Week 8 | Knock Off Jesus
Weather | Warm and Humid
4 Pax continued the book study at Adventure Park at 6:15 for the eighth week of Killing Kryptonite.
The reading assignment was chapters 17-19.
Knock Off Jesus
- How would you feel if your spouse did not want to be in your presence?
- How would you feel if your spouse only wanted to communicate to you through others?
- In Exodus, Israel built a calf and worshiped it as Yahweh. Can today’s church do the same thing?
Chapter 17 – Misguided
Ephesians 5:5-7 (NIV) For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
- No covetous idolaters will inherit the kingdom of heaven.
- Idolatry is not limited to statues, altars and temples.
Ezekiel 14:4 (NLT) “Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols”‘
Answers will be given according to the multitude of your idols.
2 Timothy 4:2-3 (NLT) Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.
- That time is now.
- To Love is to correct, rebuke, and encourage.
The Story of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 18)
- Jehoshaphat allied himself (through marriage) to Ahab (idolater)
- Ahab convinced Jehoshaphat to attack Syria
- Jehoshaphat wanted to go to God 1st, so he summoned 400 ministers and leaders.
- All 400 were trained to give positive messages only and said to go ahead.
- Micaiah spoke the truth. “As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what my God says.”
- Micaiah explained: The Lord asked the spirits (400 leaders) to persuade Ahab to fight, so he would be killed.
- Ahab ignored Micaiah and received the message he wanted to hear, and was killed in battle
- Many Christians only want to hear words that make them feel good.
- Pursue the truth. Ask God to speak His truth about your life.
Chapter 18 – A Knockoff Jesus
The Story of The Golden Calf (Exodus 32)
- God was excited to meet his people after hundreds of years in captivity.
- The people did not want God to speak to them, they trembled with fear.
- God must have been disappointed.
- God then established a priesthood for communication (Aaron).
- Aaron somehow does not make it back up the mountain with Moses.
- God told Moses to return to his people, they have corrupted themselves.
- There had to be accountability for their actions.
- Much of the West is jaded against Christianity because there’s little difference between Christians and the world.
- Following Jesus costs us everything, in that our lives are submitted to God.
- Reflect on the true calling of Christianity.
Chapter 19 – The Starting Place
As Christians we proclaim we are saved by grace through faith and make claim to all of the blessings promised in the New Testament, but are we neglecting the importance of meekness, holiness, sexual purity, and abstinence from other sins such as pornography?
Acts 20:26-27 (NLT) I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, 27 for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know.
- If we avoid sharing the uncomfortable teachings of the New Testament, we cant say like Paul: “If anyone suffers eternal death, it is not my fault.”
- Is the converse true?
- What are some examples of Knockoff Jesus figures in our Western Culture?
- Are these wayward gospels a result of lack of repentance?
Acts 20:20-21 (NLT) I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes. 21 I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.
The first step is repentance.
Mark 1:4-5 (NIV) And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
- John the Baptists ministry is at the beginning of the New Testament, not the end of the Old Testament.
- John’s message of repentance is the starting place of the New Testament gospel.
- John’s first words are the same as Jesus’ first instructions: Repent.
- There is no placing our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, unless there is first repentance from sin.
James 1:22 (NIV) But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
As leaders, do we assume seekers will just figure this out?
- New Testament: There is no salvation without repentance from sin.
- Communicators need to make their most important topics crystal clear. God makes this crystal clear. Repentance.
- Ask God to show you one specific action you can introduce into your life in response to how importance it is to repent.
- The next week’s reading assignment is Chapters 20-21.
- Please read through Chapter 21 (no more than one chapter per day) by next Saturday 8/18.
Thought for the week:
Is there a difference between repentance in the Old Testament vs the New Testament? Are there commandments in the New Testament?