Friday, June 10th, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 32)
Sweet Talkers In Church
With her enticing speech she caused him to yield,
With her flattering lips she seduced him.
Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks,
Till an arrow struck his liver.
As a bird hastens to the snare,
He did not know it would cost his life.
Proverbs 7:21-23 (NKJV)
For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
Romans 16:18 (NIV)
Where is the balance between threatening pastors, who preach about hellfire and damnation, and promising pastors with pleasing words, who preach Good News about prosperity? Jesus, the Man, was perfectly balanced. He cut down the haughty with knife-like truth, while He lifted the humble with mercy.
But is His preaching style our style today? Because churches are run like businesses. They have obligations and bills to pay. And quite often, their haughtiest members donate the greatest amounts of money. Cutting them down might cut down the church, too. So subjects like hell (and how we get there) are avoided like a pocketbook plague.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: When we're warned about enticing speech, we might think of smooth politicians or merchants trying to sell us stuff. Surely, sweet talkers are in the world. But are they in the body of Christ? What if our own pastors sweet-talk us?
What if delightful evangelists beguile us with captivating words? What if they preach what we long to hear? Not just The Lord's everlasting love, but also guaranteed salvation.*
No matter if we ignore the poor or refuse to carry our crosses. No matter if we indulge our sins and focus on the sins of others. No matter if we worship idols like wealth, perks and celebrity.
Actor, models and talent for Christ: Most of the warnings in the Bible were written for us and about us. As the greatest, ultimate Father, God seeks His children's best destiny. Regarding dangerous sweet-talkers, the most deadly call themselves Christians.
To Be Continued...
* The guarantee of salvation is debated. The majority of Christians believe once a true profession of faith in Jesus is made, nothing can change this saintly status. I am in the minority who believe a seasoned saint must also bear fruit. If you're interested, check out an 11-part AMTC devotion series: The Question of Salvation: http://amtcdevotions.org/the-question-of-salvation-part-1-what-question
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.