Oops….technical difficulties…….this one evidently did not get published on Friday as planned. Oh well, I guess someone needed to hear (read) this one today.
When I was younger I didn’t understand why they called it Good Friday. After all, this was the day they killed Jesus. Oh, my younger self couldn’t quite understand the implications of a King choosing to die for His people.
…Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” 39And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”40And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?
The disciples had one job to do…stay awake…and they fell asleep.
Hmmmmm…..sound familiar? Are we sleeping? Church, are we sleeping? Are millions of people being mislead and turning from Jesus because we are asleep on the job?
Now, usually when I hear the term “mislead” in reference to Christians it is in regards to the world calling those Christians who believe in obedience Pharisees. They want us to believe that the “Church” is being misled by a bunch of “Pharisees” because we are holding on to the belief that homosexuality is a sin (and we’re handing on to that belief by our fingernails). They claim that in order to love like Jesus, we must accept everyone and allow them to stay in their sin and destruction. This is simply not true as we have discussed time and time again here.
[Yes, Jesus ate and hung out with the least of these, but He did not join them in their sin; He did not help them in their sin; and He most certainly did not condone their sin.]
Yes, it is true: Jesus hated Pharisees. Not because they held to obedience, but rather because they didn’t practice what they preached. They were calling others to do things they themselves were not doing. They also got caught up in caring more about following the Law than about the people themselves. I have been guilty of both. Yes, the “Church” has been guilty of both.
Let me be clear, Jesus and God want our obedience.
John 14:15 ESV :“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
1 Peter 1:14 ESV: As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,
Acts 5:29 ESV :But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
1 John 5:3 ESV : For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
John 14:31 ESV : But I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
1 John 3:24 ESV :Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
Psalm 119:60 ESV / 62 helpful votes
I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.
John 8:51 ESV: Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
Luke 6:46 ESV :“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
Jeremiah 7:23 ESV: But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’
James 1:22-25ESV: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
This list really could go on for a long, long while.
The world labels us Pharisees because they see those of us who hold to obedience believing we are better or more superior. They see this as self-righteous and arrogant. Let me be clear, my obedience will never earn me heaven. That is not my purpose in walking in obedience. No, the only way to salvation is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. That being said, if Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior I will want to walk in obedience out of love for Him. Also, selfishly, I have found my life to be better when I walk in the ways of my Lord. You know the whole “peace that surpasses all understanding” thing, it is real. When I walk in the ways of the world, when I don’t purposely walk in sin, or when I repent when I make a mistake, there is absolute peace. However, when I know I am not in the will and ways of God, I cannot get no rest nor satisfaction. Also, all those promises in the Bible start to come in fruition when I start meeting the conditions of those promises.
The Friday of Holy Week was good, oh so good, because it reconciled us to our Father once and for all. Literally. I now have a relationship with God, because Jesus is and was my mediator. Without his death I would not be able to have such a relationship because of my sins. And, yes, Christ, gave us grace. In case I have forgotten, Facebook has been great about reminding me. If only people would use the scriptures right!
6 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sinonce for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master,because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yes, we do live under grace, but that does not mean we live our lives anyway we want and that God no longer cares about obedience to His word.
The “Church” is not being mislead by Pharisees, it is being mislead by people. Christians? The world? I think a little bit of both. I think Christians and the Church as a whole are falling victim to wishy-washy Christianity. We want to hear and believe all the good, happy stuff in the Bible, but we don’t want to accept or do any of the hard stuff. Yes, it is much easier to condone sin than call it out. But is that really love? Hell is a real place. People are going to go to hell. Do you want to be the one that could have led them to Jesus, but didn’t because it was too uncomfortable or too hard?
Do you yourself think you are saved because you believe in Jesus Christ? As stated last week, even Satan believes in Jesus.
Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Let this be a warning to all. There are many people who think they are saved, but are not. There are many “Christians” (who call themselves “Christians”) who will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. That does include those who seem to be doing the works of the Lord.
I am not going to lie. There is some truth to the fact that many Christians can be like the pharisees in that we are so consumed by doing the works of the Lord that we forget about the people. Likewise, there are many who are. busying themselves with getting the numbers that they are forsaking the scriptures. What good will it do to have a church filled with people who think they are saved yet in fact don’t know the real Jesus because their ears are being tickle. Then again, what good will it do to do works of God, but fail to love along the way?
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Once again, we must find that balance. We must be the arms, feet, hands of Jesus, without compromising the gospel. Do not be fooled. Do not be misled. We cannot see Jesus if we don’t know the real Jesus (and we cannot know the real Jesus if we refuse to take Him at His word) and if we don’t love and help the “least of these.”
I hope Friday, was a GOOD day for you and I pray you have a blessed week.