Warnings Against False Teachers

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Introduction

This is my last sermon here at GCC. When the realization that I was going to resign and move on into other avenues of ministry came to me. One of the first area I mulled over was the what I would say during my last message. I had always considered this day to be much further ahead in the future and that the last time I would walk off of this platform would come when I was an old man. But here we are and I have to now share some final thoughts and words with you.
So in considering this, I felt the Lord impress upon me that I should continue on in our study of Luke without breaking rank of the passage. When I saw where we were going to land in the passage, I knew why. I do not think there is a more important conversation in the church than the issue of false teachers.
I came to this church with a mission. That mission is to do something about the incursion of biblical illiteracy in the modern church. I’ve over the last 5 years I’ve delivered 236 messages here at GCC. Every time, I wanted to leave you with something that was from God. In season and out of season, my primary burden and mission was to deliver the truth of God’s Word.
Anyone can deliver a message or a sermon. Someone with an opinion can stand up and talk for a long time and be convinced they are right. That’s why everyone wants to tell the pastor how to do his job, because everyone thinks they can do it. Just throw a few points together and wha-la! But that’s not where the weight of the ministry of preaching exists and to be honest, it’s been treated lightly and thereby with irreverence.
There is a spiritual battle that ensues when the truth of God’s Word is conveyed in preaching ministry. This is where so many struggle to understand. A worship service or a preaching ministry is not primarily an organizational exercise; it’s a spiritual praxis that must be rooted in careful study, reflection, and prayer. The burden of the preacher is to present the truth of God’s Word, not the opinion of a man. So if the church is biblically illiterate, and spiritually dead, then the truth of God’s Word will not be known. This is heart of Jesus’ message today.
Luke 6:39–49 ESV
39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. 46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

1. We Need Spiritual Sight of God’s Word and The Holy Spirit

Luke 6:39–40 ESV
39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.
The meaning of this parable is fairly obvious: we need to be careful whom we choose to follow. If we follow the wrong leader, we will end up falling into a ditch. “Can a blind man lead a blind man?” No, because they have the same disability and thus they both need help to see where they are going. “Will they not both fall into a pit?” Yes, they will; sooner or later.
The same thing can happen spiritually: church leaders who cannot see Jesus will lead their followers straight to the pit of hell. Some scholars think that when Jesus spoke of the blind leading the blind, he was referring specifically to the Pharisees. Elsewhere Jesus called them “blind guides” (e.g., Matt. 23:16).
Apart from the enlightening work of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, we are spiritually blind. If we follow teachers who are equally blind, we will all end up in the ditch. We need spiritual wisdom, the ability to discern the spirits, and biblical literacy to see understand the truth of God’s word. This is the problem cult leaders who deny the deity of Jesus or theologians who teach facts of Scripture without the power of the Spirit. It is the problem of teachers add works to faith as the basis for our standing before God. They are all blind guides, and their way leads to destruction.
I believe fervently that we were given some serious warnings in America lately. Enough of the consumeristic mentality in the church. Judgement is coming and 1 Peter 4:17 tells us that Judgement begins with the house of the Lord.” We are here to fulfill the Great Commission just as Jesus was telling his disciples in this passage who were about to be sent to begin that mission.
The parable of the blind leading the blind warns us to be careful whom we follow, and also to be careful how we lead. If we teach others, we are responsible for where we take them. James 3:1 tells us that teachers are judged more harshly than others. In order to lead, we have to be able to see. We need to see the Bible as the perfect truth of God’s holy Word. We need to see the majesty of God in his awesome power. We need to see the sinfulness of our sin and our desperate need for mercy. We need to see Jesus Christ crucified and raised from the dead. We need to see how the Spirit works to bring spiritual change. Only then can we lead our children or our church in the way that is right. Otherwise, we will only lead people astray. (Ryken)
Jesus also gave his disciples a related proverb: “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). The point of this general principle—which Jesus taught in a variety of contexts (cf. Matt. 10:24; John 13:16)—is “like teacher, like student.” In those days—and it is not much different today—the way people learned religion was by spending time with a wise teacher. The more time they spent with him, the more their lives were patterned after his ministry. This is basic to any form of discipleship: the teacher and the student have a close personal relationship in which the student becomes more like the teacher. False teachers are earthly

