Christ Divides

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1 Corinthians 15:3–4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

In the name of tolerance

We live in a world which claims “tolerance for all” unless you preach the Gospel, how that Christ died for the ungodly; how the Lord Jesus loved us so much He sacrificed Himself on the cross so we can have eternal life when we place our trust in Him. The Gospel is confrontational against sin but it’s a message of love.

How can a loving message such as that cause others to say Christians are preaching “hate”? Because we love you and want to warn you to flee from the wrath to come, is that hate? Are you being “tolerant” towards Christians when we speak God’s word or “intolerant”? There seems to be a double standard unless we agree with sin, homosexuality, fornication, lying, stealing etc. Then you won’t “tolerate” us.

As Christians we’re not “tolerant” when it comes to sin, we never said we were. We love all people but just because we love you doesn’t mean we agree to your sin. On the other hand secularist claim “tolerance” but they won’t tolerate the Gospel.

In the name of tolerance

Things are not so much different from 2000 years ago when Jesus Christ stood before the people of Jerusalem. As the Lord Jesus preached and taught in the temple He was approached by the religious Pharisees and Sadducees who wanted to maintain control over the people and therefore sought a reason to have Him killed. These two parties collectively made up the Sanhedrin and they were a ruling body of seventy-one members with the High Priest as the chief officer.

Then we have the Herodians who wanted to restore someone from the family of Herod to the throne in Judea as well as other areas ruled by Herod the Great. The Herodians were the political leaders of those days.

And we also had those who were devoted to studying the scriptures called scribes, the scribes were the ones who drew up legal documents. They also copied the Old Testament Scripture and determined how they would apply to every day living.

The Lord Jesus dealt with each one of these groups as they opposed Him as He preached to the people in the Synagogue or towns. As they would look to entrap Him in anything concerning the scriptures. The religious parties were those who were self-righteous they considered themselves to be “good persons”. Jesus Christ was telling them they’re not good because they have all sinned and are trying to keep others from receiving forgiveness for their sins from God.

There was a division among the people because of him

In the Gospel of John, there are 3 different times in which the word “division” was used in reference to their reaction to Christ. The religious authorities felt threatened, but not only them the people (Jews) also were at odds with Jesus Christ and among themselves.

John 7:43 So there was a division among the people because of him.

John 9:16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.

John 10:19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.

There’s another account in the Gospel of Matthew when the Pharisees had sent people to falsely testify again Jesus always looking to entrap Him. The Lord Jesus was either hated or loved, there weren’t any individuals who were indifferent towards Him. You will always find two types of people believers or unbelievers. The following scripture from chapter 27 in Matthew shows the hatred towards the Son of God. But not only that it also shows someone who was trying to “ride the fence” sort of speak.

Pontius Pilate was the prefect of Judea from A.D. 26 to A.D. 36. Although Pilate’s residence was in Caesarea he was in Jerusalem for the time of the Passover. Pilate was a man under the rule of Augustus Caesar. The Jews being under Roman rule were afraid of losing their way of life to the Romans and feared that they would be destroyed. They brought Jesus to Pilate with the accusation of causing an uproar among the people and against Caesar.

When Pontius Pilate asked “Shall I crucify your King?” in reference to Jesus Christ, the Jews answered, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15). Reading the following text we see the entire scene played out as Pontius Pilate tries to release Jesus and excuse himself from taking part in delivering up the Son of God to be crucified.

Matthew 27:1–24 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me. And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

All of the attempts of Pilate didn’t work. Jesus made no defence before Pilate Pilate marvelled that Jesus did not attempt to defend Himself. Pilate admitted Jesus was innocent and told the crowd that Jesus was innocent. Pilate attempted to release Jesus. Pilate denied responsibility in the Lord Jesus’s death and tried to put the responsibility on the Jews. Pilate tried to wash his hands of the matter and delivered Him up to be crucified. Pilate had the chance to set Him free but he was afraid of Caesar and wanted to please the people.

Is the world any different today?

Today’s Christians face the same challenges just with different names attached. Instead of the self-righteous religous Pharisees and Sadducees, we now have world religions like Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and cults (Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons).

Instead of the political Herodians, we have politicians who create ungodly rules such as “free speech zones”, “noise level laws” and other mandates which tries to prevent the Gospel from going forth. Instead of the scribes, we have citizens who try to prevent the good news from being preached as they bring their secular views or mock and scoff. Nothing really has changed, either you’re for Christ or against Him. Either your for God or an enemy of God.

As an encouragement continue to preach the word no matter what opposition you come up against. God is worth it all! I’ll end this with 2 appropriate scriptures from Moses and Joshua.

Exodus 32:26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Christ divides, which side are you on?

