“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
Romans 16:17-20 NKJV
The evil one does not like it when believers are obedient to the Lord. His primary mission is to lurk about, seeking to destabilize those who call on the Jesus, in the hope of destroying witness, life and reputation. He has representatives, often masquerading as sheep, who enter churches, seeking to influence and draw away believers after strange winds of doctrine. Some come with the mission of creating divisions. Those in obedience walk about with a target on their backs.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”
II Corinthians 11:13-15 NKJV
The more obedient the Christian, the more obedient the church, the more opposition is present. It can be said that the sign of a healthy church, is the presence of wolves. They are seen clearly, as they stand out in strong contrast to to those who are truly seeking God. Churches that are not healthy, filled with people walking in the flesh, rather than spirit, the wolves can conceal themselves.
Paul completed his letter to the Romans and sought to leave them with instruction and caution, as the Roman church was of good reputation. He instructed the on marking those who are prone to creating division. In the modern church, these are the ones who go about sowing the seeds of discontent. Some of these are complainers, the ones who grumble and whisper.
Still others are those who go about trying to cause other believers to stumble and to sin. Those that do this are in grave danger, as it is not evident that they even know the Lord. We often extol the things that God loves, but seldom consider what He hates.
“These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.”
Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, in the coming times, we will find ourselves in a constant battle to fight against the evil one, as he will persist in invading the church, as he knows that his time is short. Those called to be overseers and pastors must be on guard to protect the flock. I have had the wonderful blessing of having been taught by great wolf detectors, people equipped to recognize those sent by the devil to harm the sheep.
In the midst of the battle, let us not forget that we are dealing with people that Jesus shed His blood to save. We are not dealing with enemies, but people likely lost, who still need the Lord. I have learned that it is best to endure and not strike back. I mark those who sow seeds of division and avoid them. I pull on the full armor of God.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 NKJV
When under pressure, remember hat you are ambassadors of Jesus, sent into the world to tell of the Good News. Love those in opposition, even if means simply showing respect. Do not give evil for evil. The Lord will repay the evil done to you.
You obedience has made you are target. Let your work for the Lord make you a moving target, covered by the grace of God.
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