Should You Run From Jesus Always?

The following is a sample chapter from the Should You RUN From Jesus Always? book. Get your copy on Amazon today.

Why Doesn't Jesus Understand What He Said In Scripture?

Jesus Always and ScriptureIf Jesus Always had been written in a way, other than having Jesus speaking, it would just be a one of many low quality and misleading devotional books. I wouldn't be writing this book. But, Jesus Always presents its false teaching as though Jesus is speaking, and that is a major attack on the character and glory of God.

I would like to note that Jesus Always does include some devotions that are biblical. But that makes the problem with Jesus Always worse. The New Age and unbiblical teaching is more deeply concealed than it was in Jesus Calling. People may actually think, “I read a good, biblical devotion in Jesus Always, so it must be a good devotional book.” And it’s not

Jesus Regularly Quotes Scripture in Jesus Always

In the introduction to Jesus Always Sarah Young explains why she has included scripture within the devotions:

Because I revere the Bible, I always endeavor to make my writing consistent with Biblical truth. I include Scripture in the devotions (indicated with italics), and each entry is followed by three or four Bible references. I encourage you to look up and read these scriptures carefully, they are words of Life! – Jesus Always Introduction, page xii

Let’s be sure we understand what she is saying: Scripture is important, and because of that Sarah Young has included scripture in the devotions. And because scripture is important, she has put it in italics so you'll know when you are reading scripture within a devotion.

Okay, let's look at an example to see how well “Jesus” understands scripture. I picked the June 10th devotion because I'm currently preaching a sermon series on the Olivet Discourse and this devotion references a parable Jesus tells in Olivet Discourse.

I typically put quotations in italics, but when quoting Jesus Always I will reproduce it exactly as it is printed in the book. That way you can see where Sarah Young uses italics, as well as how she uses punctuation and capitalization.

“I am sovereign over the circumstances of your life, so there are always opportunities to be found in them. Don't be like the man who hid his master's talent in the ground because he was disgruntled with his circumstances. He gave up and took the easy way out, blaming his hard situation rather than making the most of his opportunity. Actually the more difficult your circumstances, the more you gain through it.” - Jesus Always, June 10

The phrase “hid his master's talent in the ground” is in italics, identifying it as a quote from scripture. Do a Google search for “hid his master's talent in the ground” – including the quotation marks. Putting a phrase in quotes tells Google you want to find that exact phrase. What is the result? Nothing. Google says that specific phrase is never used anywhere, including in the Bible.

But it sounds familiar. It’s from one of Jesus’ parables. It turns out it is a paraphrase of Matthew 25:18:

But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

So Jesus isn’t quoting scripture, he is paraphrasing it. That’s okay. There are times in scripture when other scripture is quoted by paraphrasing it. However, combined with Jesus Always not having book, chapter, and verse references, paraphrasing makes it even more difficult to identify the source of the quote.

What is the real Jesus saying in this parable?

The “Jesus” of Jesus Always says this parable is about a slave who is having a hard time. He does the wrong thing by giving up instead of making the most of an opportunity. According to Jesus Always, the point of the parable is that we need to make the most of every opportunity. The more difficult your circumstances, the more you gain through it. It sounds good, but is that what Jesus is really teaching?

The context is Matthew 24:31. Jesus has been describing the signs that will be seen just prior to his return, and then he tells His disciples to be ready because:

He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

What are they to be ready for? The gathering together of His elect... the gathering together of those people who are saved. What do you need to have in order to be ready? You need to have repented and trusted in Jesus as your Savior. You need to have Jesus as your Savior.

Jesus then tells four parables that illustrate what he has taught in Matthew 24:4-31:

1. The parable of the fig tree illustrates that there will be signs indicating His return is near. (Matthew 24:32-35)

2. The parable of the faithful and evil slaves shows that we are to be alert, even if it has been a long time and Jesus has not yet returned. (Matthew 24:42-51)

In the final two parables we see illustrations showing that true believers will be ready for the return of Christ, and false Christians will not. Their readiness will be seen in how they wait and what they do while they wait.

In the third parable, that of the ten virgins, the five virgins who have oil for their lamps are the ones who have spiritual life. They have repented and trusted Jesus as their Savior. They were not just waiting for the return of Jesus, they are ready for Him to return. They have their lamps as well as oil for their lamps.

