translations that denied the miracles and the deity of Christ. Things that “modern,” enlightened mind could no longer accept.
* Modernism in the secular world led to liberalism in the church.
* Liberalism- The word liberal in liberal Christianity denotes a characteristic willingness to interpret scripture without any preconceived notion of inerrancy of scripture.
* The poison of modernism is still around, but it has changed its face somewhat.
* Post-modernism- Postmodernism abandons the belief that science can explain all reality.
* To the postmodernist, “truth” is whatever point of view the individual prefers.
* The postmodernist thinks that what is “true” for one person might not be true for another.
II. The Liberal social Gospel and its modern form of political correctness.
* A few years ago there was a craze where everyone was wearing these W.W.J.D.? bracelets, which stood for "What Would Jesus Do?"
* People in church went crazy for this fad, but this was nothing new.
* The phrase “What would Jesus do comes from the book In His Steps by Charles Sheldon written this book was kind of a manual for liberalism and the social gospel.
* What many don't realize is that this book, written in 1897, which is so beloved by many, had a worldview and an agenda behind it that was in direct opposition to the mission of the church.
* Sheldon was an advocate of what is known as Christian Socialism.
* LIBERALS - believe it is the mission of the church to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. * Liberals believe It is the duty of the church to alleviate all social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights. * Believe the role of the church should be to guarantee that no one is in need.
* The latest form of this false doctrine of “the social Gospel,” can be seen in the movement of “political correctness” that has swept across our country in the last 5 years or so.
* This “political correctness,” is destroying the ability of the modern church to preach the Gospel as it was delivered to the Church by Jesus and his apostles.
* This ungodly false doctrine is responsible for gaging the mouth of churches and preachers across this land that once stood with a backbone like a saw log and preached against the sins of divorce, abortion, homosexuality, drunkenness, public nakedness.
* Because of political correctness the scriptures have come true in Isaiah chapter 5 where the Bible says:
Isaiah 5:19–23 (KJV 1900)
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; That put darkness for light, and light for darkness; That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! 22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, And men of strength to mingle strong drink: 23 Which justify the wicked for reward, And take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
* We churches and preachers should be crying out against this poison of political correctness in the churches with a loud voice!
III. The idea that we need to be like the world to reach the world.
* Another poisonous false teaching that threatens the church is the faulty reasoning that the modern man will not respond to the traditional methods of evangelism giving to us by the Jesus and the Apostles.
* There are those who falsely assert that we need to improve on the way the Gospel has been presented in the past.
* They say that we need move away from preaching and have more discussion sessions!
* They say that the modern man is much more sophisticated and intellectual than the factory workers and farmers of the past. We must appeal to them by other methods like debating and discussing the teaching of the Bible!
* My friend the only proper way to handle the truth of the Word of God is Proclaiming, (preaching), and then obeying!
* After preaching a great sermon to the chapel at the University of Oxford, Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones was asked once to debate a famous atheist. Dr. Jones flatly refused the honor, and said that his reason for doing so was this: that the truth of the Bible is not up for discussion!
* The total premise of a debate over the Bible is inherently wrong and sinful! God will debate with no man, and God’s man in called to proclaim the Bible, not to debate the Bible.
* To even approach the Word of God with any other attitude other than complete obedience is sinful at its very core!
Romans 16:17–18 (KJV 1900)
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
2 Timothy 2:23–25 (KJV 1900)
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
* The other poison that I would like to deal with under the umbrella of changing our methods of evangelism for the modern man is this:
* The false idea that the church needs to be more like the world in order to reach the world.
* This is not a new idea. This idea was experimented with in the churches of Great Britain before it ever came to the shores of America.
* The result of this false teaching there was instead of the men being drawn into the church, they people were repulsed from the church.
* Here is the reason the people of Great Britain were repulsed by this:
* The worldly man says to himself “Why these people are not so different that I am- they have nothing that will change my life, I’m just as well off without the church!”
