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SermonPeople Blinding Themselves
An all-creatures Bible Message

People Blinding Themselves
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
1 January 2017
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Matthew 15:1-20
Ephesians 6:10-12

People blinding themselves to the heavenly will of God and the corrupt and evil ways of this world has been a problem that has plagued the human race for thousands of years.
 
In opposition to this, all through the ages God has preserved a remnant that does see the truth and who help open the eyes and hearts and souls of the rest of the world to see it, too.
 
If the shepherds had not heeded the message of the angels and gone to the baby Jesus in the stable where He was born, where would the world be today?
 
If the magi had not followed the star from Babylon to Israel to see the savior of the world, where would the world be today?
 
We believe the world would be a lot worse off.
 
When we see the light of the truth, we need to take action, even if we see the rest of the people blinding themselves to the truth.
 
We are not to be afraid.
 
We have heard a lot of people make a New Yearís resolution, but very few of them really carry forward on their resolution in the coming year.
 
We have heard a lot of people profess their faith but, for the most part, churches and clergy have also blinded themselves to the truth, and have become blind guides to the blind parishioners.
 
Letís think about these things as we look at Matthew 15:1-20Ö

1. Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying,

The scribes and the Pharisees are like the clergy and religious leaders of today.
 
Think about this as we continue with our scripture reading for today.

2. "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread."

Isnít this kind of nit-picking question typical of the people blinding themselves to the heavenly will of God?
 
Such people fail to see their own ungodly acts, which is why Jesus pointed out their hypocrisy to the people gathered around Him.

3. And He answered and said to them, "And why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
 
4. "For God said, 'Honor your father and mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.'
 
5. "But you say, 'Whoever shall say to his father or mother, ďAnything of mine you might have been helped by has been given to God," 
 
6. he is not to honor his father or his mother.' And thus you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

These same kinds of things are happening all over the world in many religions, which is the reason the world is filled with warring madness and indifference to the suffering of animals.

7. "You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
 
8. 'This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
 
9. 'But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' "

Isnít this very similar to what is happening in the world today?
 
This is the problem we face, as well as the challenge to help end these hypocritical ways of living; we are to bring Godís heavenly will to earth as it is in heaven.
 
God calls us to be peacemaking children of God, who live in His heavenly will and do everything in their power to free creation from its present corruption with all its pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death.
 
Havenít we heard some clergy proclaiming from the pulpit how wonderful hunting and fishing are, when they know that they are causing millions of animals to suffer and die?
 
They are hardening the hearts and souls of their parishioners to be indifferent to the suffering of animals.
 
Havenít we all seen churches and other religious institutions promoting the eating of animals through their fund raisers?
 
They also know that their actions are causing animals to suffer and die for their greed.
 
This is just another example of people blinding themselves to the truth and further corrupting creation.
 
They are working against Godís heavenly will.

10. And after He called the multitude to Him, He said to them, "Hear, and understand. 
 
11. "Not what enters into the mouth defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man." 
 
12. Then the disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?"

The disciples are looking at the worldly things before their eyes; they are not seeing that the Pharisees are people blinding themselves from the spiritual truth before them, and they are falling into the same worldly trap.

13. But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be rooted up. 

In other words, He is telling the disciples and us that the Pharisees and most of the clergy today are planting falsehoods in the minds of the people, and that God will root them out.
 
Then Jesus says something very interestingÖ

14. "Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit." 

Those who spread falsehoods and those who listen to them and follow them are people blinding themselves from the truth, and they are not going to listen to us telling them the truth, so we should not argue with them, but just set a Godly example before them.
 
Listen to what Paul tells us about people like this in Ephesians 6:10-12Ö

10. Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.

In other words, itís not our strength that really makes a difference, but itís the strength of the Lord that goes with us that makes the difference.

11. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

The falsehoods that the Pharisees spread and that many clergy are spreading today are not from God but from the devil; such as the false things they say about Godís intent, like itís okay to be further corrupting creation as it is with hunting, fishing, and eating animals; for we should know that we are to be helping to free creation from its present corruption and not add to it.
 
This is why we are toldÖ

12. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
NASB

We are not to be fighting against other people; we are to be fighting against the spiritual forces of evil that these people are listening to.
 
We need to live a Godly life in the heavenly will of God as an example before others as a witness, and then and only then will what we say be believed by people who are open to hearing the truth.
 
Keep these things in mind as we return to our Matthew passageÖ

15. And Peter answered and said to Him, "Explain the parable to us."
 
16. And He said, "Are you still lacking in understanding also?

In other words, donít be like the people blinding themselves to the truth of God.

17. "Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?
 
18. "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.
 
19. "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.
 
20. "These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man."
NASB

Jesus is talking spiritually, for the Pharisees only washed their hands as a ritual, and not to help the people of their day, for they did not understand about bacteria and the diseases that can come from them.
 
However, our modern day clergy should understand these things, and the fact that eating animal products causes people to suffer from all kinds of chronic diseases.
 
A vital part of loving our neighbor, whether human or non-human, is to help protect them from harm, so when people spread falsehoods about God wanting us to kill and eat animals, we should know that such a statement must be a scheme of the devil, for it causes both humans and other animals to suffer.
 
Donít be like the people blinding themselves from the truth of God.
 
Be a peacemaking child of God who lives in His heavenly will.
 
If we do this consistently, we will help free creation from its present corruption, and help make this a more peaceful world.
 
Amen.

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