Monday, April 28, 2014

Loving Without Compromise In A Divided Home

Things are changing very quickly in the Church's relationship with the world and we are beginning to see large divisions in the Church herself. There is a great spirit of confusion because the enemy is taking advantage of the fact that people do not know their Bible. Even though we have more resources available to us than ever before, biblical illiteracy is incredibly high. When we don't know what Jesus taught it becomes easy for the enemy to change our heart with a changing of the wind as we are seeing in our society of late.

At the end of the Old Testament we find the book of Malachi and at the end of this book we have a warning to not let go of the Word of God. We also find here the promise of what the returning prophet Elijah would do:

And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse. (Malachi 4:6)

So many parents hold on to these words as a promise not understanding their significance. This is not speaking of family strife but of generations that had turned away from the patriarchs of Israel, who had left the teaching of the ancients and had rebelled against Yahweh. In other words it was speaking of the nation of Israel. So this is the condition of Israel when John the Baptist began preaching and he was effective. The people turned and repented, receiving a baptism of repentance. Jesus had another warning for parents though:

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ (Matthew 10:34-36)

Jesus spoke of what is only natural because the flesh cannot be friends with the Spirit nor the Spirit with the flesh because they are contrary. When a son or daughter refuses Christ and the parents stay steadfast then there is division. When the son or daughter belong to Jesus and the parents do not, there will be division. We are going to see much more of it in the days to come as the world sinks deeper into its depravity and the saints continue to stand on the Word. The hatred will grow and we will see greater division. Jesus knew his the cross would not bring peace to the world but would bring peace between those who accepted it and Father. But he warned us:

He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. (v. 37-38)

Many of us will do anything to have peace in the family. We will be willing to compromise the Word, bend some things that Jesus taught, all for the sake of peace in the house. Peace at all cost, but Jesus warned against it. No matter the cost we must pay, we have to keep to the understanding that Jesus is of highest importance and priority. Even if we lose our entire family as a result, we must stand with Jesus; we must love him more than any other.

Yes parents, our hearts will be crushed as the sin of unbelief divides us from our flesh and blood. Yes children, your hearts will yearn for the council of your dear parents, but our love for Jesus must be superior to all of this. It is hard but that is exactly what the enemy is counting on, that our earthly affections will keep us from Jesus. We cannot compromise on the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We cannot compromise on the holiness of our LORD God. We cannot live but the Word of God.

He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (v. 39) 

We never lose hope nor give up on those whom we are separated from because of unbelief; we love them too much to give up. But neither do we move from the Rock, upon whom we stand, to be with them in their depravity. Every person will have to make their decision and will be held accountable for that decision. We can pray for them and try to persuade them but they have to make and live with their own decision. Do your best to get them in now because it is almost too late but whatever you do, don't go wandering yourself because the curtain is being drawn on this age. Stand fast my friend and pray.

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