Luke 10:16 “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”

     Powerful talk!   Jesus has empowered His servants with His message.  To reject anyone carrying this message is to reject Jesus and God!  This is a sobering thought to the listener and also to the speaker.  Anyone who preaches in Jesus’ name had better make sure they are preaching His message and not their own.

     Jesus was sending out seventy of His disciples to go into cities and carry a simple message of healing and hope; “. . . heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ ” (Luke 10:9)  This message of help and hope was to be carried in humility and with faith; “. . . I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way.” (Luke 10:3,4)  No pomp, no fanfare, just His message plain and simple!

     Problems arise when fakes add to or distort His message.  Jesus warns; “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)  How do we discern when someone is telling us their message and serving their agenda rather than Jesus’?  Again, Jesus gives us the answer; “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” (Matthew 7:16)

    What are the fruits of His Holy Spirit?  The Bible tells us:”. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22,23) And what is bad fruit spawned by false prophets; “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these . . . ” (Galatians 5:20,21)

     There are two main kinds of fake messages that I have found operating around us; 1) messages that keep you from repentance and the cross and 2) messages that keep you on the cross and never let you follow Jesus through to the resurrection  and overcoming side of the cross.  The first kind of message is easy to hear; “This reality, this forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody. Paul insisted that when Jesus died on the cross he was reconciling ‘all things, in heaven and on earth, to God. This reality then isn’t something we make true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making.” (Rob Bell)

      No need to repent, everybody goes to heaven anyway.  Sadly people believe it.  The Bible tells us different; “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” (John 3:18,19)

     The second kind of fake message keeps a person dying on the cross and never allows anyone to follow Jesus to the resurrection side of the cross  This is the fake road of self-righteous denial – a subtle form of works righteousness – for those who love to be martyrs.  Some choose it.  And Jesus was rejected for living joyously: “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.” (Matthew 11:18,19)

     Others have this living death of sorrow forced on them. Abusive cults use sorrow fear and shame to keep people; ” Addicts’ behaviors and past lives were attacked viciously in games, members were told their lives depended on staying, contacts with family were prohibited, and a system of rewards and punishments was applied.” (The History of Synanon and Charles Dederich)  Keeping people in a continual state of shame, fear and sorrow over their past makes it easy to control them.  Either way this message is unbiblical; “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4)

     The Bible warns about those who place themselves between Jesus and us; “Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgement from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (2 Peter 2:2,3)  There’s money to be made twisting Jesus’ message.  Books to sell, churches to fill with promises of cheap grace and lots of vulnerable people to exploit.  All too often Jesus gets the blame for it and people who need Him are turned off to His true message.  The false teachers can’t see  their judgement coming and it will surely be terrible.

     Today if we want to hear Jesus’ message it’s no further away than the pages of the Holy Bible.  There are too many fakes today to rely on what others say about Jesus.  Don’t be deceived, go and read His Word for yourself.

    Praise the Lord!