If one comes and preaches another Jesus
2 Corinthians 11:1-15 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. 5 For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles. 6 But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things.
7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge? 8 I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you; 9 and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
In today’s text Paul says: I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. In 2 Timothy 4:1-4 He writes: I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. Surely, today we see the times and the circumstances that Paul was afraid of and warned about. We see that many are deceived by the preaching of “another Jesus.” Many today believe and say that if Jesus were here today, He would tolerate and embrace sin and immorality, rather than calling people to repent and sin no more. Many go so far as to say that Jesus even engaged in and participated in sin, rather than speaking the truth that He: was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) Some say that because of grace sin no longer matters; that because Jesus died for sin, once for all, past present and future, sin is now irrelevant. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Still others promote a Jesus who just wants us to give us financial provision and blessings; a Jesus that will give us whatever we ask for. Philippians 4:19 says: My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Some though believe that God will supply even their greed. In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus says: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Jesus Himself spoke of and warned about the same thing Paul feared and spoke of. In Matthew 24:4-14 Jesus says: “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many (preaching another Jesus). You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. (In John 14:15 Jesus says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” We cannot embrace lawlessness and say that we love Jesus) But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” When Jesus was here, He preached the gospel of the kingdom. When He began His ministry He said: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
In John 10:10 Jesus says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus did come so that we could have an abundant life. He does want us to enjoy the blessings and the promises of God. But first and foremost, He wants us to have eternal life. In Matthew 16:24-26 Jesus says: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” John 3:16 says: God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. In 1 Corinthians 2:2 Paul says: I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We cannot ever fully know the magnitude and the awesomeness of God and Christ. Our finite minds cannot fully comprehend His infinite glory, majesty and holiness. But if we know and believe one thing, may it be what Paul knew: Jesus Christ and Him crucified. May we know the love of God demonstrated in the cross. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit, for Your boundless love, mercy and grace. Thank You for all of Your blessings, promises and provision. Thank You for the abundant life You give, but if I never knew anything else, thank You that I know Jesus Christ was crucified for my sins. I believe. Amen.