Quit supporting those who suppress God’s truth

My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?” (James 3:1-7 – NKJV)

To further his point on the shallow foolishness of favoring the rich over the poor, James says something that applies to today’s church as strongly as it did in the first century – quit fawning over those who suppress God’s truth!

Does this mean James didn’t want the rich to be invited to the church’s services or to be saved? I don’t think so. The point doesn’t revolve around whether or not someone should be saved. The point was about how the badly the saved (or at the very least an equal valued lost soul) could be treated because of a desire to impress the very rich (as well as lost) who made it their goal to treat God’s people with disdain.

James’ rhetorical questions were meant to make a spiritual point based on the foundation of common sense!

Today, Christian universities revolve fund-raisers around “celebrity” speakers who suppress God’s truth by endorsing things that are completely contrary to God’s righteousness. Today, Christians spend millions of dollars at retail stores with policies that allow individuals with confused and perverted minds to use the bathroom of the opposite sex. Today, we help to prop up the very individuals and organizations that criticize Christianity and the word of God that presents the gospel to a dead and dying world by going out of our way to secure and patronize those who promote sin and profaneness.

Am I saying we should completely withdraw from the world? No. That would prevent us from being salt and light we’re called to be. What I’m saying is that when the world makes it a point to blatantly ridicule the very standard of God for which Jesus died, then our support, as God’s people, needs to be withdrawn.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” (Ephesians 5:8-12 – NKJV)

#james, #persecution, #separation-from-the-world

‘Hiding beliefs and convictions’

A comment on Mat 5.16:

“The policy of obscuration, of hiding beliefs and convictions, is often urged by lukewarm Christians, so-called ‘reasons of prudence and wisdom: gradual accustoming of men to new ideas; deference to the prejudices of good men; avoidance of rupture by premature outspokenness; but generally the true reason is fear of unpleasant consequences to oneself. ‘ To think and act thus is deliberate disloyalty to Christ. Your light, given to you from above, not to be used according to expediency, but to shine; your light, not you, the object being not to make your person prominent, but your Christianity. The Christians, individually and collectively, should perform this task as their steady work. For the light which shall be thrown out from them in every direction, before all men, consists in their good works, the fruits of their regeneration, the proof of their being illuminated by Jesus. These should be seen by the people for a definite reason. All men that come in contact with their works shall be forced to draw conclusions as to the power that inspires them. And so the glory, the honor will be placed where it properly and exclusively belongs, will be given to the Father in heaven. This fact renders the admonition urgent by giving to it its real basis.”

Paul Kretzmann

#fear, #mission, #persecution

Even under adverse conditions, the body of Christ can do much good

evil-society

On some social medium, a brother whom I am not now able to identify said that we shouldn’t confuse the mess of the world—or in his instance, of the USA—with the good health of the church. His warning is appropriate, for the family of God often thrives in less than ideal circumstances. It often grows in the midst of persecution. Continue reading

#corollaries, #mission, #persecution, #technology

10-24-2016 Making Worse Get Better

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:12-13 NKJV).  Christians will be persecuted, because the wicked won’t change by themselves.

1) “Evil” in mankind is described by David: “Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men, Who plan evil things in their hearts; They continually gather together for war. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The poison of asps is under their lips” (Psalm 140:1-3 NKJV).  2) “Imposters” are people who live by their art of deception.  Paul told Timothy how to deal with such: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).  The wicked get worse if we don’t openly teach the Bible!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#christians, #evil, #imposters, #persecution, #worse

9-28-2016 Signs Of The End 3

Christians should expect to be “persecuted,” because Jesus said, “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20 NKJV).  Though the Apostle Paul was persecuted, he said, “I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:11-13 NKJV).  What Paul wrote about “evil men and imposters” growing “worse and worse,” he spoke of the natural conflict that always manifests itself between Christians who are trying to get better and better, and sinners who are going in the other direction!  Nothing he said was a “sign” to indicate Jesus’ 2nd Coming!  Sinners don’t improve without Jesus Christ.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#evil-men, #jesus-2nd-coming, #persecution

Life a constant learning process

After 45-plus years of typing and keyboarding according to the proper system taught back then in the public schools, I learned that this too has a right-handed bias. I had always had a bit of problem reaching the number 6 with the index finger of the right hand. Recently, I tried it — against all True and Proper Doctrine of Typing — with my left hand. Problem solved!

But could I adapt easily to reaching the 6 with my left hand, after all these years of forcing the right? I found I could, after just a short time. Continue reading

#corollaries, #law, #learning, #persecution, #righteousness

Not what we wanted to hear

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Timothy 3:12.

Well, that’s not what we wanted to hear!

Here’s a description of the narrow road that few find, that Paul urges the young evangelist, Timothy, to travel. He begins Chapter 3 by describing the wide road that the many are on. It’s marked by “lovers of themselves, lovers of money … [those] without love … without self-control … lovers of pleasure … men of depraved minds” among many others. Continue reading

#faithfulness, #life-in-christ, #persecution