Lesson for the Lord’s Day

For we are not as many which corrupt the Word of God, but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:17

Until the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster occurred when the Jonestown cult in Guyana performed a mass murder/suicide of 909 people, including more than 200 children. The leader of the cult, Jim Jones, had convinced his followers that, if they all died together, they would be translated to another planet, where they would all live together in bliss. Jones had concocted his religion by mixing together some parts of the Bible with parts of Marxism, Nazism, atheism, and several other extreme doctrines. As a result, he came up with some of the most outlandish ideas, the most degrading practices, the most repressive rules, and the most dangerous teachings that have ever been assembled in the name of a religion. He went as far as is possible to imagine to corrupt the Word of God, with brutal and tragic results. Jim Jones serves as a warning to all, including Christians, to be sincere and faithful to the Word of God.

A wise man once said that if we take our ideas to the Word of God, we will generate error. But if we take our ideas from the Word of God, we will preserve truth. We need to remember that it is only as we are faithful to the Bible that we are faithful to God’s purposes. Jones was not the first person, nor will he be the last, to take his own ideas and wrap religion around them for his own purposes. This is a favourite tactic of all the cults and false religions. And this approach can only do harm, especially among the many who are deluded and led astray. For example, the founders of the so-called Jehovah’s Witnesses cult injected their own blasphemous ideas into a mis-translation of the Bible, a mis-translation that the member of that cult follow devotedly to their damnation. The cults are full of sincere people who have believed the lies and distortions of their founders and leaders. But they get no marks for sincerity, if they are sincerely wrong. Are you or I ever sincerely wrong?

Did you notice in our text that Paul spoke of handling the Word of God in the sight of God? In other words, he was constantly aware that God was watching his every move, listening to his every word, and monitoring his every thought. He was fully and totally devoted to sincerity in the presence of his God. We should have that same attitude as we read our Bibles, and as we seek to live as Christians in a wicked world. If we strive to always be faithful to what God says and what God desires, we will be faithful to what God has written. And we will not corrupt His word with our ideas. – Jim MacIntosh

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