A Clever Performance

1 Peter 2:1-3 ESV

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation — if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

The Lord is having me to focus today on the subjects of deceit and hypocrisy and this little word “if,” which brings into question that some of those who are hearing or reading this message today may not have truly had any kind of relationship with Jesus Christ at all, but that they may be faking it. And, they may be deceiving others by trying to convince them that they truly do have a relationship with Jesus Christ, when, in fact, they don’t.

And, the purpose for this deception would be to convince others that they are righteous, or at least that they are “struggling,” or that they are trying to do what is right, and that they are trying to not do what is wrong.

But, the goal of it all is to cover up and conceal and hide what they are really doing behind closed doors, when no one else is looking. So, the whole “Christian” thing is really just a masquerade (a clever performance) to trick people into thinking they are righteous and that they have good intentions, while behind the scenes they are doing just the opposite.

And, in fact, in many cases, these who portend to the faith in Jesus Christ are actually antichrist, because by their actions towards others they are doing what is against Christ, and against his Word, and against his gospel. And, they may even be killing (murdering) and abusing and persecuting and falsely accusing and slandering those who truly are followers of Jesus.

And, they may be doing all sorts of evil against the servants of the Lord while pretending to be the “good guys” who really care about other people, and who are humanitarian, and who really are trying to serve God with their lives. But, the whole thing is a show, a performance for an audience, while pure evil is lurking in their hearts and while they are devising all sorts of wicked and evil schemes against those who truly are righteous.

1 Peter 2:9-10 ESV

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

But, the whole point of our salvation from sin is that we are called out of the darkness and that we are brought into God’s wonderful light. And, this is what we are to proclaim. For, Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, not so we could continue in blatant willful sin against God without guilt and without remorse.

For, these masqueraders of righteousness are of the antichrist and they are out to destroy the gospel of our salvation, and to manipulate and twist the truth to their advantage, and they are out to deceive others so that others will not follow Jesus Christ, either.

And, so they make up all sorts of clever stories to convince people that God requires nothing of us and that he is perfectly ok with us living in gross sin and rebellion against him, and then they call that “love.” And, they call it “compassion.” And, then they attempt to make us feel guilty, if what we teach condemns sin and calls for repentance.

These masqueraders of truth and righteousness know exactly how to twist the truth to their advantage and to make those who are teaching the truth look like the “bad guys.” They want to appear as those who truly love and care about you who do not judge you and who accept you. But, what they are really doing is condemning you to hell, because they are lying to you, and they are giving you the false notion that you can live in sin and still have eternal life with God. But, God’s Word dispels those lies over and over again.

So, don’t buy into their lies and their tricks, for they do you no favors. They are not your friends. And, they don’t care a lick about you, otherwise they would tell you the truth about your sins and your eternal destiny rather than sugar coat it and make it sound as though you can sin as much as you want and God just overlooks it and he will keep smiling on you no matter what.

1 Peter 2:11-12 ESV

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

It is true that the passions of the flesh do wage war against our souls. But, what the Lord is showing me here is that many are even faking this war within them, as though they really are battling against Satan, and as though they really are on the right side, doing the right stuff. They are trying to convince others that there really is a spiritual war going on inside of them, and that they really are crying out for help. Yet, this is to gain sympathy for themselves, and to convince people to believe that they are genuine.

But, all this is so contrived, for these fakers, these masqueraders of righteousness are just laying a trap for you. They are trying to get you to come to their rescue as a way to distract you, to pull you in to their emotions, and so that they can manipulate you and deceive you.

Or, they do so in order that they can twist the truth in such a way as to trip you up, either to get you to come their way, or to discredit you, or to prove that you are the bad one, i.e. the perpetrator, and that they, in fact, are the victim of your “persecution” of them.

And, they are very good at what they do, and they can be very convincing, and they may even pour on the tears, and appeal to your compassion, while they are just using you with the hopes that they can pull you away from Jesus in one way or another.

They may even fake confessions of sin so that you think they are being honest, but by their lifestyles, and the repetitions of these performances, it should become clear that what you are seeing is a performance, for nothing ever changes. Everything just gets recycled over and over and over again, like someone just driving around in circles.

1 Peter 2:16 ESV

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

These liars and deceivers do not have true freedom in Christ Jesus, and yet they fake that they do, but it is a cover-up for the evil that they do. And, many of them are our leaders in our nations, or in our churches, or in our homes, or they are our neighbors and our friends and our co-workers.

So, we must all be very discerning and not just believe people because they seem sincere. I know that sounds horrible, but truly this is where we are in this world of ours. So much is faked. So many of our government leaders are pretending one thing while they do another. So many of our church leaders are deeply engaged in sinful addictions and so they water down the gospel to appease their own consciences, and they lead others astray.

We really have to know the Word of God. We have to be living lives which are completely separate from the world, and separate unto God. We have to be walking in obedience to the Lord, and we have to be in tune to His Spirit within us, or we might be caught in their web of deceit and be led astray from our pure devotion to Christ. So, just because it looks real, or it feels real, doesn’t mean it is real. And, just because someone seems sincere doesn’t mean he or she is.

For certain I am not saying we go around distrusting everyone and being suspicious of everyone or that we go around making judgments of everyone. But, honestly, we live in an age of great and massive deception, and many truly can’t be trusted, and many are antichrist who are masquerading as servants of righteousness. And, they are very convincing, and they are very good at their performances, and any of us could be fooled.

So, be wise. Be discerning. Don’t believe everything you hear or see or read. Pray for guidance and wisdom, and then do as the scriptures teach that we all must do who are in Christ by faith in him. Pray much. Resist Satan. Flee temptation. Draw near to God. Put on that spiritual armor with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against you. And, know the truth and follow the truth, and learn how to discern the lies so that you aren’t led astray.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s