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Do You Have The Real Thing? (22 of 23)
The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached
1. FALSE PROPHETS
A) The Deception of the False Prophets
B) The Deeds of the False Prophets
2. FALSE PROFESSIONS
A) A Religious Profession
B) A Religious Practice
1. The most recognized trademark in the world is Coca-Cola. Part of their success has been their advertising and their catchy slogans. I am sure many can remember such slogans as the 1971 slogan, "I'd like the buy the world a Coke," or the 1989 slogan, "Can't beat the feeling." Many of their slogans have been built around the thought of being real, such as, "It's the real thing" (1969), "America's Real Choice" (1985), "You can't beat the real thing" (1989), "Real" (2003), and "Make It Real" (2005).
2. In the section of the Sermon on the Mount that we are considering today, Jesus confronts us as to whether or not we have the real thing. One of the complaints Jesus had against the Scribes and Pharisees is that they were not real. Three times in chapter 6 Jesus referred to them as hypocrites (6:2, 5, 16). The word "hypocrite" comes from a word that means "actor." It was used to speak of someone playing the part of another on a stage. An actor often plays a part where they pretend to be someone else. They are not that person, but only playing the part of another.
3. When Jesus called the Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites He was declaring that they were not the real deal. They were only actors. They were professing and pretending to be someone and something they were not. That is why Jesus said at the outset of the Sermon on the Mount, "That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:20).
4. The righteousness of the Scribes was only external. They were lacking an internal righteousness. I think of Shakespeare's words in Macbeth, Act I:
Your hand, your tongue; look like t ...
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