Category Archives: Evangelism: Do not Fear and do not be ashamed

HIGH TREASON AGAINST THE LIVING GOD: Ecumenism Part 2

HIGH TREASON AGAINST THE LIVING GOD: Cowardice and Joining Together With Unbelievers

 

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34

20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and of the table of devils.22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?              1 Corinthians 10:20-22

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men….  2 Corinthians 5:11

 

As our time on this planet melts away, I feel a great urgency to encourage all believers, myself first, to test each and every action we undertake in the name of Jesus Christ, against the eternal word of God, lest we be deceived by the sweet-tasting lies of this world and face a God who is disappointed with us when we stand before him. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:10-11, when speaking about the judgment seat of Christ (which all believers will face), “Knowing, therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” It is my passion, stemming from my own past failures and brokenness, to persuade everyone I know who calls upon the name of the Lord, to test everything…prove everything, while there is yet time so that we will not experience terror on that day, and as John says, that we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his appearing (1 John 2:28).Preach the Word Boldly and Do Not Be Ashamed

False teaching, the patterns and traditions of this wicked world and the love of money and recognition, abound in the modern church. May everyone who reads this article, test their hearts and their actions against the Holy Scriptures, and flee from that which is not clearly supported by the word of truth. False Prophets and Teachers: Wolves Among Us

One of the areas that is most disturbing to me in terms of patent apostasy, is the move towards ecumenism. This grieves me deeply because the scriptures are so very clear on that topic, yet so many good men are involved in prayer groups and gatherings where Muslims, Buddhists, and Jewish friends are treated as brothers before God…allegedly all under the same heavenly Father. There is no brandishing of the sharp double-edged sword of the gospel of truth, which leads to repentance, and there is no discussion of the reality of the fires of hell for those who do not turn from sin to the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Therefore…in fact…there is no concern for the eternal destiny of these “friends.” The false, short-term relationships created by such events will perish in the flames, along with those men’s souls, when this world ceases by the breath of God. Hell and the Wrath of God Almighty

As the scriptures state, without equivocation, Jesus came not to bring peace but a sword…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word, and that blade is swinging, dividing parents from children, brothers from sisters and friends from friends.(Matthew 10:34-39; Ephesians 6:17). How much more does Jesus Christ want us to divide from those who do not even believe that he, as God and man, bore our sins in his body on the cross? He wants (and even demands) that the truth of God separate us out from the world – not to create meaningless disunity, but rather to create true unity among those who truly know and love the God of the Bible, all under the headship of the one who made us and loves us with an everlasting love.

Perhaps the most comprehensive and direct passage on the issue of separating from unbelievers is found in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, quoted below:

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

 2 John 1:9-11, also states, in no uncertain terms, that if we invite one who does not hold to the doctrine of Christ, into our house, or wish them well, without confronting them with the gospel of Jesus, then we are actually partakers in their evil and godless deeds:

 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

 If these passages and the one quoted at the top of the page from 1 Corinthians 10 are true, how can we possibly sit down at a table with unbelievers (and even more with those who openly worship a pagan and thus, demonic “god”) and fail to confront them with the death, burial and resurrection of our great Lord Jesus Christ for the sins of the world? We cannot, therefore, do not, lest you taste the anger of God when you stand before him.

 Jesus and Paul made it clear – we, as believers and children of the living God, are not to join together with unbelievers unless we are preaching the gospel message of Jesus Christ to them. The context of the relevant passages is not limited to marriage, business or prayer meetings. Our God is a jealous God, and he demands that we pursue holiness, purity and righteousness by refusing to water down exactly who he is and what he did for our sin on the cross…ever. Jesus also made it abundantly clear that when we do follow him with all of our hearts, the world will indeed hate us just as they hated him (John 15:18-27). Let us embrace the fact that we are, as Peter said, strangers and pilgrims on this earth, living not for a city built by men, but for an eternal city – one built for us by the very hands of God. Heaven: Your Best Life…Later

 

EPILOGUE

If we are not experiencing pushback and rejection from the world, and even from the “believers” we know who are caught up in the most glaring heresies of today (false signs and wonders, hypergrace, the contemplative,ecumenism, prosperity/word of faith, latter rain, etc.) then perhaps we should examine our hearts to determine if we, like Paul, are truly considering everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ our Lord, and his death and resurrection for our sins (Philippians 3:7-15). We all must, without fear or shame, boldly proclaim the only message that can save souls from a rapidly approaching eternity in hell…the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. As Peter says so eloquently regarding the inevitable reproaches we will receive for the sake of Christ, “Happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you…” (1 Peter 4:13-14). For in a short time, we will receive an eternal reward, far more glorious and wonderful than anything our temporal minds could ever comprehend. May we all seek that everlasting kingdom with all of our hearts.

