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The Seven Woes of Today

John Collins04/19/2012
Matthew 23 describes seven woes Jesus gave to the Scribes and the Pharisees.

Jesus said the scribes and the Pharisees sit in the seat of Moses to observe, and the see everything the people did, yet they did not do the same works.  Jesus said they did not practice what they preached.  They enjoyed the best seats and being called "rabbi" by others, but lacked humility.

Jesus said they "shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces."  They neither entered the kingdom of heaven nor allowed those who wanted to enter the kingdom to go in.

Jesus said that they taught that money given to the temple gave a better testimony to the oath of the people, and in doing so had made the gold sacred in their eyes.  Their oaths should be made to the kingdom of heaven by the throne of God, and by Him who sits upon it.

Jesus said that they placed so much emphasis on tithe that they neglected the most important aspects of the laws:  Justice, mercy, and faithfulness.  He said they were "straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel."

Jesus said they cleaned their outside appearances, but did not cleanse their own insides.  As dinnerware, they should cleanse the inside of the cup or plate, and then the outside.

Jesus said they were like whitewashed tombs.  They outwardly appeared beautiful, but inside were full of dead people's bones and all filth.  They outwardly appeared righteous to others, but were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Jesus said they built tombs of the prophets and decorate these monuments of the righteous.  Jesus called them a generation of serpents.  They did not listen to the people Jesus called and sent to them.  In doing so, they were responsible of the blood from Abel to Zechariah, murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
   
As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  How is this different from today?  How many of our pastors enjoy their titles, and enjoy telling us of how they knew the great men of old who are dead and long gone?  How many "shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces," driving some from Christ altogether?  How many teach that our promises to God mean nothing if we do not tithe the church?  or require the same percent of tithe from the poor, trying to "strain out of a gnat!"  How many look righteous on the outside, but we later find they are filled with love of money, entertainment, sex, or even alcohol?  How many have skeletons in their closets, people who they have hurt and offended in the effort to appear righteous?  How many ignore the preachers that god has called today, thinking they are not in need of continual edification?  How many are responsible for building monuments to the great men of old, or making sure their grave site remains decorated, like a Mason's pyramid gravesite honoring Charles Taze Russell?

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