In every store that we've been in since before Thanksgiving, we've been greeted by a large decorative tree glistening with shinny decorations. Among the holidays of this world there is not a vestige of the truth of God. Certainly, you will find religious sounding words, symbols, statues and holidays but they have been so corrupted and counterfeited that they embrace no resemblance to the truth of God. Many of us grew up with some of these ‘Christian’ holidays:
Every Sunday – Mass; January 1, Feast of The Circumcision of Jesus; January 6, Epiphany; March 17, St. Patrick Day; March 19, St. Joseph’s Day; Ash Wednesday; Lent, 40 days of fasting and prayer; Mardi Gras; Holy Thursday; Good Friday; Holy Saturday; Easter; Ascension Thursday, 40 days after Easter Sunday; Pentecost, 50 days after Easter; August 15, Assumption of Mary into heaven; Halloween; November 1, All Saints’ Day; December 8, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception; December 25, Christmas.
With these worldly holidays, true Christians would never find an ounce of Biblical truth about the Plan of God and salvation. Christians need to understand the purpose of God's Holy Days and His Law that point to His eternal order. Upon honest investigation, the earnest seeker of Truth learns that these Catholic holidays are all of heathen origin and pagan significance - and he learns that he can have no part in them. For those who grow up in that kind of community there would have been be no hope of ever finding the Truth of God – if it were not for a direct calling by God (John 6:44, 65).
This entire world has been more deceived than any of us can comprehend (Revelation 12:9). It is Satan who makes it very appealing for all the world to accept his counterfeit holidays rather than to learn the truth of God. He began his vicious attacks on Adam and Eve. God said:
Genesis 2:17 Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it: for in the day that thou eat thereof thou shall surely die.
Satan said, “That is not so, He's making a list and checking it twice. He's going to find out who's naughty or nice. Santa Claus is comin' to town. Ye shall not surely die.” (Genesis 3:4) And so, even today after so long a time, everywhere we look we find this deceptively beautiful tree decorated with shinny ornaments (Jeremiah 10:2-5).
Jesus established His Church brethren so that they might worship God in sincerity and truth. But for most, that truth has been terribly perverted. By the end of the third century the true servants of God had become a very small minority among those many pagan Catholics who greatly perverted the truth of God. The counterfeit ‘Christianity’ had become the vast majority. What we sometimes forget is that this process of taking a holiday from the Faith is a grave misstep in the ongoing battle that true servants of Jesus Christ must continuously fight. As a result, those who do not practice their Christianity properly always become the more visible ‘Christian’ church. Peter describes this re-entanglement with the corrupt world.
2Peter 2:20-22 If after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
It is Satan who makes a false gospel and bogus salvation appealing and popular. And the Church brethren are oftentimes too easily affected. Satan retains just enough Biblical truth in his deceptions to convince people they are indeed following Christ. Satan is every bit as subtle and conniving today as he ever was. God’s Church is not capable of being deceived by Christmas Trees on Easter Eggs – but we are just as susceptible to being deceived as man ever was. We see the result of Satan’s ever present tactics:
Until a person is called by God, had his mind opened, and empowered by God's Spirit - he yields to his carnal human nature and is totally unable submit to God's way (Romans 8:7) With conversion, man begins to move toward God. However, if after conversion has begun God's people begin to take advantage of other brethren, or even believe that they are better than others who are being lead of God’s Holy Spirit, God will not hold them guiltless:
One reason subtle false Christianity is so hazardous to true Christians is because they often go uncorrected and begin to believe that their harsh Christianity is pleasing to God. They go to all the services and attend the Feasts of God - all the while running roughshod over the little ones. As their improper conduct becomes the norm in their congregations, their high and mighty peers take over completely – pushing God's true people out – as we find example in 3John with the expulsion of the faithful servants of Jesus Christ. Condescendingly thinking themselves to be mature Christians, they speak ill of the babes in Christ, heartlessly holding them in derision, looking down upon them. They think themselves to be spiritually superior (Luke 18:11-12). Have too many taken a holiday from the Faith? Is that why Jesus asks, “Will I find Faith when I return” (Luke 18:8)? In this sermon we will look at Satan’s subtle tactics today.
||"A Holiday from the Truth"