Is it just me, or do people seem more willing to follow men’s word than God’s word? We all learn from each other, but what should we focus on and promote: the traditions of men or the precepts of God? Shouldn’t we be more like the Bereans?:
Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11)
Do you suppose the misguided multitudes think it’s just easier to let others do their thinking for them? I believe this is the sad but true reason that organized religion survives, in spite of the fact that:
We are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming. (Eph 4:14)
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. (Isa 40:8)
What imaginations of men are the multitudes falling for this year? Who’s doctrine gets bestseller status this month? Why not be content to simply follow the word of God, rather than the latest craze esteemed by men, or even their longstanding traditions? Alas, some things never change:
Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? … This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. (Matt 15:1-9)
There are two types of people in the world: those who want to follow men, and those who want to follow God. Jesus was up against the same thing we are today, and Samuel was up against the same thing over a thousand years earlier:
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord.
The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day – in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods – so they are doing to you also.” (1 Sam 8:4-8)
No King But King Jesus!
Unlike men, God cannot be fooled by hypocrites, bribed, lobbied, blackmailed, pressured by public opinion polls, or otherwise manipulated. So throughout all history, the majority have usually chosen to follow men, while only a minority have chosen to follow God. Jesus told us about these two types of people:
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves… Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. (Matt 7:13-21)
Many follow the false prophets, while only a few do “the will of My Father who is in heaven.” There is no higher calling than being devoted to God’s word and letting it govern your daily life. Jesus and Paul both help us understand why most people still chose alternative lifestyles:
This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. (John 3:19-21)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Tim 4:3-4)
And Some Claim The Bible Is A Myth?!
It never ceases to amaze me that people believe every unsubstantiated myth ever imagined, but those same people refuse to believe the truth about the love God demonstrated and the glories He has prepared for us. There is more evidence validating the reliability of the word of God than any one man can fully investigate in his lifetime!
Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar. (Prov 30:5-6)
In spite of reality, the multitudes crazily follow men and persecute those who follow God. Mentally prepare yourself for dangerous trials. Think of them as opportunities to take a brave, lonely stand like Noah (2 Peter 2:5), Elijah (1 Kings 19:10), Jesus (Matt 26:31), Stephen (Acts 7:60), Paul (2 Tim 4:16), and many others. It is faithfulness in the most difficult circumstances that has the biggest impact!
The following exhortation is not just a cute little Sunday school lesson for kids. Your personal loyalty to the marching orders of The King determines your personal outcome in this fight:
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph 6:11-17)
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