Sunday, August 12, 2012

Who Are Christ’s Enemies?

This topical message asks the question in the present tense, as it is very obvious who "were" the enemies of Christ. From Biblical history and otherwise, we know that the Jewish people who clamored before Pontius Pilate for Christ’s execution, were enemies of Christ. There were also, those Roman people who played a huge role in Christ's crucifixion at the time. They did not hate Christ as some of those Jewish religious leaders; but, nevertheless they thought that they could directly solve a political problem to quiet down the masses.

Also we know from Scripture that Christ ".....came to His own and His own received Him not." [John 1:1f] Even some of those from Christ’s own family line did not recognize Him for who He (actually) was. The Scripture statement in John’s Gospel of Christ coming to “His own; and His own received Him not,” could also be referring to all of human creation. The true God and Creator of the cosmos came down from His lofty holy heavenly throne to be born of human flesh; live a holy life; suffer, die and rise from the dead for His sinful creation; but, most of that creation of humanity rejected Him and continue to reject Him. Matthew 7:13; 14

How do people become Christ’s enemies in today's world?

We are told by Scripture that disciples of Christ are besieged and affected by the spiritual battle which is waged in "high places." Hence, it is of paramount importance, to be highly aware of one's spiritual enemies. The Scripture warns of Satan who roams about “seeking whom he may devour.” Ephesians 6:10-18

But not all Christ’s enemies who prey upon Christ’s disciples, are unseen [spiritual]. Who are Christian's physical (here and now) enemies? Obviously, unbelievers, as that is expected, as they are outside the pale of Christianity [the church]. But, those within the church are very deadly because they foment and promulgate doctrines of devils, thereby leading souls, astray. 1 Timothy 4:1-2 ; 2 Timothy 3:1-5 ; 1 Timothy 3:8

Are Christ’s enemies aware that they are opposed to Christ?

Are enemies of Christ conscious that they are opposed to Christ? No; not necessarily so. Often those opposed to Christ are those thinking that they are serving Him. Christ made mention of these sorry souls, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 7:15-27:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” – Matthew 7:15-27

Please also note: The Gospel of John 8:1f where Jesus confronts His enemies. It is evident that they are blind, having no clue.

Enemies of Christ are actively involved in Christian churches; Christian denominations and Christian organizations

The Christian Religion has its (sad) share of Christ’s enemies. Dr. Martin Luther aptly observed that in the “visible” church there were both believers [in Christ] and unbelievers (hypocrites).

But the worst kind of enemies of Christ are those who proliferate by [their] activity (both private and public), teaching and practice in opposition to the Scriptures. During Christ’s ministry He condemned these false teachers with the following descriptive words:

[KJV] - "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:8;9 ; See also, specifically: Matthew 7:7

Please read Matthew 15:1-20 to receive the full import context of the aforementioned two verses. Christ was teaching His disciples [and, for that matter, disciples of His, today] that selfish and self-serving religious traditions, institutions and homemade handbook rules, are contrary to true worship and commitment to Him.

How do Christ’s enemies exhibit their opposition to Him?

I’m reminded of the one book and / or video of the late Rev. Richard Wurmbrand who spent 14 years in Communist prisons. He was teaching about the “body of Christ” – Christ’s “mystical” presence [body] here upon earth as represented by true believers, as described in the Apostle’s Creed – “the Holy Christian church; the communion of saints.”

Pastor Wurmbrand described the sufferings of this band of true disciples and referred to their sufferings with the words [paraphrase]: “Christ knows no difference between His suffering and His followers;” being that Christ is so lovingly attached to His mystical “body of believers” here upon earth. Now, I am not so sure that I understand all that, intellectually; but, it makes no difference. I will not dispute with an admired [by me] Christian who has suffered so much for Christ, as Wurmbrand did. And, I also think of what the Apostle Paul stated: "From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Galatians 6:17 - KJV

Now, the point being, of the aforementioned: Christ’s enemies are those enemies who are enemies of His disciples. That’s how intimately Christ is connected to His mystical body of believers, here on earth. As a mother bear is protective of her baby cubs; so much more on a grand heavenly scale, is the Lord Jesus (intimately) protective of His own, when enemies of His true followers besiege those followers with their persecuting schemes, conniving games and damaging actions. [Psalm 105:14;15 ; Psalm 28:1f] Those enemies of Christ will not go without divine retribution. Psalm 73:1f ; Psalm 37:1f

Those who do not possess faith in Christ are (essentially) Christ’s enemies; they insult God, by their unbelief

Although God is love, the Scripture says that He is "angry with the wicked everyday." [Psalm 7:11] This is one of those Scriptural paradoxes which cannot be easily explained, but must, in faith, be accepted. Note also: Ephesians 2:1-10 – especially, Ephesians 2:1-4, that before God in His grace floods a person’s soul with His Holy Spirit conversion [John 3:8] - that person is counted as one of God’s “children of wrath.” [KJV]

Unregenerate and unconverted friend: You who may be reading or hearing this message read to you; don’t think for a moment that because you aren’t actively preaching, teaching God’s divine revelation Scriptures in an unworthy manner, that you are exempt from His displeasure and wrath. If you do not have faith in the Christ of the Hebrew Old Testament and Jewish New Testament Scriptures, revealing the birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection of Christ, - then, you too, are Christ’s enemy. By your sinful presence you are not fit to enter a holy eternity with Christ. Your lot will rather be a hellish one. Therefore, your sinful presence is loathsome to Christ’s. You must be cleansed from your sinful filthiness. Only through the precious holy blood of Christ can that be obtained. You must be clothed with the garments of Christ’s holiness. Matthew 22:1-14 ; Romans 3:25;26 ; Romans 4:3;5;6 ; Philippians 3:9-14

May God grant you His grace to wrest you away from your sinful and damning unbelief in Christ. May He grace you with His grace to come to faith in Christ! Ephesians 2:1-10

It is my prayer that you “seek the Lord while He may be found.” [Isaiah 55:1f] Read, study and hear the Scriptural divine revelation. Expose yourself to God’s means of grace. Faith in Christ is found in His Word. Romans 1:16; Romans 10:17 ; 1 Peter 1:23 ; Acts 8:26-39

Finally, may God’s Holy Spirit work in you His presence to be born from, above. [John 3:1-21 (in context) ; John 1:1-14] Then, you will be no longer enemies of Christ’s, but His friends. But, then, beware; because Christ’s enemies will then, become your enemies, if you continue in Christ’s Word, being Christ’s disciples in word and deed. So, Christ says: in John 15:1f

Amen.

Above Message and Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins

Related Scriptures To the Above Message

Psalm 1:1f – Christ’s enemies contrasted with the righteous

Psalm 2:1f – A description of Christ’s enemies

1 Timothy 6:3-10 – Another description of some of Christ’s enemies

2 Corinthians 13:1-14 – Christ’s disciples will sometimes be incorrectly regarded as reprobates.

John 15:1f - Christ's disciples will be ill-treated (persecuted) by Christ's enemies

1 Corinthians 15:24-28 - Christ will rule over all His enemies

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Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- an in-depth view of Isaiah 53:1-12 and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.


The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3


Please Note: Topical Christian Messages, by subject

Pastor (Emeritus) Nathan Bickel

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The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages and related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

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