Jesus Christ divides
CHRIST BRINGS DIVISION!
CHRIST BRINGS DIVISION!
“But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, EVEN SO IT IS NOW!” [Galatians 4:29]
“The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a program of anarchy. It does not promote strife and war, but aims at peace and unity. It seeks not to set the mother against her daughter nor the father against his son, but fosters the fraternal spirit whereby the human race is regarded as one great ‘brotherhood’ “[A.W. Pink].
The Gospel of Jesus Christ divides families! No honest Christian or student of the Bible will deny this. One of the very first acts of God recorded in the Scriptures is – “And God DIVIDED the light from the darkness”! [Gen 1:4]. The Master Himself affirmed on many occasions, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather DIVISION”! [Lk 12:51]. Again, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I CAME NOT TO SEND PEACE, BUT A SWORD”!
And WHERE does Jesus word bring division? The very next verse tells us “For from henceforth there shall be five in ONE HOUSE divided, three against two, and two against three. 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 her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law [Lk 12:51-53]. Note the words ‘FROM HENCEFORTH’ which means from the time the Lord began His ministry even until He comes again, the preaching of the truth WILL continue to divide families! The Lord said emphatically that this was one of the reasons why He came.
When He sent out His twelve apostles to preach, He cautioned them beforehand saying the same words: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I CAME NOT TO SEND PEACE, but a sword. For I AM COME TO set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” [Mt. 10:34-37].
How come we hardly hear any sermons on the above verses? When was the last time you heard a preacher tell you that Jesus Christ divides families? Beloved, this fact that Christ divides families is not an EXCEPTION, but the RULE.
The Lord said, He came to seek and to save His lost sheep, and His sheep are scattered in ‘families’ both Christian and non-Christian. So when the Lord calls out His sheep out of these families the division is INEVITABLE. Remember? “A man’s foes shall be they of his own household” [Matt. 10:36]. The ‘MAN’ in this passage is the LORD’S SHEEP whom He has chosen to save as opposed to the REST of his family whom he hath CHOSEN NOT TO SAVE. He says “five in one house shall be divided, three against two, and two against three.” At times the Lord may choose to save two or even three in a family of five, BUT NOWHERE IN THE SCRIPTURE DOES THE LORD PROMISE TO SAVE THE WHOLE FAMILY!
Was it not so from the beginning? Adam had two sons – Cain and Abel. God loved Abel, but Cain was of the wicked one [1John 3:12]. Noah found grace in God’s eyes and was therefore saved. But were all of Noah’s family ‘children of God’? No! Ham the younger son of Noah proved to be wicked! [Gen 9:22-24]. The same with the sons of Issac, one was loved of God the other was hated. “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau’! [Mal 1:2,3]
The point being this: God has no grandchildren! Only Children! Preachers who Baptize their children assuming that they too are chosen to be saved have not fully understood and grasped the Sovereignty of God in Salvation! Flesh and blood do not inherit the Kingdom of God! A.W. Pink rightly affirms –“the taking place of the new birth is “not of blood,” that is to say, it is not a MATTER OF HEREDITY, for REGENERATION DOES NOT RUN IN THE VEINS”!
You cannot contend that God wants the whole family saved and yet do justice to the Lord’s words which emphatically teach that the Gospel divides families. He says, “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child; and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated by all men for My name’s sake; but he that endureth till the end shall be saved [Matt 10:21,22].
One of the reasons that we have not seen the true colors of our ‘loved ones’ is because we have not been persecuted and hunted down like many of the early Christians. Persecution always separates the goats from the sheep!
I AM A TRULY BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN. WHY IS THEIR NO DIVISION IN MY FAMILY?
Jesus Christ is the SAME yesterday, today and forever! [Heb13:8]. The Lord has not changed and neither will the effects caused by His words ever change! In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle affirms, “But as THEN he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, EVEN SO IT IS NOW”! [Gal 4:29].
The Christian is one who is born after the Spirit. And almost every ‘born-again’ child of God when he initially becomes a Christian has testified of the hatred that he felt from his family and loved ones. He is then glad to relate to his Master’s Words, “The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted ME, they WILL also persecute YOU” [John 15:20].
This persecution and hatred is only experienced by those who are making every effort to live like their Master! But if we are unfaithful by HIDING OUR LIGHT UNDER A BUSHEL and are compromising the truth by attempting to serve TWO MASTERS then we can successfully escape “the reproach of Christ”! He was hated by the world and has called us to fellowship with His sufferings. And it is only, “All those who LIVE GODLY IN CHRIST JESUS who suffer persecution! [2Tim 3;12].
I as a Christian have to constantly ask myself – “has my gold become dim and my silver turned to dross”? “Is the light that is in me, now darkness, and has my salt lost its savour”? To lose our zeal and first love for Christ is no small thing! It is the same as being ashamed of Him and forsaking him for a ‘mess of pottage’ like Esau. It is something to be repented of!
Of the saints at Rome Paul could say “your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” [Romans 1:8], while to the Galatians he complained “ye did run well, who did hinder you?” (Galatians 5:7). To the Thessalonians he could say “Your faith groweth exceedingly” [2 Thessalonians 1:3], but of the Ephesians it is recorded “thou hast left thy first love” [Revelation 2:4].
The Master said that if you DENY Him before men, HE will deny you before His father and His angels. To deny Christ is to compromise and not speak out against the evil in your own house but be a partaker or a silent spectator!
Time was when you said with David, “I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. I have not sat with vain persons, I WILL NOT sit with the wicked’! [Psa 101:2,3; 26:4,5]. But now you are pretty comfortable sitting with your ‘family’ and watching Ophrah Winfrey deny your Lord (who shed His blood for you), your favorite ‘Actor’ kissing and fondling another man’s wife, or watching some horror movie in which some maniac is ripping out somebody’s guts! None of this bothers you anymore! Your conscience is seared with a hot iron! [1Tim 4:1]
Time was when you renounced your father’s Roman Catholicism and preached against it at every given opportunity! But now you are quite comfortable sitting in their ‘prayer meetings’ and celebrating their pagan festivals, like Christmas and Easter!
Time was when you told your son or daughter to stop playing the Devil’s music in your house or leave! But now you’ve learnt to live with it and even give them money to buy their Rock music records and Harry Potter books!
You have now become ‘wise’ and have realized that if you continue to take a zealous stand for the Lord, you might wind up losing your loved ones. So you have learnt to live with it. You know in your heart that to take a stand for all that Scripture demands of you would mean to lose your loved one. And that is a hard saying for you. You WANT to be Christ’s disciple but are not willing to pay the PRICE. ‘From that time many of his DISCIPLES went back, and walked no more with Him’. [Jn 6:66] Are you one of them? Am I one of them?
Let me close by saying, a disciple is one who continues with Christ, taking a stand for Him at the cost of everything and everyone he holds dear. Where the rubber meets the road the true disciple of Christ is even willing to hate his ‘loved ones’ in comparison to His Lord who bled and died for him!
And there went great multitudes with Him: and He turned, and said unto them, If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple! [Luke 14:25, 26]