Cleave with Flatteries

(The Sin of Insincerity)

Have you ever met someone who buttered you up, who polished your proverbial apple for selfish purposes, who praised you to your face, yet eventually deceived, despised, rejected and robbed you? Such people are commonly found in the business world. Bars and nightclubs teem with these types. Political halls flourish with them. Even our homes and churches have no few courtiers who serve willingly in order to win personal favor, status or money. What is given them freely today, they expect as their right tomorrow. These fair weather friends line the halls of our courts of injustice, fill the ranks of respected eye-witless news teams, and even hold the highest positions of our land. Pollsters supply public opinions which dictate their sound bytes. Their houses are built on the shifting sands of personal opinion. Christian, will you be found among those insincere ones who cleave with flatteries? Or will you stand firm in the Word of God, guided by "the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth?"

by Jerry Gentry

"Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed" (Dan. 11:34-35).

The great land of Joseph, the United States of America, was founded almost 400 years ago by Pilgrims whose express purpose was the advancement of the Christian religion. Concerning the voyage to America the original 100 pilgrims risked their lives in defense of the Mayflower Compact, which states: "Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country," they said, ". . . in the presence of God, and one of another, [we] covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic. . ."

These humble Englishmen knew that the Christian religion is the religion of the Bible, the religion of the Ten Commandments, the religion of the law of blood sacrifice of kinsman redeemer Jesus Christ. Persecution and hard times had drawn them together with great resolve. With deep sincerity, they dedicated their very lives in search of a land where they could honor their king, and practice the "Christian faith" of the Bible.

That same land today is filled with selfish sycophants, from top to bottom, who know no absolute truth, who live for pleasure, and lie for gain. If it feels good, do it, they say. Honor is swallowed up in presidential tomfoolery. The White House has become a whore house. Lying has become a way of life. "No" is sometimes "yes," depending on what your definition of "is" is. From the highest rulers to the ordinary citizens, the spirit of insincerity rules, where principle bows to expediency.

Genuine friendliness is turned into insincere flattery. It is a day when "every man [does] whatsoever is right in his own eyes" (Deut. 12:8), where women too do whatever they can get away with. High officials and lowly peasants have abandoned the religion of the Pilgrims. Whole churches thrive today in the culture of doctrinal apostasy. Television preachers compete for audiences and play the ratings game. They measure their success like the box office of a movie theater. Debt service drives their budget; membership dictates their doctrine; and local culture sets their agenda. The sin of insincerity allows many to cleave with flatteries.

When politics and religion leave the foundation of the Bible and follow public opinion, the undergirding of the nation cracks up. When husbands fail to pray, they will pay. When wives rebel, time will tell. Where children oppress, they too will be oppressed. Such is the message of the Christian faith to the church.

Have you noticed? Even many Christians today speak more openly about Hollywood than heaven, more about careers and money and jobs than Christian witness, more about weekend sports than the fruits of the spirit, and more about cars and houses and soaps than the kingdom.

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1:18).

Who are these "who hold the truth in unrighteousness?" How is it possible to "to hold the truth in unrighteousness?"

These are the insincere but churched do-gooders, the proud pharisees, the wimpy preachers of expediency, the women who rule, and the children who oppress. These "who hold the truth in unrighteousness" may pray and read the Bible and confess to many good works. Yet deep inside their hearts you will find iniquity. You will find self will. You will find that insincere Christians have made God a part of their lives, instead of giving their lives to God. There is a difference. Instead of bowels of mercies you will find gall and wormwood. Instead of the fruits of the spirit, you will find a root of bitterness. These insincere sunshine Christians put on a good front, but later they dance and sing with the world when they think you are not watching.

These people have, in effect, "changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen" (Rom. 1:25). These people know God. They love him, with a carnal kind of love. They confess to his existence, yet with their lives they state boldly and proudly, along with the citizens of the world, that: "We will not have this man [Jesus Christ] to reign over us" (Luke 19:14). Instead of the faith of Christ, they have faith in excuses. Instead of sincerity, they cleave with flatteries.

