27 Jan 1/27/19 “Trademarks of a False Prophet”
I was thinking during worship that it’s forty minutes [long]. People sometimes ask me, “Why so much worship?” Well, let me tell you. I’m just going to shoot you straight. The 2020 election is not going to change anything. Getting upset is not going to change anything. The only thing that’s going to offer any type of hope is to get on our face before almighty God and begin to worship more. I do want to ask you a question though: Why is worship boring, but you’re going to get very excited at the Super Bowl? I’m shooting straight this morning.
Many of you know, and if you don’t know, I actually have this part circled with a big question mark. I took a long walk early this morning and prayed, prayed with my wife, because some hard things need to be said from time to time. I released an article, an op-ed they call it. The title was “Thunderous Applause—We Can Kill Our Children at Nine Months.” Many of you know that New York voted just that this week. As a result, I think the article has just, on one news site, three hundred thousand plus shares. I was on Fox News with Lauren Green this week in a spirited debate. (I learned a lesson; I’m not going to do Skype again. It’s not very good quality.) I was supposed to drive to Los Angeles early this morning for Fox and Friends to be aired in at New York, and I got a little nervous when they said there’s 1.5 million people watching. They canceled last minute. That’s kind of normal. Sometimes they throw things out there, and then they see who’s interested, and then they kind of pull it in a little bit.
In a nutshell, that stirred a lot of controversy, and rightly so—when a nation is able to murder their children, and nobody says anything, and when you do say something, they say, “Oh, you love Trump.” No, I don’t. I love the Word of God. But see, they can excuse that. They can say that and then excuse their actions. This has nothing to do with the political party and everything to do with God’s Word. You’d better get that straight. You’d better get that straight. I don’t support a person. I don’t support a party. I support the Word of God.
Lady Gaga just rebuked Mike Pence’s wife for teaching at a Christian school that holds to traditional values. Many of you know Kate Hudson the actress; she’s going to let her daughter choose her gender. See, the umbrella of God’s grace is being removed. I don’t know how people can hold to a particular party or any mindset where this is allowed. I was watching C-SPAN; I had to turn it off. A doctor was explaining how he would go into the uterus and begin to pull out, limb by limb—and you want me to be quiet? How dare you say the church keep its mouth shut in regard to politics. How dare you! God’s Word has something to say. See, that’s actually the problem. The pulpit doesn’t want to say anything. Let’s just talk about feeding the homeless—which we’re doing tonight. Let’s talk about loving our neighbor—which we will do.
So the message this morning is “Trademarks of the False Prophet,” and there are more than you think. You don’t think there are that many false prophets? There are a lot of false prophets. What is a false prophet? A false prophet in a nutshell is saying something that God does not say, telling someone, “This is okay,” when God says it’s not okay. It’s a false proclaimer. They proclaim error instead of truth.
And the ironic thing is, at least for me when I read the Old Testament, the big sign of the false prophet was actually to not warn the people. Jeremiah 23 (paraphrased): “I have not sent these prophets, but they ran. I have not spoken to them, but they spoke. They were telling My people ‘Peace! Peace!’ when God says, ‘There’s no peace. There’s judgment coming because of your sinful lifestyle.’” But these false prophets are not calling out sin. They’re comforting you in your sin and in your rebellion against God. That’s a false prophet.
There are two main characteristics we’re going to look into. Number one, obviously, is they deny Jesus. Obviously. But number two is pretty tricky. We’re going to learn here they turn God’s grace into lewdness. See Lady Gaga’s Christianity is you can be bisexual, engage in all types of sexual activity, [because] God is love. That’s false. That’s error. That’s blasphemy. That’s heretical. That’s wrong. Absolutely wrong. So that’s why she’s against Pence’s wife who stands for what God’s Word says.
This has nothing to do with political parties. It has to do with what does God’s Word say. It has something to say about ripping children from the womb. It has something to say about sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. It has something to say about protecting the nation. Oh, Shane, nope, nope. Well, go home and read Romans 1. God said, “I have instituted government to be a terror to those who do evil.” So if you do evil, be scared because they do not bear the sword in vain. They are to be a terror to those who do evil. That’s the whole concept of government. We just have to look at our Bible.
False prophets will say, “We don’t have to obey God.” Or—now be careful of this too—or they make obedience mandatory. There was a place in Waco, Texas, I mentioned [last week]. David Koresh and the other place [Jonestown], where they drank Kool-Aid, and they all died because of these cults saying, “You have to do this. You can’t marry, you can’t eat certain foods, you can’t, you can’t, you can’t.” That’s a sign often of a false prophet because within that is a lot of control. They’re not being led by God’s Spirit. Ironically, people who get upset at me say, “You’re drinking Kool-Aid.” I say, “No, I’m drinking truth.” The Kool-Aid drinkers are many of those out there because they’re listening to the wrong words. They’re not spending time in God’s Word.
I’ve explained before the problem I have. The more time I spend in His Word and with Him, the bolder I become. So people say, “Oh, you need to not talk about those issues. The pulpit needs to be quiet. Just focus on the gospel.” Well, what is the gospel? The good news. What is the good news? That it saved a wretch like me. And a wretch like me wants to make a difference. How does the gospel not filter in all areas of life?
Now you see, I think here’s where we get confused. There are different callings. God’s going to call certain pastors to different callings. They won’t be as vocal as me, and that’s okay. That’s not their calling. But let’s not shoot each other. Let’s thank God for different giftings and different callings. That’s how we make a difference in our culture.
So Jude 3. We touched base on this last week. I actually had to drink some valerian root tea this morning to calm me down. I mean, did anyone watch the thunderous applause that took place when they voted that they can now abort children at nine months? And those who are still supporting a party, do you know what they tell me? “Oh, but Shane, there’s stuff in there. They can’t just do that.” It says they don’t even have to be a physician; they can do it even if the mother’s health is in jeopardy. What does that mean? “Doctor, I’m pretty depressed.” “Yeah, let’s remove it.” See, there are too many loopholes. This is a very slippery slope. But we often excuse things so we don’t have to live up to the reality of them.
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
That was last week, so make sure you listen to that. I’ll just tell you right now we’re not going to get through [all of it]. There’s so much. We’ll continue this next week because there’s so much I want to tell you.
For certain men. . .
Look at this. “They have crept in noticed and loud and vocal.” No? How do they creep in? How do the false teachers come in? Unnoticed. And they creep in, slowly, unnoticed. They’re not sounding their own alarm.
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness.
So all these people out there saying, “Enjoy sexual sin under the banner of ‘God is love’” are false proclaimers. It’s just the way it is. Anybody that uses God’s grace to continue in sin is not speaking according to God’s Word.
[They] turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
How do you deny God? What is he talking about? Well, if Christ died for me and my sin, yet I’m going to continue in sin, I’m denying what He did for me. So I’m going to continue in sin, perverted sin, and say, “But God is love. You’re the hater, Shane.” I’m the hater?
Please understand all these terms out there—hater, racist—all lies. It’s a media frenzy designed to cover up. One reason I know is I’ve told many of these people, “Let’s take a lie detector test. I’ll pay it. It’s $300 from a good company from L.A. Let’s see who the real hater is.” Nobody’s ever taken me up on that. “You’re a racist!”—lie detector test, and you can ask me if I’m a racist, if I hate certain things. I’m going to ask you if you hate Christians. Beep, beep, beep, beep! Let’s find out who the real hater is.
Many people are buying into the smokescreen. You can’t even wear a red hat unless you’re labelled a racist or a hater. I don’t have one. I don’t own one. I don’t plan on it. But see, that’s a lie from the pit of hell. If we’re not going to speak the truth to people, I don’t know who is going to do it. It’s sure not going to be these big churches who have a platform because they’re too worried about keeping that platform. I would love to see Joel Osteen preach this or Andy Stanley in Georgia. I would love to see these guys proclaim this. “But Shane, we’ll lose 25 percent of our audience.” Yep, you’re absolutely right. But you can go home and go to bed because you preached the Word of God. You can say, “I did what He called me to do.”
I told you I was going to get into trouble this morning.
So they crept in unnoticed. But you know, you get to the point where you’ve had enough. And my prayer has been “God,”—all morning, I prayed with my wife, I texted the prayer team—“I pray for boldness, but do not let me go beyond what You want me to say. I don’t want my opinion coming in. I don’t want frustration coming in. Lord, what do You want us to say?”
