Saturday, October 06, 2007

# 221: Be on Guard

Living in a world where just about everyone is looking out for their own skin, it is extremely necessary to be on our guard from people who want to take advantage of us for their own selfish interests. Even though the majority of the world’s population is honest, quite often their honesty is self-motivated.

There are millions of us being scammed by con-artists and unscrupulous people on the Internet. Their kind is growing by leaps and bounds. Identity theft is always on the increase. It is difficult to guard ourselves since we use our credit card whenever possible. And all it takes is for one thief to get hold of our credit card number, and they can, with false identity, rob us blind and make our future a living hell in trying to clear our name.

But the most prevalent and successful of all con-artists—abbreviation for confident man/woman—are those who are accepted by the majority as upright and loving people. These are the ones that are almost impossible to detect. I am talking about many of the religious leaders around the world. They will say and do anything to get our money and devotion. One of the ways they do this is to “whitemail” us by using Holy Scripture in no uncertain terms: If we don’t give to the cause of Christ—actually, it is their own cause—we will go to hell.

The main reason for the origin of this blog is to expose pseudo- Christianity. They are the ones we must be on our guard against. Many of them are as slippery as deadly snakes. They are killers of our souls, the most important part of us. They know exactly what to say and not to say that seems in agreement with the Holy Bible. They emphatically use holy words from Scripture as the upright clergy uses. Matthew 16:6 and 12. "‘Be careful,’ Jesus said to them. ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’” It is repeated in verse 16; then the apostles understood what He was saying: "Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Luke 12:1 says: "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." Webster says that hypocrisy is: “a pretending to be what one is not; a pretense of virtue, piety, etc." Also read Matthew, Chapter 23, to see what Jesus thought of the religious leaders. It is no different today in many churches.

In that case, how are we to tell the difference between those who would give their lives to save our souls, and those that have been lovingly exploiting us since who-knows-when? The answer is not cut-and-dry; it depends on one’s desires. If one is intimately familiar with the New Testament and has a desire to be obedient to what it commands, most likely they can’t be tricked. For those who are not acquainted with New Testament Scripture, there is little hope for them of knowing the difference.

Another excellent way of telling who is who is to look at the ones who preach material wealth and prosperity and the good things in this life according to the Old Testament; they are the slippery snakes along with those who preach how easy it is to be Christians: Just accept Christ as Lord and Savior and you are heaven-bound. The “‘once saved, always saved” crowd, and there are millions of them, especially the Baptists, etc.: Billy Graham has been their main spokesman since the 1950s. Click on post # 152: “Billy Graham: Man of God?” Every false preacher has his own ploys ; so as to keep his/her seats full and their coffers overflowing. They use the holy name of Jesus Christ to their own advantage. They are attractive, always smiling: lazy experts, shrouded in deceptive greed.

Then there are those (the laity) who live in a worldly way, accepting most of what is going on in the world as okay for them to indulge in, be it sports, visual entertainment, making life as easy as possible, or always looking forward to having a good time. They would be easy prey for slick-mouth preachers. The largest group, who may never know the difference are those who keep their religion in their back pocket and never once think of God, Christ or Godly things during the day. The only time God comes to their conscious mind is when in a church building or in desperate need and yell out, "O God, please help me."

There are many more indications of false religious leaders, and the New Testament could, and most likely would, expose them all. As I have said dozens of times, read the New Testament and put into practice what is commanded; then God and I guarantee that you will be on the straight and narrow road to heaven. Any less is putting one’s own soul (spiritual being) into deadly danger.

Another evil force we must be constantly on guard against is demonic terrorists. They are the silent terrorists who don’t bomb large buildings but kill their enemies (God’s people) with sly, subtle and insidious ways. We all are prone to this evil force. Our country is on guard against Islamic terrorists, and rightly so. But the bigger and more deadly force comes from the enemy within. Listen to what Luke has to say in Luke 12:4-5. "I tell you my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body [Islamic terrorists, etc.] and after that can do no more. But I will show you who you should fear: fear him [God] who, after killing the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him." Proverbs 1:7. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." The Old Testament gives several hundred verses that exhort us to fear only the Lord God Almighty, while the New Testament tells about a dozen times to fear the Lord. Here is just one: Acts 10:34- 35. "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right."

This above section of scripture has been distorted because of a misunderstanding in several ways. It does not mean we should not guard against those who mean us harm, but more importantly, we are to guard ourselves against having a lack of fear of Almighty God. Along with that, Jesus is indirectly saying that, as grievous as the death of our physical body is, the death of our soul (inner spirit) is a million times greater in value.

Also, Jesus is implying when we are in the good grace of our Savior, death is not to be feared. That doesn’t mean we should kill ourselves, which would annihilate all the good we have done so far. Of course, there is a time when life is more precious than other times: when we have small children who need a father and mother, a spouse whose life depends on our survival, or people who totally depend on us; it would be devastating to them if we were to die. For most genuine Christians, it would be beneficial to go with the Lord. In most cases, the ones who suffer are those left behind.

When all things are considered which are of primary importance, we must be constantly on guard as to all our actions to make certain they conform with all that New Testament Scripture commands, while also having an awesome fear of our God, since He has no choice but to send us where we don’t desire to go when our lives do not conform to His law of love. Our lives on earth will tell Him how we desire to act when in His presence. His mercy and grace, as wonderful and essential as they are, cannot bend the rules, even though He is a God of love. For that reason, we must always be on our guard, making certain our church leaders are on the up- and-up. And again I must emphasize that the New Testament is the only source of truth, when it is read with a pure heart and not attempting to justify our preconceived beliefs.

Just remember that the Holy Book has been read by thousands, even millions of people, and just about everyone comes up with conflicting views as to what it teaches. You and only you must be certain your understanding is the purest, holiest and most loving, which can be given to what it is attempting to teach us. That in itself is an awesome task, to say the least. I personally have been doing that for over 40 years. That is the reason some of what is written in this blog may seem farfetched. We must always remember that if Jesus Christ did nothing else, He turned the world’s values, which are derived from our sinful nature, upside down.

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is no small task; it will take every fiber of our internal fortitude to live in a way that pleases the one who loves us and gave Himself for us. Isn’t that what every person who calls themselves Christian should be doing? This is a solemn warning: Be on your guard.

No comments: