A crowd had gathered… Like most people, I was intrigued and went to investigate. Our family was hiking at Rancho San Antonio park on a Saturday morning. At “The Farm” there are all kinds of animals: goats, sheep, chickens. But the center of attention was a litter of cute, pink little piglets, who were squealing and skipping around much to the entertainment of city folk like me. I’m not sure if they had been washed up by Farmer John just fo
r the crowds, but it worked! We were all uttering “oohs” and “ahhs” while taking pictures and videos; you couldn’t help but smile at their curly tails and bright little eyes.
But over in the corner, half submerged in the mud, was the mama hog. She was enormous, somewhere around 1000 pounds, barely moving except to wallow just a bit deeper in the mire. The muck and the flies kept the crowd focused on the piglets, but I thought – “That’s where those little porkers are headed!”
How do I know that? I’m no farm boy, that’s for sure! It’s because the Bible says so! “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” 2 Peter 2:22. No, Peter is not giving advice to future farmers; he’s illustrating that false religion, no matter how passionate or spectacular, cannot change the true nature of the human heart. Despite cosmetic improvements to the exterior of a person’s life, their “true colors” will always show.
Despite their promises of false teachers in 2 Peter 2:17-22, the reality is that they can’t even clean up themselves, let alone others! On Sunday we will study seven kinds of false teachers in the church today and how to guard against them.
This Sunday we also celebrate Pentecost! Throughout the books of Exodus and Leviticus, God gives instructions through Moses as to how the people were to approach God… The Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) was one of three major feasts where Israelites gathered in Jerusalem. It was 50 days after Passover (hence the Greek name “Pentecost”). It’s the day God chose to pour out the Holy Spirit in accordance with Old Testament promises (See Acts 2).
Unlike the promises of the false teachers, the work of the Holy Spirit transforms God’s people from the inside out. Over 2000 years later, and in hearts all over the world, that work is still going on. Psalm 40:2 says, “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” We’ll celebrate God’s transforming work across the many tribes, tongues, and nations represented at Valley Church. See you there!