It is evil itself when under the guise of love, cruelty is visited upon the unsuspecting to the point of bringing them to the brink of destruction. That’s not to say they are without fault because you choose what you believe and gravitate toward the things you want to believe. Faith is a choice followed by an action. What you put your faith in determines what action you will take. Fantasy and reality are perpetually at war in one’s heart, and the rational mind tries its best to reestablish the reality that absolute truth is, by its nature, absolute.
If you have difficulty walking from your microwave to your kitchen table, no matter how much body positivity you possess, chances are, one day, and one day soon, you won’t even be able to make that two-step trek.
One of the cruelest lies to be visited upon the contemporary church and one that made a handful of unscrupulous leeches wealthy beyond their wildest dreams is that this present life was about them rather than Christ. While some may deem this shift in focus and priority as nothing to be concerned over, in all practical terms, we’ve supplanted God, and His will, for ourselves and our will.
As a philosopher whose name now escapes me once said, whatever sits atop your pinnacle of value, is functionally equivalent to God. That is why the me gospel is so dangerous. That is why this infatuation with self is so detrimental. We have made the flesh our foremost priority. It is the individual and not God that sits atop our pinnacle of value, and so, the self has become a de facto god, a god we serve and service, strive to please and appease.
This is why not loving one’s life to death is so difficult in our era. This is why, I believe, at the first sign of resistance, difficulty, or persecution, the modern-day church will fold like a paper airplane in the hands of an excitable child. When the self is sitting atop our pinnace of value, we attempt to protect it and keep it comfortable at the expense of everything else.
If keeping their life at its current comfort level demands that they turn their back on God because their flesh is more of a priority than a relationship with God, they will not hesitate to betray Him.
Do I love Jesus and what He did for me more than I love my life, my comfort, or my possessions? It is a fundamental question we must contend with presently that we might either continue to grow our conviction or make the requisite adjustments so that when the day comes, we would not falter.
Am I saying all of us will be called to martyrdom? No, I am not, but there’s a lot that can happen between our current existence and martyrdom that will require us to choose Him over ourselves. It doesn’t always have to be the threat of being beheaded; sometimes, it’s something as innocuous or insignificant as being marginalized by your social circle for standing up for Jesus.
Since my social circle can fit into a midsize sedan, I’m not much bothered by their opinion regarding my stance on Jesus. Others, however, put great value on how their peers, coworkers, family, and friends view them, and if Christ is not their all in all, they will self-censor when they are in their presence and hold back for fear of retaliation.
Matthew 10:33, “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”
That puts a crimp in the undercover brother mindset, doesn’t it? Camouflage Christianity is not Christianity. If you can blend in with the world to such a degree that those of the world embrace you as one of their own, you are of the world.
“I don’t like this fat man anymore, Martha. He’s making me feel uncomfortable now. Go back to brother Joel’s morning affirmations.”
Perhaps I’m just an odd duck, but if my destination is heaven, I appreciate anyone who points the way, even if the road is uneven, difficult, or taxing. If you’re serving a god you’ve manufactured, or if you’ve decided you are the god you will serve, then don’t be surprised when on that day of days, He will say He never knew you.
The implication of Jesus saying if you deny me before men, then I will deny you before My Father, was that it would cost your flesh something if you declared Him as Lord and King. It’s not like you’d be denying Jesus in a church setting or when surrounded by other believers. If everyone around you is saying Jesus is Lord, it’s an easy thing to echo the sentiment.
If, however, proclaiming that Jesus is Lord would ensure that you will either be marginalized or otherwise persecuted, if He is not your all in all, it wouldn’t be all that easy a thing to do. Jesus knew those who followed after Him would be persecuted. He knew that those who followed after Him would be hated. In so knowing, He also foresaw that some would have to choose faithfulness or betrayal. He made it very clear to those who chose to deny Him before men that He would likewise deny them before His Father, who is in heaven.
This is just another example of something men say Jesus would never do, even though Jesus said He would. You either believe Him over the words of men or the words of men over what He said.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
It has come down to whether I believe Jesus words as well as believing in Him. Or, I believe in Him but don't believe what He said. The more I study and read what Jesus said the more I believe His words.
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