Christians in Today’s Culture: Introduction

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Ephesians 5:8 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”

Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. The scripture above is speaking to believers, we all at one point walked in darkness, we all were in the kingdom of darkness. And God in His loving kindness pulled us out of death and into newness of life and made us children of light that we may follow the Lord Jesus. I used to be a child of darkness and was shown amazing love from God and I want others to experience His love which knows no bounds.

Christians don’t think of themselves better than anyone else, because we too were once on the broad path to destruction and by God’s grace have found the narrow way to life. Our hope is that many more will also find the narrow way which leads to life but there are few that find it the Bible says.

Matthew 7:13–14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

The world hasn’t changed much since the days of Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. General society believes they’re better off than people 2000+ years ago, but it’s not so. Society’s notion of “better off” is an advancement of science, technology or financial wealth, the reality is nothing changed, “there is no thing new under the sun” as the writer of Ecclesiastes notes. What people really need is to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour!

Ecclesiastes 1:9 “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

God’s word is faithful and true since the beginning of the fall of man in the garden man has lived in rebellion against the Almighty God, in the Bible, we read how the nation of Israel continuously went against God’s purpose. Being freed from 400 yrs of hard bondage to the Egyptians with a mighty hand. He helped them cross the red sea by parting it down the middle, rained down manna from heaven to feed them, gave them water to drink from a rock, helped them across the wilderness to a land flowing with milk and honey and yet they still murmured against God.

We as God’s creation still haven’t learned, many still live in disobedience against the creator today. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth, the seas and beast and creeping things of the earth He created everything with order and purpose, God then created man (Adam) to have dominion over the earth.

Genesis 1:26–28 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Christians Confronted with False Doctrine 

Christians in Today's Culture 2Adam was then given the responsibility of keeping the garden and naming all the animals in Eden, therefore fulfilling his role (headship). He was given the position and authority by God, one of leadership, in the creatorial law of God man (male) is given authority over the woman (female), of course, culture says otherwise, just as the serpent beguiled Eve (Genesis 3:13, 2 Corinthians 11:3).

Signs on public transportation spreading false doctrine (right pic) claiming Eve named the animals in the garden? Nowhere in the Bible does it say this happened. Clearly, this is a deviation from God’s word, organizations such as MTA (Mass Transit Authority) and the Poetry Society of America (poetry in motion) should be ashamed for beguiling individuals who aren’t familiar with God’s word, Eve did not name the animals in the garden.

Genesis 2:15–25 “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Biblical Christian Life in Today’s Culture
Living in today’s society that’s far removed from God and how He instructs us to live is challenging for Christians who fully believe and follow how we’re to live as believers. In this world of Postmodernism, there’s no doubt your Christian views will be resisted because people feel they don’t need or want God. They have preconceived notions that they are good people and that’s all that matters.

When I hear a person say they’re a “good person” and therefore are ok, or God will recognize them for their good deeds it makes me shutter. They haven’t been reading their Bibles, God says there’s none good no not one, that includes myself also. Therefore we place our faith alone in Jesus the Son of God, not on ourselves.

Romans 3:18–20 “There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Christianity in a Feminist Culture
As mentioned previously God created man and woman in a specific order. Adam was created first then, Eve. Man was not created for woman but woman was created for man to be a help meet, the rise of feminism wants to destroy that order, feminist claim there cause is one of equality; but they misunderstand that God already made them equal. The only difference is men and women are different genetically, but in terms of the world, itself man is to blame not God. I realize many won’t believe in this order, many have said “this line of thinking is barbaric”, really who makes that decision society or God? The reason why the world is going the way it is is because men again choose to deviate from God’s word.

Genesis 2:21-22 “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

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I can only speak to true Christian men, we don’t consider women to be any less than man, women were made to complement men, we men need woman just as much as they need us. Unfortunately, society grants women a platform to usurp authority over man, and supports it and therein lies the problem. Lucifer the anointed cherub who was God’s most perfect creation and given a high position in the kingdom of heaven became proud and wanted to overthrow God. He wanted to disturb the order God created in heaven and on earth.

Ezekiel 28:13–15 “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”

Isaiah 14:12-11 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

That’s exactly what happened in the garden of Eden, Eve took it upon herself not to consult her husband when the serpent tricked her into taking the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Satan went to the woman first and attacked the order God put in place when He distinguished the roles between male and female. Adam was not off the hook in any way, in fact, he was more to blame because it was his responsibility to take the lead and hearken unto the warning God gave him.

Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Christianity in an Immodest Culture
We live in a sexually immodest world, we’re constantly bombarded with images of sexually explicit movies/tv shows, and music which glorifies treating others as sex objects. It’s no wonder people are exposing themselves more and more.