They crept in unnoticed. They’re so subtle, so nice. Some of you I shared this with, but the person who I was supposed to debate at the spirited debate decided to back out. But they were so nice. You watch the video, and they’re just so nice. I’ve been doing gay marriage for decades, and we just love, and they’re just such nice people. But you challenge them, and Dr. Jekyll turns into Mr. Hyde very quickly. See the false prophet will get upset and explode when challenged or exposed. It’s a façade. It’s fake. They turn the grace of our Lord into lewdness. That word lewdness, if you look at the Greek word for it, it means “very lustful.” God would call them out even in the Old Testament: “You are like lustful stallions neighing, desiring one another’s wives” (Jer. 5:8).
Do you know lust increases, or it can be quenched? Try fasting. Try stopping in your porn habit. Kick it. Kill it. Start looking at things that are godly. That fleshly desire will just fade. But you begin to feed it, and watch out. You begin to fuel it, watch out. I’ve been in meetings where they’ve discussed the pornography epidemic. They don’t even know what to do with it. As young as eleven years old. I think it was 85 to 90 percent of men will be addicted to porn by the time they marry after 2020. Because we’re feeding it. Lustful. And we turn God’s grace into an excuse to continue in it.
Here’s what false teaching would do. One way to discern it is it will draw you back to your old ways. It appeals to the flesh. Tell me what I want to hear. It pulls you back. Again, they say, “He is a God of love.” That’s going to be the big thing right now. “It’s a God of love; you’re a hater,” so they can continue in sin and cover it with an umbrella of love. I mean, doesn’t it sound good? Boy, oh yeah, I guess, yeah, He is a God of love. Just continue in your sin. I’m the hater. What Bible are you reading? What passages are you looking at?
You probably already know this, but the majority of the time—I want to say ten out of ten, but there’s maybe that one person—they don’t believe in the authority of God’s Word. That’s not their standard. Their standard is what? How I feel. How I feel. Nike slogan: Just do it. You hear people say, “Well, I don’t feel that’s right. I don’t feel this. I don’t feel this about. . .. I don’t feel.” Does it line up with Scripture?
Love is their cover. They say, “God loves you, but keep sinning. God loves you. He won’t judge you.” That is going to be the big thing right now because who can argue with that? If I am proclaiming just what the Bible says, I’m the hater, I’m the racist, I’m the hatemonger, I’m the homophobe. See how they get away with everything? Oh, just put it back on me, now you can continue with everything. All of those things are complete lies. All of them.
So here’s my personal application to you. Be very, very careful where you’re getting your information from. That’s why when people say, “Well, how can Christians be divided? How can Christians be divided? How?” Well, if you’re getting your information from the New York Times, CNN, Huffington Post, and the Washington Post, I can tell you why. You’re probably going in the wrong direction. You’re listening to the wrong things. Well, you listen to Fox News. No, I don’t. I haven’t in years. I listen to the Word of God. I listen to the Bible. Well, you read The Drudge Report. No, I don’t. Once in a while, I might pull up a clip or something.
But what does God’s Word say? That’s why there’s a big divide. They’re being swayed. The country is being swayed. They hate Trump because of a wall, but they don’t care that a ten-year-old boy is sitting with a naked man. Nobody says anything, and it’s promoted on Twitter. My God, America, wake up! A state legalizes murdering children at nine months. Why are people running from the Democratic party—running? You’re promoting Republicans. No, I’m not. Stay in the middle. I don’t care where you go, but you’ve got to get out of the culture of death. You don’t have to jump to the other side. Get in the middle.
I have issues with either side. That’s why I’m not political; I’m biblical. What does the Bible say? If Obama promoted marriage and was against abortion, I’d be his biggest fan. I love the man but not the principles. You’re going to light up the White House in LGBT colors but say nothing when police officers are slain? I’ve got a problem with that, and so should you. Interesting fact. Barna took a survey, and 90 percent of people in the churches want their pastor to talk about these issues. You know how many pastors do? Ten percent. Nickels and noses.
It does play on you though. I saw people walk into the church as I was in my office. And I said, “They’re not going to like this message.” That one’s definitely not going to like this message. That one rebukes me for being political. But I don’t care. I don’t care. I’m tired, sick and tired of people’s opinions telling me how to preach the Word of God. And you say, “But Shane, that’s harsh.” Jesus looked at religious leaders, and He said, “You whitewashed tombs. You are full of dead men’s bones. How dare you come in the house of God, you hypocrites.” Jesus! He made a cat of nine tails saying, “Get out of my Father’s house. You want Me to throw this over?” That’s what He did. He said, “My Father’s house is house of prayer; you’ve made it a den of thieves.” Why should we not say the church of the living God should be the voice of truth, the voice of hope, for those who have no voice? We must speak for those who cannot speak. We must declare what is right before God. If not us who? If not now, when?
