Does Your Christian Beliefs Contradict Jesus?

ContradictJesus

What if what you believe and practice as the Christian way of life is the opposite of God’s will? Have you carefully followed the words and example of Jesus?

He told His followers, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” [John 15:13-15 (NKJV)]

The Lord made it clear only repentant disciples that obeyed His commands were His friends. Others… well they were his enemies! “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” [Romans 5:10 (NKJV)]

Do we dare make God’s enemies our friends?

“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.” [James 4:4 (NLT)]

Everyone who refuses to follow Christ’s commands is an enemy of God. Do you even know what Christ commands His followers? Is the foundation of your lifestyle and way of thinking based on Christ’s words or your own self-created quasi Christianity. Do you think you have to follow Christ’s rules or not?

The world does not!

Is it betrayal to make God’s enemies your friends?

So to deal with those questions let me first examine how Jesus treated His enemies.

1/ First, He showered them with mercy and at the same time, loved them by boldly confronting them.

He privately spoke to all people who asked about the truth of salvation and He busied Himself by reaching out to those that were sick, rejected, struggling, hurting, and sinful. He openly preached to all who would listen.

From the beginning of His ministry He preached to the lost crowds of Israel.“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matt 4:17 (NKJV)]

His public ministry was visible to all, but he privately went off with his friends and taught them the secrets of the kingdom of God.

2/ He continued preaching repentance to the crowds until they hardened their hearts to that message.

When the crowds got tired of hearing His call to repentance, most of those curious seekers turned into antagonists. Whether they watched or fought against Jesus they were still his enemies. So He publicly changed His teaching for His enemies.

This led the disciples to ask why the change in His message. We see this in Matthew 13:10-11 (NLT), “His disciples came and asked him, ‘Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?’ He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but OTHERS ARE NOT.”

The real followers of Jesus responded to the message of repentance and followed His commands. They were His friends and given the secrets of the Kingdom. He explained the meaning of His stories and deepened their understanding so they could continue sharing His Kingdom after He was crucified.

But the Lord’s enemies got little stories because they really were not interested in following His mission. He was clear in why the crowd did not need to hear anything else from Him.

Matthew 13:12-13 (GW) 
12  Those who understand {these mysteries} will be given {more knowledge}, and they will excel {in understanding them}. However, some people don’t understand {these mysteries}. Even what they understand will be taken away from them.
13  This is why I speak to them this way. They see, but they’re blind. They hear, but they don’t listen. They don’t even try to understand.

Jesus previously told them, “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” [Matthew 12:30 (NLT)]

Sure, they still came around to watch Him do miracles and teach the kingdom stories, but most found fault and began judging and fighting against the Lord. The crowd tried to push Him off a cliff, argue, and bad mouth Him to others.

Are you afraid of this happening in your ministry or family?

You have to understand the Bible always makes a clear distinction between the DISCIPLES and the people who were the CROWD. For example, the Sermon on the Mount is clearly for his disciples, not the crowd. “One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.” [Matt 5:1-2 (NLT)]

Of course, this was outdoors in the open air and crowds would always come to listen, but not follow Jesus. But when he preached to the crowd it was different. Look closely at these words, “And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, ‘This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.’” [Luke 11:29 (NKJV)]

He CONFRONTED them repeatedly.

Another example is a confrontation with a rabbi. “The Pharisee noticed and was astonished [to see] that Jesus did not first wash before dinner. But the Lord said to him, ‘Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside you yourselves are full of greed and robbery and extortion and malice and wickedness.‘” [Luke 11:38-39 (AMP)]

The crowds would not repent and become his disciples, but still kept gathering around Him. So did He stop confronting them with the truth about their sins?

He led His friends to join Him and also publicly confront and preach to the crowds, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” [Mark 1:38 (NKJV)] “Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.” [Matt 11:1 (NKJV)]

He did not become best friends with the community and hope someday by just being nice and quiet about their sins that they might accidentally evolve into Christians.

This is extremely important to examine. The spiritual state of our communities and country is at stake. Do we follow Jesus, or follow the will of the crowd of Christ’s enemies that still resists God?

For example here is a challenge from an American evangelist of a previous century. On December 4, 1873, The Independent published an article by Revivalist Charles Finney titled “The Decay of Conscience.”

“Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”

Today pastors and saints think we love people into the kingdom without ever speaking because it may hurt their feelings, or we will be rejected and charged with judging. Even though that is the practice and strong belief of many church leaders and Christians today, it is contradicting the teaching and example of Jesus.

Today many demand that we must win the right to preach, and to confront people is unloving and contrary to the ways of Jesus. But our silence today has left the wicked bold in their sins, and overcome by strongholds of satanic deception. After years of this experiment, our nation is deeper in sin instead of clamoring to join the church. Their future is hell and they don’t believe it, and all I hear is the madness that we must double down and stay lovingly silent because Christianity is not about rules but love.

