Have you noticed how elitist many Christian churches have become these days? When Jesus Christ was on earth He taught the people kindness and humility (John 13:5). And the ordinary people loved Him! He never even had any problems with the demon possessed (Matthew 8:16). Even Pontius Pilate could not find any sin in the Lord and tried to save His life (Matthew 27:15-24). The only people Christ had any trouble with were the religious leaders of His day, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the lawyers. In fact, they hated Him so much that they plotted to kill Him (Matthew 26:3-4)! And they threatened to lie to Caesar about him if Pilate didn’t execute the Lord. Pilate gave them a choice. He would either release Jesus or a vicious killer named Barabbas to them. Yet the religious readers hated Jesus so much that they yelled out to free Barabbas instead. So why did the Pharisees and their associates hate Jesus so much? Pilate “...knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him” (Matthew 27:18 NIV).
Interestingly, that’s the same reason why the brothers of Joseph hated him so much (Genesis 37:5, Acts 7:9). They knew that their father loved Joseph more than he loved them (Genesis 37:3). Joseph was different from them. He loved the Lord and lived by faith. His brothers were only interested in the carnal world around them. And they thought they were better than everybody else because they were descendents of Abraham. Consequently, the Lord blessed Joseph in many ways (Genesis 39:8-9, 23) and his brothers knew it and resented him all the more. David was also a man who loved God and lived by faith. In the same manner, David’s brothers hated him (1 Samuel 17:28) for the same reason, jealousy!
Have you ever noticed that when someone commits a sin they either want you to go along with them and commit the same type of sin or at least condone what they have done (Isaiah 59:15, Romans 1:32)? That way their hearts won’t feel convicted about it! However, if you love the Lord and refuse to do as they do, they immediately feel guilty about their sin and will resent you. That’s because the illumination of Christ (Matthew5:14) is beaming out from you and shedding light into the dark areas of their souls. And sin does not like to be exposed. It wants to be covered up, and hide in the darkness (John 3:19-21). So the light of Christ is not welcome around them.
What do they all have in common? Pride, a haughty, condescending attitude, and contempt for those who are of less social position. Jesus knew how arrogant and sanctimonious the pharisees and their cohorts were. He knew their hearts were not right with God (Mark 7:6-9). They looked down their noses at the poor and handicapped around them (Mark 12:38-40). And had contempt for the repentant sinner who came to Christ (Matthew 9:9-13, Luke 7:36-48). By contrast, Jesus had compassion and healed them!
How sad it is that the same type of religious hypocrisy has woven its way into the Christian church. Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15 NIV). The wolves and hirelings (John 10:12) are in such abundance these days that it’s hard for those who truly want to serve God to sift through all the bad doctrines and find the truth. For this reason, Bible Believers Fellowship, Inc. was founded in 1989 by Eric and Anne Kaestner. This is Eric’s book. He has focused on four dangerous doctrines that are deceiving many in the church (1 Timothy 4:1). Chapter one is “Judging the Believer”, chapter two is “Is Self-Esteem From God?”, chapter three is “The King’s Kid Doctrine” and chapter four is “The Doctrine of Unconditional Eternal Security.” This book should be a lighthouse for all those who seek the truth from the Word of God. It is totally backed by scripture references. And we know that it will be a blessing to all who are sincere in their desire to please God.