Giving God Reason To Be Your Enemy

Friends,
Speaking about that verse I quoted yesterday… “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:19,20)

Well, I had a strange experience last week where that truth was brought to my mind. I have volunteered somewhere as “a minister for Christ” for seven years; and for most of this time I have been treated rudely by two women and a man –all siblings –though I didn’t know they were siblings until last year. I couldn’t figure out at all what I had done to cause them to dislike me, because I barely ever spoke to these people except to cheerfully say hi or even pay them a compliment. “Oh, well,” I decided after a while, “I’ll just avoid them,” –which I did. Well, about 2 years ago the man, about in his mid-50s, suddenly got sick, and died. Everyone was shocked. And I was sad, especially for another worker there who was the step-son of the deceased.

Then, like I said, a few days ago… I went to visit someone, and I was informed that the two sisters had been fired. What for? Embezzling. At least 50K. Yes, a police report was filed. But what I’ve gleaned from this knowledge, what I feel I’ve heard the Lord teaching me, is this:

Jesus is the Light of the world. (John 8:12) But if we are clothed with Him (Rom. 13:14) as we should be, then Jesus says, “YOU [also] are the light of the world.” (Matt. 5:14) So, should we even wonder –if we are shining out HIM, THE Light– why some people disdain us? No, we should not wonder. If we have done them no wrong… nor have even spoken to them about repentance or righteousness (–which apparently is becoming a “hate-crime”)… then we can assure ourselves that they are hiding some kind of evil deeds. And that their consciences are balking at having light beamed on them –even if that light is just our presence!

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphant procession in Christ and THROUGH US SPREADS EVERYWHERE the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. [Yes, people smell us when we enter, for each of us has a “spiritual aroma”.] For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.” (2 Cor. 2:14-16) To those who also love and obediently serve Christ, “we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory [which comes from “the Spirit”] [and who] are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory” (3:18), we are reminders of the Lord’s gracious mercies and His gift of eternal life.

However, to those with sinning dark hearts, we are reminders of the Judgment to come and the eternal death that awaits them. Indeed, as we “conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ… we are a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that we will be saved…” (See Phil. 1:27,28) So with vexed, even hateful spirits, they flee, shun, persecute, or attempt to knock out the light “for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” (See John 3:20 again.)

Well, the Lord spoke to me through this ordeal. And I’m very grateful to Him. For now in greater faith I can rejoice when unfairly maligned. As 1 Peter 4:14 encourages us, “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” Yes, that glory that causes the sweet aroma to some, the stench to others.

So, as verses 12 & 13 say, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.”

And one more thing that was confirmed for me through this: Truly, the wicked are eventually repaid for their deeds. Yes, the Lord patiently waits for people to repent, but when they don’t, they reap what they sow. As Gal. 6:7,8 say, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

All those people who constantly had to deal with late fees, bounced checks, etc. because the paychecks themselves often were late or would bounce, was due to these embezzlers. But did those women ever stop to care about their fellowmen? No, they didn’t care. They cared only about themselves.

So when people are unfair, unjust, false, deceitful, and evil toward God or others, the Lord will finally put a stop to them –through death or exposure or punishment or destruction. Isa. 63:10 means what it says… –“They rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit. So He turned and became their enemy and He Himself fought against them.”

For the Lord is our Helper and Shepherd for those who do good. But for those who are evil, He will eventually come with fury and great wrath. It’s a given.

So if someone makes himself an enemy of the light (the light being Jesus and His true followers) by committing wickedness of any kind, even by disdaining righteousness, even by promoting false doctrine (which are lies), he needs to prepare himself to have God become his enemy. It’s a warning throughout Scripture. As Deut. 8:19,20 states, “If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods [falsehoods, self, pleasure, greed, and other idols] and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. …you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.”

And in case someone thinks grace under the New Covenant covers one’s deliberate sin and refusal of Truth, then maybe Eph. 5:6 should be quoted: “…God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” How disobedient? Well, take your clues from those in the Bible… like say, King Saul, who thought he was only disobeying in a small way. (1 Sam. 15:20,21) Because Samuel rebuked his sin as that of witchcraft, Saul’s kingly lineage was revoked, Saul received an evil spirit sent from the Lord, he later consulted a witch –though he knew that was a despicable thing in God’s eyes, and in the end he killed himself. It was because of that initial, purposeful, careless disobedience (which Saul never genuinely repented of), that God turned against him.

Take Moses as an example… He was honored by God beyond all prophets (Deut. 34:10-12), yet for what many would consider a “small” sin of disobedience –striking the rock, instead of speaking to it (Num. 20:7-12)– the Lord refused to let him enter the promised land. God gives Moses His reasoning again in Deut. 32:51, “This is because both of you broke faith with Me in the presence of… [others] and because you did not uphold My holiness among… [them].” How many times do we watch “Christians” defaming God, His name, His Word, and His holiness? Often! ! ! ! ! ! Yet they think that just because God doesn’t strike them dead immediately (as He did Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 for “merely lying about the price of land”), that He will not soon enough take vengeance on those who “treat the Lord with contempt.” (See Num. 14:23) But if by chance it doesn’t happen in this life, be assured that it will happen in the next. (Rom. 2:5-11 & Heb. 9:27 & Matt. 25:31,32,46)

2 Thes. 1:8,9 warns further: “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. [That’s THE Gospel, not just any –for those promoting false gospels will be eternally condemned –Gal. 1:8] They will be punished with everlasting destruction…” Assuredly, “all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thes. 2:12) Did we catch that? “Have not believed THE TRUTH…” and “Have delighted in wickedness.” –That is, loved sin and self above truth, righteousness, and God’s ways.

As Rom. 2:8,11 warn, “But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger… For God does not show favoritism.” In other words, it matters not what someone claims to believe. It is absolutely about actions, as 1 John 2:3,4 make clear. For as Jesus says in Luke 13:3, “Unless you REPENT, you TOO will all perish.” And that means a repentance that walks continually in the light. (1 John 1:7) THEN, and only then, is a person purified of sin (1 John 1:7 again), and pardoned their past sins. (2 Peter 1:9 & Heb. 10:26)

Therefore, for these two main reasons (–refusing Truth and catering to the sin-nature)… –if you participate in such– you also will be condemned. Eternally condemned. And no, that’s not becoming non-existent. For the human soul exists forever –either in Heaven’s bliss, or… in Hell’s outer “darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 22:13) For God is a mighty enemy against all that is false or wicked.

Indeed, we have all been more than adequately warned…

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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~ by smilesback on December 27, 2009.

 
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