Yes, I Tell You, Fear Him

Luke 12:2-3 ESV

“In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.’”

Leaven (yeast), figuratively speaking, is the spreading influence of what is typically concealed. It is generally a symbol of the spreading nature of evil. And hypocrisy is pretending to be someone or something we are not. It is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform, does not match up. We are to guard our hearts against the spreading influence of pretending to be what we are not.

We need to be those who are sincere and honest, who do not put on airs to impress other people. We should be who we are no matter who we are with or where we are located or whether we are in person or in writing only. We should not speak above what we are living, or else we should be honest that we are failing or that we are still growing in this area. We should all be able to say with Paul that we are still a work in process (progress), a work not yet completed, but that we are going in the right direction (Php 3:12-14).

And to be clear, a work in process is the process of sanctification, it is not the process of addiction to sin where we are still habitually and deliberately giving our lives over to particular sins as a matter of habit and life course. Being not yet fully perfected is never to be used as an excuse for continued and deliberate and premeditated sin against God and against other humans. For if our hearts are still being given over to sin habitually while we are claiming to be following Jesus with our lives, that is hypocrisy.

Now if we are not being hypocritical, the following should not concern us. For this tells us that nothing that is hidden will not be revealed or made known at some time. Whatever we have spoken in secret will be heard in the light and will be proclaimed on the housetops. So I will say in all honesty that my speech has not always been perfect. There have been things I have said in private that I would not want announced publicly. But sin is not my practice. Righteousness and obedience to my Lord are what I practice, as is honesty.

And if we are at all aware of what is going on in the world we must realize that nothing, absolutely nothing we do or say, if we are at all connected to technology, is private anymore. There are ears listening to us all the time. Just pay attention to your conversations and then pay attention to what ads you get on the internet or how easily Google finishes your searches like it knows what you are going to say or ask. And one day they could shout from the rooftops everything they heard us say, too. So beware.

Luke 12:4-7 ESV

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

The Bible acknowledges the fact that, as Christians, we may sin at times (1 Jn 2:1-2), but that we do have an advocate, Jesus Christ, who speaks in our defense. We do not lose our salvation every time we sin. BUT, and we need to get this, the Scriptures are also very clear about the end result of living in sin, in continuing in habitual and deliberate sin against the Lord and of not walking in obedience to his commands. We will not inherit eternal life with God. And if this is our practice, we don’t even know God (1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10).

So, being a follower of Jesus does not necessarily mean that we never sin or that we never say something we know we shouldn’t have, but it means that we are no longer under the control of sin, that sin no longer has power over our lives, and that we are no longer enslaved (addicted) to sin but that we are now servants of righteousness and of holiness. And we are now walking according to the Spirit in obedience to our Lord, and we are not walking any longer according to our flesh, obeying sin and not God.

But, if we are followers of Jesus, and if we are making righteousness and holiness and obedience to our Lord our practice, and sin is no longer our practice, and if we are going wherever the Lord sends us, and if we are saying what he gives us to say, and if we are doing what he calls us to do in taking his messages to the people of the world, we will be opposed just like Jesus was, and just like the apostles were and the prophets before them. For those who are living in sin, especially if they are being hypocritical, will not like us, and they may come against us and they may persecute us.

But we are not to fear those who can kill the body but who cannot kill our souls. We are not to fear the opinions of or the rejection of those who do not approve of our chosen lifestyles as those who are following Jesus with wholehearted devotion. We are not to fear anything that other humans may do to us or say about us because God is still in control and nothing can touch us that God does not allow it for his purposes. And the Lord will carry us through it all or he will take us home to be with him forever.

But we are to continue to walk in the fear of the Lord in all honesty and sincerity of devotion to the Lord. We are to honor the Lord with our lives (with our bodies) and we are to live to please him in all that we do and say. We are to be conformed to his likeness and not to the likeness of other humans or to the patterns of this sinful world. And we are to show our Lord respect and obey him and give our worship to him and follow him always.

But should we continue to walk in sin, in deliberate and habitual (addictive) sin against the Lord, and not in holiness, and not in obedience to our Lord, then we need to understand that the Scriptures teach that we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what we profess with our lips. So if you profess faith in Jesus but you are still walking in sin, salvation is not yours to have (to claim). Heaven will not be your eternal destiny. Hell will be. So, please surrender your lives to Jesus today and follow him in his ways.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

All Through the Night

An Original Work / December 7, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

Blessed are you when you’re persecuted
Because of your faith in Jesus Christ.
Blessed are you when people insult you,
And falsely say what leads folks to doubt.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is
Great in the heavens. You’re not alone.

When you are persecuted in one place,
Flee to another. God will be there.
You will be hated by all the nations
Because you testify of God’s grace.
Many will seize you and persecute you,
And put to death the foll’wers of Christ.

Yet do not fear what humans may do to you,
For I’m with you all through the night.
I tell you, love your enemies with my love,
And forgive as I forgave you.
Pray for those who do evil against you.
Rest in my love and grace from above.

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