2. We Need Spiritual Humility and Especially Repentance

Luke 6:41–42 ESV
41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
The problem that Jesus is reflecting about the false teacher is not just about the content of their teaching, but that they are unable to see their hypocrisy. The illustration that Jesus uses is almost cartoonish. This image of a man with a log protruding from his head, all the while trying to remove the speck from their brother’s eyes. Look, we all have sin (specks) in our eyes. But the false teacher is someone with logs that make them absolute hypocrites. Whether or not anyone around them know it is irrelevant. God knows it.
Without a humility in church leadership and a willingness to be repentant, they cause significant damage. Recently I learned of a well-respected leader who was living a double-life. Before everyone around him he was a well-loved teacher, but he had a secret life of mistresses and sexual misconduct. The revelation of his life has caused significant damage to the work of the gospel, his family, and those who learned from him.
But this just doesn’t go for public figures and pastors. This goes for church leaders, Sunday School Teachers, Children’s Ministry workers, worship leaders, deacons, and so on. We are in danger of committing this great sin whenever we fail to see ourselves as we really are. We are in danger of hypocrisy whenever we say that someone else has a problem, when in fact the problem is really our own. We are also hypocrites when we minimize our sin, pretending that it is smaller than it actually is. “Maybe it is pornography,” we say, “but I’m only looking at it once a week.” Or, “It’s not really gossip; it’s just something I feel you should know.” Whether we see it or not, our lust is adulterous, our words are treacherous, and our anger is murderous. When we examine our hearts, we always need to remember that our depravity is like something in the rearview mirror of a car: objects are larger than they may appear!
By the way, Matthew records this same illustration in 7:3-5  Religious say, “Well, I want to give you morality and virtue.  We want to bring goodness into your life, and let me here take a look at what’s wrong in your life, and let me fix you a little bit.” False religion can’t fix itself.  They wear their religious robes, their and talk mellow tones. They appear to be good and compassionate, but they can’t do it because they can’t get the beam out of their own life.  Anyone who thinks he’s righteous cannot help a sinner and that was the problem with the Pharisees and it continues to be the problem with false teachers today. Someone who refuses to repent of their own sins will lead everyone that follows them straight into a ditch.

3. We Need to Build Our Lives and Churches on Spiritual Rock

Luke 6:43–49 ESV
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. 46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
When we do what Jesus says - not just know what Jesus says, but also obey his word, we lay a solid foundation that produces abundant fruit and can withstand the trials of life. This is the main point of the concluding parables. We are be to doers of God’s Word, not just hearers.
James 1:22 ESV
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
The storms of life are going to come. They will come again, and again, and again. When we follow Jesus we are not assured of a life without pain or suffering or tribulation. In fact we are promised that we will have all of that for following our Lord (John 16:33). We learned a few weeks ago how all of the the 12 disciples faced torment and persecution for their faith. There will be nothing less for the believer. It is not our faith that keeps us from tribulation, but gives us the strength to walk through it.
The true disciple of Jesus first comes to Jesus. He does this by through hearing his word and relenting all of his life to God. The disciple continues to grow through the hearing of Jesus’ words and learning to listen to God. Listening, so essential, is a skill that has been severely impaired by modern culture’s glut of words. Billions of words are spoken every second, and sometimes it seems like they are assaulting us mercilessly through TV, radio, and the multiple conversations around us. We are a distracted people. (Hughes). But discipleship doesn’t stop with knowledge, but with actually doing what he taught.
Trouble is the test. When life is easy, it is difficult to determine what kind of foundation people have. The same is true with houses: it is hard to tell if they have a solid foundation simply by looking at the exterior. But wait until the storms come! Then everyone can see whether someone’s house—or someone’s life—is strong enough to stand. When trouble comes, a life without a solid foundation will fall apart, but a life anchored to the bedrock of obedience to Christ will keep on standing. Here it is worth noting that when Jesus told his disciples where to build their lives, he did not tell them to lay the foundation on “a” rock, but on “the” rock (Luke 6:48). “For no one,” the Bible says, “can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).
What kind of life are you building? Are you digging down deep into the solid rock of Jesus Christ?
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