“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you will travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves“- Matthew 23:15
Evangelist of Untruth
We don’t often think of Jews as having a missionary mindset. However there was a time during the second temple period where Jews were very active in proselytizing. This fell away after the destruction of the temple due to persecution, laws against such activity imposed by Rome and then later Muslims, and also the lack of success keeping converts in the faith due to the high demands of the legalistic mandates.
It is this legalism that brings us to Jesus words. In Matthew 23:15, Jesus rebukes the scribes and Pharisees for their zeal in producing false converts. But wait, false converts? Doesn’t it say they won them as proselytes? Yes, but with what message? The Jews preached a false message, one full of legalistic regulations. Therefore, they inoculated the proselyte from the truth and sent them on their way to hell.
The Modern Message
The modern message of Christianity produces converts by promising them things such as, peace of mind, fulfillment, prosperity, or even an emotional experience. This is a false message! This new modern message creates false converts which then are also inoculated from the truth. Thereby, sending them on their way to hell. Jesus’ harsh condemnation of “Woe to you” would also to apply these evangelist of untruth. The true message, the gospel of Christ, stands by itself. Which says, we have violated God’s Holy law and deserve punishment in an eternal hell, however, God demonstrated His love towards, in that while we were yet sinners, He died, rose again in three days, and ascended into heaven, so that if we are made humble in repentance and place out faith in His son, we will receive eternal life. Anything less than the gospel make a person twice the son of hell as the messenger. Let us be cautious in our presentation of the gospel.