Here’s the problem. When you say that politics shouldn’t be preached from the pulpit, maybe forty years ago, when we were talking about paving roads, when we were talking about union versus this, and [when we were talking about] wages. But now you’re talking about creating life to destroy it. Do you know we have representatives in our state who are going to make it illegal to say he and she? Driver’s licenses with an X. We have lost our minds. People say, “But Shane, those are strong things you’re saying.” Well, a strong attack requires a strong response. Yes, it is. And again, the more I pray, “God, no, no, no, no, not this morning. No, I want to stay on my notes. I want to stay my notes. No, no, no, no, no.”
Somebody in the New Testament got his head cut off for challenging the king. Jesus was killed because He challenged the religious system of his day. I mean, people have this impression of Jesus being just mild and meek and turning the other cheek. He was the epitome of boldness. A group was supposed to arrest Him; they came back without Him. They said, “What happened? Where is He?” They said, “No man ever spoke like this man.” With what? With authority, with power, with anointing, with unction through the Spirit of God. That’s actually what preaching should be. It shouldn’t be three points and a poem, and it shouldn’t be under thirty minutes because the crowd is getting bored. Well, if you were filled with the Spirit of God, they wouldn’t be bored. And we change things to fit our needs.
It’s interesting, though, in North Korea, they’re forced to listen to fake news. Here we long for it. They are forced to listen to propaganda. Here we are not forced. We willingly listen to the wrong things. So that’s my encouragement. Be very careful where you get your information from.
First Timothy 4:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy. (vv. 1–2)
If that is not what is going on, I don’t know what is.
having their own conscience seared with a hot iron
So people say, “How can this happen in New York?” Well, right there. By the way, New Jersey is not too far behind.
“With a hot iron.” I know why I can’t get off this topic. Because people are continuing to hide behind this excuse: “But, Shane, when a mom’s life is in jeopardy. . .” I’ve been watching clips of doctors who have been doctors for decades, and they say, “I’ve never seen a case with babies at nine months where the mom’s life is in jeopardy. And if it is, you can do something called a C-section.” Be very careful where you’re getting information from. You should never get your information from opinion polls and from secular media. What does God’s Word say? And apart from Jesus Christ returning and governing, you are going to have flawed people in office. So the question you have to ask is what type of America are we leaving our children? What principles line up with God’s Word the best they can?
forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
So in a nutshell, a false prophet will deny what God allows and has created. Here’s how God made you: male and female. They’ll deny that. They deny what God has done. And again, they encourage sin. This is actually very easy. A certain type of false prophet will always encourage sin. You will not hear them say the words “Repent—you need to repent and turn from your sin.” Now don’t hold me to this, I’m talking about the majority, but if you hear them say, “You need to repent and turn from your sin and turn to God; let Him save you because there’s a judgment coming,” they’re probably not a false prophet unless they fall into the camp of “but now you’ve got to do this and do this. Now you’ve got to follow me all the time. Now you’ve got to buy me a car. Now you’ve got to come to church every day.” See, all these rules. Be careful there too.
So I’m going to fast forward to next week and just read verse 16.
These [false prophets] are grumblers, complainers.
This could be headlines. No matter whom you listen to. This could be headlines. Grumblers, complainers, walking what? According to their own lusts.
These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.
What is “great swelling words”? I’m such and such. I’m a professor of theological studies at whatever. I have a master’s degree in church history. I’m flattering you. You all are dressed so nice today. You look so good. You’re so happy. Let’s just have a good service where we don’t talk about bad things. We’re going to have a Mr. Rogers service. Flattery. Doesn’t that sound good? I’ve accomplished this, and I’ve accomplished that. So great swelling words, flattering people. But they also change according to their audience.
I’m just going to tell you something. It’s in the news. It’s a big deal. I’m actually glad our president gave in and stopped the shutdown—personal opinion. But so many people are making this wall a big deal. Go back and listen to Obama, Joe Biden. I can give you a list of dozens of Democrats who said the same thing: Build it, build it, build it, secure our borders. But what now? The people say. . . Oh, people, opinions. Opinions have shifted, so let me shift what I’m saying. Why not call that out? Why not say what I just said? They shifted. If anybody else shifts on either side, we’ll call them shifters. Either side. But, see, great swelling words.
