Saturday, September 3, 2011

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Sit Not In The Counsel Of The Ungodly

As I have been studying the Word, I have been trying to understand what God teaches us about our own responsibility in the company we keep. The main query with which I have been puzzled, and seek to understand, is related to the principal found within the following scripture:

II John 1: 7-10
“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abidith not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is a partaker of his evil deeds.”

Just as in the times of John, there are even more false teachers that would have us believe that Jesus can not be God in the flesh. They may assert that He is a good man, or even a prophet.
Yet, to proclaim him as a prophet, but deny His divinity, is to automatically disqualify Him as a prophet. If one who proclaimed to be a prophet of God, was once found to be a liar, he was to be stoned to death, for He would be guilty of misrepresenting God and His Word. Jesus said of himself that He was the Son of God; therefore, if He was lying, He can not be a prophet. We must either admit that He is the Son of God, or declare Him to be a liar or a lunatic. It has to be one or the other, for “a house divided can not stand.” There is no in between ground when it comes to acknowledging who He is.

The Word of God teaches us that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In other words, we are to do no harm to others, not even if they happen to be unbelievers. Jesus sought out those who did not believe in order to bring them to the saving knowledge of who He was and what He alone could do for them- grant them forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life. As Christians, we too are taught to take up His mission of spreading the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all that will listen. Receiving unbelievers, as well as believers, into ones home is actually the will of God in that it provides an opportunity for sharing God’s love and redemption with others. This kind of hospitality is approved of and desired in the Christian home.

On the other hand, according to John, who was the apostle of love, has instructed us to be aware of anyone that professes to be a Christian, but either denies or perverts the doctrine of Christ. We are not only to be aware of them, but we are not to have anything to do with them. So if one teaches that Christ is not the Son of God, or that there is any other path to God the Father, thereby making the blood of Jesus meaningless, a Christian is not to give hospitality to any such false teacher. I believe this is very much connected to the scriptures that tell us to give no place to the devil, and give no appearance of evil. We never know who is watching our lives, or how we might affect their lives in a positive or negative way. If we are seen inviting such teachers into our home, we could be encouraging others to heed their heretical teachings just by giving the appearance that we may accept them and what they teach.

John makes it clear that he does not condemn our hospitality towards unbelievers, but he
emphatically condemns even giving the appearance of supporting those who are dedicated to opposing the true teachings of God. Not only are we not to invite them into our homes, but we are not to even wish them well. We are forewarned that if we do so, we are then just as guilty in promoting the antichrist spirit as they are. Whoa! That sounds like a pretty big deal to me. John has warned us of the dangers of not taking heretical teachings seriously. If we allow even a little bit of ‘leaven’ into our hearts, homes, and churches, we open ourselves to pollution, corruption, and eventually, total destruction.

We are admonished to love one another and to walk according to the commandments of God. But we are not to sit in the counsel of the ungodly. There are those that would have us believe that all paths lead to God. They are even encouraging Christians to join in prayer and worship with believers in Islam and many other religions; for after all, aren’t they all praying to the same God? If that were true, why did others in the Bible refuse to worship any other god except the one true and living God of the Hebrews? Have you ever noticed that prayer is most often discouraged and looked upon with disdain when one wishes to pray in the name of Jesus? The following are but two of the best Biblical examples that I can site as our examples to follow:

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, in the book of Daniel stood strong in their exclusive dedication to worship no other God but the God of the Hebrews. When ordered to worship King Nebuchadnezzar as god, they refused and chose to be thrown into a fiery furnace rather than worship any other god. They were protected by the angel of the Lord.

Daniel, under King Darius, refused to comply with the King’s decree that all must bow down and worship a statue, which either represented himself or another god of those times. He chose possible death from being thrown into a den of lions. Once again, he was saved by the Lord.

Though these were saved, there are many who have chosen death, rather than compromise their faith in God by accepting the idea that all gods lead to the same place. We too must be willing to stand strong in our faith in Jesus Christ as being the one and only way to God the Father. There is no other name by which we can be saved. Yet there are those that are trying to get Christians to believe that all other gods are equal with our God. Therefore, we should become inclusive and join in worship with believers in any and all other religions, even including pagan gods. Yet the apostle John has made it quite clear that we are not to even invite such a heretical teacher into our homes, much less join in group prayer with them.

I know that to the ‘natural man,’ this inclusive joining together in unity of peoples of all religions may look like a good thing. It reminds me of the efforts of man to go his on way in the building of the Tower of Babel. We must not get caught up in the insidiousness of this deception. Let us determine to stand fast, as we are taught in the Bible, and worship God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and Him alone. Refuse to give any appearance of accepting any part of this deception, and have nothing to do with those who dedicate themselves to the promotion and teaching of these lies, for they seek to destroy the gospel of Biblical Christianity. And if your church shows signs of going this route, my advice would be to run immediately to the nearest door and never darken those doors again!

Study the Word of God. Stay rooted and grounded in His Word. Worship the Lord, and have no other gods before Him. Stay safe and secure in the shelter of His mighty wings, and He will be your shield and buckler. Depart from any that would teach you otherwise. Refuse to sit in the counsel of the ungodly.

Ginger Rahn


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