Heaven: Our Best Life Later

 

*** A Few Bonus Scriptures***

1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:2

For the preaching of the cross is to them the perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1:18

For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. 2:2

Proverbs 9:8

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.  

 Proverbs 14:12

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

 2 Corinthians 10: 12,18

12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise18 For (it is) not he that commendeth himself (who) is approved, but (he) whom the Lord commendeth.

Romans 10:13-14

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

John 12:42-43 (This refers to confessing Jesus as he truly is in the scriptures, not a generic Jesus, who, as a prophet, is respected by all religions. He is God and savior…nothing else)

42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Jude 1:3

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Ecumenism: Jesus Christ, as He is in the Word, is the Only Way to God

Preach the Word Boldly and Do not be Ashamed of the Gospel

Catholicism and the Worship of Mary

Leadership in Christ: Our Responsibilities as Teachers and Hearers of the Word of God

 

 

Preach the Word: As Ambassadors for Christ, We Are All Called to Preach the Word Boldly

*****THIS ARTICLE IS UPDATED AT THE TOP OF MY BLOG*******

          PREACH THE WORD AND DO NOT BE ASHAMED OF JESUS

42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

John 12:42-43

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Romans 10:14

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:20

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Romans 10:15b

5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

2 Corinthians 4:5

Saint Francis of Assisi said something to the effect of, preach the Gospel…but rarely use words. While this sounds wise, it directly contradicts what the Bible commands regarding teaching and preaching. The Bible tells us to, boldly and humbly, and without fear or shame, proclaim the Word of Truth. The unchanging Word of God always overrules anything any man has ever said which contradicts it – no matter how brilliant it may sound. As 1 Peter 1:24-25 says, all men are like grass and their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and flowers fade…but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Every book we read, every sermon we hear, and every piece of advice we both give and receive must line up clearly and perfectly with the everlasting Word of God.

Are we, perhaps, embarrassed to say the name of Jesus Christ to non-believers? Are we afraid of giving advice that is in accord with the scriptures because it may not be socially acceptable or culturally sensitive? Are we more concerned with the approval of men than the approval of the one and only God (John 5:44; 12:42-43)? As Jesus says in John 15:18-23, if we love Him and truly are His disciples, then the world will hate us. James, the brother of Jesus, tells us in very clear language that friendship with the world is hatred towards God, and that friendship with the world makes us enemies of God (James 4:4). Peter and Paul both state that if we are going to follow Christ, we are going to be persecuted severely. Paul was persecuted so intensely that at one point that he even despaired of life itself (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).

There are those who say that men can disciple others in Christ without ever talking to them about Jesus. Instead, by discussing family, work, leadership principles, and relationships, the Spirit can move to communicate Christ. There is nothing in scripture that supports this position. Instead, it appears to be more in tune with the basic philosophies and principals of this fading world as mentioned by Paul in Colossians 2:8. As Matthew 5:19-20 says, to be great in the kingdom of heaven, we must both practice and teach His commands. As I will discuss in a subsequent portion of this document, Paul makes it clear that the world cannot know about Jesus unless we proclaim him.

When Jesus is about to ascend into heaven in Matthew 28:18-20, he specifically tells his followers to go and make new disciples throughout the world – and he goes on to tell them exactly how to do it. He commands them to “teach” these disciples “to obey everything” Jesus has commanded them to do. There was nothing in that charge that states or implies that they (or we) are to avoid or slow-play the words of Jesus and build strong and trusting relationships based on mutual temporal interests and leisure before we begin to share the things of Christ. There is nothing in the final words of Jesus that say that we are to teach others to build better relationships with friends and family or instruct them how to become leaders in the business or political world. On the contrary, as previously noted, Jesus instructed his followers to teach their new disciples to obey… everything that He has taught, knowing that if they do that, everything else will fall into place.

