Monday, September 03, 2007

Have I Become Your Enemy???

(Here is one more devotional post from Pastor Smith of Mt. Zion Baptist Church that I thought I would share with my faithful blog readers. I have see this thing happen too many times, especially among friends, family, and fellow church members... In almost every case as Pastor Smith points out, the opposition of the man of God is not because of some heresy he has preached from the pulpit, but because his voicing of the truth from God's Word was met with disobedience from the one who now is critical of him. The pastor is usually called a "legalist," but both you and I know their definition of "legalist" is not the true biblical definition of the term, but it sounds good in light of their unbiblical and incorrect use of Christian "liberty.")

Gal. 4:15-16 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Paul reminds the Galatian believers of their initial fondness of him and his gospel ministry. They must have received the gospel message and the gift of salvation with such joy. The man of God was respected, appreciated, and loved. They would have done anything for the apostle Paul. He testifies in our text, “ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.” They would have sacrificed one of their most precious gifts, the ability to see, in order to help the preacher. These were indeed a most blessed people.

How quickly things can change. That “blessedness” had now turned to resistance. Paul asks them, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” They had turned on the man of God because of the truth he had given to them. How is it possible that people who had so esteemed the beloved apostle were now so much in opposition to his ministry?

We have seen this same change of opinion and sentiment repeated many times over the years. Anyone who has been in the gospel ministry for any length of time has experienced the pain of seeing former supporters become critics. It would be easy to understand if the preacher had become heretical in his message and was preaching a false gospel. Or, if the man of God had fallen into immorality or vice, it could be understood that his followers would lose their respect and devotion. However, this was not so in the case of Paul and the Galatians. Nor is it usually the case in our day, though it occasionally happens.

Very often the thing that causes former followers to become foes is similar, if not identical, to the circumstances in our Scripture. People love and appreciate the message and the messenger until something is preached or taught that they will not accept, even if it is the truth. Often the flesh does not want to submit to truth. Most of us have personally seen many people lose their love for the pastor and the church because they were not open to seeing some truth of the Scripture, or were not willing to honor the authority of the Word of God.

We should make error our enemy, not the one who brings us the truth.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Julie's Jewels said...

Amen Bro. Jim!!! I've seen many times how my husband has been attacked verbally or even turned a deaf ear to in response to his preaching and teaching the truth of the Scriptures. And each time it happens it saddens my heart because they just don't realize how much he loves them to reveal truth to them as God reveal it to him. All we can do for those people is pray for them. So many times they look at the man as the enemy instead of realizing that it is God who is revealing things to them through the man. So when they have a problem...it is with God (whether they realize it or not) and not my husband.

6:55 PM  

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