The other five virgins are also waiting for the bridegroom, signifying that they think they are saved. But, they are not ready because they do not have oil for their lamps. The oil represents spiritual life. Although they think they are saved and they were part of the group waiting for Jesus to come, they have not actually put their trust in Jesus as their Savior. They have no spiritual life (lamp oil) Thus, when He comes, the bridegroom (Jesus) says to them:

“Truly I say to you, I do not know you.” - Matthew 25:12

When the Lord appears at the end of the Tribulation, many professed Christians will frantically realize their lack of spiritual life. They will not have heeded Paul's advice to the Corinthian church: “Test yourself to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5). They will be self-deceived, perhaps believing that mere association with the things and the people of Christ has made them a part of Christ's true church. Some may think that being born into a Christian family will make them a member of God's family. We know with certainty that many will be trusting in their good works. - John MacArthur, New Testament Commentary Matthew 24-28, 1989, page 90

The fourth parable, the parable of the talents, is the one Jesus Always quotes from. It illustrates that true believers will use the gifts God has given them to further God's kingdom. Here is what Jesus says in scripture:

For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. – Matthew 25:14-18

Three trusted slaves are given money to manage while their master is away. The first two slaves manage the money in a way such that it is doubled by the time their master returns. The third slave does nothing with what he is given. Instead he buries the money in the ground. He could have at least put it in the bank and collected interest, but he does nothing with what he was given.

The point of this parable is that, how we use what God has given us is an indication of whether we are saved or not. Those who use their abilities to further God’s kingdom, are truly doing God’s will and are saved. Those who do not use their gifts at all, or use them in ways that oppose the kingdom, are not saved and their eternal destiny is outer darkness (hell).

Jesus is using these parables to illustrate the difference between His true followers, and those who believe they are following Christ… in today’s language this second group are those who think they are Christians, but they are not truly followers of Christ.

Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. – Matthew 25:30

How Does This Compare With Jesus Always?

In Jesus Always this important parable about salvation is twisted to be a parable about dealing with difficult circumstances. The salvation message totally gone. The “Jesus” of Jesus Always does not understand his own words in scripture!

John MacArthur explains this parable in his commentary on Matthew:

The third slave, however, did not present the master with earnings but with an accusatory and self-serving excuse. …Like the other two, that slave was identified as belonging to the master (see v 14), representative of his belonging to Christ’s church before the second coming. But in two distinct ways he proved that his identification with Christ was superficial and did not involve genuine faith or regeneration.

First of all, he produced absolutely nothing with the talent he had been given and did not even make an attempt to use it for his master’s benefit and profit.

Second, this slave demonstrated his counterfeit allegiance by depracting his master’s character, accusing him of being “a hard man, reaping where he did not sow, and gathering where he had scattered no seed. He charged his owner with being unmerciful and dishonest. That slave represents the professing Christian whose limited knowledge of God leads him to conclude that He is distant, uncaring, unjust, and undependable. – John MacArthur, New Testament Commentary Matthew 24-28, 1989, page 105

In this parable the “master” represents God. Based on the Jesus Always interpretation of this parable, what type of character does God have? He is unmerciful and dishonest. According to Jesus Always the third slave could have been the hero of the story, if only he realized he needed to persevere and overcome the difficult circumstances resulting from his master’s (God’s) low character. That’s wrong! That’s defaming God’s character and degrading God’s glory.

Why doesn’t the “Jesus” of Jesus Always understand his own parable? Why does the “Jesus” of Jesus Always degrade God instead of glorify God?

BECAUSE HE IS NOT THE REAL JESUS… YOU CANNOT TRUST THE JESUS OF JESUS ALWAYS.” This is not a devotional book that can be trusted to give you scriptural truth.

RUN FROM JESUS ALWAYS!

I wish I could end this chapter here, but I can’t. We were looking at the phrases in italics in the June 10th devotion and there is more that needs to be said. Remember, these phrases are in italics to identify them as coming from scripture. Here is the last paragraph:

“I gladly give you Glory-strength. It is exceedingly potent because the Spirit Himself empowers you-- strengthening you in your inner being. Moreover, My limitless Glory-strength enables you to keep on enduring the unendurable. Since this Power is so vast, there is more than enough of it to spill over into Joy!” – Jesus Always, June 10

Several phrases are in italics. Do a Google search, putting each of these phrases in quotes, and you’ll find that Google does not find any of them in scripture. However, you will find that “enduring the unendurable” is a quote from Emperor Hirohito’s speech given on August 15, 1945 when Japan surrendered and World War II ended.

But wait! What about the Bible translation known as The Message? It says:

We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. – The Message, the last two sentences of Colossians 1:9-12

There it is. “Jesus” is paraphrasing The Message. That’s amazing! The Message is a paraphrase. So “Jesus” is paraphrasing a paraphrase. This is not good. But what’s worse is that The Message is a bible translation with a lot of problems…. it’s not a translation we can trust. But, we’ll need a separate chapter to deal with this problem. So turn the page, and we’ll continue.

This new book, "Should I RUN From Jesus Always," should be available for purchase before Thanksgiving.

 

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All quotes from Jesus Always are copyright 2016 by Sarah Young
Hebrews 7:25 -- 2 Corinthians 2:14 -- John 8:29 -- Matthew 28:19-20 -- Isaiah 57:16 -- Psalm 103:9