Published on
October 17, 2023

Matthew 16

“'An evil and adulterous generation wants a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.' Then He left them and went away.”

Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Read Time
4 minutes
Matthew 16
“‘An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.’ Then He left them and went away. The disciples reached the other shore, and they had forgotten to take bread. Then, Jesus told them, ‘Watch out and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’” Matthew 16:4-6 (HCSB)

What is an adulterous generation? Spiritual adultery forsakes belief & faith for the latest sign or wonder. It is, at its core, idolatry and paganism.

Spiritual adultery may display itself as overtly as leaving the Church for another religion. It may also show itself in subtle signs such as “church hopping.” Unlike people seeking God to find the right church, chronic church hoppers think the worship experience is all about them. They crave excitement but don’t commit to serving beyond their comfort zone. When the church services become uncomfortable or unentertaining, they move on in search of a better experience.

People who are not mature in their faith (i.e., aren’t grounded in God’s Word) are less likely to be reliable members of a congregation. They are also more likely to be enticed by subtle heretical teaching.

Ask yourself: If your church were your spouse, would it say you were faithful?

This was the case with the Pharisees, who were secretly communicating with Jesus’s disciples. They were engaged in hushed conversations with the disciples, planting subversive thoughts. Jesus said, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees.” What was He talking about?

“Yeast” describes heretical teaching that entices the flesh. Because it is subtle, yeast spreads undetected until it grows too big to control. In the Bible, yeast is synonymous with sin because it spreads quietly until it’s almost too late. Yeast is more dangerous than blatant heresy. At least blatant heresy is easily spotted.

Yeast theology works hand-in-glove with an adulterous generation. When people reject sound doctrine, they end up attending a church that doesn’t challenge them with the truth of Scripture. When a pulpit is compromised, Bible teaching is replaced with “Bible-themed” messages. Rote volunteerism replaces discipleship & kingdom-building.

Sadly, years can go by before a person recognizes the emptiness of this type of theology. Many people spiritually starve to death. Others just bounce from benign congregation to benign congregation. They grow increasingly bitter about anything that convicts of sin, and they get bored unless the congregation’s “production” is entertaining.

Here’s a good rule: look for a congregation that considers the Bible to be the source of sound doctrine instead of just another resource for positive living.

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