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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Apostle Meets Huckster

April 4

(Acts 8:9-13 NIV) ““Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, {10} and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, "This man is the divine power known as the Great Power." {11} They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. {12} But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. {13} Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.””

(2 Corinthians 11:12-15 NIV) "And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. {13} For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. {14} And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. {15} It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve."

(2 Peter 2:1-3 NIV) "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. {2} Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. {3} In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping."

As Philip preached in Samaria, he ran into a man named Simon. Simon was a guru/charlatan -- a religious huckster. He did magic and sorcery and was quite a celebrity in Samaria. People even said he had the Great Power, and treated him like a god. Simon ate it up, and boasted of his greatness to all who would listen. But when Philip came to town, Simon saw genuine power, and he was attracted. He “believed and was baptized”, but for the wrong reasons. He was more interested in the miracles than in the Messiah. Every generation has gurus, shysters, and charlatans, whose followers swoon over their power and charisma. The cash flows in, as people buy their books, diets, and videos. How do you tell the difference between a religious huckster and an apostle? The genuine apostle will never offer you a bag of tricks -- they will offer you a cross. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

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