““You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Matthew 5:21-24 NKJV
The church pew is truly the most dangerous place on earth. There have been Sunday’s when I have cried out to God for His love to flow through me, for I had an understanding of the gravity of fellowship. Often in the place where one might expect peace, there can be the most intimate warfare.
The Lord cares dearly about how Christians treat each other, and thus, He pays special attention when those in the congregation persecute others.
We are the ambassadors of Jesus, those chosen from the foundation of the world to be His emissaries to a sick and dying world. We are not to be known by our bias, or our religious peculiarities, but by our love.
When the Lord Jesus prepared to leave His disciples, He left with them this great commandment.
“So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately. Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.””
John 13:31-35 NKJV
As with any commandment, there is a consequence for those who do not follow through, and indeed condemnation. I have witnessed the aftermath of God’s consequences, for the Lord will not spare anyone.
I have found that the Lord speaks to our consciousness through the Holy Spirit and the word. If we are wise, we listen and we make the corrections. If we are too caught up in sin, He comes back with more stringent and even deadly responses. I have known saints who have been taken home far too soon because they did not heed the correcting voice of God.
It is all too common in churches to gossip and slander others in the pews, tossing tasty morsels of falsehood. But I tell you the truth: doing so is likened unto murder to our Holy God, for one is practicing character assassination. It is something 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
A false witness who speaks lies…
The church can be a battleground, where the saints are attacked by the tares, sown in by the devil. If your desires are not wholly holy, then you may be a tare. In these perilous times, it is becoming easier to recognize the wolves in amongst the sheep, for their audacity in showing evil is very public, and so will be their destruction when the Lord clarifies His church.
The time is drawing near.
“And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Matthew 3:10 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, now is the time of repentance. There are things happening in our world that are pointing ahead to the perils to come, and and the church needs to be place of refuge, and not a place of battle.
If you have an issue with a brother or sister, it is time to lay it aside. If you are one who is given to playing games with others, it is time to stop, for the Lord is taking stock even now. It is not the time to lean on oft repeated fables of church wide deliverance from the terrors to come, but instead, to cling to the Lord, knowing that He is the only of strength.
I have learned that limiting myself to few words spoken is the best defense against becoming one inhibiting the work of the Lord. I often sit alone, minding my own business, praying for the Lord to work through me.
I have even taken “breaks” from church, so that I do not offend, for the Lord has given me insights that empower my tongue to be weaponized, bringing much pain, as easily as it is able to edify.
My greatest weapon against my own weakness, is to pray for others. I lift up those who are in opposition, praying for their blessing, and the Lord not hold their sin against them, for they know not what they do.
I even measure my thoughts placed in this blog, for I have found that there are some who see themselves in my words, and take deep offense, even though it is not about them. Oh the vanity:
“You probably think this blog is about you, don’t you, don’t you, don’t you…”
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
I John 4:7-11 NKJV
Let us love one another, even as the world we live in is beginning to hate us all the more.
Pray for me. The early cold of winter has revealed great pain in this old tent.
Have a blessed Lord’s day!