Our job as disciples of Christ is to lift up Jesus, and if we obey that command then Jesus will draw all men to Himself. While it may not make sense to our temporal minds to focus so intently on what Jesus told us to do in his final instructions to his disciples, and while it will cost us relationships, the Holy Spirit will use our obedience to draw hearts that are truly interested in Jesus to Jesus. By our obedience the spirit will reveal who really wants to know Jesus Christ and the power of His death and resurrection. That will allow us to avoid expending unnecessary time and effort on those who aren’t really interested in knowing Christ, but are more interested in relationships with the wealthy, the influential, and the powerful.

John 15:26-27 is another example of Jesus specifically instructing his disciples to proclaim him. He tells them that, once they receive the Spirit, they must testify about Him, just as the Holy Spirit will testify about Him. More specifically, Jesus says: “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who goes out from the Father, He will testify about Me. You also must testify for you have been with me from the beginning.”

I greatly admire how Paul took the commands of Jesus to heart and boldly and unashamedly proclaimed the Word of Truth across the known world – despite the most extreme resistance and severe suffering. In Romans 1:16-17, Paul stated that he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ because he knew it was the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, for in the Gospel of Christ, the righteousness from God that comes through faith is revealed. Paul bravely lived his post-conversion life looking to a better country…a heavenly one… that God has prepared for his people, for we truly are strangers and pilgrims on this earth (Hebrews 11:13-17).

Based on Paul’s words and actions, simply talking about principles of leadership, while enjoying sports and leisure time together, with a measure of Christian principals and relational dialogue mixed in, does not reveal the righteousness of the everlasting God. Instead, Paul clearly emphasizes a desperate need to actually preach the Gospel – and to be careful about our way of life, our doctrine – and even about the things of which we approve (1 Timothy 4:16, Romans 14:22b). In Romans 10:14 and 17, Paul states exactly why unbelievers need to hear the gospel. He asks, how can they (unbelievers) call on the one they haven’t believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they haven’t heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? In verse 17, he reaffirms the above by proclaiming that faith comes from hearing the message and the message comes from the word of Christ. In Titus 1:3 Paul also states that knowledge of the word is manifested through preaching.

We are all, in no uncertain terms, called to preach the word to those around us. With boldness and great humility, we are to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified – in weakness, in fear, and in the confidence that comes from knowing what we are before the living God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). A powerful example of preaching Jesus, even under great stress is in Acts 8:1-4, when, even after the church was scattered due to Paul’s violent persecutions, those who were scattered went “everywhere preaching the word.” I have come to deeply appreciate the fact that Paul and the early church were never ashamed of the name of Jesus and His words. I pray that one day I may have the same boldness and Jesus-centered confidence.

While our culture has painted Jesus as a passive, social justice-seeking hippie, with long hair and sandals, Paul is not concerned at all about who men think Jesus is. He preaches what he knows for a fact – and he proclaims it without hesitation, in even the most dangerous and godless places. Paul was flogged and imprisoned multiple times, he was stoned, and was even dragged outside of a city and left for dead. But, after regaining consciousness, he got back up, and walked right back into that city where he continued preaching. He knew exactly who it was he was preaching – the Jesus who rescued him from the dominion of darkness, and the one who is before all things and in whom all things hold together.(Colossians 1:13-20). The Jesus who did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing. The Jesus who did not retaliate when insults were hurled at him as he hung cold, naked and alone on a hard wooden cross…and the only God who has a kingdom that can never, ever be shaken.

In Matthew 10:32-33, Jesus says that whoever acknowledges Him before men will also be acknowledged before His Father in heaven. This message is also contained in Luke 12:8-9. Jesus knows who He is and he wants us to know it and bravely proclaim it as well. John 1:1-18, Colossians 1:13-20, Philippians 2:5-11, 1 Peter 2:23-24, Revelation 1:12-18 and Revelation 19:11-16, are all excellent scriptures which paint accurate and powerful portraits of Jesus as He was, is…and is to come. I strongly suggest learning those scriptures and teaching them to others. As Philippians 2:5-11 indicates, Jesus is God, and He stepped off his throne willingly in obedience to the Father – and for our eternal benefit. Because he did this, God the Father exalted His Name above every name, and one way or another, every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. I suggest that we encourage those whose lives we touch to do that acknowledging now, rather than later when it is too late.

