Lessons from the cross

The Lord does not want us to be ignorant. Upon sending His disciples out to the field, Jesus told them this,

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

Matthew 10:16

Why would Jesus tell the disciples to be harmless as doves?

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:23

An evil man seeks only rebellion; therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him. Proverbs 17:11

I also find it interesting that Jesus rebuked the apostles and the pharisees.

“And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

Mark 8:31-33; Matthew 23:15

At the betrayal of Jesus one of His followers struck the servant of the high priest,

“While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs?…”

Luke 22:47-52

The apostle Paul being a Jew and a Roman citizen taught all authority is from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 

Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

Romans 13:1-7

“Remember when the Jews would not rest until they had killed Paul? “And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.” Acts 23:12

Claudius Lysias, 
To the most excellent governor Felix: 
Greetings.
"This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them. Coming with the troops I rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. And when I wanted to know the reason they accused him, I brought him before their council. I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains. And when it was told me that the Jews lay in wait for the man, I sent him immediately to you, and also commanded his accusers to state before you the charges against him.
Farewell. Acts 23:27-30

It would seem that to trust God, we must believe that He will rescue us. But even if He doesn’t,

“…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Daniel 3:16-25

We are to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. That’s not an easy thing to do. Nevertheless, it is what is asked of us.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48

On January 6, 2021, men and women identifying as “Christian” made a mockery of Christianity. As I see it, that day, the body of Christ took a direct hit. It reminded me of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The devil probably thought he had destroyed the Son of God, but nothing was further from the truth. As we all know, the crucifixion of Christ was only the beginning of God’s eternal plan. And that pesky devil is not about to relent. God’s truths are clear. When it comes to that no knows the heart of any many, but it also says that God is not mocked. These men and women want Americans to believe that rebellion against governing authorities is what we must do to protect our God given rights. They are “spiritually dead” wrong. The Lord has taught me a lot about my identity in Christ. And as patriotic as I may be, my identity in Christ is not grounded on American ideals, but in Christ alone.

Scripture warns of false prophets, false teachings, men and women that will lay claim to all sorts of prophetic messages from God. And Scripture instructs believers to test the spirits. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (I John 4) Clearly, some Christians fail to do this little thing. The sad reality is that these voices are not about to relent, thus will continue to lead many astray. I pray and ask God to give me discernment in a religious climate where false prophets and false teachings thrive.

“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5

I am sharing an Opinion piece from the Dallas Morning News today. The title caught my eyes because I’ve had the same question, and while the writer didn’t offer any insight into this evangelical phenomena it made me feel – not so alone in my thinking. The truth is that the behaviors of these evangelicals should not catch any true believer of guard. It’s only the beginning, but not really. The bigger question is what’s next on God’s list? Lord, give us grace to accept Your will. Have mercy on us for we have sinned against You.

Remember Job said to his wife: “But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips (Job 2:10).”

If evangelical Christians are called to live in truth, why do so many believe political conspiracies?

More to come…

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