Beware (Part 2)
Shopping Centres in the Philippines as well as public transportation usually have signs or notices like: Beware of pickpockets. Houses put “beware of guard dog”. Indeed we have a lot to beware of. We have discussed last week about false prophets and false teachers. Today we will continue on other things that we are to beware of.
I. Covetousness (Lk. 12:15)
A. To covet means to desire inordinately; to desire that which it is unlawful to obtain or possess; excessively eager to obtain and possess (Webster); to be dissatisfied with one’s lot; to be greedy.
B. Covetousness is to desire that which is not my own or that which is forbidden (Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21; Jos. 7:21).
C. Covetousness is to love and pursue money and personal wealth instead of being content with the basic needs of life and to pursue righteousness and the will of God (1Tim. 6:6-11).
D. Covetousness is idolatry. (Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5)
E. Covetousness leads to Lying, 2Ki. 5:22-25, Murder, Pr. 1:18-19, Theft, Jos. 7:21, Poverty, P. r 28:22, Misery, 1Tim. 6:10, Domestic affliction, Pr. 15:27
F. Covetousness shall abound in the last days. 2Tim. 3:2; 2Pet. 2:1-3
G. Covetous person will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 1Cor. 6:10; Eph. 5:5
Generally, men fall into two categories
A. “Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous” (2 Tim 3:2); or
B. “Men of truth, hating covetousness” (Ex 18:21). Acts 20:33
Achan’s covetousness caused him his life and the life of his family. A loan shark greedy for money did not see that his only daughter was already hooked on drugs. A very high price to pay for his covetousness.
II. Tradition of men (Col. 2:8)
A. Tradition is the act of delivering into the hands of another; that which is handed down from generation to generation. The Latin root of this word is trado, to deliver. The delivery of opinions, doctrines, practices, rites and customs from father to son, or from ancestors to posterity (Webster).
B. This word is used in two distinctly different ways in the N.T., and the chief dif-ference between the two meanings is the authority upon which the tradition is based
(1) The vain traditions of false religion (Mt. 15:2-3,6; Mr. 7:3,5,8-9,13; Gal. 1:14; Col. 2:8). This involves any uninspired teaching of man that is placed on the same level of authority as the inspired Word of God. The Roman Catholic Church has brazenly exalted its traditions to a level equal with Holy Scripture. Many other denominations are also guilty of founding their doc-trine and practice on the uninspired traditions of man rather than solely upon the infallible and all-sufficient Word of God.
(2) The authoritative teachings and practices of the N.T. as delivered to the Apostles by inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2Th 2:15; 3:6). In this passage of Scripture the term tradition is used in a positive sense, referring to that which has been handed down from the Lord’s Apostles by inspired doc-trine.
The Lord Jesus Christ reproved the Pharisees for laying aside the commandment of God and hold-ing up the tradition of men.
William Poteet wrote how in 1903 the Russian Czar noticed a sentry posted for no apparent reason on the Kremlin grounds. Upon inquiry, he discovered that in 1776 Catherine the Great found there the first flower of spring. “Post a sentry here,” she commanded, “so that no one tramples that flower under foot!” Some traditions die hard.
III. Beware of wine, the symbol of earthly pleasure (Judges 13:4-13)
A. Jesus did not drink or make alcoholic wine. He could not contradict the scripture (read Mt. 5:17-18 and Hab. 2:15)
B. In Jn. 2 the miracle of turning water into wine does not require that it be alcoholic. The Lord Jesus Christ would not have gotten glory from making drunk people drunker.
C. Making drunk people drunker would not have caused his disciples to believe more strongly on Him. By turning water into wine, His disciple’s faith grow stronger. Jesus was the Messiah they were looking for, a holy man not a guy who gives free alco-holic drink to make people drunk.
D. There is more Scripture condemning the use of alcoholic beverages than will be found on the subjects of lying, adultery, swearing, cheating, hypocrisy, pride, or even blasphemy.
1. Genesis 9:20-26 – Noah became drunk; the result was immorality and family trouble.
2. Genesis 19:30-38 – Lot was so drunk he did not know what he was doing; this led to immorality.
3. Proverbs 4:17 – Alcoholic drink is called the wine of violence.
4. Jeremiah 35:2-14 – The Rechabites drank no grape juice or intoxicating wine and were blessed.
5. Daniel 1:5-17 – Daniel refused the king’s intoxicating wine and was blessed for it along with his abstaining friends.
6. Galatians 5:21 – Acts of the sinful nature, such as drunkenness, will prohibit a person from inheriting the kingdom of God.
7. Ephesians 5:18 – In contrast to being drunk with wine, the believer is to be filled with the Spirit.
Alcoholism is found to be breaking marriages, impoverishing families, and displacing children from homes. It is blamed for 80,000 deaths a year including half of all traffic fatalities and homicides and a fourth of all suicides.
IV. Forgetfulness (Deut. 6:12)
A. Forgetting God is one of the warning giving by the Lord to the Israelites upon en-tering the Promised Land.
B. Prosperity often leads to forgetting God. Deut. 8:12-14; Hos. 13:6.
C. False teachers makes people forget God. Jer. 23:27
D. Forgetting God is a characteristic of the wicked. Pr. 2:17; Isa. 65:11
Man’s short attention span is no surprise to God. Speaking to Israel, He offered solutions in Deu-teronomy 6. First, know the real issues of life and keep priorities straight (vv. 4,5). Second, take the Scriptures seriously. Become so familiar with them that they are a part of what you think and feel and do (v. 6). Third, talk about God to your children, and look for opportunities to tell them of His love (v. 7). Fourth, write reminders to yourself and put them where they can be easily seen (vv. 8,9). Fifth, realize that your need for God is not limited to times of obvious stress or danger. Enjoy with gratitude whatever health and happiness you have (vv. 10,11).
Can we put God out of our mind? I’m afraid so. That’s why we must acknowledge and obey Him continually. It’s the only way of keeping Him in mind.
I have told you some of the very important things that we are to beware of. There’s more but I honestly think this is more dangerous than the rest. False prophets, False teachers, Covetousness, traditions, wine, and forgetfulness of what God has done have ruined many lives. Have an intimate relation with Jesus Christ now.