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Over the past few years, the body of Christ has been shaken as we have seen leading Christian men and women walk away from the faith or abandon biblical doctrine, and cave to political correctness and social justice.
As the rapture grows closer, we are able to see more clearly who are wheat and who are tares.
As in Jesus’ parable, these have grown together – and before they matured they looked nearly identical, but as maturity has occurred it has become clear that those who are tares are enemies of the cross.
And this is the focus of the series I’ve been writing with my dad called “The Counterfeit Gospel”. (Here is my series, here is my dad’s series)
3 Enemies of the Cross
I touched on this subject in my post Beware of the Modern-Day Judiazers, as I began to grow increasingly more aware of “woke” Christians who persecute those of us who hold to a biblical standard of holiness and obedience to God’s commands.
It would seem to some that “woke” Christians have a better insight into the deeper meaning of Scripture, and even the thoughts and intents of the apostles who wrote the New Testament.
But they fail to acknowledge that the apostles didn’t write the New Testament based on their own intellect, but they wrote the New Testament as the Holy Spirit spoke through them the holy words of Almighty God.
And God doesn’t change.
He doesn’t evolve and He doesn’t modernize His commands with the shifting sands of culture.
He is not “woke”.
There are 3 enemies of the cross that Paul gives us in Philippians 3:19
“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ” – Philippians 3:18
1. Their god is their belly
While I know many people use this as a platform to talk about gluttony, this verse isn’t limited to gluttony but includes all physical desires.
The Greek word here describes the pallet, the gut, the central area of pleasure.
This enemy of the cross is one who is not only ruled by their own physical desires, but who places great importance upon meeting those physical desires.
In short: this enemy of the cross is hedonism.
What we see happening in the church today is a massive shift from from the fear of the Lord to the worship of earthly desires and appetites.
- Safe Sex – Many Christian parents will not teach and train their children to abstain from sex until marriage, because they do not believe it is reasonable to expect that they will. So instead, they cave into the culture of hedonism and teach their children safe sex.
- Self-Care – Many Christians today have bought into the New Age and hedonistic idea of self-care and indulgence, believing that meeting the physical appetite for pampering and comfort will meet the need for contentment and rest. Nothing could be further from the truth. For the Christian, contentment and rest is found at Jesus’ feet. Not a spa day. Not a bubble bath. Not a tub of ice cream. Not a cabin on the beach.
Any time we make our physical appetites our focus we make an idol of them.
The reason why placing and importance on our physical appetites is an enemy of the cross is because Scripture teaches us to live contrary to our physical appetites.
It teaches us that we are to crucify the flesh and its desires!
“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24
It teaches us to flee sexual immorality – not teach our children a safe way to engage in it.
“Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
It teaches us to deny ourselves, not indulge ourselves.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
2. Their glory is in their shame
The word “glory” here in the Greek means dignity or opinion.
And we see this happening in the body of Christ today as Christian leaders arrogantly present themselves as dignified in their shameful behavior.
- Christians who are engaging in homosexuality
- Christians who support the LGBTQ+ community
- Christians who label themselves as “deconverted” or “exvangelicals”
- Christians who are “woke”
- Christians who refuse to call immorality sin, and who teach their children that it is okay to engage in it, as long as they are properly protected.
Many of these Christians take pride in their modern thinking and their so-called freedom.
Simultaneously, they seek to shame and even silence those of us in the body of Christ who hold to a more accurate and traditional belief in the Bible and Its commands.
Many of them, in effect, have told us to shut up and sit down.
But their glory, their dignity, their “woke” opinions are in their shame – because the Bible calls these lifestyles shameful!
3. They set their mind on earthly things
One of the most destructive consequences of the Enlightenment is the divorce that happened between the physical realm and spiritual realm in the minds of people.
When you travel back in history to before the Enlightenment, you note how people lived with a simultaneous awareness of the spiritual and physical realms – as it they coexisted.
And indeed they did.
And indeed they still do.
But the Enlightenment brought a certain “dignity” and “maturity”, so that people began to view the spiritual realm as cartoonish and childish.
And this played right into the enemy’s hand, because if he could successfully divorce the hearts of Christians from the spiritual realm – eternity – and get them to focus almost entirely on physical realm he could slowly acclimate them them worldly behaviors and even convince them that they are not as evil as once thought.
Centuries later, you have many Christians who believe in heaven but refuse to believe in hell, because they view hell unloving and unjust.
- So, they refuse to believe that God will let good people go to hell, because that would be unjust.
- So, they refuse to believe that God would let natives in the jungle go to hell, because that would be unloving
Despite the fact that Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse”
Centuries later you have Christians who believe that witchcraft is simply imaginative and childish fun; or even have “Christianized” it – teaching that the enemy has stolen it from us.
- So, they let their kids read and watch Harry Potter – because witchcraft is just imaginative and fun
- So, they let read books and watch movies and shows about vampires and zombies, because it is imaginative and fun
- So, we teach “Christian” necromancy from the pulpit in the form of mantles and “lost anointing”
- So, we encourage “Christian” fortune-telling in the form of personal prophecy
- So, we engage in Christianized” New Age practices such as Yoga and meditation
- So, we teach alternative healing practices such as healing energy
Despite the fact that Deuteronomy 18:10-13 says, “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.”
Centuries later we are talking about “living in the moment” and “living in the here and now”; with little to no regard for eternity.
- So, we indulge ourselves because we want to live this moment to the fullest
Despite the fact that the Colossians 3:1-2 says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
The danger in having our minds and opinions set on earthly things is that we lose a biblical perspective. Our opinions and worldview are shaped by culture and unconverted public figures whom we allow to speak into our lives.
We begin considering the logic of their opinions and worldview; and before we realize, our own thinking and worldview have been shifted to match those in the world.
This is why Psalm 1 tells us that the man is blessed who refuses to:
- Follow the counsel of ungodly people
- Make sinners his close friends and companions
- Engages in the same activities as scornful, arrogant, and mocking people
Because you can see the natural progression of the person who allows their life and activities to be shaped by those who have their minds set on earthly things.
Their end is destruction
Jesus also talked about this when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
These 3 enemies of the cross are not unbelievers, but those who claim to be Christians but who live contrary to God’s Word.
Even worse, they teach other Christians to live contrary to God’s Word.
And their end is destruction, because they clearly do not know God nor are they known by God. If they knew God, they wouldn’t live their lives contrary to God’s commands, and they would encourage fellow Christians to do the same.
Dear sister, do you see the danger that the church is already entrenched in? Do you see how very important it is that we consecrate our hearts and live our lives entirely devoted to the Word of God?
When that day comes, I want God to know me! I want Him to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.
I want to live in the pleasure of God – not the pleasure of this moment.
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I am writing this series with my dad on what we’re calling “The Counterfeit Gospel” I hope you’ll check out his posts.