Pastor MacArthur preached tonight from Luke 20-21. Seeing John has been in Luke’s gospel for 10 years now it was probably a safe choice. This sermon was a classic exposition of a text that is often misunderstood (Luke 21:1-4). John started off by reading Luke 21:6. In this verse Jesus predicted that the symbol of the Pharisaic Judaism that dominated Palestine was going to be utterly destroyed. In light of this, MacArthur asked, “What kind of religion does Jesus seek to wipe out?” He also asked, “How did Jesus interact with the false teachers of his day?” How should that impact the way we dialogue (or don’t dialogue) with the false teachers in our day?
The unique part of this message was how MacArthur interpreted Luke 21:1-4 in light of the overall context (Luke 20:41-21:38). John believes Luke included this story (Luke 21:1-4) as a sad example of how false teachers get rich at the expense of the poor and needy (see Luke 20:47). In other words, this story is not meant to teach us how people are to give (out of grateful hearts/until it hurts/etc). Jesus was probably disturbed that this poor widow gave up everything for an apostate religious system (see also Matthew 15:1-9). False teachers are almost always greedy persons (Luke 16:14). Tragically, apostate frauds become rich at the expense of the people they abuse. MacArthur also noted that bad theology always leads to sinful practice (Luke 20:46-47).
MacArthur ended the night tracing this abuse through various false religions (Roman Catholics and the sale of indulgences/Word of Faith teachers and the seed faith doctrine, etc.) False religions typically exploit those whom God cares about greatly (the widow, the poor, the needy). False teachers will not escape God’s judgement (see Matthew 23; Luke 20:46-47). God is not only concerned about truth but about compassion and mercy. We Pastors must lead by example.