All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.
When I read passages like John 16:1-4 I am so grateful that God has blessed us at TCC with pastors who preach faithfully from the bible. The bible is God’s word to us and how He speaks to us in this day and age. It saddens me when I hear how scripture is quoted out of context or selected extracts are quoted to drive a particular agenda, such as the prosperity gospel.
This is what Jesus is referring to in John 16:2 – the Pharisees and synagogue leaders had added to the Old Testament scriptures and had turned them into a man-based set of rules which no longer glorified God. What is truly amazing is that even though the Jews had turned their backs on God yet again, He still loved them and us so much that He took the step to reconciliation and reached out to the world through His Son Jesus.
I had the privilege of attending a Sharelife breakfast recently at our denomination’s college, George Whitefield College, and I was encouraged to hear and see how young men and women are being trained up with a strong theological foundation to go out into South Africa, the rest of the continent and indeed the rest of the world to preach the true gospel.
It is only through knowledge that we can verify and ensure that our pastors are preaching the truth to us. Most of us will not have the privilege of a formal bible college education, but we can read our bibles slowly (as our pastor Denzil reminds us so often) to clearly understand scripture and also to question what we hear from the pulpit.
God loves speaking to us and we need to listen with our eyes, so as not to go astray, and read our bibles regularly and slowly.
As the weekend draws closer and the busyness of the week comes to an end and we have a chance to slow down and reflect; perhaps we should take a moment to reflect on the immense sacrifice Jesus made for us. Are we really thankful and filled with joy that we are heirs of God’s throne?