Sunday Message 4/23/17
Hearers or Doers… Which One Are We?
“Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it”.
In today’s Church there are thousands of messages preached every Sunday morning, but has anyone ever stopped to analyze what messages are actually being preached? In this message I am asking everyone to put aside their doctrines and beliefs just for a few minutes and listen to a few things that may help us all live the lives we are called to live by Christ and things that will protect us from deception.
I would like to first focus on the hearers because many people think they are doers but they are not and hearers fall into three major groups. The first group of “hearers” love to run to this meeting or that meeting to get a “word” from God for their lives while most of the time their Bibles remain shut at home or they read a little of it once in awhile. The second group of hearers go to Church on Sunday to get a pep talk from their pastor or to catch up on the latest gossip, and then wait until the following Sunday to get another pep talk from him or catch up on the latest “news” with their friends. The last group of hearers turn on the TV to hear some “Dr. Feelgood” message from their favorite TV preacher so they can get through the day. Sadly, all three groups of hearers all have one thing in common and that is they never read the Word to make sure whatever is being preached or taught is actually in the Word of God. This failure has caused many Christians to become deceived and this is why we are told in 2 Timothy 2:15 to “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. This is not a request or something we should do once in awhile, but this is a daily activity that we need to do so that we can never be deceived? No you say? Lets read on “But shun profane and vain babblings for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus. Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure having this seal the Lord knows them that are his. And, let everyone that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:16-19). We are first told that we are to study to show ourselves approved and then Paul goes on to talk about two Christians named Hymenaeus and Philetus who concerning the TRUTH have ERRED and they overthrew the FAITH of some of the believers. This is how SERIOUS this situation is, and I do not take it likely when I speak on these things because the final eternity of many people hang in the balance. These two men Paul said not only erred in the truth but they overthrew the faith of fellow Christians which means they caused other Believers to fall as well. I will admit that back in the day I believed in many of these false teachers, but when God showed me HIS word and their lies I had to make the choice whether I was going to be a doer or a hearer and this is a choice we all have to make every day. We must remember that hearing the Word is not enough and everyone who falls into any of these three categories of “hearers” needs to wake up because the time is short. It is sad that Christians have become so lazy that not many actually test what they hear against what God’s Word says. I know many like to think their favorite TV preacher is living the Word, but when you put the Word against their doctrine and their lifestyle they just don’t add up. So what life does God say we are to be living?
In Matthew 19:16-22 we see Jesus conversing with a rich young ruler, and Jesus told him if him that he wanted to have eternal life that he must keep all the commandments. In response the young man replied that he had kept all the commandments since his youth, so what did he still “lack”? Jesus reply was stunning because he told him to “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Verses 21-22). The word perfect here is the Greek word “teleios” which carries the meaning of finished, consummate human integrity & virtue, and to be full grown and mature. In other words, the young man had done well keeping the commandments but he was still inwardly selfish and apparently his “possessions” meant more to him that God so when he was to sell it all he walked away.
Next in Luke 9:57-58 we read this “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goes. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head”. When this person came to Jesus and proclaimed he would follow Jesus anywhere Jesus replied that he doesn’t even have a place to lay his head. Following Christ is not a “Johnny-Feelgood” lifestyle. In addition, Paul said he wanted to know Christ in the fellowship of his sufferings and in another passage said that all who live holy WILL suffer persecution. Does this sound like the garbage they are preaching on TV? Finally Jesus himself said this “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). I know that many people “think” they are denying themselves for Christ but we must understand what the word deny here actually means. The Greek word used here for deny is “aparneomai” which carries the meaning of “forgetting one’s self, lose sight of one’s own interests, and to disown one’s self”. In other words, this denial is NOT some milky toast walk with Christ but an utter abandonment of our goals, interests, ambitions, likes, dislikes, and everything else about ourselves that make us who we are. How many of you hear this being preached from your pulpit? This is the REAL Gospel message that needs to be taught because the Churches are full of hearers who are going to bust hell wide open if we don’t get this message to them.