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Now it’s “cool” for young girls to wear shorts which look like underwear, they are exposing so much of themselves there’s not much distinction between them and a streetwalker or harlot.

People are screaming for attention, wanting to be the life of the party but modesty will always be the best policy. It’s what’s inside an individuals heart that matters and what’s in your heart is what will manifest on the outside in how you dress, walk, talk and conduct yourself. When we dress raunchy or speak cursings that’s a reflection of what’s in our heart. Showing way too much flesh is a sure way of placing themselves in immediate danger walking the streets as such. But they’re also in danger of God’s wrath to perish for all eternity.

Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

Conducting oneself in an immoral way will only attract ungodliness and the wrong kinds of people in our lives. It’s not difficult to understand that displaying yourself in public in an immodest way will only bring hardship. It may sound old fashion, but if you ever plan on getting married you’ll want to remain pure. Young people typically care only about looks but Christians know “looks” only last for so long, eventually by God’s grace you’ll grow old and won’t look how you did in your 20’s.

Christianity in a Relative Culture
Another problem which has infiltrated and permeated society as a whole is relativism “perception”. Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is relative to the individual. This means that all moral positions, all religious systems, all art forms, all political movements, etc., are truths that are relative to the individual.

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Relativism is a self-refuting belief system. The absolute statement of all moral positions, all religious systems, all art forms, all political movements are correct is false. If I say the opposite am I wrong, if all is true isn’t mine belief true as well? The truth in relativism lies in the individuals “perception”. So if my “perception” is that it’s ok to commit robbery and because all beliefs are true according to the individual, then no one can say I’m wrong. But we know that it is wrong to do such things why? Because there’s right and wrong, there cannot be two truths, 2+2 doesn’t equal 150 right?

Moral absolute truths must come from a higher absolute source and that source is God, not man. A murderer can then claim he’s justified in committing horrible acts when relativism is involved, but if we have absolute truths we know murder is wrong. And the reason why we know it’s wrong is because God wrote His law upon our hearts.

Romans 2:14-15 “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)”

Christianity in a Gender Fluid Culture
We know society has lost it when people are confused as to what gender they are. You’re what God determined you to be that’s either male or female there are no other options and you don’t get to choose, the decision was made for you in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5).

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Schools are now asking little children to “choose” their gender? How wrong this is?! These poor children are growing up confused and horrified parents are now dealing with laws which grant children the legal rights over their parents to have irreversible sex change operations? Christians cannot just sit back and be alright with this? The people responsible for passing these sinful laws will stand before God one day for offending these children, I pray that they will repent before then.

Matthew 18:6 “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Christianity in an Abortion Supportive Culture
There have been countless debates on the issue of abortion. The founder of Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger:

“The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” - Margaret Sanger (founder of pp)

Who determines the value of human life, society? The general consensus among abortionist is the unborn aren’t “human”, how do they come to this conclusion? What determines the value of the unborn, is its size, level of development, environment or degree of dependency?

Size cannot determine the value of life because if that were true then would killing a 2-year-old due to being smaller than an adult be justifiable, can we just go around knocking people off who are smaller than us? No of course not!

What about the level of development does it determine human value? Then what do we do with the mentally challenged? Do we exterminate them as well are they of any “less value” because of their mental capacity, are they less human? Of course not!

How about the environment? Does the location (in this case a mother’s womb) determine human value, is the unborn baby more valued because of its location? Do we now say when a baby is in the womb it’s of less value but the moment the baby is out of the womb it’s of more value? How about the poor, are poor people of less value because of where they live? If location determines value then are you any less or more important when you left your home? Of course not that’s silly to even say!

Is dependency the deciding factor? Are unborn babies of any less value because they are dependent on the mother? What about someone who was in a car crash or had a condition which required them to depend on a family member for medicine or special care, are they too of less value and should be killed? All of these arguments fail because they focus on the individual’s ability to provide. Christians know why killing anyone, unborn or born is wrong, that’s because we all bear the image of God (Genesis 1:26), we are created in God’s image and therefore we are all of value.

Final Thoughts
These are some of the many issues we face as Christians living in day and age we live. Nothing has changed all of the prophets, apostles and Jesus Himself faced similar challenges in their time also. They dealt with paganism, immoral practices, mysticism, false religions, divisions within the assemblies and many other things. We cannot think we won’t face these also if we are truly living for Jesus we shall suffer persecution, we shall be hated among the nations, all of this is spoken of in God’s word and to think otherwise would be calling God a liar. God forbid!

2 Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

Let’s not be afraid but, encourage one another in the faith, love and live according to the will of God that He may get all the glory. The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

Written by Jason