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The Praise of Men vs the Praise of God

By Watchman | February 2, 2010

“Nevertheless, even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.  Then Jesus cried out and said, ‘He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me.  I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.  And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.  He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him–the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.  For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.’ ”  (John 12:42-50)

     Scripture tells us that some of the temple rulers in Jesus’ day did indeed believe Him to be Who He said He was, but that they were fearful of the reaction of others.  They were fearful of losing their positions within the temple heirarchy more than they were fearful of offending God.  When we contemplate what God accomplished on earth through His most precious Son–the salvation He brought us, the right He freely gave us to stand before Him clean and holy despite our sins and iniquities by covering us with Jesus’ shed blood–it seems impossible that the temple authorities could have been more covetous of man’s praise than of the praise of God.  Yet here we stand, two thousand years later, and many of us who believe in Him must say with them that we dare not speak the truth of Christ because we love the praise of men more than the praise of God.

     A popular TV preacher recently gave the invocation at the swearing in of a lesbian mayor in a major city in Texas, although he surely knows how God has condemned immoral lifestyles.  Another popular minister has called for cooperation and dialogue with the Islamic religious leaders–not in order to influence them for Christ, which is our duty and privilege, but to affirm our “common ground.”  Many of us (NOT excluding myself) have kept silent around friends and acquaintances who are expounding ideas and dogma contrary to the word of God because we don’t choose to start an argument or to offend a friend.  Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have changed very little over the course of time, even though we now are each able to be in possession of a copy of the Scriptures and have no excuse for not knowing at least a small part of the heart of God.  We still opt to exchange the praise of the God for the approval of men. 

     The trouble here is, beloved ones, that we are running out of time.  Society is fast moving away from a desire to please the Lord in any way and to, instead, substitute for Him a reverence of its own power, authority and wisdom.  If we do not learn to speak up quickly, we will lose our nations, our children and our souls to the desire to serve the appetites of fallen man.  I do not know if it is too late to redeem our political systems or not (though I suspect it may be), but it is not too late to become ambassadors for the kingdom of God.  It is necessary to become the spiritual warriors that we have been called to be.  A lot of people dislike hearing the furtherance of the gospel of Christ  referred to in metaphors of war, but a spiritual war is exactly what we are facing.  This is not overly aggressive or mean-spirited as some would have us believe.  Our weapons have nothing to do with guns, black powder or chemical warfare.  Ours are the weapons of the spirit, and include our prayers, our praise, our love–and our refusal to bend the knee to those who would dilute or eradicate the message of God.  Our hearts and tongues become vessels of His love and grace.  As we speak the truth of God (always in a loving spirit and with the salvation of mankind as our purpose), we will see that many will cast us off and we may be subject to ridicule, but we will be standing firm on the foundation God has given us and He will neither leave nor forsake us.  Often our words will fall on deaf ears and blinded eyes, but it is time for those words to be spoken.  Can you imagine standing before our Lord and seeing that many were destined to the depths of hell and having to admit we never raised our voices to lead them into the truth?  There seem to be so many choices to make nowadays, so many spiritual odysseys that can be undertaken.  This, however, is a lie of Satan.  There are only two real choices:  do we choose heaven or hell?  Are we for Him, or against Him?

     I was once told by an internet friend that he disliked the sort of teachings I post on the Watchman because they make people feel badly about themselves.  Actually, I understand that, but with due respect to the opinions of others, I disagree.  Our self-esteem should not be the highest goal of our lives in Christ, although true self-esteem (unrelated to self-love and pride) can only be found in the presence of the Lord.  After all we have done to alienate God, after all the sin and spiritual harlotry that we have committed, He still loved us so much and believed that we are worth so much that He sent His beloved Son to die in our stead!  How ego-boosting is that?!!  But there are truths that are being watered down in the name of political correctness.  The doctrine of heaven and hell has been painted over in pretty pinks and blues so that no one will be offended by the very real truth that we are sinful and deserving of damnation–even if we are “nice” to others.  Hell, in our present day Christian vocabulary, is nearly non-existant in our teaching because we want to make God seem nice and loving to all people.  Our God, our all-loving, all-knowing, all-creating Father: and we think we should hide some of His attributes–like holiness, righteousness and judgment–so that people might like Him better!  God is Who He is.  He is never-changing and His word is truth.  He says Himself that hell was created originally for Satan and the fallen angels, but that unrepentent man must go there because He will not allow sin into His holy presence.  We say many paths lead to God and ignore His word that He will not give His glory to another; that Jesus is THE Way.  It is time for us to speak up, beloved ones.  It is time to forget about the praises of men, be they family, friends, church, co-workers or casual acquaintances:  it is time to seek the praises of God.

Maranatha

Topics: A Special Word for Today, Kingdom Living | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “The Praise of Men vs the Praise of God”

  1. varina Says:
    March 16th, 2010 at 9:06 am

    this does step on our toes, but it is what we need to hear. if it offends us, then we are guilty. thank you for preaching the truth even though it might be a little hard. i don’t want to be guilty of loving the praises of men more than the praises of God. but i have been

  2. His ECHO - His ECHAD Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    superb! – EZEKIEL says if we don’t say anything (as led by the Good Spirit) we are GUILITY – and MESSIAH Yeshua that I know said the LAW wasn’t thrown out, but filled in HIM – we are to keep the Higher Law – Loving God with ALL (His Opinions too – His Voice and Logos), love ourselves and then our neighbor – Messiah even said this statement: shake off the dust of your feet towards THOSE who REJECT the GOOD NEWS – I said Lord, isn’t that HARSH – He said NO MY SON, if My Son’s body would do what HE SAID, instead of picking and choosing, many would come into the Kingdom – you PREACH the GOOD NEWS for two (2) reasons – to give an offer of the FREE GIFT of My Heart (Kindness) and also to bring a judgment agains them (severity) – your PEACE can NOT return to you, unless you do what My Messiah Instructed – not pick and choose – Selah – Blessings BRO – too many quote John 3:16 without the whole context of John – especially John 3:19-21 – it’s ALWAYS about what a creature LOVES – Light or Darkness (the realms of PRIDE, love of $$ and pleasure and making a name for Oneself instead of the Creator, our YHVH, by Messiah Yeshua and the Good Holy Spirit, all 7 of them (ISAIAH 11 and Revelation 3/4/5)!! – bravo! – mature sons PREACH the TRUTH (Scriptures) in LOVE, seasoned with GRACE but nonetheless, the TRUTH sets them free… amen and amen! – Shalom to all!

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