SWEET THE PROMISE
…others were tortured…others experienced mocking and scourging…chains and imprisonment. They were stoned…sawn in two…tempted…put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goat skins being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated…of whom the world was not worthy…. Hebrews 11:35-38
Beware of any gospel that characterizes the grace of God exclusively in terms of worldly gain in the form of finery, ease, health, and/or wealth, for it is a different gospel from that delivered by Jesus Christ and His Apostles, it is a false gospel, and as such it has no power to save.
Scripture records and Church history testifies that the life of the pilgrim may be, and often is, met with severe and protracted difficulty. Watch out, therefore, for men who would lead you astray by bringing to you strange teachings that dilute, distort or otherwise diminish the Person of Jesus Christ to serve their own covetous ends.
Guard against a gospel that promises much and requires little. Watch out for any who diminish God’s glory by making Him out to be your bell-hop who responds eagerly to your every fleshly whim, for such a depiction of I AM is a repugnant sham and those who propagate it will be judged accordingly on that Day; the God of Israel is the Supreme Sovereign and He does not bow to the misguided beckon calls of men; He is Lord of all things seen and unseen, sharing His glory with no man.
In the present day there are men teaching strange doctrines not in accordance with the truth of Scripture, men of depraved minds who for sordid gain deceive and shipwreck the faith of the weak. Depictions of the Lord by these men appeal to the base desires of men—making them popular, yet they are delusional misrepresentations of the Lord of Hosts; they are idols constructed in the recesses of depraved minds. These teachers of false doctrine will suffer the consequence of their error and those who naively follow them will suffer harm spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
All that the Lord does in and through the lives of His saints is for His glory and their good. At times His purposes are best met through the deliverance of His people and at other times by allowing them to suffer. Pilgrims who are suffering are advised to inquire of the Lord to discern if perhaps they are experiencing the loving chastening of the Father, and if sin is revealed then confession and repentance will restore their relationship with Christ. Yet men who attribute all suffering as a result of sin are liars and false teachers, the glory of God is smeared by their misrepresentations of His character, and in His time they will receive the full recompense for their folly at His hands, for “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
As the writer clearly demonstrates the saints of God often do not have a comfortable life on earth, many suffer at the hands of wicked men, others some suffer sickness and death, poverty, and loneliness as a result of abandonment by family and friends due to their confession of Jesus Christ. Many endure a lack food, clothing, shelter, while multitudes are abandoned by non-believing family members, numerous are shunned by co-workers and passed over for promotions, fired, and for many employment opportunities are withheld. In the words of the Apostle many are regarded as the scum of the earth and most of their existence on earth is one of pain and suffering. For some this is God’s design, not to punish due to sin, but to sanctify and exalt them through faith in the Him who calls.
Providence assures pilgrims seasons of comfort and suffering. Accepting suffering in faith develops endurance, making sweet the promise, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).
(Reproduced with permission)
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