I understand that many people want to think that their favorite TV speakers are doers of the Word we must ask this question… Are they? They will say, “Well look at how God has blessed them”, and my reply to this is really? Do they not realize that SATAN can send blessings? No you say? In Matthew 4:8-9 it says that “…the devil took him (Jesus) up into an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me”. Apparently the devil can give Christians things because if not then how did he offer the Son of God all the kingdoms of the world??? Another group of people will come up with the argument that “If they are NOT of God then why do they have so much money and material possessions”? Well if we use that logic then Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Donald Trump are some of the most spiritual people on the planet right?. However, what does God’s Word say about this because at the end of the day our feelings or opinions mean NOTHING if they cannot be backed up by God’s Word. 1Timothy 6:5 tells us that “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself”. See it? It says those of “corrupt minds” and “destitute of the truth” suppose that “Gain Is Godliness”, and we are to WITHDRAW ourselves from them. Can this get any clearer? The Greek word for gain here is “porismos” which means acquisition and is a derivative of the Greek word “poros” which means procuring and getting money. Once again, can this get any clearer? So if we read it with those definitions it would read like this “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that procuring goods or getting money is godliness: from such withdraw thyself”. The Bible cannot be any clearer yet the followers of these false teachers will STILL stand up for them.
One of these false teachers did an interview with a paper and in that interview they actually said that they were “living in their reward NOW” and sadly it could be the only reward they will ever get. The Bible CLEARLY says we are to withdraw ourselves from people like this and it clearly teaches in the Bible about “procuring things and money” except to help others is wrong so are you going to start being a doer of God’s Word or just blow this off as the writings of a madman? You see these false teachers are so easy to spot, but many people cannot see it because they have been deceived by them for so long that they are blind to what they are doing and what they are doing is shearing God’s sheep.
If you look at a lot of their ministries you will see that these false teachers named their ministries after themselves. Come to the (Insert Name) Ministry meeting tonight and get a “Touch From God”, and of course the offering is always taken first. If not then they usually us a catchy “name”, but their real name is splattered everywhere on their advertising so it points to them. In case you do not understand this concept it is known in the advertising world as branding. This is what Bill Gates did with “Microsoft” and what Steve Jobs did with “Apple” so branding is nothing new. If these people were so of “God” then why do they have to have THEIR name on every bit of advertising that they do? If these people are so of God why do they always ask people to send THEM money? Is there any place in the New Testament where Peter, Paul, or anyone else did this? Absolutely NOT! Remember what Paul said? “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one says, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:3-6). Do you see it? Paul took NO credit for anything, and he didn’t go around doing the “Apostle Paul” ministry or the “Apostle Paul Tent Meeting”. Yet today millions of Christians have no issue sending these false teachers God’s money or running to their meetings when they are in town so I must you why? The answer is that they believe that if they “sow” enough “seed” that God will reward them for their “sowing”. However, if you are sowing into the ministry of a false teacher or sowing into anything with the goal of getting what the false teacher has it will never happen unless of course satan wants to send you a little money here and there to keep you in deception. Let me ask you this, with all your “sowing” have you even gotten CLOSE to the amount of “blessing” that your favorite preacher has attained? Why not, doesn’t the Word of God say that God is not a respecter of person’s? So why don’t you have what they have? The point is they are lying to you and you will NEVER reach their level of “blessing” unless you brand yourself and start selling the Word of God for profit just like they are doing. If the red flags are not going off in your spirit then there is a real possibility that you are already in deception.
The following is an example of one of these false teachers’s life…
This false teacher has it pretty cushy and they know it. First, they give themselves and their spouse a whooping salary of $650,000 a year and this is just for having the title of “Pastor” even though the Word of God says that they cannot be a pastor. Next, a few years back this person switched selling their “God” books from “non-profit” to “for-profit” so they could make more money (imagine that). When this “preacher” goes out on the road to “spread the Gospel” they stay in the most expensive rooms in the most expensive hotels (some to the tune of $13,000 a night). In other words, their lifestyle is exactly the same as rock stars, actors, and sports figures and the only difference is that they attach the name of the Lord Jesus to it. Finally, they have a huge compound with four houses, a guest house, pool, the best cars, and a $10,000,000 plane. Well you may say they do make $650k a year, but the fact is that their “ministry” pays for ALL their bills including water, electricity, yard care, pool care, and even their cable bill and this ministry rakes in over $100 million a year and this does NOT include their “PRIVATE” book sales. The real kicker is that this “minister” along with the rest of their false teacher friends REFUSE to allow their ministries to be audited so I have to ask this; what are they hiding? My next question is what ever happened to “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3). I truly believe that these false teachers got caught up into their own “hype” and went from serving God to serving money. Sadly, once they got the taste of the good life they just could not walk away.
