Tuesday, April 22, 2014

God's Enemies

Whose side are you on?

1 John 2:18-21  Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come.   

19  These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.   

20  But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you His Spirit, and all of you know the truth.  21  So I am writing to you not because you don't know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies.

John 10:10  The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Can you imagine the nicest person that ever lived? Someone that always loved the people around them, they gave away everything they owned, they had kind words for everybody they knew. Can you imagine somebody hating that person? Sounds absurd doesn't it?

That's how crazy it seems to those that love God. We can't imagine that somebody so good could have an enemy and be so despised. We cannot understand the opposition in the New Testament from the religious crowd much less comprehend the hatred that was poured out on Jesus when he was beaten and crucified.

One terrible example of somebody that was against God in a great way:
Around 168 B.C. a man by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes came to the fore of Jewish history. Epiphanes means "the great one." He gave himself that name. He instituted the death penalty for anyone who circumcised a child or owned a copy of the law. He erected an altar to Zeus in the courts of the Temple. He sacrificed a pig on the altar in defiance of Jewish law. He turned the Temple chambers into brothels.
This man took deliberate steps to go against God and desecrate the Temple. The things that he did give us a picture of the coming Antichrist.
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first."
The Bible warns us that in the last days the Antichrist will come but we need to watch out because there are a lot of other smaller antichrist that are already here. Some of these antichrist were people that had been a part of the local church but they left to follow some false teaching. Some of the people that you think are backsliders may have never been true believers.

The early church had to deal with a lot of false teachers, the devil had to do everything that he could to oppose the beginning of the church, he couldn't allow the gospel to spread without protest, he was ready to infiltrate the church with false doctrine to take away from the gospel. (Acts 20:29-30)
“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me." 
 We have to be careful about where we stand. Jesus drew a line in the sand and said you have to decide which side you are on. We need to be very cautious, anybody could step across the line and be opposed to the work that God is doing, the opposition can be so subtle.

Just look at how quick and easy it happened to Simon Peter when he opposed the idea of Jesus being crucified. Even Jesus had to decide whose side he was going to be on when he was tempted by Satan. (Matthew 4:1-11, 16:23)
God's Enemies Will Lose
Isaiah 54:17  But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD; their vindication will come from Me. I, the LORD, have spoken!
We have been warned, the ultimate victory belongs to our God, it doesn't matter what the devil or his followers do or what weapon they use. This is another fact that is difficult to understand, doesn't he know he isn't going to win? The Bible tells us that Satan's power is inferior to God's and it shows us many examples of God's power defeating Satan but he won't stop his war against God.

I have to decide if I am going to be friends with God or if I am going to take sides with his enemy. There are way too many people that claim to be a child of God that are being way too friendly with the world. A backslider is in a dangerous situation, we must wonder if he is really a backslider or maybe he wasn't ever a true believer, only God knows for sure. (James 4:4, 1 John 2:19)

If you think this world is a battle ground, just remember the unseen world is doing battle far greater than what we can see and we don't know everything that is going on behind the scenes, Jesus told Peter, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you." Peter didn't have a clue about the battle and that Satan was after him. (Luke 22:31–32, Ephesians 6:12)

Lord help me to be aware of the devils strategy and to stand my ground.