What they do is they look at opinion polls. So they have no moral fortitude—I’m talking about people in general. They don’t have boldness. They don’t have a truth as their standard, so they’ll shift. Gay marriage is not popular. Okay, well, I’d better be against it. Guess what? Now it’s popular. I’d better be for it. What does the Bible say? You can stand on that as the ground of truth. They deny Jesus. They refuse to admit the truth or existence of Him.
If you plan on emailing me later, don’t because I’m not in the mood for negative emails. People send letters, they don’t put their name, they don’t sign it, they don’t put the phone number. They’re a bunch of cowards. Or they work through other people: “Tell Shane this.” No, you tell me. You tell me. You man up. You come to me face to face. You tell me.
My tea this morning said calm. It was calm. It had valerian root and dandelion in it. I said, “Lord,” and I’m not trying to joke, but I spent time with God this morning, hours, praying, “Lord, I don’t want this to be me. Are you putting this on my heart?” Because if the real Shane Idleman came out, I’d just tell everyone what you want to hear. I could build this church ten times this size just being nice to people. There wouldn’t be a lot of spirit-filled believers there because people will run to a church where you encourage sin.
First John 4:1:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits.
This is something I forgot to tell you. They deny Jesus. They refuse to admit the truth or existence of Him. They also do this: they avoid dialogue at any cost. Do you think people on the other side ever want to sit down with me and look at what the Word of God says? Rarely. This is why people back out of interviews. They don’t want to dialogue. What they want to do is spew their agenda and not be challenged. But the Word of God says we invite scrutiny. Remember we talked about this last week? This invites scrutiny. Let’s sit down together. Let’s look at this. Because we have a wonderful advantage. All we’re called to do is to proclaim the truth. We don’t have to change this, we don’t have to flip-flop. Here’s what this says: you’re defending the truth. That’s how you debate with the truth, and people don’t want to hear that. They avoid that.
Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
How do you test the spirits? See, [it says] “many,” and they’re still here today.
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.
I talked more about that last week. Listen to last week’s message on different cults that are here in the United States.
and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
Something that people forget. They use this word antichrist, and they’re looking for a person. The word antichrist is “against Christ.” So there’s an antichrist spirit, things that are against Christ. So those who don’t say that Jesus was the Son of God, fully God, fully man, the deity of Christ, came as a sacrifice for my sin, basically they say He is something different than what the Bible says. That’s a false prophet. They don’t have the Spirit of God in them. A person who has Spirit of God has to say who He is. That’s a true spokesman for God.
But it says here “test every spirit.” Test it. How do you test it? How do you test a counterfeit? What do you do? You look at the original. I think it was Josh McDowell in one of his books, about twenty years ago, made a great point that people who work in banks don’t sit there all day and look at counterfeit money. They study the original. That’s all they need to know. The twenty [dollar bill] has this, has this, has these numbers here. They just look at the original. So that’s how you test every spirit. Does it line up with God’s Word?
I see so many people just caving in. Well, you know what, but these people love each other. Gay marriage is okay. But what does God’s Word say? If we took time, we could start in Genesis where He created them male and female. Jesus confirmed it. You can look in Corinthians, you can look in Romans, you can look in Galatians, you can look in Leviticus, when He said it is an abomination for man to lay with a man. I am assuming that still stands. I’m assuming that’s still the Word of God.
And people say, “You’re being mean.” No, I’m offering hope, because you can tell people, “Hey, you struggle with that? I struggle with this, and they struggle with that, but I have the answer. It’s Christ.” They say, “But Shane, all these people are committing suicide who are transgender and are homosexual.” That’s right, because you’re not giving them hope. You’re not giving them any hope at all. You’re telling them falsehood. You’re born this way, embrace it. But they go home depressed and on Xanax, and they don’t know what’s going on. Because you cannot encourage people in their sin and expect them to sleep and have peace and joy. Peace and joy are only found by saying, “I have this sinful nature that I can’t get rid of. God, I give it to you. Christ, thank You for your sacrifice on the cross. Your redemptive work has set me free.”
