The world is awash in a phony “Christian” love that precludes and condemns anything God has to say to any that pretend or offend. We received a response to Spiritual Reality vs. Make-Believe, which demonstrates this conflict:
Yeah remember but Victor, Jesus used grace with truth to deliver his message to those who where unable to see the truth. I don’t want to be harsh on you but you seem quite bitter with Bob with your response to his issues, I know this because I also find myself being forceful and strong with people in getting my point across, we can only with the help of the Holy Spring bring them to the truth with gentleness, Phillipians: 2:14-16, Do all things without complaining or disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” I also come out very strong willed in my words and that only hurts our testimony of the love of God within us, no one is going to believe we love God if harshness is our speech. Just a little insight please don’t be offended.
Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ, Marisa,
Many have been the times I have asked myself those very questions or presented those same arguments against myself. Paul and so many others can tell you. I have gone to the Lord with this matter many times. Though He has spoken to me of many things, He has not rebuked me for my “approach.” Truly, He has encouraged and strengthened me.
No fear; I am not in the least offended by your words. And you are wrong altogether about any bitterness in me toward Bob, toward his presumptuous and idolatrous organization, or about the false church or any person falsely professing faith in Christ, as God is my witness. However, the truth, as I have just spoken it in the previous sentence, can well be construed as bitterness, though it is not. The repentant will not be deterred and the stubbornly wicked will remain so even if ever so charmed. We have had much proof of that. He has delivered me from bitterness, Marisa. In 1976, a stranger called “Theo” came to me, knew what was happening in me, and had several verses in Scripture for me, one of them being:
“Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but You have in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for You have cast all my sins behind Your back” (Isaiah 38:17 KJV).
It did not happen until years later, but it did happen.
He has also delivered me from another and equally serious danger, that being the passions of the harlot, mistaken for the love of Christ. That is a great privilege and rare deliverance, for I see scarce few who can discern the difference between the love of Christ and the love of the harlot. Furthermore, there are very few that can tell the difference between true bitterness and the expression of the hard truth from God, spoken necessarily by His servants in the Holy Spirit, which truth comes against counterfeit Christianity and indeed, against all falsehood and deception, upon which His wrath abides immeasurably.
If, as you say, “we can only with the help of the Holy Spring bring them to the truth with gentleness,” then you must necessarily fault the Lord Jesus Christ in cases such as these:
Matthew 23:13-36 KJV
(13) But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
(14) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
(15) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
(16) Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
(17) Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
(18) And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.
(19) Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
(20) Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
(21) And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.
(22) And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
(23) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
(24) Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
(25) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
(26) Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
(27) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
(28) Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
(29) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
(30) And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
(31) Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
(32) Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
(33) Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
(34) Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
(35) That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
(36) Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
Were the Pharisees and scribes “able to see the truth”? Can you say that in the above, Jesus spoke “grace with truth to deliver his message to those who where unable to see the truth”?
What of Peter in this instance?
“But Peter said to him, May your silver perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity” (Acts 8:20-23).
And John the Baptist?
“Then he said to the crowd that came forth to be baptized by him, O generation of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, We have Abraham for our father. For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And now also the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire” (Luke 3:7-9).
“Then Saul (who is also Paul), filled with the Holy Spirit, set his eyes on him and said, O son of the Devil, full of all deceit and all craftiness, enemy of all righteousness, will you not stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is on you. And you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a while. And immediately a mist and a darkness fell on him, and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand” (Acts 13:9-11).
What about Jude? He boldly declared:
Jude 1:10-16 KJV
(10) But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
(11) Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
(12) These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
(13) Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
(14) And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
(15) To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
(16) These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
According to you, Marisa, he would have been backbiting and murmuring.
What about James, who wrote these words to “to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion”?
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever desires to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do you think that the Scripture says in vain, The spirit that dwells in us yearns to envy?” (James 4:4-5)
What Bible version do you read? Try Peterson’s The Message, particularly of the prophets, and see how it comes alive in today’s language, without the deadly sweet, peaches-and-cream approach of those who worship the letter and worship for worship’s sake.
What about Stephen? Full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, he declared:
“O stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so you do. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you have now been the betrayers and murderers; who received the Law through disposition of angels, and did not keep it” (Acts 7:51-53).
His face shone as that of an angel when speaking those very rebukes to a wicked generation, and Heaven was opened to him wherein he saw God the Father and Son. How kind, sweet, and gentle were Stephen’s words at the time, and how did God view them? You are fighting God with your love, Marisa.
Is it possible that you must recognize, contrary to what you have said, that not all are called to be saved, if only by gentleness they can be saved?
Are you sure that all should be spoken to as you think? Are you sure I was not speaking to a “Pharisee” or “scribe,” and righteously at that? Are you sure you have “insight”? Do you know that I am wrong? Is it possible that you may be wrong? These are questions to which I would like to hear your answers, Marisa.
“Therefore take heed that the light in you is not darkness” (Luke 11:35).
Contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints,