Saturday, April 12, 2008

Repost of Will you fight for Jesus? Part Two

Thursday, January 24, 2008
Will you fight for Jesus? Part TWO

In my original post dated Jan 17, 2007, I asked the following questions.

"How big are the battles you are facing? Are you willing to go to war for Jesus? Will you fight for Him? I would suspect that many people will say yes, when in fact, they should say no. Let me try to explain this in a way you can understand..."
I then went on to say there are many people who claim to be Christians, when in fact, they aren't. They say they believe in Jesus but they are missing something. Something very crucial. Obedience to God's Word. The need to repent of their sins.

Now we know that those who are truly saved understand that we are in a battle. It is a spiritual battle marked by false teachings (Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness, Scientology, etc), post-modernism thinking, ermergent theology, and of course, the ever present Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Tony Jones, Brian McLaren and Doug Pagitt's of the world of churchianity.

Well, shortly after the posting went up, I got a response.
Here is a typical response from one who does not want to fight for his faith.
I think that if we showed love (greatest commandment) that we would not have to "fight"

The conversation then went on to "why" we fight. It is a spiritual battle and we know that you cannot expect people to love you back when you love them like Jesus did. If you love Jesus, the world WILL HATE YOU! You will have a battle on your hands! But that is okay.

I would rather fight for Jesus than cuddle up to the world.
The commenter went on to say...
I also would say that if you (christian community - not you in particular) would truly love God and love one another and lived in community as the early church did; you would not have to "fight" as you think and presume. I do not see instructions (please show me them, if they are there) where Jesus instructed us "to fight"

Believers in Christ...

Do you agree that we are in a spiritual battle
and should be ready for battle with Satan and the world?

in my post, I also wrote...
Fight for the Lord? I say to you, they don't know the Lord! Why would they fight for someone they do not know? They are professing Christians but they are not obedient Christians. Jesus said: “If you love me, you will obey me.” This was not stated as an option or a likelihood, e.g. most will obey me or you’ll want to obey me. No, if you love me you will obey me. He continued, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.” Jesus continued, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.” John defined love for God: “This is love for God: to obey his commands.” God’s commands are the teachings and commands of Jesus. If we love God we will obey his commands.

The commenter also said...
You may be right, the world that surrounds me does not hate me. The reason is simple: when you love them and are showing the fruits of the spirit ... why would they hate you when you are loving them and bring joy to their life ? (this comment is from a youth and family pastor that is seminary trained!)

NOW, look at what the BIBLE says...
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. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. *John 15:18-21

Now, you can start to see the battle that we need to fight. There are pastor's who are not saved who are leading the flock astray. They are creating false converts.

Here is another example (again from a seminary trained person)
I love the fact that you bring up homosexuals again. Do you really HATE them ? I will tell them what I tell everyone .. message does not change. God loved you so much that He sent His Son to take your place. (so far, good) Because He died for you / resurrected and seated at the right hand of God; His grace covers your sin. (Whoops, something is missing. Where is the call to repentance?)

To tell someone that His grace covers their sin, does not require them to repent of their sins. Where is the putting away of the old self and becoming new??

here is another point commenter made...
In the situation where it was teenage girls (5) that were part of the group, we told them that we believed that their lifestyle choices were not healthy and that they did not line up with the lifestyle that God has called us to.We, however, did emphasize that you are more than willing to contnue to vcome and be part of the ministry ( this is the welcoming not affirming). We will love you, welcome you but we will (not) affirm or applaud your decisions.

Not once were those lesbian girls told of the need to repent. They just were told the church "believes" that the lifestyle is not healthy. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO TELL PEOPLE THE TRUTH THAT THEY NEED TO HEAR. IT MAKES ME SICK TO SEE HOW PEOPLE WILL WIMP OUT (YOU KNOW, THE WIMPY KIND OF LOVE THAT WAS NOT FOUND IN JESUS CHRIST!!!!)

Again, commenter said... (don't forget, this is a seminary trained pastor)
However, as I look at scripture and see Jesus interact with individuals; can you show me where he said, "repent" ?

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matt 4:17
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:14-15
And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:2-5
Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. Luke 17:3-4
and out of Revelation we find...
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. Rev 2:5
Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. Rev 2:16
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Rev 2:21
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. Rev 2:22
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Rev 3:3
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Rev 3:19

uh oh, there's a problem, if we LOVE someone we will rebuke and chasten them and tell them of a need to repent!

and let's not forget the woman at the well...
"Go, and sin no more!