While money in of itself is not bad we have to remember that the love of money is the root of ALL evil (1 Timothy 6:10). We see this in the world all around us, but this root is imbedded into the Churches especially the Churches in America. How else can you explain this false teachers having hundreds of millions of dollars of GOD’s money in private bank accounts? That’s right, when you send these people money you are sending them GOD’s money (not yours) and HE will hold YOU accountable. Romans 1:32 says “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” so people who have pleasure in others people sin are just as guilty as the person committing the sin. If you read it in the Amplified it says this “Although they know God’s righteous decree and His judgment, that those who do such things deserve death, yet they not only do them, but they even [enthusiastically] approve and tolerate others who practice them” (Romans 1:32). These false teachers have moved from serving God to serving themselves because they have and are still stealing billions of dollars from HIM and their followers do not seem to care because they keep sending money in. Many people will argue that they are not greedy but can never explain why they are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars that belong to God on vases, paintings, statues, and other worldly garbage to decorate their homes… Can you explain it? If you can we are all ears and awaiting your reply… You can’t explain it because you cannot back it with the Word of God. Paul warned that riches are a snare, and he was right. Many of these false teachers may have started off serving God but they become their own “GOD” (1Timothy 6:9) and most of them are teaching this heresy because they are going around saying that they are “gods”. So what does this have to do with the original verse I posted? EVERYTHING!
“Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock”.
“And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it”.
God has given us all His WORD and it is up to US to decide whether or not we will follow it or if we will continue to follow the false teachers who are making things up as they go. I amazed that these people can say things like “Noah had sex with his daughters” and “Jesus was tormented by demons in hell” and “I curse anyone who comes against this ministry” and “God can’t send the Jews to hell because he never claimed to be the Messiah” and NO ONE QUESTIONS IT! We have to remember that we will have no excuse on the day of judgment because God has given us everything that we need to succeed, which is HIS WORD. Also, we have to remember that the rain, floods, and winds are going to come to all of us but the outcome will be decided on one thing and that is whether we are hearers of the Word or doers of the Word! As I said earlier I used to admire all of these people, but when I saw the truth about them I had to make the decision on whether or not I was going to continue to follow them or walk away from them and follow Christ. To be a “Doer” requires action and that action must be based on God’s Word and ONLY God’s Word. We have seen many scriptures now that refute these false teacher’s lifestyles so the ball is in our court as they say. The bottom line is that Christianity is a proactive life, and hearers do nothing but lie there and let some “person” spoon feed them spiritual junk food because it “tastes” good. This “Rock Star” lifestyle the false teachers are living is not the life our Lord bleed and died for because Christ is looking for doers because only doers will change the world and only doers will obtain eternal life.
For those who have chosen to be doers of the Word know that you will not have many “churchie” friend and you will be hated because following Christ will come at a cost. In other words the “status quo” Christian will attack you, mock you, call you a heretic, and scream “JUDGE NOT” until they are blue in the face but if it is in God’s Word then keep on sharing! Know this, only the doers will be able to STAND when the storm comes because the doers have built their life upon the ROCK! However, when the storm comes against those who are only hearers they will crumble because their foundation is only built on sand. There is a storm coming to America and the American Church (the real Church) is about to face persecution that for years they said would never come to this land. America has forsaken God, and as a nation God is about to judge her. It is pretty arrogant to think that suffering, affliction, and persecution is only for those “over there”. While I agree God used America in many ways to spread His word around the world you also have to look at the whole picture and that is that America as a whole has pushed God OUT of this country and wants nothing to do with God. The storm is coming and most discerning Christians see it coming and this is why we are blowing the trumpet. This is not a HATE message but an informational one so that everyone can begin testing everything they hear against the Word of God because the Word of God IS our standard. For me I will stand on the Word of God because God’s Word has set me free from so many things and over the years it has kept me safe from the deception that the wolves are teaching on TV.
I know doers that many people will not receive the message that you are so desperately trying to share with them so remember this; most people who are deceived do not know that they are deceived. Always approach with humility, love, and grace so that you do not come off sounding like a Pharisee or a jerk. However, if they refuse to receive the message then do as Jesus said “And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them” (Luke 9:5). Also remember Paul’s admonishment in 1 Timothy 6: 5 “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself”. At the end of the day all we can do is share the message and it is up to the hearer to decide what they will do with it. Some may be thinking “Why should we put ourselves out there like that” and the answer is because if we belong to Christ then we are watchman. God tells us this in Ezekiel 33:2-6 “Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he sees the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and takes not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that takes warning shall deliver his soul. BUT if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand”. Christianity is a serious thing and it is time we start acting like it. It is past time that we all become doers of the Word! At the end of the day all we can do is warn people, and if they reject the message we bring then all we can do is pray for them.
I will close with this scripture:
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22)
I hope that everyone who reads this will start to study God’s Word and test everything that they read or hear against it. God left us his word for a reason and everything we read or hear MUST be tested against the Word because the Word of God is our standard!!
I must ask this again, are we going to be doers of the Word or hearers only?
Peace and Grace From Our Lord