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Text Sermons : Zac Poonen : Pharisees corrupt others

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"Woe to you, Pharisees, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in" (Matthew 23:13).

Sincere, young people who become believers are corrupted by Pharisaical leaders. These young people may have had great zeal to overcome sin and to live for God when they were first converted. But then they see their leaders standing on big platforms like film-actors and preaching and collecting plenty of money "in Jesus' Name" from people, and using that money to live like film-actors in their private lives. Thus these young people, who started out wanting to follow Jesus and to live like He did, now end up wanting to live like these famous preachers. And they imagine that if they are faithful, then one day they too will become famous and be able to live like film-actors. Thus these Pharisaical leaders corrupt them and hinder them from following Jesus and entering the kingdom of God.

Young people today lack good role models whom they can follow. Unfortunately, hardly any preacher today can say like Paul did, "Follow me as I follow Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17). So I say to young people: Look at Jesus and follow His Example. And if you find someone who is following hard after Jesus, then look at him and follow his example as well.

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