As I continue my study the book of the apostle Luke, I find myself completely awed by God’s plan for my life and that of those around me. Earlier this week, I was harshly persecuted for my relationship with Jesus Christ as I bodily stood up for my faith in God almighty through this ministry.
It is only fitting this week’s message is in tune with a recent personal experience involving deceiving hypocrites, people with no fear of God that prompted me to take steps toward restitution of God’s presence in all our lives.
The first topic in the twelfth chapter of the book of Luke talks about the hypocrites among us. Jesus often addressed Pharisees using them in parables and teachings. In these verses Jesus exposes the Pharisees for what they are rather than what they pretend to be.
“1 In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.” (Luke 12:1-3)
Believers should know that God always knows the truth and that hypocrisy is senseless because eventually, all deeds, both good and evil will be exposed. No one can con God. One day all truths will be revealed.
In such it is important to remember we are to fear the Lord and not man. Though men can certainly inflict pain, it is nothing compared to the great suffering found in hell which stretches for all eternity.
“4 And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5)
Fear in man will keep many people from fulfilling their mission, from acknowledging their faith in Christ and keep those of weak faith from growing spiritually.
Spiritual growth is an essential part of one’s salvation as God promises many rewards to faithful servants. One of the important part of spiritual growth involves confessing the Lord and acknowledging our relationship with Jesus Christ. Through a testimony, discipleship, fellowship and worship believers allow themselves to grow spiritually in ways pleasing to God.
“8 Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 â€œAnd anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.” (Luke 12:8-10)
The verses above explain that those who acknowledge God will be blessed while those who reject Him will be rejected themselves. In plain English this means those who deny the Lord will end up in hell.
Focusing on those who believe and acknowledge God, it is safe to assume that, because of their faith in Jesus Christ all believers will be persecuted at one time or another along their spiritual walk. Specially for those living, working, serving in the world.
Because a great percentage of believers are part of the church scattered rather than the church assembled, these servants are more susceptible to suffering at the hands of blood thirsty vipers that dwell in darkness. Spiritually attacked, members of God’s church scattered need to be prepared to confidently stand before men and women of power when persecuted for their faith in the Lord.
“11 Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:11-12)
One of the many gifts brought on by the Holy Spirit is wisdom. Together with clarity of mind and soul, when persecuted believers need not worry about their testimony. Instead disciples of Jesus Christ are called to rely on the Spirit and trust that when the time is upon us, words will flow from our lips like a stream down a mountain side speaking word of love and reverence to the Lord.
All believers are at risk of being persecuted. Some of us will lose friends because of our faith or get fired from a job, others will get suspended from school or, like the apostle Paul, be imprisoned. Some will be beaten, even killed.
The bottom line is this: If you are not willing to suffer for your faith in Christ in this life so you can rejoice with Him in heaven, you are in grave danger of suffering for nothing through all eternity. It’s your choice.
Embrace faith based persecution by the enemy, only those with weak faith are safe from the challenges brought on by evil. Seek God’s strength in relationships, small groups, fellowship, worship and prayer. Allow His word to fill your soul and enlighten your mind and you will never fear man. Let’s pray.
We thank you for this day and for all that you bless us with
We praise you father for all that came, all that is, and that will be,
Lord we ask you to inspire us to continue seeking your ways
As we battle temptation and persecution brought on by evil.
Lord we thank you for looking after us, our friends and families
And guiding our footsteps each and every day,
Leading us to be more like you
Spreading love throughout the world according to your plan.
We pray you will continue to bless our lives like only you can Lord
And we ask that you shine your light bright upon us until your return.
We pray for the hypocrites that their candle be lit
That they be saved and accept you as Lord and savior,
That they repent of their sins and seek you as their King
And for your grace to wash over those who believe in you.
Thank you lord father for your ever growing splendor.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre