Persecution Complex

Yesterday’s sermon (you can listen here) was from the book of Revelation and focused on Rev. 2:1-7 written to the church in Ephesus.  Part of it talked about how the church in Ephesus had done a good job of calling out false teachers – or liars as one translation calls them.  They had been warned about false teachers 50 years earlier by Paul in Acts 20.

The thing about false teachers is that I think many of them believe what they’re teaching.  Therefore, they don’t even know they’re teaching falsely.  As a pastor, it’s something I think about.  Is there any way I am teaching false doctrine and don’t realize it?  And I don’t mean to imply that I believe I’m right about every single thing I teach.  On the contrary, I’m certain I’m not right about everything.  I readily admit it.  But I pray that about the big issues, I’m correctly interpreting Scripture, even if I disagree with it.  And about the less eternity-effecting things, I pray I receive grace.

Which leads me to this week’s sermon that I’m working on about the church in Smyrna.  It’s known as the persecuted church.  They were persecuted for following Jesus – I’m talking boiled in oil and burned at the stake persecuted.  And it sickens me when I think about that, or think about Christians being killed in the Middle East today, and then read things about what I would consider the false teachers in the American church talk about being “persecuted” and being “martyrs” for their liberal agendas here in America.  That’s a persecution complex that trivializes the true persecution going on around the world where people are being tortured and killed for the truth of Jesus Christ.

If and when persecution comes to the American church, we’ll know it.  It’s not here yet.




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