As Paul closes his second letter to the Corinthians, he gives them fair warnings about sin and the consequences of continuing in sin.
He also advises them that the Lord is in the people and He is powerful in them, both to overcome sin and also to deal with the weaknesses of His people. But He will also be powerful in dealing with those who choose to continue in sin.
So how can this knowledge in these short verses help us today? In many ways, if we take the time to listen to His words and take heed, for too often the church today has lost it’s power. But even so, Christ is still powerful in His people and He continues to deal with them to bring them to the place He wants them to be.
In these last verses of Romans 16 Paul warns the church to be aware of those who create divisions and dissensions in the church.
Paul knew full well that there would be such people come into the church for this was prophesied by the Lord Jesus Christ who said at various times there would be wolves in sheep's clothing come amongst the church. And the mindset of a wolf is to tear apart, divide and kill, and this is what these dissenting and devious people do also.
So let us be aware and look well at the words that Paul wrote here. In the previous verses in my last posts, we saw the importance of harmony in the church and to greet one another with brotherly love. Here we see Paul warning us to be on our guard when that harmony is unbalanced and when the greetings are not returned or are insincere.
(Acts 22:1-21) Have you ever been in a situation where you have been speaking to someone and they just did not believe what you were saying, even when it is the utter truth? Or worse, they chose not to even listen? Have you ever tried to speak to someone about something good (e.g. The gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ for instance), and it was as if they had fingers in both ears and saying, “Lah…Lah…Lah…Lah.” so they could not even hear your words?
Well, when Paul made his defense to the people in Jerusalem after the mob caught him and beat him it was as if this were happening. He spoke to them telling them what had happened to him and they listened up to a point and then just ignored and shouted him down. And often when such a thing happens to us we are amazed and confused and baffled why they “just don’t get it.” So let’s have a look at this scenario that Paul went through and what the bible says about it to us. Continue reading “They Will Not Listen”
If you are a Christian and doggedly holding firm to your faith, you are going to suffer. You are going to be knocked down, kicked about, pushed to the limits, exasperated, frustrated and more for the sake of the gospel.
Most of the time this will be spiritual attack through people, but sometimes this will boil over to physical abuse as well.
And also most of the time when these attacks come they will be based on lies and innuendo, falsehoods, deceptions and half-truths. This is the situation Paul faced in this section of Acts 21 and there is a lesson and warning for all of us.
When you come to The Lord and especially if you do a work in his name, it is never a bed of roses. The one thing you can be sure of is that if you work for The Lord you are going to come up against opposition and that means you may suffer.
Even those who do not do a specific work or ministry in The Lord will suffer for the sake of the faith they hold between themself and God.
Why? Because the ruler of this world is satan and we oppose everything he stands for. So even simple logic says that if you are opposed to the ruler, you are going to suffer for the stand you take.
Paul and Silas discovered this when they made a stand by casting out a demon from a slave girl where that demon had been a source of income for the slave girls masters. They took the right and appropriate action, freeing the girl from this bondage of demon possession, but like all actions we take…there were consequences. Look at what happened.
Who in their right mind thinks they can hide anything from God? God sees all, knows all, understands and created all. So what can you hide from God? And if you cannot hide anything from God what is the point of lying to Him about anything?
This section of Acts shows what can happen to those who think they can hide things from God and then lie about it. There is nothing The Lord hates more than a lying tongue. After all, Satan was described as the father of lies and he is the ultimate enemy of The Lord and His people. (John 8:44)
The ultimate end of Satan is destruction, so it is no wonder too that the end of those who are liars and follow in the ways of the devil will be subject to the same judgement. So let us have a look at this matter for a few moments.