Psalms 91:14 has always spoken deeply to my heart about the power of acknowledging the name of God. In Psalm 91:14 David writes, “…because He loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him. I will protect him for he acknowledges my name.” This verse speaks powerfully to me as to why the Lord has so often protected me from my own foolishness – and from the lies of the world. In His mercy, and by His grace, I do love to speak His name to people I encounter – and I constantly ask Jesus to create a context where I can bring up His name naturally and peacefully. And He always does. There is no need to be obnoxious about it or to bring it up in a way that doesn’t fit the moment. For the God of peace will, if we ask Him, give us opportunities to proclaim exactly who this King of Kings and Lord of Lords is and what He has done for us. I pray that I will always have a heart to share the name of Jesus Christ. It is infinitely easier to do so in America today than it was for Paul in the violent, idol worshipping near east, in ancient times.

In Mark 3:13-14 and Mark 6:7-12, Jesus makes it clear that he called the twelve (12) apostles so that He might send them out to preach. In Acts 10:42-43, when Peter is talking to Cornelius about the Gospel and the life of Christ, he says that Jesus commanded ALL of his disciples to preach to the people and to testify that He is the one whom God appointed to judge the living and the dead. In Acts 5:18-20, 29, 41-42, the text states that the apostles “never stopped teaching and preaching the good news.” In Acts 3:11-26 and in Acts 4, Peter preaches the Word boldly and he is not ashamed or afraid to preach Jesus even when the Jewish leaders specifically forbade him from doing so. In Acts 9:27-29, Paul preached fearlessly, even in the face of death. In Acts 14, Paul preached boldly despite great opposition, and even after being stoned (with rocks) and left for dead. Paul constantly preached the Gospel of Jesus, and he was never ashamed and never let fear control his message despite the intensity of the violence he suffered. For he truly considered everything that was of personal benefit to him a loss for the sake of Christ (Philippians 3:7-14).

I believe that one of the greatest passages of scripture setting forth the differences between the ways of Jesus Christ and the ways of the world is 1 Corinthians 1:17 through 1 Corinthians 2:5. In this passage, Paul boldly proclaims that Jesus Christ sent him to preach the Gospel – but not with words of with human wisdom lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. He knew that this message was foolishness to those who were perishing, but to those who were being saved it was the very power of God. He pointed out how God uses the weak and foolish things of the world to shame the wise so that no one can boast before him. Paul also powerfully affirmed that the only thing he wanted to make certain that he communicated to the people under his charge was the core message of the gospel – that Jesus Christ was crucified for their sins (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Paul didn’t teach principles of leadership or brotherhood. As the 1 Corinthians passage referenced earlier indicates, he taught the cross of Christ – a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles – and he did it in weakness, and fear, and with much trembling so that his message would not rely on men’s wisdom but on God’s power. I believe that we are all called do the same. In Acts 20:24, Paul stated that he counted his life worth nothing, if only he might finish the race and complete the task of testifying to the Gospel of God’s grace. In 1 Corinthians 9:16-18, Paul says, “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel,” and when he does preach, he states that he does it free of charge so that he is not tempted to abuse his authority.

There are many additional passages that encourage us to proclaim the gospel boldly. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 Paul reminds the church of the gospel that he originally delivered to them, and that in that gospel they must  stand. In 2 Corinthians 5:20-21, we are told that we are Christ’s ambassadors to the world, and that God is making His appeal through us, imploring all men that He wants them reconciled to Him. In Ephesians 6:19-20, Paul asks for prayer so that whenever he opens his mouth, the gospel may be proclaimed fearlessly. In 2 Timothy 1:8-9, Paul says that we should not to be ashamed to testify about our Lord but should join with him in suffering for the Gospel. In 2 Timothy 1:12, Paul says that he is suffering, yet he is not ashamed because he knows whom it is he believes. In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul tells us to preach the Word and to be prepared in season and out of season to correct, encourage, and rebuke with great patience and careful instruction.

