Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Prince Of Peace Makes War

"33And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. 
34And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—" Luke 2:33-34

I don't usually stop in the middle of a sentence; look up the rest of the verse for yourself, and see the context, but the point of the post today is in the final word above, 'opposed'.
Opposed doesn't half cover it. Herod the King of Israel started the ball rolling; when the Magi came looking for the Christ, he lost his collective cool-another King? Would he lose his Kingdom to an infant?
Long story short-the Magi found the babe, were warned off of returning to Herod, who sent his soldiers to slaughter all of Bethlehem's male children 2 years and younger.
That's Opposed with a capital 'O'. To no avail, as man and devil can never frustrate the plans of God.
Coming on 2012 and the Lord Jesus Christ is still being opposed by devilish men. My brothers and sisters in Christ around the world are being killed for bearing His name. That Iranian pastor I mentioned a while ago could walk out of prison today (if he can still walk) if he would only deny His Savior.
Opposed. I'll tell you who is opposed, friends. Everyone who does not belong to Christ is His enemy. They (you?) are opposed and defeated.
In His Grace and Mercy He chooses loved ones from the ranks of His enemies and showers Love on them, bringing them into His Kingdom. But only few, and of His choice.
If you grew up in a religious system that swears allegiance to Christ but does not live for Him...guess what?
You are a Herod. You are chaff and not wheat. Goat and not sheep. Stubble to be burned.
Pray that God will extend His Grace to you, shower Mercy on you. Are you opposed to that?


Doug said...

I was listening to Wretched Radio last night in which a preacher noted that there have, in God's eyes, only ever been two kinds of people in this world-God's own and other.
At one time all of God's own fit in an ark-all the rest of the world was other.
Even today those are the only two designations which matter-either you belong to God or you don't.
If you don't, if you are other, it doesn't matter how much money you make, how many empires you build, how much you achieve in life. Doesn't matter-dust in the wind.
Chaff that the wind blows away.
But if you belong to God...wow. A widow with two coins in hand has more than the Pope with his palace. Than Bill Gates in his mansion.
She has it all.

James said...

Who, do you suppose, does Christ consider His own? Those who live the life He would have them live and follow His law of love but perhaps never call on Him directly, or those who pray out loud to Him on television, claim to speak for Him and maybe even hold up signs on street corners warning of His coming when in their hearts their interest lies in their own gain and have no love for anyone but themselves?

Doug said...

Hello James-I recently heard something on 'Wretched Radio' which answers your question.
First off: Jesus knows who belongs to Him.
False converts can and do sometimes
look and sound like real Christians-even other Christians can be fooled, though He gives us the spiritual gift of discernment to identify what is false and true.
In the parable of the wheat and the tares (weeds) a garden has been seeded with weeds by an enemy.
This is the church being seeded by the devil with false converts.
"27“The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
28“And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said* to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’
29“But he said*, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.
30‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
As I mentioned, Jesus knows His own, and also who doesn't belong.
Part of our work as Christians is to to identify tares in our midst, keeping our particular church as free from weeds as possible. We do this in part by adhering to certain standards of belief-for example, someone who promotes the idea that Jesus and Satan are brothers would not be accepted in our church-they could visit, but they would be refused membership.
But often it is very hard to recognize false brethren until you get to know them. I was not automatically added to the membership of my church-I visited there for four years, so they got to know me, and I had to meet with the church elders and give my testimony/ beliefs.
If I didn't agree with the faith statement of my church I wouldn't have joined, but I do and I did.
A false Christian will pretend to agree, just to get in and be accepted so that he or she can start trouble.

"Those who live the life He would have them live and follow His law of love but perhaps never call on Him directly"
This is problematic, James-your straw man is on fire.
God is involved in the life of each
of His children. We call on Him, and He interacts with us. There is no way to 'follow His law of love' without having a relationship with Him.
"28One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”
29Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord;
30and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
31“The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

By the way, James, some 'real' Christians do pray out loud on television; some even stand on streetcorners proclaiming the Gospel. You may doubt their motivation,(when in their hearts their interest lies in their own gain and have no love for anyone but themselves?) but friend, can you see into their hearts? Wow.