Warning: Do Not Fear Preaching The Truth!

Do Not Shun The Prophets!

In his daily Mass, Pope Francis cautioned Christians not to be overly-critical  of those who preach the Gospel, emphasizing that focusing too much on personal  precepts keeps us from being happy.Reflecting on the day’s Gospel  reading in which Jesus compares the generation to children who are always  unhappy or dissatisfied, the Pope stated that “The people of God have a certain  allergy to the preachers of the Word: they persecuted the prophets, (even)  killed them.”

The pontiff’s Dec. 13 homily was directed at those who were  present for his morning Mass in the Vatican’s Saint Martha  guesthouse.

Following the day’s readings, Pope Francis explored the  meaning of the Gospel passage, taken from Matthew, explaining that the  unhappiness of the people in that generation was because they were “not open to  the Word of God.”

Their refusal to listen, he noted, had nothing to do  with the message, but the messenger, adding that “They reject John the Baptist,”  who came “neither eating nor drinking,” saying that he was “a man  possessed.”

They rejected Jesus, the Pope observed, referring to him as  “a glutton, a drunkard, a friend of publicans and sinners,” going on to say that  the people always had a reason to criticize the preacher.

“The people of  that time preferred to take refuge in a more elaborate religion,” the Pope  emphasized, “in the moral precepts, such as the group of Pharisees; in political  compromise, as the Sadducees; in social revolution, as the zealots; in gnostic  spirituality, such as Essenes.”

“They were (happy) with their clean,  well-polished system. The preacher, however, was not (so pleased),” the pontiff  explained, recalling that Jesus reminded them of how their ancestors had treated  the prophets in the same way.

These people, noted the Pope, claim to  accept the truth, “but the preacher, preaching, no.”

“They prefer a life  caged in their precepts, in their compromises, in their revolutionary plans or  in their (disembodied) spirituality.”

“These Christians are closed, they  are trapped, sad,” observed the Pope, “these Christians are not free. Why?  Because they are afraid of the freedom of the Holy Spirit, which comes through  preaching.”

Stating that “This, then, is the scandal of preaching,” the  pontiff recalled the words of Saint Paul in which the apostle referred to “the  scandal of preaching that ends in the scandal of the Cross,” adding that “that  God should speak to us through men with limits, sinful men,  scandalizes.”

“And what scandalizes even more,” stated the Pope, “is that  that God should speak to us and save us by way of a man who says he is the Son  of God but ends (his life) as a criminal. That scandalizes.”

“These sad  Christians,” the pontiff observed, “do not believe in the Holy Spirit, do not  believe in the freedom that comes from preaching, which admonishes you, teaches  you – slaps you, as well – but it is the very freedom that makes the Church  grow.”

In seeing “these children who are afraid to dance, to cry, (who  are) afraid of everything, who ask for certainty in all things,” Pope Francis  reflected, “I think of these sad Christians, who always criticize the preachers  of the Truth, because they are afraid to open the door to the Holy  Spirit.”

Concluding his homily, the Pope urged the Mass attendees to  “pray for them,” and to “pray also for ourselves, that we do not become sad  Christians, cutting off the freedom of the Holy Spirit to come to us through the  scandal of preaching.”

Originally posted at:  EWTN news

By:  Elise Harris

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3 comments to Warning: Do Not Fear Preaching The Truth!

  • NEW TESTAMENT DENOMINATIONS? BY STEVE FINNELL

    Are denominations acceptable under the new covenant? There were no denominations of the church of Christ that were acceptable to the Lord for the first one hundred years of the church. Why do men believe that God finds the hundreds, if not thousands, of the contemporary so-called churches of Christ to be pleasing to God? Did Jesus die for a divided church?

    FIRST CENTURY DENOMINATIONS

    The First Church of Knowing Only The Baptism of John: Acts 19:1-7 ……2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this they baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus…….

    When these twelve men heard the truth and they repented of their false misunderstanding. They canceled their membership in “The First Church of Knowing Only the Baptism of John”.

    These twelve men realized that John’s baptism was not a baptism into Christ. (Galatians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.)

    These twelve men understood that they could not receive the Holy Spirit unless the received the water baptism of the new covenant. (Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.)

    You will notice, not one of the twelve told the apostle Paul that they did not need Christians baptism, because the thief of the cross was not baptized and he was in paradise with Jesus. They understood that they were living under the new covenant.

    Repentance is required for those living in error. It was mandatory for the twelve and it is necessary for those involved in the errors of modern- day denominationalism.

    The Resurrection Is Over Christian Church: 1 Timothy 2:17-18 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.

    Denominations are established because they deviate from the truth. It was true in the first century and it is true today.

    The Jerusalem Judaizers for Christ: Galatians 2:11-21 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision, 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews…………

    The apostle Paul confronted the apostle Peter because he was practicing the denominational doctrines of The Jerusalem Judaizers for Christ. Peter was perverting the truth of the gospel. Peter needed to repent. The apostle Paul did not say, it does not matter what doctrine you teach and practice as long as you are sincere.

    Men, today, who are preaching doctrines different from Biblical teaching, need to repent. There was only one church established on the Day of Pentecost. There was only one way preached, telling men how to be saved.

    WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
    1. FAITH: John 3:16
    2. REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19
    3. CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:37
    4. WATER BAPTISM: Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Galatians 3:27.

    JESUS PRAYED FOR UNITY

    John 17:20-21″I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

    Can there be unity when different denominations teach various ways to become saved?

    THERE IS ONLY ONE BODY OF CHRIST!

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

  • tg

    “these children who are afraid to dance, to cry, (who are) afraid of everything, who ask for certainty in all things,” Pope Francis reflected” – what is he talking about?

  • lisag

    There is certainty and truth at the end of life: death, judgement, heaven or hell. If the messenger is too stringent people want to ignore what the messenger is saying, but Jesus provides us with many messengers to warn us about the four last things. If you don’t like a harsher warning go to someone who is more gentle. Just do not change the message to fit your desires.