Proclamation, Invitation, & Warning

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What do you want to be known for?  

What you’re against or what you’re for?

10/9/05  

The True Nature of the World System

Lucifer, the Garden of Eden, & the Tower of Babel

Four Ways Christians are Deceived

Important Principles to Understand

The Manifold Wisdom of God

An elder, in the assembly I am a part of, recently made the point that we ought to be more known by what we are for than what we are against. I agree. 

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 

Jesus is our only hope. Our purpose in life is not about being against things. Our purpose is to trust and obey the real Jesus in terms of the Biblical Gospel. 

In fact there are dangers in being obsessed with what you are against. This is a form of idolatry. There is a tendency for many, I believe, to develop their doctrine by what they are against rather than from the Bible.

Developing Doctrine from What You are Against

Consider, for example, if one is against relativism when it comes to truth. I believe that is a good thing to be against. Consider that society is greatly being influenced to “dialogue” and negotiate “truth”. And consider then that influence in “small group” Bible studies where people are encouraged to discuss what the passage “means to them”. Each person is encouraged to subjectively state how they “feel” about the verses and then by the group dialoguing about it, they can arrive at some negotiated “truth”. The person that is against such dialoguing might rather advocate, “teaching the Bible with authority”. If they are driven by what they are against, rather than by the Bible itself, they may develop a conviction against any small group of people discussing God’s word because it looks to them like dialoguing and negotiating truth. Because of what they are against they may end up advocating a “Man of God” teaching the laity from on high “with authority”. They may end up advocating the hierarchical leader as the standard of truth rather then remembering that it is the Bible that is the standard of truth. They may be deceived into thinking it is wrong for the brethren to gather together in informal fellowship to discuss the Bible as equals. They have been deceived by what they are against. They have added to scripture. They have made a law that is not found in scripture. 

The “prolife movement” is another example of an entire belief system created by what people are against rather than by deriving truth from the Bible. What unites prolifers? It certainly is not the sound doctrine of scripture, the Jesus of the Bible, or the Gospel of the Bible. Rather, being united by being against abortion, they have developed their own apologetic using proof texts from the Bible to create a world view that minimizes the true Gospel and enables Evangelicals to unite in religious vision and zealotry with Catholics, Mormons, Masons, Muslims, and Moonies! Of course the murder of children, born and unborn, is evil! But a false gospel that leads to eternal hell is worse! 

What are “Conservatives” against? Whatever Rush Limbaugh and talk radio tells them to be against! A right winger (or a left winger) devotes his life to what their ideology tells them to be against. On the right: homosexuality and taxes. On the left: intolerance and world hunger. 

Remember in the 1980’s when many were against rainbows because they were against the New Age Movement? It is true that one should be skeptical of popular symbols that are representing folk paganism. But we professing Christians can also appear foolish when we lose a sense of priorities from the Bible.   


Next Column

“Why are Christians Against Everything?” 

When I first became a follower of Jesus, a relative of mine asked me rhetorically, “Why are Christians against everything?” At the time, I did not have a very good answer for her. Now I would have to tell her that, to a great degree, it is because professing Christians are deceived by many of the world’s agendas to be against this list or that list. 

And yet…   

In addition to corrupt reasons for being against things, there are Biblical reasons for being against things.

What are the facts… according to the Bible? 

If you are true to the Lord Jesus and His word, how might you appear to the people in the world when you take a stand: for Jesus and against the “world, the flesh, and the devil”? 

Will you not be accused by the world and even religious people of being “against everything”? Will you not be accused of being known by what you are against? 

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:18-19 

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world . If any man love the world , the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15-16 

Consider Germany in the 1930’s. What a "glorious vision" of national pride the people were being given. There was such an atmosphere of hope for a positive future. What if someone was NOT raising their hand in stiff-armed salute and shouting, "Sieg heil!"? What if they were not at all happy with the trends all around them? Would they be accused of being a bummer? Would they be accused of always being against everything? What if a follower of Jesus tried to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified? And what if the church-goer sitting in the pew next them replied, “Oh, yes of course! Jesus, yes, Christianity, yes, positive Christianity… that is what our Fuehrer is all about!” So are you going to leave it there? Are you going to let your friend go on thinking that his Fuehrer, his guru, and our Lord Jesus are compatible? 

If you love your friend you will warn your friend! 

Even at the risk of being “negative”. Even at the risk of being accused of always being against every thing and every guru-celebrity! You will warn them with tears! 

For Jesus, Against the World 

Brothers and Sisters, we are surrounded by paganism. We are surrounded by a pseudo-evangelicalism that is pagan at its roots; worshipping created things rather than the Creator. We must preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified in such a way that people can clearly see the contrast between our Lord Jesus and His Gospel versus the false christs and false gospels of this world system.

If someone hasn't understood Biblical Truth in such a way that they separate themselves from the false christs and false gospels of this world, then they haven't understood! 

Look at the New Testament! Look at the very words of Jesus! They are written in the format of 1) This is what the world says, 2) This is what God says, 3) Reject what the world says and return to a pure devotion to Jesus Christ. 

We are immersed in a political system in rebellion against God; an economic system in rebellion against God; a religious system in rebellion against God. 

If we are truly and clearly standing for the real Jesus in terms of the real Gospel… we stand against everything this world system stands for.


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