Disciple of Christ – Part 2
We went back to the hard part of this chapter, interspersed with comments and questions by us – I am still amazed that Pastor Don can field so many questions and still keep us on track.
Luke 14:26-28 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, 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. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.
The passage continues with being the salt of the earth. We are to be fishers of men, and salt down people with the Word of God. When you are salt you sprinkle upon unsaved people. If your life is not in line with the Word of God, your salt has lost its savor, and you will be giving a weak testimony with your life.
Then we studied what Jesus meant by the word “HATE”, because that is such a supercharged word. The Word for “hate” in the Greek, in Strong’s is #3404 miseo, and it means to detest, to love less, to persecute. It does NOT mean hate with intent to kill. A disciple of Christ is angry about sin, but it is an anger that desires the best for those who are unsaved. We need to put Christ first in our lives. People will detest us, persecute us for our faith. We are offensive to them because our values have changed. People do not like it when we change our behavior. Things we once accepted as ok, now we are not comfortable with. People perceive that as us hating. We will begin to detest sinful lifestyles of people we once hung around with – that does not mean we hate them, but their lifestyle is no longer acceptable to us.
The love of the world is enmity to the Spirit. One way to know if you have been changed is to ask yourself, Do you our don’t you hate the person you were BEFORE you came to the Lord? If you love the old self, you have the wrong perception of who you were.
Jesus came to bring division, to bring a sword, not peace. Not everyone in your old circle of friends and acquaintances are going to gladly embrace you when you state, “I believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah and I am modeling my life after Him.” There will be war in your house, for anything that is sinful in nature will rebel at the changed person you have become.
That does not mean we do not move with wisdom. Your immediate family may be uncomfortable with the changes you are making, for once you have accepted Jesus into your life you are changed intrinsically, and people will perceive that as being condemning to them. No matter how you act, the light shining on the darkness around you will affect those in your household, and they will try to pull you down.
To be a disciple of the Lord means you will see this, and not be pulled down. You will love those around you and be, by example, a Gospel to them. If the wife comes to the Lord first, the husband may feel he has to play catch up to her, for he is the spiritual head of the house.
If you are in a situation where you find you hate and detest a person, you need to get to a place to discern what it is in them that is causing you to have that hate. You do not hate them, but you may hate the way evil is manifesting in their life, hating the manifestation of the flesh in them.
We are told to BEAR OUR CROSS, and part of the cross is the stuff in our family we have to bear with, bitterness and pain. When people forcibly reject God in their lives we want to figure out what the root cause of that rejection is. So often we attribute to God what was not caused by Him, but was caused by a bad father, or being rejected by our mother. If someone never felt fully accepted, there may be a deep bitterness towards God. They need to come to grips with the fact that their parents did a lousy job of parenting. For example, if a father deserted the family, the woman in the situation may have loved the father in his weakness. The mom informs the daughter that the father is a dog, that he is no savior. The woman loses faith in her father so, when the topic of Father God comes up, the woman has a negative reaction of an abandoning father. She may decide to reject God on the basis of how fathers abandon their kids, but she is attributing to God what is really from the root of the devil.
You need to ascertain what is it that they are blaming God for? They think it is easier to blame God for what happened. But God, at some point, does get angry. He wants the person to open their heart to Him, and then God can begin to heal. It makes Him angry that His children hurt unnecessarily. We need to understand the heart issues of those who are rejecting God. When the hate in them manifests, we need to find out what caused the hurt and resentment. Sometimes going to the altar is not enough, for the devil will keep bringing back the past hurts, and try to put a wedge between a person and God – this would be like planting seed in stony ground, where the roots cannot take hold.
God will make every opportunity available to bring you to the table of the feast, but at some point it will be too late.
For some situations, we have spoken until we are blue in our face and the person is not receiving what we are saying, then we have to stop speaking and resort to prayer alone. Preaching, talking, ugly faces are not making an impression, so prayer is in order.
Acts 13:47 For so the Lord has commanded us: “I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Pastor Don told us a bit about Oral Roberts, that his eldest son had a mental disease that caused him to commit suicide. The emotional problems were there, yet his son was saved and knew the Lord. Oral Roberts thought he should have backed out of ministry because he felt it was his fault that his son committed suicide. Kenneth Hagin came and counseled Oral Roberts, reminding him that, if his son had died of a heart attack or a physical disease, there would not have been a concern about the ministry. But mental and emotional problems are also a disease. There is no way of saying that if a person commits suicide that they will not go to Heaven, for God will take into account the mental illness. In Corinthians, it mentions a person can be saved, and if their lifestyle is so sinful, 1 Corinthians 5:5 deliver such a one to satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Kenneth Hagin Pointed out to Oral Roberts, if satan caused Oral’s son to kill himself, that his spirit is still saved. We are not to judge, that is God’s decision.
We are to love our families, but if we are unable to reach them with the truth of the Lord, pray that someone will come into their lives that will be able to reach through the barriers that they have put up against God. We may never see the fulfillment of the promise in our lives, but God has promised us that our household will be saved. God gives them the choice to be made.
To be absent from the Body is to be Present with the Lord. We never know what decisions a person makes at the point of their death. With their last breath they may call upon the Lord. That being said, it is not a wise idea to wait until the last minute to call upon God, for we do not know the hour and moment of our death, and we cannot take a chance that we will be rational to think of calling upon God. Pastor Don pointed out that there are many instances of people being called dead, who had an experience in the spirit, then came back to life. There is that moment in the spirit that we do not know much about.
There will be a final judgment when all the books are opened, and there will be judgment. Will our names be written in the book of the Lamb? Anyone judged according to works alone will not make heaven, for one little sin cannot be covered by a ton of good works. Only through Christ can we have hope of salvation.
There is a dangerous teaching going around these days called “universal salvation.” where people say that even the devil can be forgiven. This is not what is implied in the last judgment in Revelation 20, the Great White Throne Judgment. If we are not in the book of Life, we are cast into the Lake of Fire. We cannot change theology to make something we feel is good to have, what God says, He will do. There will be a final judgment, and there is no universal salvation.
1 Peter 3:18-20 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is eight souls , were saved through water.
Christ did go and preach to the souls in the Bosom of Abraham and Sheol, and when He did that after His resurrection, the righteous went to heaven. Those who did not go to Heaven with Jesus at that time, are still in Sheol, and waiting for the final Judgment of Revelation 20.
The only unforgivable sin is, once we really know God, operate in His Powers, and have a strong relationship with Him, it is unforgivable to attribute to God the things of satan.
The choice to believe or not is up to us. We then have the choice to be a disciple. God is looking for a heart relationship.
Heather’s note, I know God keeps pursuing us for I spent 40 years hating God, and He kept planting seeds in me that finally came to fruition. I think one of the best tools we have for helping others to find the love of God, is the love that we give to those in our lives. Love will reach into places that words and logic can never touch.
Have a blessed day!
Heather’s Blog Recent Posts
- John 14:1-14 – Many mansions, the Way, the Truth, and the Life taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying disciples/Discipleship identification – notes from discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying Disciples – notes from Discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Syria – letter from trapist nuns
- John 14:1-11 taught by Pastor Don Moore with comments from Rabbi Michael Zeitler
- Notes from homily taught by Father Raphael Iannone taught August 25, 2013 – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last
- Homily – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last taught by Father Raphael Iannone
- Notes from a Homily on Luke 12:49-53 by Father Raphael Iannone
- Facing Your Jerusalem – transcript Say Amen show 161 taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Mammon – homily by Father Raphael Iannone