Dr. Richard J. Alberta June 28, 2019
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NIV)
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
I’ve never been to a “Masquerade Party.” Now and then, there is a scene of such an event in a movie or play. Apart from bizarre outfits and exaggerated behaviors, the partygoers hold onto masks with a short handle. Covering their faces, they present themselves as giddy or dower or menacing or simply blank. No one really knows the heart and thoughts of the person behind the mask. Except the person wearing it.
When Paul uses the word “masquerade” he employs a long Greek word (meta-schēmatizō) that bears examination. Let’s look at it for a moment. We see the prefix “meta” that suggests “beyond” or “outside of.” Thus, “metaphysics” is the philosophical study of things beyond the material. The meaning of life, for example, is a metaphysical question. This other word “schema” has to do with transforming an outward condition. So…masquerading is all about transforming the outside of self or someone. Ok.
The Devil does this all the time. Actually, as sinners we all do it at least a little. That is why we wear make-up and modify our behaviors when someone else is looking. It is often innocent, but such transformation of our outer selves can be dishonest and even evil. That brings us to a recent comment in the Democratic debate. Hold on … I am fully aware that our current President with his actions and words is hardly competing for the Christ-likeness award! We all see that and often cringe. But consider the words of the Mayor from Indiana.
As background, he is articulate and winsome. He also claims to be a Christian despite living a lifestyle that the Word of God calls “abominable.” In fact, he is “married” to another man. Such a lifestyle choice, in modern society, is an option. But it will never be a choice approved by God. Indeed, such a man would be respectably asked to leave any true, Bible-believing church. Why? Because God is Holy, and He expects His church to pursue Holiness. Thus, the Apostle Paul, by the Holy Spirit, wrote these words:
1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (NIV) 9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people– 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
This is a very inconvenient passage to many in our “tolerant” society, including many who claim to be Christians. They recoil with accusations such as “Oh… who are you to judge?” But Paul addresses exactly that. He says he is not calling out worldly people. He has no role in their lives. But if they profess to belong to Christ, they cannot at the same time, live in immorality. That would include all kinds of things including sexual immorality.
The evil one has raised up a lineup of “churches” that are actually promoting sin. They insist that the gay life is acceptable to God. It is not. The Bible makes that clear. But a generation or two of very bad doctrinal teaching has corrupted many hearts. I pray for these folks and have ministered to many of them.
So what? To me…for me… it is particularly obnoxious to hear one such politician living that depraved life lecturing other Christians who do not support his view of how to handle the immigration question. In short, he insists that evangelicals are hypocrites for not supporting “open borders” because Matthew Twenty-Five calls for non-stop compassion for the needy. Ironically, that passage is usually used by Catholic theologians to argue that salvation is not only by faith but by good works (See Trent canon 24 etc.). So, Matthew Twenty Five has become a popular place to visit for bad theology. Matthew Twenty Five is a beautiful passage about what Jesus expects to see as the fruit of our salvation, not its basis or cause.
This politician rightly points out that Jesus is expecting his own to care about the needy. For sure! But how we do that is complicated because the needy also include those violated by drug-cartels and the sex exploitation industry and other crime. So, virtue-signaling about immigration is really and act of a masquerader. ESPECIALLY when dozens of politicians, including the one in question … DOZENS quote Matthew 25 but overlook the many, many texts about murder and innocent blood! To be clear, can we take seriously any politician who speaks of compassion for children caught up in the immigration debacle … but who supports killing the unborn at the rate of 2400 plus every day? Crushing their skulls and tearing off their arms and burning off their skin? This is what will bring down God’s wrath on America. Perhaps soon. Have any of the politicians … any of them ever read why God condemned ancient pagan nations including Israel at one point? Consider:
Jeremiah 19:4 (NIV) 4 For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned sacrifices in it to gods that neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.
Such people are industrial-strength hypocrites and are in mortal danger forever. Here is where our nation is courting severe judgment. Innocent blood! It is sexual obsessions that lead to the worship of the “god” of passion. In order to have unrestrained sexual license, they must be able to kill the unborn.
Yet, with great certainty the man speaks of Matthew Twenty-Five. A very selective use of the Word of God. Friends, this society is hanging by a thread practically asking for God to destroy it. As Billy Graham said years ago: “If God does not judge America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!”
PLEASE NOTE: Will you join me in daily, ongoing prayer for America to repent of this evil that is being constantly promoted by these “angels of light?” INNOCENT BLOOD!
Just a BRIEF THOUGHT. Please. Anyone interested in frequent readings for a while studying the issue of what God expects of a society? Perhaps beginning with the Ten Commandments? Who will join me in this prayer effort? You know … preachers sometimes wonder “Is anyone listening?” Please, let me know if you are and if you could give me your name and location so I could develop a list of who is on this “Prayer team” and send it out to everyone else.
Blessings! Peace. Pastor Alberta