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Bringing Forth Good Fruit in Troubled Times

By Watchman | May 1, 2009

  Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!  For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.”  (Luke 6:22-23)

“(Jesus said) If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own.  Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent me.”  (John 15:18-19, 21)

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer….you will have tribulation ten days.  Be faithful until death, and I will give you a crown of life.”  (Rev. 2:10)

     The last two decades have been  turbulent ones for many in the Christian community.  There have been more scandals in the mainline churches than you can shake a stick at –financial sleights-of-hand, sexual deviancy and predatoriness.  There has been an increase in churches that refuse to preach the true gospel of Christ because they fear being “irrelevant” or “politically incorrect” more than they fear offending God.  There are churches claiming to be Christian that have become famous by preaching a message of hatred and demonically-inspired anger.  My heart has recently been broken by hearing our President here in the States declaring publically to the world at large that we are not a Christian nation.  A horrendous wave of antisemitism and anti-Christian sentiment has been sweeping the globe, resulting in unprecedented violence that goes unreported by the mainstream media and is shrugged off by the general public.  Attacks by the anti-Christian forces in Hollywood,  on the internet and even in our government on those who preach righteousness have emboldened those who’s hearts are entrenched in the bitter hold of evil to become agressive in their anger and triumphant in their pursuit of that which God has condemned.  So, brothers-and-sisters-in-Christ, how are we to respond to the world?  Do we become as agressive as they in retaliation?  Do we ignore the tide coming against us?  Jesus told us to bring forth good fruit–how can we bring forth good fruit when we are in the midst of such decay?

     First, we have to remember that Jesus laid down some rules that come into play in these situations.  Read Luke 6: 27-31 carefully:

“But I say to you who hear; Love your enemies, do good to those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you.  To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also.  From him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.  Give to everyone who asks of you.  And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.  And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.”

     Ouch!  Have I not been hearing a great deal lately about how simple-minded and intolerant Christians are?  Is there actually anybody who believes that to obey this commandment Jesus gave us is easy?  It is probably one of the most difficult concepts in Christianity to adhere to.  The path to heaven is indeed a narrow one–but consider the reward!  Take courage, beloved!  Jesus has promised us that He will never leave nor forsake us, and He has promised us the crown of life!

     I’ve made no secret of the fact that I believe we are living in the end of days.  The prophetic signs are in place that lead up to the time variously described in the Scriptures as the Day of the Lord, the latter times, the time of Jacob’s trouble or the last days.  Because of the great “falling away” that was predicted in Scripture, and that we can now see all around us, it is vitally important that those of us who know the truth of God’s word are ready to be the final witnesses to His goodness and His mercy.  As we do so, we will no doubt be attacked verbally and emotionally by those who’s ears are stopped to the word of God and who’s hearts are blocked to the things of the spirit.  Many will see people of God only as hypocritical extensions of pedophile priests or closet- homosexual evangelicals, and they will refuse to listen.  These are they of whom Jesus told his disciples that if  they were not received in His name then the disciples were to leave and to shake off the unbeliever’s dust from their feet.  Some will be tolerant in a superior sort of way, and some will be actively vicious.  Even our own families may be resistant to our attempts to introduce them to the Lord of our salvation.  Jesus said that belief in Him would cause the division of houses–that “the father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against the mother-in-law.”   (Luke 13:53)  Yet we must speak out NOW!  The times demand it; the love Christ has for all people demands that we do our best to shed the light of His love into the darkness of the world.  Jesus called us the light and the salt of the earth, but warned that we could hide our light or lose our savor.  More than ever before, we must lift up the exalted name of God, and praise Him amongst the nations!  Yes, by doing so we risk being ridiculed by those whom Satan has led astray, but we will not fall: Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians that Jesus’ grace is sufficient for us, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  Even if we aren’t always sure what to say or how to approach the unbelief in our world, as long as we speak and act in the love Christ tells us to show all people, the fruit we bear will be good fruit.  If we strike out at the unbelievers in anger and aggression, our fruit will not be good.  Believe me, there’s enough sour fruit in the world today without us adding to it!  Let your fruit be sweet and unblemished so that it may be offered up as an acceptable sacrifice to the living God!

 

Maranatha!

Topics: Current Events and the End of the Age, Kingdom Living | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Bringing Forth Good Fruit in Troubled Times”

  1. How I Lost Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days Says:
    May 4th, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Hi, interesting post. I have been thinking about this issue,so thanks for posting. I’ll definitely be subscribing to your blog.

  2. Bonnie Says:
    May 5th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I’m always searching for encouragement on becoming and remaining a peacemaker despite the unjust criticism of others, namely my daughters-in-law. Thank you for your thoughtful article, which reinforces my commitment to living peacefully.

  3. Watchman Says:
    May 7th, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Thank you for your kind words, Bonnie. Remember that Jesus tells us to love those who are causing us pain and to pray for them–easier said than done, in my experience, but necessary! You might want to read my post “Ruth Redeemed.” I touch on in-law relationships a bit there! God be with you!

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