Mt. 7:24 π Mt. 21:12 π Mt. 23:33 π Mt. 24:14 π Mt. 24:24 π Mk. 11:15 π Jn. 8:44 π Acts 23:3 π 1 Cor. 13:4 π 1 Cor. 13:5 π Phlp. 3:8
To stand up and be counted as one who stands for the whole truth of God's Word, is not easy.
By nature a saint is not contentious, and like "charity" of 1 Corinthians 13:5 she "seeks not her own." This is the nature that "suffers long, and is kind" (verse 4; top ); so this quality of Christian character makes it difficult for a saint to withstand false teaching and false teachers.
Cowards hide their light, but the faithful are willing to suffer, by dying to their own feelings, in order to please the Lord.
Latter-day witnessing for truth is not pleasant to the natural man, and it certainly makes the one who does the witnessing most unpopular. As a matter of fact, much of the witnessing in this last day will bring forth no visible results now, but in the day of judgment, when all men stand before the throne of the Almighty God, then He (God) will be vindicated by our faithful testimony.
In the days of Noah, how many listened to his preaching? But Noah vindicated God by being God's witness. In the day of judgment Noah's testimony will be brought forth as evidence that God was faithful. This will be the "pay-off," the thrilling moment for the faithful when Christ will point to His saints and declare that they testified in the face of all opposition, and were staunch defenders of the truth.
Jesus declared this, concerning the end-time testimony: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness (Greek: marturion, or testimony) unto all nations." ( Mt. 24:14; top ) The honor of God is at stake; He must be vindicated in the eyes of this wicked religious generation, and only those who stand fast for all the truth can give a complete witness.
Most people living in this present-day effeminate generation of soft sentimental sin-lovers refuse to face either facts or truth; they prefer to believe a pleasant lie. To them, all is good and all is love; those of us who call things by their right names are reckoned as "mudslingers." We are also accused of being contentious, and barren of the love of Christ. These people should be reminded that the man from Galilee twice drove the "filthy lucre" lovers out of the temple of God, and He did it not with tolerant verbal persuasion, but with a scourge. Both of these times there was violence, for He "overthrew the tables of the moneychangers." ( Mt. 21:12 ; Mk. 11:15; top )
No sectarian today dares speak to people as Christ and John the Baptist did when addressing religious hypocrites: "You generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?" ( Mt. 23:33 ); and "you are of your father the devil." ( Jn. 8:44 ) Paul called a high priest a "whited wall." ( Acts 23:3; top ) When a wolf puts on sheep's clothing and appears before God's saints as one of them, it is then time for those who are faithful to identify the wolf. Those who know the wolf and keep silent are as guilty as the enemy himself; they become partakers of his sins by hiding the identity of the impostor.
It takes character to be salty, and one loses many so-called friends, but by faithfulness one acquires an experience with God that is far sweeter than all earthly fellowships.
This is the day when every child of God should be informed concerning all affairs that have a bearing upon religious matters. This is no time to close one's eyes to conditions that are not pleasant. We must face the facts if we are to know the truth.
The Savior said, concerning this day of apostasy, that the false prophets will show great signs and wonders in their attempt to deceive "the very elect." ( Mt. 24:24; top ) Shall we fail Christ and His people by fearing to name the false prophets and their crimes against the church?
Here are a few good standards by which any, prophet should be measured:
- if a prophet is popular, well liked, and has a great following, he is not a man of God.
- If a prophet can acquire great sums of money as a reward of his prophecy, he is not a man of God.
The masses in the apostolic day did not like the ministry of such men of God. Don't expect people in our day to like godly ministry. The masses are enjoying the excitement and emotional extravaganzas dished out by their lying prophets, and no amount of exposure will change their attitudes. All we can do is be faithful and true witnesses for our Lord. A few honest souls will rejoice in the message of truth, but never expect much change among the lawless elements of this decaying world.
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock..." Jesus ( Mt. 7:24; top )
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