Sunday, March 28, 2010

FALSE HOPE {Part 4} A False Hope in Riches

Part 4 - False Hope in Riches
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |


Matthew 6:19-24
 19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  22"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  24"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

We’ve spoke over the last few weeks about having false hope in Christ, in works, and in false religion, and this week we are going to look at false hope in riches and material possessions.

In our scripture reading we see an instruction, a warning and a call to action.

We are told that things of this world we refer to as treasure, are temporal things, and will not last.

How often have you become attached to something, and have it break, become lost or stolen, or simply wear out? Wives don’t look at your husbands.

If the eye is set upon the treasures of earth, the life and character of the believer will become shrouded in moral darkness.

I have personally witnessed the public transformation of many great preachers over the issue of money, ministries whose focus was pure in the beginning, pastors who preached the Truth and Salvation, reduced to television beggars, deceiving millions with the lie of prosperity preaching and seed sewing.

Hope placed in a piece of paper with the words “In God we Trust” printed on it, but they don’t tell you which God they refer to.

Your direction determines your path.
Where are you facing today?

Is it towards the heavens, or is it on things of this world?

Whichever way you are facing...that IS the direction you will go!


a.      There were many rich men in scripture, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David.  All from the Old Testament.

                                                              i.      In the New Testament we have Mary's Uncle; Joseph of Arthemehia owned tin mine's in Cornwall.  He was considered one of the richest men in the known world.

b.     The reason God instructs us not to store up for ourselves is explained, where our treasure is, our hearts will be.

                                                              i.      This does not mean, do not take care of your family.
                                                           ii.      This does not mean, don’t work...God will provide your needs.
                                                         iii.      This does not mean, do not prepare for the coming storms in life.
1.      i.e. hurricane, floods, disasters such as famine.
                                                         iv.      What it does mean is, do not put your faith in things of this world.

c.       God revealed through Joseph’s interpretation of the Pharaohs dream that a famine was coming and they prepared for it.

d.     God provides

                                                              i.      Through revelation
1.      In Joseph’s interpretation of the famine
2.      To Nineva through Jonah
3.      To Joseph and Mary through the Angel
4.      And to all of mankind in the Revelation of john

                                                           ii.      Through other believers
1.      Churches were supporting Paul’s ministry in smaller poorer churches.
2.      Alms and love offerings to those in need (Not Tithe)
3.      Through the local churches which are instructed in Acts to take care of the fatherless children and widows.

                                                         iii.      Through miracles
1.      Elisha said to the widow, "Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don't ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side."
2.      Elijah was fed by a raven
3.      When the tax collectors came, Jesus sent one of the disciples to pull a coin from a fish’s mouth.

e.      In all these cases, God was providing.  If we put our hope in Him, He will provide to all our needs!

Matthew 6:25-34
 25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

 28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Do not worry = put your hope in the Lord!
·        Solomon in all his riches dressed plainly!
·        Pagan’s (Godless people) run after these things
·        God knows you need these things, but if you seek His kingdom and righteousness (salvation and being a doer of the word) all of these things will be GIVEN to you.  God provided...
This is putting our hope in the Lord instead of things of this world.


a.      Nothing of this world will last, it will all pass away.

Matthew 24:35
35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

b.     The rich young man loved his riches more than the Lord.

Mark 10:20-29 “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
 20"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
 21Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
 22At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
 23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"

c.       Ananias and Saphira loved riches more than truth.

d.     Judas loved silver more than Christ.

e.      The love of money is the root of many evils.

Luke 16:13-15
 13"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
 14The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.

f.       It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

Mark 10:24-25
 24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is[e] to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

g.      You cannot serve two masters.

h.     What good is it to gain the whole world, and lose your soul?


a.      Prosperity preaching arose in the United States after World War II championed by Oral Roberts and became particularly popular in the decade of the 1990s.

