Matthew 20:17-19 ESV
“And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.’”
Jesus Persecuted and Falsely Accused
I was on Twitter today reading through various tweets (posts) by other Tweeters (people who post on Twitter, i.e. social media) when I saw this:
“I’m convinced the church today would call Christ a heretic.” (1)
This is so true! And how do I know this is true? Well, mainly by the teachings and practices that are prominent in the majority of what is called “church” today – which includes the body of Christ and the institutional church together – and the fact that what seems to be the majority of “the church” in America today, that it has largely accepted a diluted and altered gospel message and it is applying its lies to the people’s lives.
For, how they treat the Scriptures and the teachings of Christ, and those of his New Testament apostles, is how they are treating Christ himself. And the Lord’s servants and messengers, i.e. those who are doing the will of God, and who are following in the Lord’s footsteps, and who are doing the kinds of things Jesus did, and who are saying the kinds of things he said, how they treat them is how they are treating Jesus Christ today, too. For Jesus said:
Matt 24:9-13: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
Luke 6:22-23: “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.”
John 15:18-21: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.”
Are You Living Like Jesus?
Now, if you are living a rather worldly “Christian” life, and Christ is truly not Lord (Owner-Master) of your life, but you are still lord of your own life, and so you are continuing in deliberate and habitual sin, and thus you are not walking in holiness and in righteousness in obedience to the Lord and to his commands, in practice, you will most likely be accepted by the world and by the worldly church and you will not be treated as Jesus was.
But if your life is surrendered to Jesus Christ, and your life is given over to the Lord Jesus as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, and daily you are denying self and dying to sin and walking in obedience to the Lord, and you are submitting to his Lordship over your life, you are most likely being treated like Jesus was, and therefore how others are treating you when you are walking in obedience to the Lord is how they are treating Christ himself, too.
So, if you are following the leading of the Holy Spirit, and you are going where he sends you, and you are saying what his Word teaches, but the institutional church rejects you because you are not conforming to their expectations of you, not that you are being rebellious or unsubmissive – you are not – but that they just reject who you are and what you do and say, then they are treating Jesus Christ the same way, for you represent him.
Let me give you some examples so you know what I mean:
1] You are rejected for any ministry opportunities in “the church” because you want to serve the Lord with all your heart, and so they judge you by themselves and accuse you of just wanting to ‘be seen of men.’
2] You question privately and respectfully, and via the approved means of communication, something being taught and you are told by the pastor that you just need to let him be “God’s voice to you,” or “go someplace else”.
3] A Pastor accuses you of lying about him when you did not lie, and after he did a non-denial denial in front of your college ministry leadership team, and so you are called to a meeting with church leadership, but you must admit that you lied as a prerequisite to the meeting, but you did not lie, so you can’t attend the meeting, and so they put you on church discipline.
4] You know the pastor is teaching a false gospel and that he is allowing a woman who is having an affair with a man in the church to sing on stage and to dress and to move her body and to sing sensually, and you have already spoken with him privately about part of this and now others are concerned over the same things and so you share with them what the Scriptures teach on this and it gets back to the pastor and he immediately bans you from the church property and demands an audience with you.
You did nothing wrong. It doesn’t mean you were perfect in everything you did and said, but you were innocent of wrongdoing. You were following the Lord. You were following the teachings of the Scriptures. You were doing what the Scriptures teach, and you did them according to the Scriptures. You did not have wrong motives, and you did not lie, and you showed respect, and you were submissive except to sinning against the Lord.
Why These Things Happen
So, why did all this happen to you? Well, God certainly allowed it, but Satan was behind it because he doesn’t want you to have a voice. He doesn’t want you to speak the truth of the Scriptures. He doesn’t want you warning people against lying and cheating and stealing, etc. He doesn’t want you calling out false doctrines and telling people the truth of what the Scriptures teach. He wants you silenced and/or dead.
The other reason is that many of these pastors of churches are not following the Scriptures, and they are not following Christ, but they are following men and marketing schemes and tricks of men, and they are teaching a false gospel which appeals to human flesh and so they don’t want anyone teaching the truth, for the truth offends the people they are trying to draw into their gatherings. So, they don’t want people with ‘strong convictions.’
So, if you are being like Jesus in the things that you do and say, you will be rejected, and you will be cast aside, and you will be accused of wrongdoing when you did no wrong, and you will be banned from “church” properties and put on church discipline and told to “go someplace else where you will be a better fit” because they were warned about someone like you, i.e. someone with “strong convictions,” and so they don’t want you!
And the truth of the matter is that they don’t want Jesus Christ because he does not fit in with their marketing schemes, either, and he is a person of “strong convictions,” and he is very passionate about ministry and about serving God the Father, and he definitely questioned things that were wrong, and he spoke out against false teachings. And he told people the truth that they must deny self and die with him to sin daily and walk with him in obedience or they would not inherit eternal life with him (Luke 9:23-26).
I Pray for Them
An Original Work / June 4, 2013
Based off John 17
“Glorify Your Son, that Your Son
May glorify our God in heav’n.
Father, You granted Him all power
And all authority over men,
That He might give eternal life
To all those whom now
You have given Him.”
“This now then is eternal life:
That they may know You,
Father, and Your Son;
That they may know the only true God,
And Jesus Christ whom the Father sent.
I have brought You the glory by
Finishing the work that You’ve given Me.”
“I have shown You to those whom
You gave to Me out of the world;
They were Yours. You gave them to Me
And they have obeyed Your words
And they accepted them. They knew
That I came from You, and they believed
With certainty, I was sent.”
“Holy Father, I pray for them by the
Power of Your name: Protect them,
So that they may be one as we are,
For they are still living in this world.
I have given them Your word;
Because of Your word, the world
Has hated them.”
“I pray they may have the full measure of
My joy now living within them.
Father, I pray You sanctify them
By Your word; truly Your word is truth.
As You sent Me into the world,
I send them to tell the world to repent.”