But you might still struggle. There’s a big lie out there that people are set free of everything they’ve ever struggled with when they become a Christian. Not necessarily so. You’ll still struggle. Don’t we? For example, you’ve heard my testimony. I came out, in my younger years, of alcoholism. A cold beer sure still looks good. The flesh is still going, “Hey, Shane, why don’t you answer that door again?” Well, I’ve been set free. I shouldn’t have that feeling anymore. Somebody actually told me that once. Brother, if you’ve truly been saved, you should never. . . So that should look like a stick of broccoli to me? You sit at the pub and have a pint of IPA, and it looks like a piece of broccoli to me? Oh, see, now I’m hitting home. It’s a big lie.
That’s the thing they’re coming against with reparative therapy or whatever that’s called, where they say, “Christians believe that these desires can be vanished and gone.” Not all the time. Praise God that happens from time to time, but sometimes people still struggle until the day they die. Well, that’s depressing. No, because you have hope in Christ. Lord, help me. Get me through this. Galatians says this: “I marvel. I marvel,” and he’s talking to the church in Galatia:
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. (Gal. 1:6-7 KJV)
What is perverting the gospel of Christ? That word perversion means taking something straight and turning it from its intended course. So they’re perverting. In the case of Galatia, they were adding works, something like Jesus plus this equals salvation. They were turning from the simple gospel. That’s why Paul said, “Though, we [even the writers of the Bible] or an angel from above, preach to you any other gospel, let them be accursed.” Let them be accursed. What you need to do is mark that in your Bible. Galatians 1:6–9. Mark it, highlight it, and when a Mormon comes to your door. . . No, it’s not be meant to be funny. It’s truth. You show them. “Look. You know, your founder said he received a revelation from an angel, and that revelation is a lot different than the Bible. So here’s my dilemma.”
“What’s your dilemma?”
“I either have to believe Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ. They can’t both be right. One or the other is right.” See, you tell them right there. “Did you know that this is another gospel? You are preaching another gospel.” Paul uses strong language. “Let them be anathema, cursed by God, if you preach another gospel.” This is serious business. This is very serious business.
But it does beg the question, since I’m on this, do you need the gospel? Where are you at? I’m going to talk about the elephant in the room. I’m going to write about this, hopefully this week. The elephant in the room is this. Why is there a big moral divide in our nation? Why is there a divide between right and wrong, good and evil, truth and error? Why are even Christians divided? Shane, what in the world is going on? Well, no arguments are going to fix it. Nope. I’m well aware that no articles I write are going to fix it. You can have Ben Shapiro do three hundred interviews in a year, and that’s not going to fix it. You can try to put the right person, often it’s not going to fix it. The reason is this: you have a lost and dying world that does not know Jesus Christ. Of course their views differ from your views. Of course.
So the only hope is for Christ to come and save and redeem them. That’s the elephant in the room. So we can sit down, this side can talk to this side, and we can dialogue, go back and forth. Go on CNN, go on Fox, do all these things. The elephant in the room is that some do not know the gospel. They don’t have the spirit of the living God in them. That’s why they’ve drifted. That’s why I’m a hater, a hatemonger. All these names.
But calling me the names, then, deflects the real issue. That’s why there’s a moral divide. You have spirit-filled believers seeing what’s going on, and you have millions of people who have no clue. So they’re getting their information from a liberal media who is hell-bent on lying about whatever they can lie about, make up whatever they can make up, and they sway the opinions of people. That’s just the truth.
So in your life is Jesus the central, main, chief, fundamental, core focus of your life? Because when He is, there’ll be a lot more unity. That’s really what’s uniting people. It is hard because both parties are flawed. I didn’t want this to turn into everything I’m talking about, but both parties are flawed. There’s no question there. But there’s got to be a side who stands for this, who stands for this. Think about this: in World War II you had Scotch-drinking, crude Winston Churchill or Adolf Hitler. You had to choose a side. People have got to make a decision. Where are we at?
What they’re doing is they’re putting all of these topics on the same priority list. It’s like me saying, priority wise, “Should I remain faithful to my wife, or should I pay my DMV registration?” But that’s what we do. We hate this guy because of this, but we don’t care that they are slaughtering innocent children. Where are your priorities?
I’m halfway done. I’ll save it for next week, but something that always stands out to me, and you might think, “Boy, he’s upset.” I’m really not. I’m sad, and when you’re sad, you are passionate. What I’m sad about is there are many people, even on Facebook, Twitter, all these things, who they don’t like what I’m saying, but guess what? They’re Christians, or so they say. Now I don’t doubt that some are just—and I was going to get to that—I want to let you know that a confused pastor or a confused person is not always a false teacher. They’re just confused or immature. They don’t have all the information. I’m not talking about that. My concern is these people who claim to be Christians but know nothing about Christian principles.
