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WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE? - Ron & Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23. It seems that Christians in America, and indeed throughout the world, ignore the power given them by Christ. On all fronts, Christians are in a battle. Simply because we profess Christ as our Saviour we become targets for mocking and anger, but we become victims because we don't stand strong for our Lord. Brethren, we must deny temptations of the flesh that are worldly desires, and take up our cross, and wholeheartedly follow Jesus. We must draw the line, then stand firm on God's side of the line. For too long, Christians have stood with at least one foot on the side of the world. Unless we firmly stand on the side of God we compromise Him and our faith. By compromising, we side with the enemy. If we don't stand with Christ then we stand against Him. "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." Matthew 12:30. The other side of the line is where the powers, principalities, and minions of evil in high places have dominion. Satan leads the enemy forces as the battle rages unto God’s finale. It’s our flesh that battles against our spirit, but how long are we going to allow the flesh to cross the line? Ultimately we know who wins the war, but if we yield to temptation and cross over the line, we side with Satan.
God’s word tells us that we are to live in the world but not be of the world. That takes determination. When we draw the line and stand on the side of Christ, the worldly people around us cannot understand why we won't compromise our faith. They don't understand that we are sojourners just passing through on our way to where God has prepared a wonderful mansion for each of His children in Heaven. Of course those who reject Christ are also just passing through this life, but they don't have a peaceful eternity to look forward to. When the line is drawn and we claim to stand on the side of God, how can we ever turn our backs on God’s truth and cross the line to live like those in the world? The secular world needs to see Christians stand on God’s promises without compromise, and we need to reflect God’s one and only Son in our daily walk. We are to be as a guiding light. “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” Philippians 2:15. It isn't always easy to stay true to God while we live in this " crooked and perverse nation", but that needs to be our desire. We need to make a daily choice to stand on God's word without compromise. "Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:22. In other words, don't even look like you are crossing the line into enemy territory.
“A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you…” Malachi 1:6a. Indeed, where is His honor, and where is the fear of the Lord? Standing firm is hardly spoken of among the throng of apathetic Christians in today’s society. There are too many so called Christians preaching apostasy and living like the secular world. New Age lies, the false Gospel of the "name it and claim it" crowd, the heresy of the teaching that all faiths worship the same god, and many other lies of the devil confuse Christians who don't study God's word. These people don't even know where to draw the line, let alone know what it means to stand on the side of God. Works aren't what saves us, but they reflect our heart. If you profess Christ as your saviour your desire should be to please Him. The Bible is our guide there. God gave us His word to teach us His ways. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15. Study God's word and apply it to your life. It is your guide so that you will not be ashamed of your conduct in this life when you stand before God. After all, it is God that Christians need to please.
How can we say we honor or fear God if we won’t even stand up for Him in a crowd or honor Him with our life? In chapter four of the book of Acts we are told about a time when Peter and John were arrested because they were openly preaching about Christ. They relied on the power of the Holy Spirit and they had no fear in speaking boldly for Christ. Their boldness brought many people to salvation through Christ, but it offended the Jewish leaders who refused to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Because these leaders stood on the side of the line opposite of Christ, they were offended by God's truth. This same opposition is true today, but many Christians won't stand up for Christ. Peter and John were brought before Annas and Caiaphas who commanded them to keep silent and to stop teaching in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Peter and John knew which side of the line they were on, and they refused to compromise their faith. They would not cross the line to the enemy's side. “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye, For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20. Christians today face the same challenge of people trying to stop us from sharing our faith. Why is it that a gravestone of a Christian that displays a cross offends an atheist? Their protests cause the gravestone to be changed, yet Satan's pornographic handiwork can be displayed on television, in movies, in music, and on billboards, but Christians don't have a voice. Why are Christians silent? The answer is that many Christians live on the enemy's side of the line. They claim to be Christians because they want to go to Heaven when they die, but they don't let Christ affect their life on earth. Can these people truly have accepted Christ as their Saviour? God knows, but I wonder. We don't need to riot against the evils of this world, but if we would stand firm with Christ and stop participating in sin by turning off TV, stop going to movies that promote unbiblical ideas, etc., our voice would be heard. Our children are being taught to accept sin through cartoons and schools. Christian, if at all possible you need to home school your children. At the very least you need to test what they are being taught by God's standards and not allow your child to be confused by what the government thinks is OK. Brethren, draw the line and plant your feet firmly on God's side.
If we love God, and I’m sure all true born again believers do, we need to stand up for our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We are to honor God with our lives, because He purchased us with His blood. There should be nothing more important in this life than showing ourselves approved by the only One who counts. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." 1 John 3:1. In this verse the word "sons" comes from the Greek word "teknon" which is a neuter noun. Most translations today use the word "children". God is our Father, we are His children. When that relationship is established, that's when the line must be drawn...that's when we need to stand on God's side of the line. When we become parents we teach our children to respect and honor their elders and honor God. As a parent, you need to live your life to reflect Christ because your children are watching. Do you give life-service or merely lip-service to the Lord? If you are standing on the wrong side of the line then you won't be the Christian example your children need in order for them to know where they should draw the line. The secular people around you are also watching. Don't compromise your Christian walk.
Born again believers in Christ are saved by grace and we cannot do any act of religion to make ourselves more saved. The shed blood of Christ takes away your sin and we cannot add to that precious act of love. That doesn't mean you should continue in sin. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Romans 6:1-2. We make decisions everyday that affect the way the world looks at us, and those decisions need to be made with godly discernment. We are to honor God with our lives; our lives should reflect Jesus. We belong to Jesus Christ and no matter what temptations come our way, no matter what kind of adversity is thrown at us, we must stand firm. "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:14. The end of all things is swiftly coming on the scene. News headlines tell us that Bible prophecy is being played out daily. Whatever happens to us in this world shouldn’t bring fear or cause us to deny our Lord. Honor God with your life. In these “End Times” Satan is becoming bolder in his attack on God by attacking His followers. Satanic laws are being passed that legalize sin, but that doesn't change God's truth. Satan is the ruler of this world and evil will only get worse. Brethren, stand firm on God's truth. Study Scripture and apply it to your life. Your life here matters, but your eternal life matters more.
Are you being led by the Holy Spirit or a satanic spirit? Which side of the line do you stand on? Where do you draw the line?
God bless you all,
Ron & Nathele Graham
Previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
This commentary was started by Ron Graham before his death on March 14, 2013, and finished by his wife, Nathele Graham
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