Thursday, January 22, 2009

There are Wolves Who Disguise Themselves as Sheep

I am going through a personal struggle of unknowns and I was comforted today by Peter's first letter, wherein he writes to believers in the Roman provinces in Asia Minor that now make up much of modern-day Turkey.

And so as I read I Peter, Chapter 1, I am comforted by his word to believers. He states that in Christ we have a living hope, an inheritance, and that we are protected by the power of God for that final day in spite of the tribulations and trials of this life.

Here's how Peter puts it..."Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith -- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." I Peter 1:3-7

This is no health, wealth and prosperity gospel as is being deceitfully preached from pulpits across this country and by glittery TV preachers who drive fancy expensive cars paid for by the offerings of the poor. Their so-called gospel is a lying deception aimed at drawing in fame and fortune.

In Peter's gospel there is no proposal of "seed money" nor of promised healings on stage in front of thousands, nor is there a picture of faithful believers falling and fainting in the aisles. Peter is point blank in saying that believers will be tested by fire (Vs 7). We're going to go through life's turmoils just like everyone else. Christianity is not a magic potion that can be applied to make one's life full of good fortune.

Paul, too, speaks often of affliction. In 2 Cor. 1:8-10 he says this..."For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God, who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us..."

Christianity is not a magic potion that can be applied to make one's life full of good fortune. Nor can Christians "buy" health and wealth by "investing" in some teacher's version of God's work here on earth.

Be wise! Be gentle! Be aware that there are wolves in sheep's clothing. Matthew 7:15


Paula said...

Wonderful post. We are not promised a "free pass" through this life, when we become Christians. And, trials and tests are not punishment. They are opportunities to grow in the faith. A great reminder....thank you.

Forrest said...

Very good and right on target, Sister. I am reminded of:

"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up" (Daniel 3:16-18).

It's those three little words "but if not" that have always impressed me. What if God does not deliver me from the fiery furnace of trial and testing? He is still God and I will still trust Him!

Praying for you.