Thursday December 26, 2019
God so loved the world that He became a part of it.
Christianity is not an ethereal, eternal doctrine about God’s nature, but rather it is the presence of God in the world in the person of Jesus Christ.
What had never before entered the imagination of man, assumed flesh and blood, who solved the deepest problems of our existence through His life and work.
Life, as Christ showed us, was active, joyous, and everlasting in fellowship with God as Father.
This generation, millennials and beyond, are a generation of popularity, and that mindset, making everyone like you by not doing or saying anything that would offend them, especially if it is the truth, has infiltrated the church.
The problem with that is that the truth will offend. The truth is blind to the feelings of people, in fact it judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart, in the deep places between soul and spirit.
When we look at Christ’s entrance into the world, He wasn’t occupied with pleasing people. He was occupied with the truth.
JOH 18:33 Pilate therefore entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?"
JOH 18:34 Jesus answered, "Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?"
JOH 18:35 Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You up to me; what have You done?"
JOH 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."
JOH 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
JOH 18:38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no guilt in Him.
That in no way means that we go out of our way to insult people or to make them uncomfortable. We treat all in love, but also with the truth.
If you are popular with everyone then you should reassess the expression that you are presenting to the world. You may be fortunate and the people you mostly deal with have the same mind of Christ as you do. Then again, you may simply be a people pleaser. Remember, we treat all with love and truth. The solution is never to be purposefully antagonistic to people.
Prophets were not popular. False prophets were popular.
“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for in the same way their fathers used to treat the false prophets.”
He would tell us:
MAT 5:10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
MAT 5:11 Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.
MAT 5:12 Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Christianity is not an ethereal doctrine of the nature of God, nor is it a system that makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy despite their nature or character. Christianity is the presence of God in the world in the person of the Man, Jesus Christ.
Summary of world conditions at the time of Christ’s birth.
Israel had lost the spiritual core of the law and the prophets. They put a shell or a fence around the Law. The people were aching for substance when all they had was rituals and procedures for day-to-day living. Israel also lost the deep spiritual truths of the conflict between good and evil. This is a loss of the transcendent battle that wages on in spite of people’s individual lives. The Pharisees and Sadducees had turned the Law into a day by day task, which a part of it is, but that is not all it is.
The Law and the prophets and the writings revealed a world-wide war and an ultimate victory by God through a suffering Servant.
The Jews indeed saw the victorious Servant as the Messiah, but they interpreted the passages concerning the suffering Servant as referring to the nation of Israel. This was a mistake because it ignores the means by which God would achieve victory. Even the disciples didn’t understand this after being taught it by Jesus for years. They wouldn’t understand until after His resurrection.