In 2 Timothy 4:10-16, Paul makes it clear that both his teaching and his way of life were consistent. His words and his actions worked together to make his message powerful. As Jesus said in Matthew 5:19-20, to be great in the kingdom of heaven we must practice AND teach his commands. In Romans 15:18, Paul says that he leads the Gentiles to obedience by both what he has said and by what he has done. Clearly, as disciples of Christ and spokesmen for the gospel, our words and our actions must be consistent and must not be based on our flesh our supposed gifts. In 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul made it clear that the message he was preaching had nothing to do with his natural affinities, and he wasn’t worried at all about coming across as eloquent, powerful, or wise. In fact, he knew that eloquence might actually quench the power of the message of Jesus. He simply wanted to preach Christ crucified, in weakness and in fear of the Lord, in order that the Holy Spirit might do the talking.

In Philippians 2:14-16, Paul states that we as believers are to shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the Word of life. In Colossians 1:28-29 and 2:1-3, Paul says that we proclaim Jesus, teaching everyone with all wisdom so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. This act of teaching the gospel is our labor, our vocation as followers of Jesus. Paul’s stated purpose was that, through his teaching, everyone might have the full riches of complete understanding in order that we all may truly know Jesus Christ. Paul makes it eminently clear that the commands of Jesus must be taught in order for men and women of this earth to understand the truth and to be freed from the bondage of sin.

In Colossians 4:3-5, Paul prays that God will open a door so that he may proclaim the mystery of Christ to all people, and he encourages the church in Colossae to make the most of every opportunity to share Jesus with others. In Philemon 1:6, we are instructed to be active in sharing our faith so that we will have the full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. In 1 Peter 2:9- 10, we are told that, as chosen people we are to declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light.

I believe that the more we understand exactly who Jesus is and what it is he has done for us free of charge, the bolder and less ashamed we become in proclaiming Him, as He is in scripture. That is why I believe that knowing, teaching, and even memorizing John 1:1-18, Colossians 1:13-20, Philippians 2:5-11, 1 Peter 1:23-24, Revelation 1:12-18, and Revelation 19:11-16, is of the utmost importance as a follower of Christ. What could be more important to a believer than having powerful and accurate portraits of our living God from his eternal word, burned into our hearts and minds? There are very few things that I would want someone whose life I am somehow touching, to know more than these passages.

EPILOGUE

Someday every knee in heaven and on earth and under the earth, will bow down to Jesus Christ and every tongue will indeed confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Let us encourage those we know and love to do this confessing before death … instead of after. And let us do it boldly, and powerfully, and without fear, through the power of the Holy Spirit, knowing that we truly are heirs of an eternal kingdom that can never, ever be shaken.

 

1 Corinthians 1:17- 24

17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

The Written Word: What Did Jesus, The Apostles, and the Psalmists say about the Eternal Written word of God?

Ecumenism Part I: Jesus Christ, as He is in the word, is the only way to God

                                                                       ECUMENICISM

“Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such man is the antichrist.” 1 John 2:20-23

“…Blessed is the man who is not condemned by what he approves.” Romans 14:22b

“He (Jesus) said to them, ‘You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men…. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.’ ” Luke 16:15

I have been troubled over the last few years as I have pondered the fact that many Christians are now praying with Jews and Muslims, tacitly implying that we are praying, to the same Father god. The more I read the New Testament and see how Paul and the Apostles preached Jesus Christ fearlessly, never watering down or compromising the truth to please man, the more this practice has grieved me. Would Elijah have prayed with the prophets of Baal or Paul with Pagan priests? No chance. As I have been scouring the New Testament for verses on love, holiness and obedience, I have stumbled across a few verses which address this issue directly. While on the surface it appears that we share the same Father God as the jews, John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, and the one to whom he entrusted his mother at death, disagrees…and in the strongest of terms. By rejecting the son, Jews are fully and completely rejecting the Father as well.

1 John 2:20-23, says that we, as believers have an anointing from the Holy One and know the truth – and that no lie comes from the truth. He then goes on to state, “Who is a liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist – he denies the Father and the son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father.”(see also, John 3:17-19, 35-36; 1 John 4:2-3; and 1 John 5, listed below).

Clearly, John is saying that non-messianic Jews, who strongly reject the message that Jesus is the Christ, are the antichrist (not the actual guy, but they have his spirit). Even on the surface our views of God the Father are vastly different. Our Father sent his precious son to preach love, holiness and obedience and then to die humbly and painfully on a cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Jews believe that their God will send a powerful political leader to rescue them from persecution and to then rule world by force. They see the coming of the messiah as a temporal, political matter – not a matter of heart, thereby missing the entire message of both testaments. As Paul says, their minds were blinded…veiled to the truth, and that veil remains even today. (2 Corinthians 3:12-16).