They remain on the fringes of genuine Christian fellowship. They look to men, and not to God. Their lives are a fraud. Even as presidents, they avoid accountability by deferring to spin doctors and lawyers.

Sister, are you a holy woman of God? Then hear what the Bible says about holy women:

"For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands" (1Pe 3:5).

"Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement" (1Pe 3:6). Christian woman, do you count yourself among those "who trust. . .in God?" If so, the evidence of that trust is found in your "subjection unto . . . [your] own husband." Rebel against this idea to your own peril.

"Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered" (1Pe 3:7). Married Christian man, do you understand your wife? Have you studied her, that you may say you really know her? Do you treat her as fine crystal, or more like a washtub? Do you "dwell with . . . [her] according to knowledge" and meet her needs? If you do not know her and meet her needs, where will she go to get those needs met?

Christian man, are you a child of Abraham? Then, "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham" (Gal. 3:7). If you are a sincere child of the faith, then you can claim Abraham as your father.

Insincere adulators may know that Jesus said, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). They may know that they must keep a personal involvement in the church, and that the church is that ark of safety, that vessel of salvation, the only institution in this world to which Jesus Christ promised perpetuity. They may know that without the church, they are lost in the world.

With Bible under their arm, powerful politicians exit the halls of great cathedrals and sometimes wave to cameras. Appearances are everything to these religious hypocrites. Lots of voters attend church, and politicians need votes. Attending church makes great PR for presidents and Congressmen. Attending church requires little sincerity. Genuine Christianity requires much more, as the pilgrims who signed the Mayflower Compact knew well. Sincere Christianity requires total surrender of life for what you believe. Next it requires separation from the world, as the apostle James teaches us:

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4). A friend of God, or a friend of the world? Christian, which will it be? You are either in the ark of God, or you are not. False conversions abound among people with one foot in the church, the other dancing to the drum beat of the world.

The Bible teaches the lesson of sincerity, by setting aside 7 days each spring, wherein all Christians are commanded to eat unleavened bread. These days are called "The Feast of Unleavened Bread." "Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1Cor. 5:8).

We are taught: "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour" (Eph 5:2).

"But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints" (v. 3).

"Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks" (v. 4).

Have you ever engaged in "foolish talking" or "jesting?" Have you ever looked up the word "jesting?" It means, "witticism, i.e. (in a vulgar sense) ribaldry," Ribaldry means: "Vulgar, lewdly humorous language or joking."

Instead of foolish talking, we are exhorted: "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1Pet. 2:2).

There is coming a time, perhaps sooner than we think, when: "And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries" (Dan. 11:21). Does Daniel speak of the ultimate end time One World Order, and its beast power ruler? We can say for sure that flattery rules where the Word of God is absent. That system will be the ultimate affront to the Word of God. At such a time, repentance becomes impossible for the deceived masses, even though "many shall cleave to them with flatteries." At such a time, churches will be filled with "ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1:18). These are insincere, pseudo-Christians, who know not God.

Of such a time, God says: "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still" (Rev. 22:11).

Christian, do you have a facade of pseudo-righteousness you hang out front? Are you sincere? Are you real? Is what others see, what they really get? Do you avoid accountability, or do you welcome it? Consider this warning from the apostle Paul:

"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders" (2Th 2:9).

"And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (v. 10).

"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (v. 11).

"That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (v. 12).

The sin of insincerity marks you as an unbeliever, in a basic, fundamental sense. An insincere heart drives away the Spirit of truth. The sin of insincerity will carry you into the fires of hell, as a churched, though unsaved, believer.

The Bible says, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2Cor. 13:5).

If you have flattered your way to where you are, you need repentance. You need forgiveness. You need the blood of Christ. Christian believer, bring forth a sincere heart toward God and man, and avoid those insincere ones who cleave with flatteries, whose ultimate end is the lake of fire.

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