This Adulterous Generation
Jesus occasionally 'let off steam'. I am doing likewise in this brief exhortation.
Adulterers? Who am I referring to? To our society at large? No! To unfaithful couples? Not at all! To promiscuous singles? No! To those engaged in pre-maritial sex? No! Although we are commanded to participate in none of these I am not referring to any of our potentially immoral desires which can tempt even Christians. (http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_premaritalsex.htmI am).
I am addressing spiritual adultery - to members of the church and even leaderships who do not believe foundational aspects in the word of God, but bring the mindset of the world into the house of God. I am addressing unbelief. Unbelief is sin and is abhorrent to God (Revelation 21:8).
Consider for a moment what Jesus said to unbelieving Pharisees seeking a sign, 'But He answered and said to them an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. And there shall be no sign given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah' (Matthew 12:39).
We are surrounded by those professing to be Christians who don't believe the divinely inspired word of God! They consider segments of the Bible too incredible and too unscientific to be true. (see also the critique by John Leslie's who has a website on defending the Christian faith https://www.defendingthechristianfaith.org/).
Such have no shame but are proud of their logic, dismissing parts of the Bible . Boldly and with apparent sincerity, they encourage others to do so. They are false teachers dangerously risking hell-fire alongside false prophets. We need to pray for them. They appeal to the theories and imaginations of man, swaying many away from foundational truths! Please don't take this lightly. It is serious business. Jesus said that God will reward what we have said in this life - the good and the bad.
'A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings out good things and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings out evil things. But I say to you that every idle word, whatever men may speak, they shall give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned'. (Matthew 12:35-37)
Without exception, Jesus adamantly upheld the written word. People think that a merciful and loving God will overlook such things. No! In His love, He wants to correct our ignorance and discipline us. That is what grace is all about. Jesus believed in a literal Adam and Eve, in Noah, in Jonah, in Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt, and in the events surrounding them.
Why did Jesus refer to the sign of Jonah in particular?
A spiritual adulterer is one who brings a worldly mindset into the church to wrestle with the scriptures, deceitfully enticing men and women away from the faith. Jesus appealed to the book of Jonah which the world ridicules as being a story too fantastic to be true. The only sign given to a worldly person will be the sign of the prophet Jonah who spent three days and three nights in the belly of a whale - Jesus was talking about Himself and His three days in the grave before the resurrection. Jesus was clearly implying that the story of Jonah was literally true.
Jesus also referred to Noah when the whole world was swept away by the Flood, and that it will happen again - only this time by fire not by water, according to the apostle Peter.
Did Jesus ever question the Old Testament scriptures? Did He ever say, ''Oh, by the way - Moses and other writers got a few things wrong. I have come to correct the scriptures because, in their zeal, the prophets dumbed it down and simplified some of it too much for your sake. They thought that you just didn't know enough about science yet. Future generations will understand where Moses and the others got it all wrong'.
He said no such things, did He? Instead, He verified the written word at every opportunity! Even to Satan three times, when He was tempted in the wilderness. The apostle Peter had no qualms stating that a dumb ass spoke with a man's voice to show Balaam the prophet his madness (2 Peter 2:16). Balaam, who betrayed Israel, came to a sad end and was eventually killed by the Israelites. We ought to walk carefully before God and not despise the Old Testament accounts for God will hold us to account for the very words we have spoken. Betrayal and adultery is the same.
'But I say to you that every idle word, whatever men may speak, they shall give account of it in the Day of Judgment'. (Matthew 12:36).
Christians who deny the truth of Old Testament stories/accounts are exposing their own unbelief. They set aside the divinely inspired word of God accepting the wild fantasies of evolutionary scientists and apostates and elevating themselves above the word of God thinking themselves very clever. They try to sway Christians from their faith in the word of God. The apostles warned us about such men and women.
'All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof and for correction, for instruction in righteousness' (2 Timothy 3:16).