Defiled Consciences and Minds

Titus 1:10-14 ESV

“For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth.”

We have people in this world of ours who are heads of nations, and heads of church denominations, and CEOs of corporations, and who are pastors and elders in churches, and who are heads of households, etc., who wield enormous influence and control over people. Not all of them are good people. Many are evil. Many are liars and deceivers and manipulators who take advantage of the weak, naïve, and vulnerable.

Some (or many) of them intentionally misrepresent themselves or situations they are involved in, and they do this as a set-up, i.e. as a scheme or as a trick intended to incriminate or to deceive other people. These intentional misrepresentations are for the nefarious purpose to trick and to trap people, and sometimes in order to frame them, i.e. to intentionally accuse them of wrongdoing which they did not do. This happens all the time in the world.

The sad reality, though, is that this is happening within the church, too, especially with so much of today’s church here in America adopting marketing schemes and tricks as a means to drawing in large crowds of people from the world into their gatherings (or into gatherings of what is falsely called church). And I know this goes on from personal experience. And I have sat through some of their leadership training classes, too.

My husband and I were church planters for a short period of time, and so we attended one of their church planting training sessions. And at this one session we were taught to use needy people to get our “churches” up and running, but that once they were up and running we were to get rid of the needy people because they would drag us down. Wow! Our ministry was to needy and hurting people, like Jesus’ ministry was to the needy and hurting.

And then we were checking out this one church at another time to see if we wanted to be part of them. The preaching was great and so I was thanking the pastors for teaching the truth. But I had a concern over one of the sermons, which I expressed in the appropriate avenue for that, and I was told by this one pastor that he was warned about people like me, people with strong convictions, that he was to basically invite me to go someplace else where I would be a “better fit.” He learned this in his training classes.

But if I decided to remain at the church gathering, then he told me that I was to sit back and let him be God’s voice to me. Wow! No one is God’s voice to me but God. Now I can learn from other people. And I do. But I test what I hear against the Scriptures and I do not take another human’s word for it, for not everyone tells the truth or knows the truth, and there are many habitual liars serving as pastors and elders in “churches,” too.

But so many of these heads of whatever who are in positions of power and authority over other people are those who intentionally misrepresent themselves and what they are up to, and who misrepresent the word of God and the gospel and in order to trick and to trap people in sin. So these are not people of integrity who we can trust. So be careful who you are trusting. Not everything is as it appears. Please be testing everything!

And just know that deception abounds and many people are not who they say they are. We can’t trust politicians or pastors or the news media, etc., to tell us the truth. Lies are everywhere, but they are disguised as truth. So just because someone says something is true it doesn’t mean it is true. And just because they represent their cause as something that is good for us, it doesn’t mean it is good for us. It could definitely be for our harm.

Titus 1:15-16 ESV

“To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”

This is absolutely the truth! If you have ever been personally acquainted with someone who is a compulsive liar and a manipulator, who plays tricks on people, who is a user and an abuser, who is evil to the core, and who takes advantage of others for his (or her) own sinful pleasure, but who appears innocent and playful and charming outwardly, then you know what this is talking about. A psychological term for such a person is someone who is a narcissist. But this is not a sickness. This is pure evil!

And yes, many of these people do profess to know God, to know Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior. And they may even put on a show of righteousness on the outside while they are plotting all sorts of evil on their beds against those who they want to commit sin against. For, yes, while outwardly they profess faith in Jesus Christ, by their works (deeds, actions) they deny the Lord and the truth of his gospel. And yes, they are indeed detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work, for they are evil to the core.

And many of these who are pastors and teachers of the Scriptures are teaching the Scriptures out of context and they are twisting them to say what they want them to say. And then they add on to them all sorts of lies and distortions of truth coming from their own minds. And people are listening to them and following them by the masses. And that is because they are appealing to human flesh, and they don’t put the flesh to death. They permit the flesh to live and to thrive and they put the truth to death.

But the truth of the Scriptures teaches us that faith in Jesus Christ involves us dying with Christ to sin, not just once but daily, and us leaving our former lives of living in sin behind us in order that we will now follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his ways and to his commands. For faith in Jesus requires submission to Christ as Lord, the forsaking of sin, and walks of obedience to our Lord or it is not genuine believing faith, the faith that is from God and is gifted to us by God’s grace (Jn 6:44; Heb 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10).

So, if you want to have salvation of sin and the hope of heaven when you die, then please read the following Scriptures prayerfully, and take them to heart, and by the grace of God, and in his power and strength, put these teachings into practice in your daily lives. For the Scriptures teach that if we walk by the flesh we will die in our sins but if we walk according to the Spirit, then we have eternal life with God. So please know and obey the truth, for your eternity depends on it. Love you!

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

I’ll Live in Glory

Songwriter: James Melvin Henson

I want to be of service along this pilgrim way
And lead the lost to Jesus as fervently I pray
As day by day I travel I’ll keep him ever nigh
And live with Him Forever in Glory by and by

The end I know is nearing, by faith I look away
To yonder home supernal, the land of endless day
I’ll cling to Him forever and look beyond the sky
And spend the endless ages in glory by and by

O yes, I’ll live in glory by and by
I’ll tell and sing love’s story there on high
There with my dear Redeemer no more to die
Oh yes, I’ll live in glory by and by

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