Monday, January 24, 2011
A Dangerous Place
But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, "No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons." —Matthew 12:24
The Pharisees were men who had dedicated their lives to the study of Scripture. They took a solemn vow before three witnesses to spend every moment of their lives obeying the Ten Commandments. That is not to say they succeeded, because clearly they did not. But that is at least what they tried to do. And with a few exceptions, such as Nicodemus, these Pharisees—these religious experts—had hard hearts.
What is ironic is they spent their time studying the Scriptures. These men, immersed in such a spiritual endeavor, had hearts that were so hard, they attributed to the devil that which was being done by God.
This reminds us that the church can be a dangerous place for us today. It is a place where we honor God. It is a place where the Word of God goes out. And we have a choice as to how we will react to these things. If we are in church because we want to worship and learn more about Christ, then that is great. But if we go to church out of mere obligation, thinking we can sin a little more because we have done our duty, that can be dangerous.
The same sun that softens the wax hardens the clay. And sometimes the most hardened people can be inside the church, because they think, I know it all. I have heard it all. I am so spiritual. The problem is they are getting a hard heart. They are arrogant and resistant to the work the Holy Spirit wants to do in their lives.
It is easier to get a hard heart inside the church than outside of it. So if you have a critical spirit and a hard heart, watch out. The church can be a dangerous place for you.
Copyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
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