Beloved, we are in a fierce war that is a life and death struggle for our faith. Satan is determined to shipwreck and destroy the faith of God's elect; and the stronger your faith, the greater will be his attack against it.
I could subtitle this message "The Danger of Being Seduced by False Doctrine." Read Revelation 2:18-29 and you will see that Christ Himself warned the church against the doctrine of Jezebel. "You permit that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols" (Revelation 2:20). The Greek word here for Jezebel is a synonym for a false teacher. She clearly represents false doctrines. Jesus clears it up by continuing, "...as many as have not this doctrine..." (Revelation 2:24).
"Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them standup, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame.
A beautiful young couple, both spiritual children of mine, recently fell into sin and were forced to resign their ministry. For nearly a week they hid away in a secluded motel room, weeping, anguished and despairing of life. They felt abandoned by God, betrayed by friends, and useless to themselves and the kingdom of God.
Have you ever asked that question? Is there one special matter you have been praying about for a long time, with no apparent answer in sight? Are there times when you wonder if the answer will ever come? Have you honestly done everything you know to do? Have you fulfilled every requirement of prayer? Have you wept, fasted, and fervently petitioned God in true faith? - And yet nothing seems to happen? If you must answer yes to all of the above questions, you are in good company. You are not some strange kind of Christian suffering chastisement from the Lord.
“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12, KJV). What does Paul mean when he warns his Christian brethren, “Take heed, lest you fall”? Was he concerned that these believers were in danger of falling back into grievous sins of flesh? Corinth was indeed a great trade city full of gross sin. And many Christians there had indulged in fleshly sins before they were saved.
“Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him” (Luke 7:11). When Jesus approached the city of Nain, there was a huge procession behind him. He’d been ministering in the hills and meadows, healing the sick, feeding hungry crowds and preaching the arrival of God’s kingdom. Now many of the people he’d healed and fed joined his growing number of disciples. Try to picture this dancing, joyful throng as they approached the city: They must have looked like a massive caravan of joy.
And Jesus’ Glory Through It!
What happens to our soul when we experience deep, personal grief? What role does grief have in our walk with Jesus? In one brief passage, Peter explains it all. “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7, ESV).