When the Followers of God Become the Spawn of Satan

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September 21, 2020

John 8:39-47

“Abraham is our father,” they answered.



“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the works of your own father.”



“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”



Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

CONSIDER THIS

If he hadn’t done it already, we can be sure Jesus just crossed the line with “the Jews” (shorthand for those claiming to speak for God’s people—see verse 13):

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

After multiple signs, multiple sermons, and multiple conversations, they still don’t get it. At times he thinks they are grasping it, yet every time they turn on him in another way. Now Jesus reads them the riot act.

Insiders rarely recognize it when their religion goes off the rails. It’s obvious only in hindsight. From the outside the trains seem to be running right on time. The problem is the new destination. They won’t know it until it’s too late. That’s why God sends prophets to warn the people. Nothing is more dangerous than a runaway religion. The quest for God, gone wrong, unwittingly and unknowingly becomes the quest for Satan. Good, God-fearing, misguided people will readily do evil in God’s name and have no idea of it.

Lest we too readily summon those radical Islamic terrorists to the stand, we need only look in our own rearview mirror to expose our own train wreck. Does the American slavery project ring a bell? We appealed to the Old Testament to deny the humanity of an entire race of people and we cited the New Testament to keep them in line. After all, the Bible does say, “Slaves obey your masters,” doesn’t it?

Yes, indeed, the followers of Jesus can as readily become the spawn of Satan as did the children of Abraham. Doing the work of Satan in the name of God has a long history, and unless we remember it regularly, we will be among those who are destined to repeat it.

THE PRAYER

Abba Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who is our Prophet, Priest, and King. Save us from the self-deception of thinking we are beyond self-deception. Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil. We want to know you, the Truth, who alone can set us free. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

THE QUESTIONS

1. How do you react to Jesus calling the Pharisees the spawn of Satan in this instance? Why did he do that?

2. Can you think of other examples where well-intentioned people did great wrong in the name of God? In the name of Jesus even?

3. How do we guard against such things happening in our own time?

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For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The lies of Satan combined with the pride of the flesh is the perfect recipe for all sorts of evil. Besides slavery, the demeaning of women as less equal to men, the Inquisition, Papal Indulgences, the sacking of Constantinople by the Crusaders, and Christian support for legislation passed that is in obvious contradiction to God’s will as revealed in Holy Scripture are just a few of the possibilities to come out of that brew.

  2. There is an important distinction to be made between those who have never been saved and those who have but are in error regarding theology or discipleship. Clearly, there were many among the Jewish leadership (“the Jews”) who were not living by faith, who clung to their ancestry for their hope. We also know there were believers among the Jewish leaders. The group Jesus is addressing in this passage are the former group who were not “true Jews” because they did not live by faith as Abraham did. Applying this passage to “believers” today requires that we also see two groups, namely the true believers and the false believers. Some proclaim Jesus as Lord but are apostate in theology or deny the power of God by living wholly ungodly lives. In this “Consider This” section is the following sentence: “Yes, indeed, the followers of Jesus can as readily become the spawn of Satan as did the children of Abraham.” A false believer is already in the “spawn of Satan” category. But a true believer cannot “readily become the spawn of Satan”. The objectionable word is “readily”. The true believer may err in theology and/or obedience without losing their salvation. It is possible to persist in such error to the point where they throw away their salvation, but that does not meet the “readily” criterion.

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