                                                              i.      Sewing seed has nothing to do with money in the New Testament!
1.      Seed is mentioned 49 times in the New Testament.
a.      31 times it means the Word of God
b.      7 times it means Spiritual Gifts
c.       6 times it means faith
d.     4 times it refers to Christ or salvation in Him
e.      and 1 time it referred to Abraham
2.      NOT ONCE in the New Testament does seed=money!

b.     Why are so many preaching this today?
                                                              i.      1 Peter 5:2 - 2Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;”
                                                           ii.      Titus 1:10-11 - “ 10For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. 11They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.”

c.       They have forgotten the commands and turned to their love of money, and it has become their master.
                                                              i.      Their ministry is no longer Christ and the Good news, but TV shows and trinkets for sale.
1.      When they say “support our ministry...”  Ask yourself, what exactly is their ministry?

d.     Trinkets in the name of God
                                                              i.      Sew your seed today, and not only will you get what you’re asking for, you’ll get tenfold!  Plus, receive this FREE gift with your offering.
1.      Dollar store junk with a Jesus logo added.


a.      We are called to action and told to build our treasures in heaven.  How do we build our treasures in heaven?
                                                              i.      Matthew 6:24 - 24"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

1.      Jesus tells us God is our treasure in heaven.
a.       Building our treasure means building our relationship with God.
                                                                                                                                      i.      Prayer
                                                                                                                                    ii.      talking with God
                                                                                                                                  iii.      reading His Word
                                                                                                                                  iv.      being doers of the Word
1.      preaching the Truth to all
2.      sharing the gospel and salvation
b.       Another treasure in heaven we can store up...
                                                                                                                                      i.      Service in the name of God

Matthew 25:31-40
 31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
 34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

The direction we face is the direction we travel.

Are you facing the Kingdom today?

Have you become a slave to another master?


We cannot put our hope in things of this world, whether it is money, people, or anything!

Our hope must be built on Jesus Christ alone!

Have you put your hope in Christ, or is your hope in other things, your ability, your wealth, yourself, or maybe in something else?

If your hope is in anything other than Christ Jesus, you are in trouble.

Submit to Him today, call on Him today, and make Him your rock, your foundation and your one true hope!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

FALSE HOPE {Part 3} A False Hope in False Religion

Part 3 - False Hope in False Religion
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |


John 4:23, 24
23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”


When the Samaritan at the well was speaking to Jesus, she told Him she couldn’t worship God because the Jews claimed the mountain in Jerusalem where worship took place, and the Samaritans were not welcome there.

But Jesus explains in this text, that a time was coming (church age, this current dispensation we are in), and was now here (because the Messiah had come), when the true worshippers of God would worship Him in Spirit and Truth, and those are the worshippers He seeks.

There are many religions today, and many people put their trust in many different belief systems.

Many have a false hope in false religions, as we spoke a few weeks ago, some even have a false hope in Christ.

Today we will examine what it is to have a false hope in a false religion.

I.                   FALSE RELIGIONS

a.      There are basics to true religion that cannot be altered or changed.  If you add or remove any one of these key points from faith, then you have rendered the true faith null and void.
                                                              i.      EXAMPLE: If I say to you Jesus Christ was a prophet, and not God, then I have just altered one of the key doctrines from scripture.  And although I may still acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God, if I do not recognize Him as God, then I just rendered my faith useless.
                                                           ii.      EXAMPLE 2: If I say, ‘the rapture will take place after the tribulation’, then nothing changes about my faith, because this is not a foundational doctrine in scripture.  Jesus is still God and died for my sins, and the road to Salvation in Him remains the same.

b.     Here is a list of foundational doctrines which cannot be altered without adverse effects on our religion.

                                                              i.      Jesus Christ is the personification of the Word of God made flesh, and He came to bring redemption through His sacrifice.

                                                           ii.      The Holy Bible is the Word of God breathed to man and the ultimate authority on religion.

                                                         iii.      Jesus IS God and always existed.

                                                         iv.      Jesus was born of a Virgin.

                                                            v.      Jesus died on the cross and rose again.

                                                         vi.      The Holy Spirit is God, not power or electricity.

                                                       vii.      Salvation is by God’s Grace, not by good works.  Salvation must be received by Faith, people must believe in their hearts that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, and physically rose again, which is the assurance of forgiveness and resurrection of the body.

                                                    viii.      After death, believers go to be with the Lord, and await final judgment.

