Seeking a Sign? PIII

Matthew 16:1-4

Do you look for other signs, or do you take His precepts as your sign and roadmap for life? Do you know this is destructive? 

The Pharisees and Sadducees were clouded the Truth with so much rhetoric and tradition they could not see the Truth. They put forth so many other regulations and insights that the main insight and rule was unseen. We, too, can be experts in interpreting trivial matters such as the weather, but unable or unwilling to apply God’s Word into our lives. We, instead, focus ourselves on minor, trivial matters such as a particular Bible version or an obscure doctoral point that becomes our god; then we become unconcerned with the bigger picture of His real truth.

We are to keep our eyes on important matters such as His Word, and how to apply it, and not be concerned with the latest trends. Ask Him for wisdom and His insights so your ideas and the ideas of others do not cloud His truth from your eyes.

Jesus was getting their attention, but they refused to listen. Some first century Jewish commentators said false doctrine is like poison water. And Jewish teachers often spoke figuratively, as Jesus did. Also, the Israelites had a long history of forgetting who God is and His provision-from just a few months of wandering in the desert, to the next generation after Joshua, to all the good kings compared to the failed kings. Thus, God had to remind them of who He is on numerous occasions (Duet. 8).

Here is a couple more key words:

“You of little faith” was one of Jesus’ favorite nicknames for His Disciples (Matt. 6:30; 8:26; 14:31). Ouch! They had some faith, but still needed to learn and grow into maturity.

You do not understand”, another ouch, as the Disciples once again misunderstood their Lord. Jesus spoke plainly, but He also taught in figurative language to draw people deeper into the meaning, to think through and apply His teaching. The Disciples only saw the face value, and either were not listening or did not want to think. The Disciples should have started to see the signs, especially after so many unprecedented miracles, the most seen since Moses.

“Just do it” requires a process-from the signal to enter the brain, it is categorized, implemented, and then the info is sent to the hands and feet. So it is with faith and our spiritual growth. Plain speech instructs, and to a good listener, it can be applied. But, metaphors require thought and a process to hone and own the precepts-to be a changed person so behaviors can be changed. This just does not happen; it requires the wrestling of thought and the work of the Spirit.

“No bread” is the sign that the disciples were over-concerned with material matters and not spiritual ones, as they should have been. We need to be aware that we do not slip into superficial ideas of Christianity; rather, we look deeper and apply His depths to our hands and feet.

The Disciples had so much testimony and wonders before them to still be stuck with superficial notions. It would take another miracle in the next chapter to cement, in their hearts and minds, Who He is (John 3:4; 4:11; 6:52; 6:63).

Have you ever seen the evidence of how false doctrines can be destructive? Consider, it gets people excited, which is not bad. Then gets peoples hopes up, still not bad. Then, the zinger, it turns out to be false and then the hope is dashed into disillusionment and frustrations and then once active people in the church give it up. False teaching destroys and hides the Work of Christ and poisons what He is doing in the lives and ministries of real Followers of Christ!

Do you understand who you are in Christ? What does that mean to you?

How can you know when you are unable or unwilling to apply God’s Word into your life? How can this awareness help you apply His truth?

 

Are you captivated by End Times Theories?

Are you a committed Christian or a surrendered Christian?

Are you waiting for the Rapture? Are you concerned about the tribulation, when it will happen, and if you have to go through it or not? Does one theory of end times have you captivated while others make you mad? Is this what fuels your faith? Is this where your time is spent? If so, take a hard look in prayer and at the Scriptures. What is God really calling your focus to be? Look at Galatians chapter five, the Book of James, or any book of the Bible. Read it through, ask inductive questions to the text, and watch your faith grow and your life be transformed by the real indwelling of His Word and Spirit. If you are just fueled by emotional drama and sensationalism, your faith is weak and on a thin bed of ice on a hot day. There is nothing to hold or shape you, nothing to transform you and build faith, character, and spiritual and emotional maturity. Yes, excitement is fun and we do need it from time to time, but real faith is fueled in the crucible of our walk in Him and His work in us. It is not about what the trends are; it is what Jesus Christ is doing in you and your church. Do not be distracted from what true faith and real Christian living is all about!

The main point of Biblical, Exegetical Eschatology is to tell us not to be discouraged, but remain faithful and vigilant. We are to live our lives as if Christ were coming tomorrow, or preparing and planning as if He were coming a thousand years from now. We are not to be preoccupied with the details and trivialities. That is why Jesus did not give them to us. Rather, our faith development and steadfastness are far more impacting and real for ourselves and others around us!

We need to read the Bible so it is more impacting to us and so we can draw out more information for personal edification and teaching. We also have to be careful that our interpretation of Scripture is accurate in word and meaning before we make an application to it! We are never to ignore His words, and absolutely never to replace them with ours! It is not about what we think or wish for; it is about His will and His timing! Jesus can come at any time; He is not bound by the limits of our understanding of Eschatology. He is God, and His timing and control are sovereign!

Revelation and Exegetical Eschatology are about our genuine discipleship and growth in Christ and how He impacts us so we can impact others. In His time, it will be clear without dispute (Acts 1:7). Revelation continues to add to our spiritual growth and faithfulness and encourage the Church through persecutions and the daily stresses of life. What we have to know is plainly what we need to know. We do not need to know what He has not yet revealed, as our duty is to our spiritual formation and the expansion of the Kingdom, not idle speculations and argumentations. The purpose for our lives here is to learn and grow in Him over any theological agenda. What we learn in our preparations is far more valuable than what will come about. To live in a sin-infused world is difficult and we need the Savior and Lord to guide us through it. Our lives, circumstances, and experiences will bring us trials and testing before we learn the lessons we are taught. What we learn from Him will help us be vigorous, victorious, and able to overcome anything life or Satan can throw at us.

Do not be distracted from that to which Christ has called you! Do not waste your time in the particulars of eschatology; it really is not important. Christ commands us to know Him and make Him known, to grow in Him and help others grow, to worship Him and help others worship Him, too. If we spend our time in the debate of eschatology, we will ignore His more vital calls, such as evangelism, discipleship, and our own growth in Him!