The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

The Way of Peace They Have Not Known

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words.” (Jn. 14:21-24)

Obedience to Jesus is the proof of love toward Him. Only those who love Him will truly see Him (as He manifests Himself to only these.) He will be manifesting Himself to those who love Him, and hiding Himself from those of “the world” simultaneously. The pure in heart shall “see God.” Those with worldly ambitions will be deceived by a counterfeit.

Those of “the world” who say they love God but do not keep His commandments, may have a form of godliness but deny its power. These are perilous times indeed when lies are spoken as truth, and truth speakers are called liars.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Tim. 3:1-5)

The churches in America are filled with such people. This is no exaggeration. From the pulpit to the pew, people are in love with themselves and their lives in this present world. They are covetous lovers of pleasure, and out of this internal greed and hedonism proceeds all manner of evil. But they wish to be seen as Christians, so they wear Christ’s name even as they walk in the pride of life without so much as a blush. We are to turn away from such as these. God’s name is blasphemed among the heathen because of them.

Do you think that I refer to only those who get drunk, get high, or sleep around while attending “church”? I do not. Religious hypocrisy is often much more sophisticated than that.

Today in America there are many “Christians” who gladly pledge to the American flag, or wave the Israeli flag, giving their approval and allegiance to nations at war with God. They are doing it right in the sanctuaries between the hymns and the sermons. They honor those who shed the blood of others, and invent all sorts of ways to justify–even glorify–those heinous acts of the flesh. This goes beyond accepting that the world is destined for war because the world is rejecting God. When “Christians” give their approval and sanction to the murder of people they do not even know, they show that something is very wrong internally.

Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness–their feet are swift to shed blood–destruction and misery are in their ways–and the way of peace have they not known–there is no fear of God before their eyes. (Rom. 3:14-18)

The more I struggle to believe what I am seeing among “Christians,” the more I realize that these people just do not see or know the God they claim to see and know. I can come to no other conclusion. In rejecting, or twisting beyond recognition, the commands of Christ, they have placed themselves in a place of spiritual darkness. Because they do not follow Him, they do not have the light of life (Jn. 8:12). Those who insist on loving the world and its ways are adulterers and enemies of God (Jam. 4:4). The “godliness” they claim to be foisting on the world is nothing but hypocrisy. The “muscle” these false Christians are showing the world (see here) is only proof of their apostasy and denial of Christ.

I believe that as trouble increases on the earth, true Christians will have to guard their hearts ever more diligently, lest sorrow or frustration cause their own love for God and others to grow cold. I confess I get angry when I hear lies spoken in God’s name. I get frustrated at the apathy and coldness of hearts that claim to be temples of God’s Spirit. I get burdened by the destruction I see happening in the Church–so many people joining the murderous devil on misguided Crusades rather than being the ambassadors for Christ and reconcilers they are called to be. It upsets me when people claim to be preaching “holiness,” while at the same time preaching against “following peace with all men.” (Heb. 12:14) Can such see the Lord? Scripture is clear. They do not see Him.

But the followers of Jesus must not give in to self-pity or hatred either. We too can be separated from the Vine if we aren’t careful to keep ourselves in the love of God. We need to continue in mercy, hoping that others can escape the snare of the devil and come to the light. The pressure caused by sorrow and pain has a way of bringing to the surface all that is impure in us. My hope is that as professing Christians see their own impurities as the pressure on them increases, they will renounce everything unholy in themselves and choose the way of the cross. God’s judgment on the American church, which has twisted Christ’s teachings beyond recognition, is going to be fierce. I do not know exactly what this will look like, but I do know that patience will be needed on the part of the saints, as many go into captivity and as those who kill with the sword are themselves killed by the sword (Rev. 13:10).

Jesus came to bring a sword that divides one from another (Lk. 12:51-53), and yet He is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). How can these things be true simulataneously?

Those who gather with Christ find true peace, and become the peacemakers on the earth who alone are children of God (Matt. 5:9). Those who do not gather with Him are scattered by various doctrines of devils (Matt. 12:30), many of which claim to be doing God service even while disobeying His words. The sword of division cuts between the two groups and renders them incapable of fellowship together. As things grow darker, the more obvious the divide will be. Already I see people claiming that true peacemakers are of the devil and the antichrist. Yet they form coalitions that join professing Christians with atheistic Jews and give their money to theft and bloodshed. The wicked are praised and the good are despised. I have even been told gleefully by “Christians” that they will be sure to stand by and watch while someone kills me. So be it. My trust is in the Lord, not in the arm of the flesh.

I am weary of this world, which so soon will burn up (Come, Lord Jesus). All men are like the grass, and their glory vanishes like smoke. We are even now beginning to disappear from sight (in the flesh). But the just shall live (forever) by his faith.

Once everything is consumed here, we will stand before the King and give an account. We who claimed to serve Jesus will be held accountable to His words. There will be no theologians standing beside us explaining to Jesus that loving our enemies does not mean loving our enemies. We won’t be able to justify ourselves by saying we don’t know which neighbors we should love; He has already cleared that up (Lk. 10:25-37). There will be no flags to wave, no national moral high ground to stand on, no patriotic chorus cheering us on as we give fair speeches to the King of the world. He will judge our fruit and see if we are sheep or goat, wheat or tare, peacemaker or warmonger, Bride of Christ or apostate whore. He will certainly know if we did justly, loved mercy, and walked humbly. He will know how we treated “the least of these His brethren.” He will not be deceived by our pretensions at religion or swayed by the size of our following. There will be no hiding from His wrath if we are found to be hypocrites.

In that day, will you be marked by Jesus, who gave Himself for others–or marked by the god of this world, who swallows up others for himself? You are deciding that right now. Many who say “Lord, Lord” are destined for destruction. It is not what we say but what we do that counts.

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