So we, as believers, have to determine whether Peter and Paul, whom we are called to imitate, would pray with Jews on equal ground, pretending they are praying to the same God. My review of scripture tells me there is no chance. Instead, they would preach Jesus Christ to them with great strength and courage – unashamed and untempered by the fear of rejection or looking foolish. Paul was not ashamed of the gospel for he knew its saving power and he did not want men to go to hell. That was his only concern – eternity in the unquenchable fire of hell. He wasn’t worried at all about being accepted by men. He simply wanted to please the God who saved him and who loved him. He spent his post-conversion life spreading the good news of Jesus across the near-east, whether it meant imprisonment, floggings, starving, stoning or death. For he was looking to another kingdom – one which can never, ever be shaken.

At Mars Hill in Athens (Acts 17:16-34), Paul approached those who believed in other Gods – many of whom were highly respected philosophers – and boldly proclaimed Jesus Christ, with no concern about how he came across. He debated Jews across the Middle East – trying with great passion to show them that Jesus was the one spoken about by David and the prophets as the promised messiah. Peter did the same thing, and when the Jewish leaders arrested him for disobeying them he told them that he had to obey God rather than man, even though he knew his disobedience would lead to a brutal beating and eventually death as a martyr. He chose to please the one and only God rather than make friends with a world that will soon pass away.

Yet it seems that we all get caught in Satan’s trap of trying to gain the approval of those who are perishing, with no concern for their eternal destiny, while also tacitly denying or minimizing the truth of the One and Only God and his wonderful son Jesus Christ. In behaving this way, our hope seems to be that Jesus will be seen in our lives over time. But that is not the model Peter and Paul gave us, as they preached boldly and powerfully in the face of overwhelming opposition every where they went.

When I think about Christians praying with Muslims, it grieves my spirit even more. Not only do Muslims deny that Jesus is the Christ, thus making them antichrists per 1 John 2, but their holy book was inspired by Satan himself, which is obvious by it’s deeply heretical content, as well as it’s explicit denial that Jesus is God. How can we, as sons and daughters of the Living God, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, pray with them as if we are all talking to the same Father? 1 John 2 makes it clear that we cannot do so and honor God, and 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, emphasizes the same point as well. In that passage Paul says, “What harmony is there between Christ and belial, and what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols, for we are the temple of the living God. Therefore, COME OUT AND BE SEPARATE FROM THEM…Touch No unclean thing and I will receive you.” (See also, 1 Corinthians 10:21-22).

All of us should examine our actions, not by what the men before us have done, but by the unchanging scriptures which speak eternal words of truth from the One and Only God who doesn’t change like shifting shadows (James 1:17). These scriptures tell us that friendship with the world makes us enemies of God, and that if the world hated Jesus it will hate and reject us as well.(John 15:18-25; James 4:4-5, and 1 John 2:15-17). It says that all of us will suffer persecutions and trials for our faith. Paul embraced those trials and never ever watered down or minimized the gospel for the sake of relationships. He never put peace, friendships, comfort and worldly acceptance over the eternal truths of the gospel…and it cost him dearly. But he was willing to pay any price because he considered his present sufferings not worth comparing to the glory that he would receive in heaven when he comes face to face with the one and only God. Let us also fight that good fight. Let us also finish the race – and most importantly let us all keep the faith.

****A few additional, excellent verses which specifically address this topic****

John 3:17-19   17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

John 3:35-36  35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

John 5:21-23  21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

John 8:24  I told you that you would die in your sins if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be.

John 10:9  I am the door: whoever enters through me will be saved….

John 12:48  There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words….

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 17:3 This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Acts 4:10-12  10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified , whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

1 Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

1 John 3: 21-23  21 “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ….”

1 John 4: 2-3  “2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist….”

1 John 4:15   If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.

1 John 5:1;5-6; 9-12   1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well…. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 6 This is the one who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth…9 We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

2 John 1:7-11 “Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. 11 Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.”

See, also Catholicism and the Worship of Mary and Ecumenism Part 2: Treason Against God