“And when they brought them, they set them before the council—and the high priest asked them, saying ‘Did not we straitly command you that you should not teach in this Name? And, behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine and intend to bring this Man’s Blood upon us’.”
“Abiding in Christ” and “walking in the Spirit” (Jn. 15:1-7; Rom. 8:1) will always bring us into opposition with those who do not know Him, but we should never be deterred; instead, we should always faithfully proclaim “Jesus is Lord.”
Darkness and light.
We know them well—both in a physical and spiritual way. Prior to Christ’s entrance into our hearts through the new birth, we lived in darkness and “wouldn’t come to the Light because our deeds were evil and we loved darkness more than Light” (Jn. 3:19). Or, another way to put it is “We still wanted to do things our way and didn’t want to come under the Great Physician’s Scalpel of the soul.”
No wonder such “deceived darkness dwellers” live constantly under condemnation and without hope (Jn. 3:17-21; Eph. 2:12).
And, no wonder they have no joy in life, but only continual sorrow and heaviness of heart—for they’re still “blinded by the god of this world. . .dead in trespasses and sins. . .walking under the power and influence of the prince of the power of the air. . .always fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and the mind. . .and constantly living as angry, children of wrath” (Eph. 2:1-3; II Cor. 4:4).
They’re lost. On their road to hell. Wanting the benefits of Heaven, but not willing to surrender to Christ’s rightful place in their lives (Mt. 6:33; Lk. 9:23-26).
Oh, dear Pilgrim, even when the Holy Spirit’s moving in a powerful way in our lives, family or church, there’ll always be those “on the outside looking in,” continuing to mock and attack as they did on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:12-13). Even within the church membership there’ll be those who presume on God’s Grace and don’t think twice about disrupting the fellowship by acting in sinful and selfish ways, even as Ananias and Sapphira did (Acts 5:1-11).
Yet, we shouldn’t allow such things to discourage us; neither should we begin “wrestling with flesh-and-blood” (Eph. 6:12) or engage in foolish debates and a “wrangling of words”—for such only “increases more unto ungodliness” (II Tim. 2:16).
When we declare the wondrous truths of Christ’s death and Resurrection, there’ll always be those who are convicted and will object even as those in today’s Manna. But, to them we must respond: “Yes, guilty as charged—for I am trying to bring Christ’s Blood upon you, for apart from it you cannot be saved.”
Even though they may still reject your Message, threaten you and seek to do you bodily harm (Acts 5:40), do not fear. Instead, “rejoice and leap for joy” (Acts 5:41; Lk. 6:23) for you are “blessed” (Lk. 6:22a) and “great is your reward in Heaven” (Lk. 6:23b). Even more, you’ll have the pleasure of His smile here-and-now, knowing you’ve obeyed Him because you love Him (and even those who opposed you).
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated July 4, 2010