Enemies of the gospel

Romans 11, 1 Samuel 21-22, Psalm 66
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opposingfutility

It’s not hard for Christians to label groups of people that inherently oppose the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Some of them seem more obvious than others: contrary religious ideologies, government authorities and their policies, special interest groups, and extreme, fringe churches.

However, the Bible doesn’t establish any particular ideological groups as enemies — the exception being nations that constantly threatened to wipe Israel out anyway — but constantly examines character traits that oppose the gospel and tarnish its intent. Here are the real threats to the good news of Jesus Christ:

The ignorant, self-wise

I’m realizing that the more I know, the more I realize I do not know and the smaller I feel. I can pile up volumes of knowledge, but I cannot overtake the wisdom of God, and I cannot believe I am somehow more clever than Him. Especially since I have no jurisdiction over death in my limited, temporary mind, it is futile to come up with a “better” plan for salvation.

The self-saved

If you’re drowning in the middle of the ocean, would you not cry out for help? Eventually, we need someone else to save us before it’s too late. We believe we’re capable of wrestling death to the ground in our moment of peril, as if this mortal flesh has authority over the eternal, intangible nature of the spirit. Hogwash.

The blatantly disobedient

Whether I sin openly or in the darkest corners, my integrity is still jeopardized and I am still demonstrating that I don’t care what God thinks nor wants for me. Our sinful nature is apparent, and God knows that — we all lean toward imperfection — but a concerted effort to disobey God looks like treason. In fact, it is treason, whether or not you believe God is really in charge or even paying attention.

The jealous and proud

Saul expends a great deal of energy trying to eliminate David after he finds out he’s going to be king, even killing priests to get to him.  Christians and non-Christians likewise waste life and effort trying to blast their enemies’ arguments, but the collateral damage outweighs any small victory.

 

The thread running through all of this is self. Once we eliminate our propensity to elevate our selfish desires for control, we’re less likely to prohibit others from seeing the truth of the gospel — the good news of love in the form of God’s great sacrifice. Let us imitate this love, rather than employ militant hatred, every day.  Perhaps we’ll start making some progress.

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