TROUBLE NOT PEACE
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Christians today seem so concerned with upsetting the feelings of others or offending anyone that they skirt around the truth of the gospel. High ratings and "likes" from man instead of God are more gratifying. Jesus is the truth therefore we can't preach Jesus without the truth even if it is unpopular, difficult to say, hear or act out. To follow Jesus means we abide in Him, we agree with ALL of His teachings, we want to become like Him, He is our friend and fellowship with Him we seek over all else.
Matt 10:34 Don’t think that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came to bring trouble, not peace. 35 I came to turn sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, and daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law.36 Your worst enemies will be in your own family. 37 If you love your father or mother or even your sons and daughters more than me, you are not fit to be my disciples. 38 And unless you are willing to take up your cross and come with me, you are not fit to be my disciples. 39 If you try to save your life, you will lose it. But if you give it up for me, you will surely find it.
Jesus never sugar coated the gospel and never manipulated people to follow Him by fluffing egos or teaching prosperity, ease, and wealth. In fact many turned away from Jesus unable to follow because they were unwilling to leave their pride, beliefs, valuables, and comfortable lives. This didn't offend Jesus because He was concerned with pleasing and doing the will of the Father not man.
Abiding in Christ is impossible if we seek to please people or ego (self) over God. People who defend or condone evil behavior and false teachers because they are family members, pastors, or friends by believing it is judgmental or unloving are blind to biblical truth.
The world teaches to hide shame in darkness, stay quiet, keep the peace with all even at the risk of destroying innocence and losing souls. This nonsense only feeds satans kingdom and is far from the kind of agape love Jesus portrayed. He would never support betrayal of the innocent to spare the feelings of liars or evildoers even if they were His family or friends.
Matt 18:6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. To NOT know Jesus is to live in blind ignorance and the only way to receive the revelational truth of Jesus Christ is to accept Him as Lord and Savior by repenting of sins and walking daily in close relationship with Him. Before this happens we are separate from the truth (Jesus) and this will be evident in our nature, attitude, character, speech and actions.
To remain neutral towards evil or false teaching is a sin. The reason people are afraid to shine light on darkness always comes down to pride. They are afraid of the consequences it may bring and how it will effect "them" instead of the good will and safety of the innocent. Overlooking evil or wrongdoing is lazy and adding to the work of the devil.
James 4:17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
I never cared for the phrase "blood is thicker than water" because I believe morality should be thicker than blood and Jesus obviously thought the same seeing how He judged the sins of the world by the death of His own Son. Yes, God loves us that much but He can't forgive those who refuse to repent. He won't save those who refuse to turn from their ways and follow Jesus' ways instead which always leads to a new life of freedom proven by a changed life. This is God's will for everyone and it's rare to hear this kind of message being preached.
Peter, Paul, Titus, Luke and all the other great men of God were never striving to be people pleasers, never preached a sugar coated gospel leaving out soul saving truth, and never tried to manipulate men with lies into being believers in Christ. They didn't have to because they had their advocate, Christ in them, doing the life changing work in the hearts of men.
Today, I believe the greatest problem with the church is the Holy Spirit has been neglected, quenched and rejected to the point men are relying on themselves and what people want to hear instead. It's more about numbers, appearance, status, programs and finances. Real men of God trying to preach the true gospel today are looked upon as bitter, hateful, judgmental, and unloving and satan is loving every minute of it.
Jesus will reveal the truth (Himself) to those who seek Him diligently and faithfully.
Be a truth seeker not a people pleaser!
Repentance is a prerequisite to belief. What is repentance? Its basic meaning is "to change" or "to turn." Once a person hears the gospel and is convicted that his way of life is wrong, he must change his present behavior and "bear fruits worthy of repentance" (Matthew 3:8). Repentance is not merely feeling sorry or remorseful, but being so stricken in one's heart that one seeks the cleansing of baptism and begins to live according to God's standards - according to God's law. Remorse without a corresponding change in conduct is not repentance!
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Yes, good article. We are to repent and believe.