Friends. It seems as if my article “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin?” That’s Not What God or Jesus Do!”, really hit a nerve. Here’s why:
Jesus said that only a few would find heaven. I believe it. The Bible talks about how many would fall away from the true teachings of Christ and God. What IS the true teaching of Jesus and God? Where do we find it? There is only one source. It is not at church. It is not in your pastor. It is not in your family. It is not anywhere in this world except in one place: The Holy Bible. If you fail to read the Bible, you do not know Jesus’ or God’s Word. If you only go to church, but don’t read your Bible, you do not have God’s Word. God’s Word is deep & wide. It encompasses the breadth of God’s mind, heart and intent. How can you learn that in one hour once every 7 days- if you go that often?? The answer is: you can’t. Without God’s word, you are, at best- a weak Christian. You are vulnerable to satan’s influences. You can be confused easily. You can certainly be defeated by those who follow the father of lies. Without God’s word, you are unprepared to run the race and endure to the end. Salvation was never promised as a guaranteed thing. It is not a magic potion. It is not a charm. You can lose your salvation. And if you do not have the true word of God, how will you be able to withstand the machinations of a brilliant, dark angel of death? How can you obey Jesus’ command to help others find him and heaven? You will become a useless servant to Christ and God. Only knowing the true and living Words in the Holy Bible will fully prepare you. It is because the vast majority of people who call themselves Christians do not read the Bible that my article struck such a nerve. That article caused many to fall away. And yet, it merely quotes the very words from God’s lips. Those that fell away could not accept God or his words. It is they, not God, who are wrong.
The Bible speaks of false teachers and lukewarm churches in the end days that Jesus wants to spit out of his mouth. We are experiencing that right now. Friends, Jesus is near. Very near. That is why I write.
Jesus and all the disciples were hated beyond belief. They never had a moments rest. Jesus was actually homeless because of the relentless pursuit of the political & religious, church going people. They plotted to kill him- the very Son of God that these lukewarm, milquetoast Christians claim to follow. They know he was hated and persecuted & killed (and all his disciples too!), yet somehow along the way in human history, many have come to believe that our walk in Christ has changed into a nice, Sunday stroll in the park! Jesus told us that if the Master suffered torment, than his slaves will indeed suffer the same things. He specifically said that if he were accused of coming from satan, we, his lowly servants would most definitely be accused of having satan in our hearts! Oh, how truly Jesus spoke!
Jesus was a radical in his day- he was no milquetoast. Why do people insist on this lame version of our awesome King?
His version of love had nothing to do with humanity’s version of love. He specifically defined the greatest love one person can have for a friend is to lay down his life for their sake. Jesus set the premier example of what this meant. He wasn’t hated because he hugged everyone, prayed for everyone, sang nice songs, patted everyone on the head and told people God would always love them- no matter what they did. No! He was loathed because he directly challenged all those pious church goers, pastors & politicians. These were the ‘nice’ and ‘respectable’ people of his time! These were the very people we see in so many churches today- pastors included! It wasn’t hugging that got Jesus all that hate- it was speaking the TRUTH of God’s word that got him all that hate.
He called them to the mat because they were changing God’s Holy words to suit their lifestyles of ease, their love of popularity and their love of social standing in their communities. Sound like anyone you know? His words directly threatened them- not because he negated God’s laws, but because he corrected their selfish interpretations of God’s Word. There are many instances when he did this. The following incident actually shows how Jesus’ correction of the ‘pastors’ of that day actually threatened their wealth:
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[b] 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 “‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.” Matt 15:3-9
These ‘pastors’ had changed & twisted God’s truth in a way that would financially benefit them. Do not pastors and churches do that today? Is that not why they refuse to address grievous sins in their congregation- even though that is their job described clearly in Paul’s letters? Is that not why Pastors simply skip the ‘scary’ parts of the Bible? The parts that would have them speak out against homosexuality, adultery & divorce? Is that not why pastors refuse to speak out on corrupt political leaders? Many, many young pastors begin with a full heart of God, but once they see how human nature is, they buckle and give in to the worst temptations in order to have that big, fancy church of their dreams. And the religious people? Think they will address a single homosexual or friend committing adultery? No. Way. After all, it might cause a neighbor or two to hate them and they might not get invited to the neighborhood Ladies Tea!
Pastors and religious people like a big, thriving church full of rich people, smiling people, ‘nice’ and polite people. It’s called: IMAGE. I can just imagine a guy like John the Baptist in today’s churches! They would have security throw him out! He would be too…’hateful’ for them to have in their nice church. In addition, he would be embarrassing and uncomfortable for them to have around. And worse, it would cause a loss of membership. And thus.. loss of revenue. Money, friends, is almost always at the root of all evil. It can destroy even the best, most heart felt churches & people of God. People have not changed one bit since those days.
People always ask, “If God is so loving, why make it so hard for us?” He made it hard so that only the best of the best of his Children would endure. Only those refined in his fire will become his children. He wants the quality pot- not the weak one. That’s why. Not fair in your mind? Well, don’t YOU throw out the burnt cookies you made? Of the drawing that didn’t turn out right? Or the cracked pottery? Of course you do. And so does he.
Jesus specifically corrected everyone’s expectations of him, the Messiah. He said that he did NOT come to bring peace, but DIVISION. (I can hear the collective gasp now!) He knew that loyalty to him and God would be a black and white thing. He always spoke in black & white terms. “Those who are not with me, are against me.” Radical, huh? He knew we would be hated by those on the other side. He also said that those who are not with him will actively attempt to scatter and destroy- they are not content to merely stay on their side. That is why you see demon filled people come to my Facebook page to torture you. You, my readers & brothers & sisters in Christ, are being persecuted for your love of God’s word. Not for your love of me. All the ones who abandon God’s word in favor of a more politically correct version will be spared this evil intrusion into their lives. They will be loved by the world. That is because they are of the world. You are hated by the world- because you are of Christ. See? Yet another black & white statement of Jesus.
If you want to find a true servant of Christ, look for the one who is hated by the world, not embraced by it.
So, I ask you: if Jesus and the disciples were hated everywhere they went, were falsely accused, were called evil and of Satan, and eventually murdered, why do today’s Christians think that following Jesus should be comfortable, easy and ‘nice’? Where did they get that idea? It certainly has nothing to do with the Bible. Look at Pastor Saaid in Iran. The man has only spoken the true word of God. He has only given his money, time and energy to Christ’s service. He has fed the poor and lifted the spirit of the downhearted. But he has been unjustly arrested and endures physical & mental torture every. single. moment of every waking hour he lives. THAT, my friends, is what a true follower of Christ looks like. Think people only suffer over their in ‘barbaric’ lands? Ha! We suffer right here at home- if. we tell the TRUTH of God’s Word. These milquetoast Christians, homosexuals and atheists find themselves on the same side– they both blame me & my ‘delivery’ of God’s Word and call me a hater, satan possessed, crazy, mean, intolerant, trouble maker, judgmental, horrible, embarrassing, etc – just as they call you the same (I just delete them to spare you).
Do you feel persecuted like Jesus? Then you are doing a good job. There is no other way to be hated. The world would love me if I were evil. It’s that simple. For you and for me.
Milquetoast Christians are trying to have their cake and eat it too- they want the treasure in the field, but they don’t want to sell everything they own to buy it. But Jesus was very clear on this. He said there will be MANY who call “Lord, Lord!” and he will call them evil servants and cast them into hell. He will not forgive them on that day. No matter how many interpretations they make today!
To love Jesus is exactly to be HATED by the world. Just one more of those black & white statements of Christ (I just love that guy!) If you are not hated, you are not telling the truth. One need not ask to be hated. Merely reading or writing the exact words of God and Christ is enough. You need not call anyone names, or curse them, or do anything to them or do anything wrong. In fact, the opposite is true. The more truly you love Jesus, the more you will be hated. Those who have not yet felt the world’s hate, ask yourself how many times you were too afraid to say what you knew you should have said. To that friend who was practicing homosexuality, cheating on his wife, condoning sexual immorality in their children, etc. Yeah. All those times you made excuses in your head to remain quiet? Those were betrayals of your duty to your friend and to your Lord. When you tell the truth to these friends, you risk sacrificing their love for you.
That is laying down your life for their sake! You lose something precious to you- but even if you never see the harvest, just casting the seed is not only your duty, but will save your friend’s life. That, my friends, is what Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior defines as ‘love’. Not the hugging & singing.
Friends, our life is not our own. The day we accepted God’s magnificent offer of trillions and trillions of years of LIFE (and all those endless years of passion, interest, joy, love, creation, honor & intellectual freedom!)- we paid a price. You don’t get to have your cake and eat it too! You must offer your life to your friends. You must lay it down. Give up the approval of your neighbors, church friends, atheist friends, liberal friends, pastors, family & whoever else that will not accept the Bible’s true living words! You didn’t write those words! God did. Have faith in God. He knows that his word will divide even a mother from her child. He understands our nature. He understands our pride and stubbornness. He knows his Word is extremely difficult for the world to swallow. So. When he chose to write them, who do you think you are to morph them or to make excuses for God? I promise you, he is proud of himself. He doesn’t need his little pots running around making up excuses for what the other little pots think are ‘cruel, unkind, hateful and scary’ word he spoke! NO! He meant every word. And every word is good. Every word has life. Every word has power. If his words are fearful to read- guess what? He meant you to be afraid! Deal with it!
Jesus said that very FEW would make it to heaven. Observe HIS words recorded by Luke:
23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you,
will try to enter and will not be able to.
25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door,
you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth,
when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God,
but you yourselves thrown out.- Luke 13:23-28
He also says in Matthew 7: 14:
14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
He also says in Matthew 10:9-13:
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
People should worry about these words. “Only a few”. Who will be those few? As Jesus said, only those who can remain faithful until the end will find it. And being faithful means being hated. Are you hated for Christ today?