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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Judgment, Hate, Tolerance, Love, Faithfulness

Judgment, Hate, Tolerance - Standing for Jesus
Some people judge and hate Christians because they claim Christians are judgmental and hateful. 

In the name of tolerance, some people insist Christian beliefs shouldn't be tolerated.  

Some people claim Christians should be silenced in order to maintain freedom of speech.

Everyday Christians are stereotyped because a few deranged people calling themselves Christians commit hate crimes.

Most genuine believers share God's truth in love.

But people still hate us (John 15:18-19). 

Many professing Christians are buckling under the pressure and rejecting God's values. But genuine believers are standing firm (Matthew 24:12-13).

If you are faithfully sharing God's truth with our lost and dying culture, you will identify with Jeremiah 20:8-9:

“The word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, 'I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,' his word is in my heart like a fire… I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.”  

Stand firm, dear Christians. 
For more encouragement, read these 1-minute devotions:
Standing Firm and Reaching Out 
Who Do You Say That I Am?
Is Jesus Likable?

Bible Study 

Judgment, Hate, Tolerance - Standing for Jesus
We are seeing increased compromise in churches around the world. Biblical values clearly outlined in Scripture and confirmed by Bible scholars throughout church history are now being questioned, revised, or ignored. These revisionists claim they are motivated by love. But nothing could be more hateful than allowing people to damage their souls and die in their sins. 

1. We cannot expect the unsaved to understand God’s truth: 

1 Corinthians 2:14-16: The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.  

Often, when I watch a debate between a Christian and atheist about creation or the existence of God, the atheist personally attacks the Christian instead of debating the issue. I think this is the sign of a weak argument. This is a sign that men know in their hearts that God exists (Romans 2:14-15).

2. We cannot shrink back from speaking God's truth in love. The majority will mock us, but some will listen.

Luke 9:26: Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 

Ephesians 4:15: Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

Speaking God's truth in love does not mean sugar-coating it or revising it. It means speaking it without arrogance, self-righteousness, or hypocrisy, with the hope that our listeners will find Jesus and turn from the sins that are damaging their souls.

If we aren't interested in a person's welfare, then we should keep our mouths shut and pray for right motives.

3. There are many among us who are not genuine believers and they will choose culture over God’s Word. 

Matthew 24:12-13: Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 

We must make sure that these "fake believers" do not influence us. See "Standing Firm."

4. Jesus promised we would be hated. 

John 15:18-19: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 

2 Timothy 3:12: In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 

If nothing about our faith offends anyone, we should question whether we are genuinely living for Christ. See "That's Not Jesus."
copyright 2017, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

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