We’re continuing through Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church. He has mentioned some so-called “apostles” who have been traveling from church to church.
They have exalted themselves above other ministers. They’ve even belittled Paul in an attempt to boost their own image.
Paul now gets to the heart of the matter about these people.
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
In this simple paragraph, there are some sobering remarks. We, as followers of Christ, need to be aware of these things.
The first thing Paul tells us is that there are false apostles who work at their deception. Of course, anything worthwhile is going to have a corresponding counterfeit.
The word, masquerade, speaks of outward self-transformation. These people can, at least on the outside, look, and act as a minister of Christ. All the while, their goal is to fulfill their own desires. They could be after money, fame, and/or a large following.
The Apostle Jude had a run-in with these types as well. I like his description.
These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm — shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted — twice dead.
These ministers have nothing to offer. You leave their meetings feeling good, but you realize that your soul is dry and hungry. That’s because they have no access to the bread of life.
Like I said previously, it’s sobering to realize that Satan can make himself outwardly look like an angel of light. In the same way, false ministers can look like ministers of righteousness.
Usually, the righteousness that they push is self-righteousness. That gets you nowhere, spiritually.
This calls for maturity and discernment for God’s people. That’s especially true when it comes to the teachings we listen to on the radio, TV, or the internet. We need to be asking the Holy Spirit to show us the motives behind the ministry.
That’s why I’m so insistent about believers being a part of a local congregation. Yes, I’ve heard the excuses. “You don’t know the pain I suffered from that church.”
I understand; I’ve been there. The truth is that no one can hurt you more than family. But, then again, no one can help you to heal better than family.
Being a part of a local church does open you up to possible hurt. But it can also help to protect you from the spiritual wolves that are out to destroy you.
Question: How have you grown as a result of the local church?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi