If You Are
If you are a genuine follower of Jesus Christ, and if you are one who is walking in obedience to the Lord and who is no longer living in addiction to sin, and who is sharing the truth of the gospel, and who is exposing the lies of our enemy, Satan, though you may be accepted by some people, if you live in America, you will largely be rejected. And why will people reject you? Because you are telling them the truth that they don’t want to hear.
And we are not talking here about the unchristian world which has rejected Christ as Savior, but we are talking about the majority of people calling themselves Christians and believers in Jesus Christ. They don’t want to hear the truth of the gospel and so they shut up their ears and they refuse to listen, and instead they fill their minds with lies and with fantasy and with things which make them feel good and which do not speak of sin at all.
And they largely talk about things which matter not for the Lord or for their walks of faith in Jesus Christ at all. They talk much like the people of the world who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ, at all. And so it is barely distinguishable today between the church and the world because the church at large has become so much like the world, for she has adopted the ways of the world in order to attract the world to her gatherings.
Galatians 4:16-20 ESV
“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.”
The truth of the matter is that if, like Paul, you are telling people the truth about sin, righteousness, and judgment, most of them will not want to hear it. They want to hear things that make them feel good about themselves and which do not confront them with their sinful practices so that they can go on living however they want, with little to no regard for God at all, nor for his commands. For although many profess Christ as Lord and Savior, many do not live as though he has delivered them out of their slavery to sin.
Now I know that this passage of Scripture is regarding the Jews who had become Christians but who were turning back to living under the Old Covenant and not under the New Covenant because of pressure they were receiving from the Judaizers to convince them that they still had to obey some of the Old Covenant liturgical and ceremonial laws. Or this was Gentile believers in Jesus who were being pressured into having to obey some of the Old Covenant ceremonial and liturgical laws.
Nonetheless, this is still about people believing lies and thus following after the lies while rejecting the truth of the gospel of our salvation. So whether the lies are to try to convince you that you should do certain religious customs, or if they are lies which tell you that you can keep living in habitual and deliberate sin against the Lord and still go to heaven when you die, they are still lies which are opposed the truth which if you believe them can impact whether or not you do go to heaven when you die.
For there are so many people professing Jesus as Lord and Savior who are still living self-indulgent lives, living to please their flesh, living to themselves and not to God, doing what they want to do, even if it is to sin against God and other humans. Jesus is not the lover of their souls for they are “in love” with the lusts of the flesh, instead. And his truth is not what they follow, for they are following after the lies which allow them to keep living for themselves and not for God.
And even if they are hearing the truth, and the lies are being exposed to them, and the truth is being proclaimed, they are refusing to hear the truth and they are continuing to follow after the lies, and they are living foolish lives rather than to live in the wisdom of God. They are not being watchful and alert so that they do not enter into sin, but they are leaving the door wide open to keep returning to the same addictive sins over again. So they remain immovable, still stubborn and unwilling to yield to the Lord.
And so those who are proclaiming the truth have indeed become their enemy because they don’t want to hear the truth even though they know it is the truth and they are not ignorant of that fact. And so they follow people who will tell them what their itching ears want to hear even though many of them know that they are following the lies. For they don’t want to have to change how they are living, in reality. And so they harden their hearts to the truth so that they can continue to follow after the lies.
And if you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, this should grieve you. And you should be passionate about getting the truth out to as many people as who will listen to it, because the truth is that we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and sin should no longer have mastery over our lives, for Jesus delivered us out of our slavery (addiction) to sin. And now we should walk in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant).
For, if we continue to live according to the flesh in habitual and deliberate sin against God and against other humans, and if obedience to our Lord is not what we practice, then according to the Scriptures, we will not inherit eternal life with God. We will not enter God’s heavenly kingdom. But we will be shut out, and the Lord will say to us, “I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23; c.f. 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10).
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-32; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Heb 10:26-27; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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