SermonFalse Ministry
An all-creatures Bible Message

False Ministry
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
29 April 2018
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Luke 6:1-11
Acts 8:1-13

False ministry is any ministry that deviates from the teachings of Jesus and the heavenly will of God.
 
Most often, false ministry originates from the clergy themselves, but sometimes weak clergy follow the dictates of their church, even though they know it is counter to the heavenly will of God.
 
Many years ago, we began seeing a retired pastor and his wife from another denomination coming to our church services; and after seeing them for several weeks, I asked them why they came to our church instead of one of their own denomination, and he said that his church didnít want their clergy speaking about sin, and youíre not afraid to talk about it.
 
The real problem was that the pastor of that church was more afraid of losing his job than he was of not teaching the whole truth about the Lord, and that each and every one of us needs to have a truly repentant spirit.
 
Or, perhaps this pastor really doesnít know the Lord, and believes like the world that people just want to have their ears tickled instead of really touching the peopleís hearts and souls with the truth, even when it hurts.
 
True ministry teaches the word of God, and false ministry, by leaving out the whole truth, is actually teaching the ways of the devil and the corrupt ways of this world.
 
In Luke 6:1-11, we are also told about false ministry in the Temple and the surrounding countryside in the days of JesusÖ

1. Now it came about that on a certain Sabbath He was passing through some grainfields; and His disciples were picking and eating the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands.
 
2. But some of the Pharisees said, "Why do you do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?"

Was what the disciples were doing really unlawful, or had the Pharisees and other religious leaders twisted the truth about what God really wanted in order to lord it over the people?
 
Letís see.

3. And Jesus answering them said, "Have you not even read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him,
 
4. how he entered the house of God, and took and ate the consecrated bread which is not lawful for any to eat except the priests alone, and gave it to his companions?"

Jesus knew that the Pharisees considered David to be a man after Godís own heart, and as a result they would not condemn Davidís actions.
 
Godís grace covers these situations.

5. And He was saying to them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." 

In other words, Jesus was telling them the way that God really wanted them to view the Sabbath.
 
And letís not forget about the billions of animals that suffer and die every year for human gluttony that even the Temple of that time, and the churches of today participate in with their feasts and the message they send to the people about not having empathy for the animals and many people who are different from them.
 
Letís go on.

6. And it came about on another Sabbath, that He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
 
7. And the scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely, to see if He healed on the Sabbath, in order that they might find reason to accuse Him.

We can really see their hardness of heart and false ministry in this statement, for only God can do these kinds of healing, yet they still wanted to use such a healing to accuse Jesus.

8. But He knew what they were thinking, and He said to the man with the withered hand, "Rise and come forward!" And he rose and came forward.
 
9. And Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good, or to do harm, to save a life, or to destroy it?"

We believe that they didnít answer, because they really knew the truth that Jesus was doing these healings by the power of God.

10. And after looking around at them all, He said to him, "Stretch out your hand!" And he did so; and his hand was restored.
 
11. But they themselves were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.
NASB

We also believe that they were filled with rage because they knew that to do good and to save a life was what God wanted everyone to do, whether those who were helped were humans or animals.
 
This just highlights their false ministry and hardness of heart.
 
In Acts 8:1-13, we are told that Paul [Saul] started off with this same kind of hardness of heart and false ministry.

1. And Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him [Stephen] to death.
And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
 
2. And some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him.

False ministry all too often results in evil and violent acts, such as the stoning of Stephen, and the horrible indifference to the suffering and death of animals, and as weíve said before, these acts all too often stem from clergy and churches.

3. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house; and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.

Unless it is stopped, the evil keeps expanding.

4. Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.

Even with all this evil in the world, the truth cannot be stopped; we cannot give up just because of the cruelty we see all around us; we need to expand our efforts, because no matter how bleak things may seem on the surface, someone will hear and change.
 
And as we know, even Saul changed when he heard the Lord speak to him on the Damascus Road, and he became the apostle Paul.
 
Everyone can change if they want to and become the peacemaking children of God who help to free creation from its present corruption.

5. And Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them.
 
6. And the multitudes with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing.

Even without some dramatic signs, some people will listen, because they see the truth in us, and see that we live the life that we talk about.
 
This is what it means to be living in the heavenly will of God.

7. For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed.
 
8. And there was much rejoicing in that city.

We may not be able to perform these kinds of dramatic miracles, but we can definitely perform other smaller miracles by helping to end the violence and corruption in the world around us that causes millions of human beings and billions of other animals to suffer and die every year.

9. Now there was a certain man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city, and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great;
 
10. and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, "This man is what is called the Great Power of God."

It is obvious to us that Simon had a false ministry, even though many people may have believed in him.
 
A true ministry is conducted in the heavenly will and power of God, and not by the will of any person.
 
And we still have charlatans in the church ministry today, because most people really donít seek to discern what is being said and done against the heavenly will of God.

11. And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts.

Notice the way the people give homage to Simon because of his magic arts and not because he is a man of God.

12. But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.

We hope and pray that we all can see the differences between Philipís ministry and Simonís ministry.

13. And even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip; and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed.
NASB

Yes, Simon was amazed, but as we are told in the Bible, he really only wanted to be able to perform the signs and miracles that Philip was doing, and not willing to allow God to work through him, even if they werenít as dramatic.
 
If our ministry is true, then people will see it and believe just as they did with Philip.
 
Amen.

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