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Text Sermons : Zac Poonen : Pharisees do missionary work and make people twofold children of hell

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"Woe to you, Pharisees, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves" (Matthew 23:15).

Pharisees may be missionary-minded, but their so-called "converts" go to hell, because they do not bring their converts to genuine repentance and faith.

Pharisees may engage in a lot of "religious work" (which is fundamentally different from doing God's will) - and even with a lot of sacrifice. They may become "full-time Christian workers", but their converts will be double the children of hell - because they do not preach repentance and they assure people who have never turned from their sinful ways that they are born again just because they "believe". Likewise, they convince people that they are filled with the Holy Spirit (when they are not) just because they babbled some gibberish - which is totally different from the genuine gift of tongues. Thus they make people double the children of hell. They were already living in sin, as children of hell, to begin with. But now they have been convinced by some Pharisaical preacher that they are "eternally secure", because they repeated the "magic" words, "Lord Jesus come into my heart" - even though their attitude to sin has not changed. Now they are just told to make sure they pay their tithes regularly and a place in heaven is assured them. Thus they are insulated against the gospel. Because when they now hear a gospel message they don't feel they need to respond to it because they are "eternally secure". What a tremendous deception is going on today. I have told people in some of our own churches that they are not born again, even though they have been sitting in our midst for many years. Many Pharisaical elder brothers have zero discernment when it comes to assessing whether a person in born again or not. They allow all types of people to join their churches and these are the ones who cause them many problems later on.

Some Pharisaical elders are partial to the poor. They make poor people feel important in the church just because they are poor. And these elders think they are being like Jesus! (This is the opposite of those preachers who are partial towards the rich - James 2:1-4.) God knew that there could be this evil tendency among "super-spiritual elders", and so He warned Israel's leaders, "You shall not be partial to a poor man" (Exodus 23:3). By showing such partiality and making these poor people feel important in the church, just because of their poverty, they make these poor people twofold the children of hell. Jesus was not a Communist who came to equalize the poor with the rich. I am not a Communist either. I am a Christian. I respect people who are humble and God fearing, irrespective of whether they are rich or poor. But many church-leaders confuse Christianity with Communism.

We can deceive ourselves as a church in two ways. One is by imagining that we are a wonderful church because we have many rich, educated and cultured people in high positions in our church (but most of whom are ungodly). The other way is by imagining that we are a wonderful church because we don't have any rich, educated people, but only a bunch of poor, uneducated people (but most of whom are ungodly)! Both churches are Babylonian - with different colours. Don't imagine that poor people are all spiritual or that rich people are all unspiritual. Poverty does not equal godliness. Don't make people twofold the children of hell.





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