There is Such a Thing as False

There is falsehood . . .

Several English words begin with the prefix pseud- from a Greek word meaning “false.” A pseudointellectual pretends he is smarter than he is. A pseudonym disguises the author’s true identity.

The New Testament, written in Greek, uses several pseud- words: false Christs (pseudokristos), false apostles (pseudapostolos), false prophets (pseudoprophētēs), false teachers (pseudodidaskalos).

These are Satan’s agents, deceiving those who fall for their lies, so they will be lost (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).

And there is truth!

Like the Bereans (Acts 17:10-12), let’s use the Scriptures to compare what we hear with what God has already revealed as the truth.

It is the truth that saves (John 8:32).  “. . . no lie (pseudos) is of the truth” (1 John 2:21).

Beware of the pseuds!

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Whole Story

On the road to Emmaus

The two disciples didn’t recognize the stranger who joined them on their journey (Luke 24:13-16; Mark 16:12).

They sadly informed him about the crucifixion and the empty tomb.

They told him about the women who said angels had announced His resurrection.

And yet the two disciples couldn’t bring themselves to believe it.

They spoke of Jesus as one “who was a prophet mighty in deed and word . . . . But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel” (vv. 19, 21—emphasis added).

In their minds Jesus was dead.

Their “Aha!” moment

When they finally recognized the stranger as Jesus, their sadness was dispelled by joy, their despair by hope.

Now they had good news to share!

His resurrection gives meaning to everything.

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Seeing Clearly

Before and after

I complimented my 95-year-old friend on her coat. She said it was like new to her.

Earlier, she had thought it was brown with tan trim. She wouldn’t believe it when people called it purple.

Cataract surgery made her a believer. She could then see it was a purple coat with lavender trim.

From darkness to light

Is it possible to have spiritual “cataracts”? Yes, and far worse!

Satan “has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ . . .” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

One who turns to Christ is “called . . . out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9; see Acts 26:18).

What a blessing to see as we’ve never seen before!

Got cataracts?

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Direction of Influence

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The peril of proximity

The box we used to store cough and cold medicine on our closet shelf had originally contained a famous brand of chocolate-covered peanuts. On the box was printed this warning: “Do not store near heat, soaps, perfumes, disinfectants, oil products, or other articles with strong odors.”

Imagine eating candy with the scent of ammonia or Stetson cologne!

Isn’t that why we don’t put a cut onion in the frig, uncovered? Onions are, shall we say, influential?

Maintaining distinctiveness

How easy it is for us to soak up our surroundings!

“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’” (1 Corinthians 15:33; see 1 Kings 11:1-11).

God wants His people to make a positive impact on society, not the other way around (Matthew 5:13-16; Philippians 2:15).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Where We Were Meant to Be

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Out of place

The earthworms sought relief from the rain-soaked ground—in the foyer of our church building!

One that had crawled almost to the auditorium was mostly dried up and probably dead.

Church carpets and central heat are not worm-friendly.

From an overly wet environment into an overly dry one, this worm was out of its element.

In place

What’s our element—spiritually?

The Prodigal left home in search of pleasure. But after the famine struck, home began looking mighty good!

God created us to enjoy His fellowship, but also gave us freedom to choose.

What our lower nature craves is ultimately self-destructive, and what may seem too costly is the path to supreme joy.

Within God’s will is where we were meant to be.

And the sooner we come in, the better.

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What Does Jesus’ Resurrection Prove?

1) It proves His identity.

Jesus was “declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead…” (Romans 1:4).

2) It proves His integrity.

Jesus repeatedly predicted His resurrection (Matthew 12:40; 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:18-19; 26:32). If He had not been risen, could He be trusted?

3) It proves the validity of Old Testament prophecy.

Centuries beforehand, God predicted through the prophets He would raise Jesus (Psalm 16:10; Luke 24:44-46).

4) It proves the certainty of the coming Judgment.

God “has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31, emphasis added).

God said He would raise Jesus, then He did.

So when God says Jesus will judge the world, shouldn’t we believe it—and prepare?

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Evidences for the Faith

What evidence is there for believing: 1) God exists, 2) Jesus is His Son, and 3) the Bible is His word?

God exists

“. . . His invisible attributes . . . have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Jesus is His Son

The apostles witnessed the risen Christ, maintaining their testimony despite severe persecution.

The Bible is His word

Old Testament prophets predicted Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection centuries beforehand (1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

No legend or myth

Much more evidence could be cited. In Peter’s words, “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales . . . but we were eyewitness of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16; see Acts 2:24-32; 3:20-24; 10:38-41).

Peter believed the faith is defensible.

And he was right.

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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