“…And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26)
In this Scripture context, the word Christian was referring to people that were so identical to their leader they were given a derivative of His name. Their beliefs, words, purpose, and lifestyle imitated Him to the point of unmistaken resemblance. Are you a Christian? Do your beliefs, words, purpose for living, and lifestyle reflect true discipleship to Christ? Who will have the final say of whether you are a true disciple of Christ or not? Will your own opinion, your pastor’s opinion, your religious affiliation, or society’s label on you hold any weight on Judgment Day? Not in the least. Only One Person’s judgment will be final of whether you met His requirement of discipleship, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. No one else’s vote or opinion will matter!
“He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48)
Since all men will be measured by the Words of Jesus, don’t you think that we should examine His Words in Scripture to see if we measure up to His call to true discipleship? How faithful is your heart to the Word of the LORD? Has your love for Him, reverence and devotion to His words been displaced by allegiance to a religious opinion of Jesus or a perversion of His gospel?
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)
God desires a real relationship with people, but very few are willing to give up their idols for an intimate relationship with Him. Most esteem their own beliefs above God’s beliefs. The beliefs of the heart are of such importance to God that a man’s eternal destination will be determined by the faithfulness of the beliefs of their heart in relation to His Word.
“And when one of them that sat at meat with Him heard these things, he said unto Him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said He unto him, ‘A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray you have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray you have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as you have commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.’” (Luke 14:15-24)
The spirit of Anti-Christ manifested in the philosophies of men, the idols of the world, and perverted religious doctrines exalts itself over the commandments of Christ.
“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus…” (Revelation 17:6)
A woman in the Bible is a symbol of a church. The “church” is supposed to represent God to the world, but throughout history it always redefines God’s Word by their own.
THE SEDUCTION OF REDEFINITION
Faith in the Bible is always equated to obedience to God and His leadership direction.
“But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” (Romans 16:26)
The enemy of God has been laboring since the beginning of time to displace the importance of obedience to God’s Word with another concept. Of course it is impossible to replace faith in the life of a person, so the enemy came up with seductive tactics of redefining God’s Word like he did with Eve back in the Garden of Eden. In order to seduce Eve the serpent had to redefine God’s Word with his own opinion of what God’s Word meant. Throughout time all cultures have been corrupted by the same tactics.
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:9)
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, ‘Yea, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’ And the woman said unto the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘You shall not surely die: For God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’” (Genesis 3:1-5)
By questioning the integrity of God’s Word today, seducing spirits have misled God’s people away from Him by the “opinions of men.” These “enlightened” individuals and organizations are supposed to represent God, so passive uncommitted hearts of adultery for another spirit are led into rebellion against what God has spoken.
Though God may forgive the repentant sinner or saint, there is always a consequence for disobedience to His Word. Adam’s abdication of leadership cost him everything for not confronting his deceived wife. His entire bloodline was plunged into a spiritual darkness, all because of allowing some “enlightened” individual to redefine one Word.
“And He humbled you, and allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you didn’t know, neither did your fathers know; that He might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)
Today faith is relegated to a mental assent that holds some credence of fact, a simple belief that there is a God. Devils also believe that there is a God, but they will not give up their rebellious beliefs and opinions for faithful obedience to God’s Word.
“What does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled; but you don’t give them those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit? Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:14-19)
“There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, do you think that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.’” (Luke 13:1-5)
If faith in God is simply believing that God exist or His Words have some credence of fact, then all of the people in the religions of the world could also be called Christians, because many of them believe in the virtues, ethics, and moral teachings taught by Jesus in the Bible, but they are true disciples of Christ, they hold to the traditions of men, and are under the wrath of God until they repent of their own beliefs and opinions.
“He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” (Romans 1:16-18)
Faithfully committing yourself to the doctrine of Christ in obedience to His Words is the only confidence any man can have of salvation. Allegiance to any other predominant doctrine of the day will only keep your heart blinded in deception by your own pride.
“…But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:” (Daniel 5:20)
Love has been redefined today to an emotional affection. The commitment and actions of love have been removed from society. Husbands no longer love their wives unless they have some kind of emotional “feeling” towards them. Wives will not respect their husbands unless they are “in the mood.” When they “fall out of love” they break their marital covenant and divorce. The whole world has been seduced by the manipulation of their emotions, and thus are the most sinful, self-centered, rebellious generation ever to live on planet earth since the Flood in Noah’s day. Love is not an emotion! It may have emotions as a by-product, but it is a virtue based on the value of a person. It is not just human sympathy or empathy. Emotional affections have no virtue without being expressed by commitment and actions. Love is an action.
Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
“…And He turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered into your house; you gave Me no water for My feet: but she has washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. You gave Me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil you did not anoint: but this woman has anointed My feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.’ And He said unto her, ’Your sins are forgiven.’ And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgives sins also? And He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” (Luke 7:44-50)
True love for God honors Him with obedience. The doctrine of humanism subtlety idolizes man by emphasizing love for your fellow man above love for God. Loving your neighbor is the second commandment of God, but it is not the first. The first and great commandment is love for God supremely from your heart with lifestyle evidence.
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.” (1 John 5:2-3)
“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. He that doesn’t love Me doesn’t keep My sayings: and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.” (John 14:23-24)
“And there went great multitudes with Him: and He turned, and said unto them, ‘If any man come to Me, and hates not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.’” (Luke 14:25-27)
Jesus is only the Savior of those that obey Him. No one else has eternal security.
“Though He were a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him;” (Hebrews 5:8-9)
The affections of your heart and purpose of your life reveal whether the idols of the world or the Lord Jesus Christ, His Words, and His kingdom are your real treasure.
“And don’t seek what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, neither be of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things. But rather seek the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fails not, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:29-34)