Or, how about the rich man?
He brought up several of the Ten Commandments and the man said he had kept them all since his youth (which was obviously a lie), so Jesus then took him to the Second
Commandment and told him to sell all his possession and to come follow Him. The man went away sad. He exposed the man for who he was. A prideful person who loved his money more than God.

Commenter said...
Once again, if you are truly being the hands and feet of Christ - loving and serving them - they are not going to hate you for loving them and serving them. You love reading into scripture to pull out your points that do not really exist.

No response needed on this one! His comments speak for themselves.
Another commenter said (also a seminary trained pastor)
Loving like Jesus is not being wimpy or ignoring Scripture, it is fulfilling it. You know that. When your heart is full of Christlike love for that homosexual or young man whose life has gotten off tract and when you realize that you are no better in God's sight than they are... then you might be ready to engage them. Please don't drag the reputation of Jesus down with misguided attempts at playing the Holy Spirit and feeling that somehow it is your responsibility to point out everyone's sinful ways. It is your responsibility to love people as Jesus did and to deal with your own sin. That is the real fight!

My response...
basically this man does not have a clue as to what the real fight is.

Why did this commenter feel it necessary to post here? The commenter that has been quoted here, went to another blog site and said this...

I am in a conflict over in a blog post and commenting session. Can someone come over and help me I am getting slammed:

Sorry for the call out for help. Of course, maybe you will think that I am an idiot there as well

Now, at the time it was basically just Michelle, Stella and myself who were conversing with him. You can read the comments yourself and find that they are not "slamming" him. They are sharing with love, the Word of God. As a seminary trained pastor, it surprises me that he would feel we were slamming him. I put all of these comments on here in the hopes that he can see how unbiblical his thinking is. I am sure he is a good person in his mind and feels he will go to heaven based on that alone. Or based on the fact that one day he said "the prayer."
Yes, Christians we are in a battle. It is a fight. Why? Because there are people out there who have taken the Bible and ignored most of it in favor of being a friend to the world.

We are not to be of the world. We are to separate ourselves from the world. If you are obedient to God's Word, the world will hate you. Be ready to go to battle. Satan wants to distort God's Word. He wants just enough of it preached to make people "think" they are saved. But he does not want people to know they need to repent of their sins.


When dealing with the proud and arrogant person, we are to preach Law along with the wonderful grace of God! When dealing with a humbled person then give them grace. God's Word is powerful, we need not fear preaching it as others would have you believe.
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Romans 1:16 NIV)

May you challenge the very core of those who would lead you to believe in the foolishness of the Cross. Because those comments are from unbelievers.

Tell them the Truth of God's Word. All of it.
May you go in peace and share God's Word with all you see today and everyday.


John said...

"Oh, so you believe in works righteousness?"

This is the response I get when I try to explain these gospel truths that you put forward so well. Even from some who claim to be reformed.

Keep up the good fight.

Question of Identity said...

I too find that most of the opposition and battles happen through people in church. There are 2 people in a particular church that I work with who are as vicious as the most poisonous of snakes with their attacks - constantly trying to block the work I am called to do.

As you pointed out we should not find this a surprise when this happens.

As someone once said: 'There is no demilitarised zone' - we are either on the Lord's side or that of the enemy.

Chris Kratzer said...

Behind every surface issue is a much deeper spiritual battle. Until we learn to fight the spiritual battles behind the scenes and below the surface, the surface issues will never truly change or get resolved.

In ministry settings, especially with staff/leadership relationships, I have found that most conflict boils down to an issue of differing vision. And a lot of times that differing vision comes from people making emotional decisions of personal preference and then trying to rationalize them spiritually.

Perhaps a simple formula for effective discipleships is to disarm the new Christian of all their worldly defenses and ammunition and then suit them up with the armor of God.

When you are born physically, for the first few years of your life, your body's main function is to build its immune system. Shouldn't that be the focus of the development of those who are "born again" especially in the beginning when the new Christian, like a child, is most vulnerable.

Unfortunately, I have discovered over the years of my ministry, that when the spiritual armor of God isn't learned and put on soon in a Christian's life, later on they are harder to disciple and it's harder to impart the urgency to put it on and use it.

Keep up the good fight.