But the Bible says if you love them you will open your mouth and warn them!

Friendship evangelism is popular, and being friendly to the wicked is a must. But hoping after years and years of silent friendship that they will somehow be saved without the word of your testimony and the call of repentance is disobedience to Christ. Remember, Christ’s friends follow His commands.

The apostle Paul wrote, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” [Romans 10:14 (NKJV)]

Remember Jesus CONFRONTED them, “…you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside you yourselves are full of greed and robbery and extortion and malice and wickedness.” [Luke 11:38-39 (AMP)]

Whether religious or average people he boldly told them to stop their sin. “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” [John 8:11 (NLT)]

Christ loved them enough to speak the truth, and the truth is offensive to the wicked! But Jesus believes in preaching! The Bible believes in preaching! But today pastors and people seem to more and more disagree and contradict the Lord!

“Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, ‘Does this offend you? Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you do not believe me.’ (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.)”

“Then he said, ‘That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.’ At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him.” [John 6:61-66 (NLT)]

And not only did many desert him, His disciples kept warning Him people were offended by His words. “His disciples came and said to Him, ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?’ But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.” [Matt 15:12-13 (NKJV)]

Today many claim the world is offended by Christians who preach repentance and follow Christ’s commands as if it is all their fault the world hates the church. Well, guess what, 2000 years ago those new disciples tried to stop Jesus offending the Pharisees and others with the truth!

And NO, the Pharisees were not the church or a picture of misguided churches who preach repentance. The Jewish rabbis who lived hypocritical lives are NOT a picture of the church but false religion without grace.

And let me be clear, the Lord knew His words were offensive and even reminded John the Baptist, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” [Matt 11:4-6 (NKJV)]

It is true, if you are silent you will not offend the unbelieving! But you will not be like Jesus or be His friend.

It is true, if you are silent you will not offend the unbelieving! But you will not be like Jesus or… Click To Tweet

“And when He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?’ So they were offended at Him.” [Matt 13:54-57 (NKJV)]

Yes, people do not want to be preached to, and they did not like it when Jesus preached to them in Israel. And yet Christ ordered his disciples to preach and not become best friends with the lost with the hope the truth might accidentally come to them. Without salvation, the mind is controlled by Satan, and only a miracle can awaken a dead man from spiritual death.

My friend, you must intentionally minister to them as a follower of Jesus. And yes some people will accuse you of hatred, judging, and even become angry just because you dare show them their need of the Savior. But that is what happened from the very beginning of the church.

“Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach.” [Mark 3:14 (NLT)] “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” [Matt 10:6-7 (NKJV)]

Jesus kept ordering His disciples to boldly speak just like He did. “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.” [Matt 10:27 (NKJV)]

Preaching the truth will offend many, it did when Jesus preached. Confronting people is the way Jesus and His apostles showed LOVE to the sons of disobedience.

The first Christians believed preaching was the crowds only hope for salvation, and obeyed this command, even when it looked like it had no immediate effect on the people by their strong resistance to their preaching.

After Christ Jesus preached for three years the Bible says only hundreds believed, not thousands or millions. But when Peter preached repentance as recorded in Acts 2, 3000 believed, and the church grew quickly for a time. But there was a strong antichrist backlash in Israel and across the world.

Acts 4:17-20 (NKJV)
17  But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
18  And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
19  But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.
20  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

So the disciples were forced to fan out across the Roman Empire and the success rate was not as dramatic.

But that did not change the methods of Paul and others outside of Israel in later years. They still CONFRONTED sinners publicly and exposed their sin, and called them to turn and follow Jesus. Their confrontational preaching was the same as Christ taught His first disciples, who preached to crowds of strangers in Israel.

They did not waste years being best friends with the wicked of the Greek culture, but instead, quickly proclaimed the truth and trusted the Holy Spirit to work miracles. Then after preaching the gospel, Paul and the others befriended those who responded to the Gospel message and decided to follow Jesus.

Paul preached in many cities, but crowds rejected the truth and drove him out of town. Public outrage followed Paul in many cities. For example, he was taken to Athens to wait for his friends to join him.

“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, ‘What does this babbler want to say?’ Others said, ‘He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,’ because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection…”

He confronted the strangers and told them their idolatry was wrong. “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being…”

“’Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.’ And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” So Paul departed from among them. However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.” [Acts 17:16-34 (NKJV)]

Here are the facts, Jesus did not join His enemies, His enemies repented and joined Him. Paul proclaimed the truth and some joined him and became his friends in the faith.

The scripture says we are not to join them, they are to join us! “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? [2 Cor 6:14-15 (NLT)]

So I have to ask you again, do your Christian beliefs contradict Jesus?