* Jesus was tremendously popular with the people He preached to- and He didn’t have to act like them to reach them!
* People expect the Christian and the church to be different! The church is supposed to be different that the world by design!
* Listen to the worlds of the Apostle James concerning being like the world:
James 4:4 (KJV 1900)
know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
* Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul concerning the church attempting to be more like the world:
2 Corinthians 6:14–17 (KJV 1900)
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
* I recently was asked what I think about a church meeting at the bar called Cotton Eyed Joes. I was kind to the person at the moment, but now in the context of the church and the preaching of the Word of God I will be slightly more critical:
* When the church attempts to be like the world in order to reach the world it does nothing by shame its self!
* What fellowship does the church have with a bar! What fellowship does the church have with the ungodly works of darkness that take place at Cotton Eyed Joes on the other days of the week.
* What fellowship does the Gospel of Jesus have with the drunkenness, nakedness and fornication that is associated with Cotton Eyed Joes on the other days of the week!
* Well you say “there might be people who will go to church there that wouldn’t hear the Gospel otherwise!”
* I say baloney! Jesus and the apostles were different that the world! And the world was turned upside down with their preaching!
* When the church does this it acting like a shameful whore by prostituting its self before the ungodly!
IV. The word of faith movement.
* The prosperity Gospel!
* This is the group that would seek to convince us that Jesus and His disciples were rich, that to be poor is a sin, to be sick is a sin.
* This group teaches that faith is a creative force that we can use to shape our world just like God supposedly created this world and universe that we live in through His "faith"! * Here are just a few that of the names of teachers that spew out this theological vomit."
* Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, John Avanzini, Robert Tilton, Fred Price, and Benny Hinn.
* Benny Hin authored a number 1 bestselling Christian book in America, 'Good Morning, Holy Spirit')
V. The wider mercy movement.
* The "Wider Mercy Doctrine" is a belief that salvation can be obtained even when a person has not heard the gospel and does not know Jesus Christ. * It is a belief that, somehow, God grants status to persons who are sincere in their religious beliefs, even if those beliefs are false. * Therefore, a sincere Buddhist or Shintoist or any other religious adherent can obtain salvation, simply because they are sincere in their belief and desire to approach God. *This doctrine, in a slightly revised form, has been the main creed of Universalist belief for centuries. Universalism teaches that all religions are the same and that all beliefs are ultimately pointed toward the one true Deity. * It does not matter which religion is accepted or practiced, they are simply different roads that ultimately lead to the same destination.
* We hear this phrase used by Operha Winfree and is is also written in the literature of the Masons.
* “All roads lead to God”
* We see this false teaching being used to try to combine the Muslim religion and Christianity in a new movement called “Crislim”
The conversation below occurred between Billy Graham and Robert Schuller, who is the pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California and founder of the Hour Of Powertelevision program.
Dr. Schuller begins by speaking to Billy Graham:
Dr. Schuller: "Tell me, what is the future of Christianity?"
Dr. Graham: "Well, Christianity and being a true believer, you know, I think there's the body of Christ which comes from all the Christian groups around the world, or outside the Christian groups. I think that everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the body of Christ. And I don't think that we're going to see a great sweeping revival that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time."
"What God is doing today is calling people out of the world for His name. Whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their hearts they need something that they don't have and they turn to the only light they have and I think they're saved and they're going to be with us in heaven."
Dr. Schuller: "What I hear you saying is that it's possible for Jesus Christ to come into a human heart and soul and life even if they've been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you're saying?"
Dr. Graham: "Yes it is because I believe that. I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, have never heard of Jesus but they've believed in their hearts that there is a God and they tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived."
Dr. Schuller: "This is fantastic. I'm so thrilled to hear you say that. There's a wideness in God's mercy."
* The idea that anyone can be saved without believing in Jesus Christ is straight out of the pit of Hell.
John 14:6 (KJV 1900)
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Acts 4:12 (KJV 1900)
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
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