Jesus said, “Many of you draw nigh unto Me, but your hearts are far from me.” Matthew 7; read it tonight. He said, “Many will come to Me in that day, and say, ‘But Lord, but Lord, we did all these things in Your name.” I knew You intellectually. I thought you were a God of love. And He will look at them—I can’t even imagine the look. Can you imagine on the day of judgment, you’re there, “But Jesus. . .” What’s the facial expression when He has to say, “Depart from Me. I don’t even know you. I don’t even know you”? How is that possible? Of course He knows about you, and you know about Him, but do you truly have a relationship with Him? Have you repented of your sin and believed in the gospel and been saved and been set free?
Now there are, I know personally, believers in both political parties. I’m convinced. I’m not saying every person. What I’m saying is be careful. This isn’t about politics. This is about do you truly know Christ, because that’s the elephant in the room that we’re talking about. If I told Fox News that I want to go and tell people the real reason is because most of them don’t know their Savior—“Nope, nope, you’re not going on.” We keep avoiding the elephant in the room. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, we did all these things in Your name.’” They did things in His name. “But I don’t know you. I don’t know you. You didn’t stand for what is right. You didn’t repent of your sin. You continued in it. You were arrogant. You were condescending. You didn’t have the Spirit of God in you. You knew about Me. You had intellectual knowledge. People told you about Me. You thought you had that relationship with Me, but I don’t know you intimately. I don’t know you as that person who would cry out to me in the morning and pray and worship and turn from their sin and confess and look to Me. I don’t know you.”
If I were to be honest, that’s where my big concern is. It’s not about political parties. It’s not about politics. It’s not about these things that are sometimes controversial. It’s about millions and millions and millions of Americans thinking they’re on the narrow road to salvation, and they’re on the broad road to destruction. That’s the truth. [The apostle] John said those who say they know Him and do not do His commandments are a liar and the truth is not in them. You cannot say, “But, Shane, it’s all about love,” and think that it’s no big deal to slaughter innocent children.
I just it read this morning. God has a good way of confirming things when I ask. I opened to the book of Nahum. He’s pronouncing judgment on Assyria, and he said, “Oh, you bloody city. You’ve got the blood of innocent people on your hands, you hypocrites and you robbers.” Is that not the nation we are in? You hypocrites. What does that mean? Because there are many people saying, coming after those who proclaim truth, that we’re the hypocrites, but remember a hypocrite is intentionally deceiving others. They use God for their own gain. They continue in sin and don’t repent. They allow the grace of God to foster and fuel lewdness.
And I love people enough to tell them the truth. In case you’re wondering, because I point out with the LGBT community, with the gay community, with those committing adultery, those in fornication, those who are hooked on alcohol, those who hooked on Xanax, I love them all. But the message is the same no matter the sin. I actually talked to a gay man in Palm Springs a few years ago, maybe nearly forty-five minutes. I missed my lunch with my wife. I just listened to him and he said, “I’ve never had anybody explain that to me that way.” I said, “Let’s say you’re right that the gay lifestyle is okay. How are you going to handle all this other sin?” They don’t have an answer.
No matter what the sin, the answer is the same. No matter what the struggle is, the answer is the same. Christ’s redemptive work on the cross. What can wash away my sin? Don’t leave me hanging. Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can wash. . . (I’ll wait till Brant comes up, because I’m going to ruin that.)
But I didn’t want people to misunderstand, because the motive of my heart is love. If it was anger, I wouldn’t deal with God every morning and say, “Lord, I don’t want to speak that. I don’t want to speak that.” I remember His call to Jeremiah: “You go to whom I send you. You speak what I put in your mouth. You pull down and you root out. You destroy.” Strong language. What’s He talking about? You root out, and you pull down sin. You pull down the the power of darkness. And then he said, “Jeremiah, then you’ll build up. Then you’ll encourage.”
If any of you are wondering if this is on, and you have time to read a lot of the Old Testament, just go read the introduction to the Old Testament prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zachariah, Haggai, Malachi. They’re telling you exactly what I told you this morning: turn from sin and turn to God. It’s the same message. Same message today. What makes us think we’re going to come up with some new truth?