Do No Be Surprised

“Why are some Christians so mean, spiteful, hurtful, and divisive?” I have heard statements similar to this from Christians time and time again. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the title Christian. Not everyone who goes by this title attends a church or claims the name of Christ is a true follower of Jesus Christ. Not everyone who says they believe in Jesus is born again in the Spirit of the Lord or walking in the ways that God has commanded.

The problem is that there are many in the church who follow a religion, Christian tradition, ritual, the understanding from their own minds, and the popular Theologians of our day. They may even believe that they are completely right and without error in doctrine and belief.

But, the Lord has not given them His Spirit. They do not have His understanding, wisdom, or love. As well, the maturity of a believer in Jesus takes time. It is a process that can oftentimes take a lifetime. It takes time to be refined and pressed into His image. To learn from the Spirit of the Lord the multitude of lessons that you must learn. To be thoroughly equipped for the work He has prepared for you to do. Yet, if changed by the Lord, there will be a distinct difference from those in the world.

The one who is humble, pure of heart, meek, loving, compassionate, and has a servant’s heart is the kind of person the Lord is seeking. Those who have childlike faith. A childlike humility that comes to God through repentance. The Spirit of the Lord changes people from acting in wickedness to goodness.

And Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

This is the one who He causes to be reborn into the Holy Spirit. God will never give His Spirit, power, and authority to those who are hateful, prideful, self-centered, and divisive.

For many are called, but few are chosen. Matthew 22:14

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:16-17

The servants of the Lord will be restrained by the Spirit of the Lord. That even when they do sin they will be compelled to repent and turn to what is good and right. Repentance of sins is the cornerstone of the Gospel, the walk of the Christian. It is the action that must happen in the heart to be able to be filled with His Spirit. Turning away from wickedness to good. Rejecting the darkness to stand in the light. Believing in Jesus Christ by faith.

The lowest of low. Those who have a childlike faith in God have given up their arrogance and pride in themselves to humbly say, “God you are right and I am wrong. Please forgive me, Lord.” 

The lowest servant in the church desires to serve everyone regardless of stature, position, or title. With all righteousness and holiness, they will continue on in the work the Lord has given them. No matter what it might be. They make themselves humble as Jesus did and are called the greatest in the Kingdom, by God Himself. Though not perfect they will desire to do good and turn from evil.

And being found in human form, Jesus humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11

This is in complete opposition to what men believe in general. They do not understand how anyone could be called the greatest by being the lowest and servant to all. The ways of God do not make sense to their worldly-minded. 

Indeed, they rage against all things that are good. They hate the ways of God. If not openly, they hate them in secret. They will come against the Word of the Lord and His people. They will rebuke their good behavior as if it is evil and try to correct it as if it was wrong. Calling good evil and evil good.

Do not be surprised when this happens. Do not be surprised when those within the church rebuke and trample on the ways and teachings of the Lord. Jesus said they will come.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15-20

Jesus said that the goats will dwell among the sheep. The tares will grow with the wheat. The bad fish will swim alongside the good fish. God has allowed this in the church. The true believer will fellowship alongside the false believer. God has a purpose for this that you may not understand, but He will divide them at the proper time. Even now we see the division happening. 

So do not be surprised when you are attacked for your faith, work, and truthful words even by those who call themselves Christians. It is only a matter of time before they will turn on you as wolves turn on sheep. Desiring to tear you limb from limb. That you may be silenced and not speak the truth of Jesus Christ. Because that is their ultimate goal. To silence the truth. So be aware now that you may avoid them.

I am telling you this, so that you may have your eyes opened to the dangers around you. That you will not be caught off guard but ready, to tell the truth, stand your ground, and not be swayed by the deception of the devil. That you may put on the full armor of God beforehand so you will be ready when the attacks come.

So that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions. 1 Timothy 1:4-7

All those who walk by the Spirit of the Lord will keep their focus on Jesus, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the proper behavior that the Lord has laid down through His Commandments, ways, and precepts. They will seek to deliver the truth of the Gospel to all who might listen. That those lost souls might be saved. 

Hoping that perhaps, even those who walk in a religious spirit in the church may come to the truth of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. That they might repent, receive the new birth into the Holy Spirit, and be saved. 

God knows the destination of all men. Those who are chosen and those who are not. We speak the truth and He does the work of salvation. We sow the seed of His Gospel and He plants it into the dead heart to bring it to life.

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39

And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He thus fulfilled. Repent, therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets long ago. Acts 3:17-21

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