Sunday, March 21, 2010

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

FALSE HOPE
Part 3 - False Hope in False Religion
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


SCRIPTURE READING

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.”


INTRODUCTION

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.


II.                FALSE HOPE IN FALSE RELIGIONS
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 ...services...for righteous men.

c.       Just a few false religions offering false hope.



III.             FALSE HOPE / TRUE 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.”

CLOSING

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.