                                                          ix.      We must be doers of the Word, living out our faith and belief taught by the Word to show others in the world, the love of God.

c.       These truths cannot be changed; else you will find yourself in a false religion, with false hope.

a.      It only takes one falsehood in faith to render it useless.
b.     EXAMPLES of false religions and why they have false hope.

                                                              i.      Jehovah’s Witnesses
1.      Founded in 1879 in Brooklyn New York.
2.      They believe Jesus was the first thing Jehovah God created.
3.      Jesus is NOT God.
4.      Holy Spirit is power (not a person) like electricity.
5.      You must earn salvation by going door-to-door.

                                                           ii.      Mormonism
1.      Founded in 1830 in New York.
2.      The Book of Mormon equal to the Holy Bible.
3.      God was once a man, but progressed to godhood, and you can too.
4.      Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate God’s.
5.      Saved by works.

                                                         iii.      Scientology
1.      Founded in 1954 in Los Angeles California.
2.      Key writings (not the bible) but Dianetics, written by a science fiction author.
3.      Does not define a God or Supreme Being.
4.      Openly rejects the Holy Bible.
5.      Everyone is a Thetan and has ultimate power over their own universe...we just don’t all realize it yet.
6.      Jesus did not die for sins, nor was He an operating Thetan.
7.      There is no Holy Spirit.
8.      There is no sin, so there is no need to repent.
9.      Hell is a myth.

                                                         iv.      Islam
1.      Founded in 622 by Muhammad.
2.      Key writings, the Qur’an, a combination of Holy Bible scriptures and various psychotic ranting.
3.      Law of Moses, Psalms of David and Gospel of Jesus are accepted in the Qur’an, BUT Muslim scholars teach that Jews and Christians have corrupted the scriptures.
4.      Believe in one God, and the greatest sin is attributing anything human to God (shirk) human attributes such as fatherhood cannot be associated with God.
5.      Jesus is one of the most respected Prophets sent by Allah, they believe Jesus was sinless, and born of a virgin, a great miracle worker, but not the Son of God.
6.      They do not believe in the crucifixion.
7.      They do not believe in the Holy Spirit.
8.      Good and bad deeds determine your everlasting outcome.
9.      Paradise is filled with Houris, to provide righteous men.

c.       Just a few false religions offering false hope.

a.      True worshippers must worship in Spirit and Truth.
                                                              i.      Spirit - 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.
1.      Truth - Jesus is Truth, the Word of God made flesh.
2.      Therefore, your worship MUST be done in spirit (meaning prayer, relationship with God, being doers of the Word, not just hearers), and it MUST be done in truth (or, line up with what the Word of God teaches us.)

b.     Sadducees and Pharisees
                                                              i.      They worshipped God, but their religion was false and so was their hope because they allowed man’s traditions and teachings to be equal to the Truth of God’s Word and Holy instruction.
1.      Matthew 15:1-3  “ 1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!" 3Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?
                                                           ii.      Always concerned with appearance, but never addressing the truth of the Word of God, Jesus called them white washed tombs.
1.      Beautiful on the outside, but full of dead man’s bones.
2.      Like many of the false religions.  They are beautiful on the outside, but full of death and false hope.

c.       2 Timothy 4:3  -  3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”


False religions and beliefs will always bring false hopes.

There is only one truth which was given in the beginning.

One Word which was in the beginning, with God, and was God, and that Word was spoken to man, and made flesh to reconcile us with God.

Hinduism, Hare Krishna, Transcendental Meditation, Buddhism, Spiritualism...

All false religions created long after God gave His Holy Word to man, and all of them have the same thing in common...

They lead to a second death.  Not the first which all men must face, but the second, for those who refuse Jesus as Lord, they will be part of the second resurrection, and face the second Judgment at the Great White Throne of God, where they will be handed a sentence, the second death, which is eternity in Gahenna.

We may find ourselves with false hope, as the Pharisees did, because of the doctrines of man, teachings in a denomination, or misunderstandings we have in the Word of God.

But if we confess this, and repent, Jesus is “quick” to forgive, just as the scriptures say, and we can put our hope in the true hope of Christ.