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Offences, Betrayal, Hatred...

Posted: January 06, 2014

Offences, Betrayal, Hatred

Matthew 24:9-13, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

While Jesus was responding to His disciples question about when the destruction of the temple would take place, He also gave some insights of what would precede that great event. Now we know that the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D., and just as Jesus predicted, not one stone was left upon another (Matthew 24:1-3).

The destruction of the Old Testament temple took place in 70 A.D. while the twelve apostles were running full steam ahead planting the first century New Testament church and not one mention of it was made by them in New Testament writings, interesting. Maybe it was because after the martyrdom of Stephen in Acts 6-8 it was of absolutely no value to them or the New Testament Church, just a thought. We know that the Law is our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ, so we must consider how the destruction of the Old Testament temple would correlate to the destruction of the New Testament temple. Remember, we are the Temple of the Holy Ghost, both individually and collectively. We can learn from the signs and events that led to the destruction of Herod’s temple and the attempts to destroy the New Testament temple.

After describing the spiritual, political, and geographical climate that would lead to the temple’s overthrow, in Matthew 24:9, Jesus makes it very personal as to how this would affect His closest followers:

1)    They will deliver you to affliction.

2)    They will kill you.

3)    You will be hated by all nations because of Jesus.

Does any of that bear a striking resemblance to how things are in our current spiritual, political, and geographical climate? It seems that in our great age of “tolerance” the only thing that is intolerable is Christianity. In America the persecution is subtle but the vitriol that we are subjected to in media takes its toll. While in other nations such as in the Middle East and other places, Christians are being imprisoned, tortured, and killed in horrible ways.

I think that Matthew 24:10 better applies to the current conditions of Christianity in the U.S. and other industrialized nations. Pay especially close attention to the fact that Jesus used the word “MANY” when describing those who would carry offences, betrayal, and hatred:

1)    Many will be offended.

2)    Many will betray one another.

3)    Many will hate one another.

I will remind you that Jesus is talking to HIS DISCIPLES not the world. These are the tests and temptations that are designed to destroy the New Testament temple.

Offences

We are in an offended generation. I am amazed as to how many people live with unresolved offences in their lives and still go to church. I mean, churches are filled with offended people. Let me recycle an old teaching of mine from my book The Doctrines of Christ. There are five ways that we can be offended:

1)    We can offend God.

2)    God can offend us.

3)    We can offend a person.

4)    A person can offend us.

5)    We can offend ourselves.

I have said many times and I will say it again here, that number five, self offence, is the most common offence that people carry around. The Bible says if YOUR right eye offend YOU pluck it out, or If YOUR right hand offend YOU cut it off, or finally, If YOUR right foot offend YOU cut it off. So many people have offended themselves yet they walk around blaming others, YOU made the offence, YOU fix it. Jesus says it would be better to enter heaven with one eye, or one hand, or one foot than to go to hell, but it seems there are so many who would rather live offended and blame others for their offence, than to receive the power of the gospel to get over their offences. I tell you my friend, churches are FILLED with hell bound people who are holding fast to offences.

When the Apostle Paul was on trial he told his accusers in Acts 24:16, 16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.” How amazing is that testimony? This man had more reasons than most to be offended yet he had learned how to let those who had offended him go, whether human or Divine. We would do well to find this kind of grace if we are to avoid having our own temple destroyed.

Betrayal

When you hear the word “betrayal” who do you think of? If you said, Judas, you are among the majority. We all know how Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, but the offended people these days will do it for free. The natural progression or regression of an offended person is to betray those that they are in relationships with. Over the past three decades of my Christian walk I have personally witnessed this multitudes of times and have also been privy to other church leaders who have experienced the same.

King David gave us great insight into how this affected him in Psalms 55:12-14, 12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: 13 But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. 14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.

 Very few things take as great of a heart wrenching toll on us as when we are betrayed by people that we love. When Judas betrayed Jesus the Lord said, “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” It’s one thing to have a contention and part ways, it’s quite another to keep pretending that you are in a good relationship with someone and then gut them. It’s not the overt communicator that lets me know where I stand with them that gets to me, they never have my heart so they can’t really hurt me. No, rather, it’s the faking pretender that quietly and covertly continues to partake of holy things with you all the while doing as much damage behind the scenes before making their exit, those are the ones that I have to recover from. False brethren are a perilous lot and the churches are filled with them.

If we don’t learn to quickly recover from the kiss of Judas our temples will go down in flames.

Hatred

It’s amazing to me as I expound on what Jesus warned His disciples of, that we have to deal with this inside of the church. Before I became a Christian I was among a rough lot of folks. We treated each other badly, we cheated one another, we even physically fought with one another and oddly enough, we remained friends. But in the church, if you dare to question a person’s words or deeds they will leave you and smear your name all over the community. If it sounds like the voice of experience talking it is. I’m not bitter, but I’m trying to be as graphic and insightful as I can. It’s astonishing that we who have received love, mercy, and grace from God our Father, are so reluctant to forgive AS WE have been forgiven.

The Apostle John was given insight to the fall of the great religious system called Babylon in Revelation 18:1-5, And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

Notice in verse two that Babylon had become a habitation of devils, foul spirits, and unclean and HATEFUL birds. I’m afraid that many today who have been raised up in the false Babylonian system of church are partaking of her sins. It’s time to come out of Babylon (false church) and get Babylon out of you. Hello Haters, it’s time to repent of mean spirited religion and turn with all of heart back to true Christianity and leave your mean religion before there is not one stone (person) left upon another stone. Your whole religion is falling apart and unless you repent you will perish with it.

False Prophets

Once people are full of offences, betrayal, and hatred from church problems, it creates a fertile environment for false prophets to deceive those who are already in a terrible condition. The rise of the modern false prophet among offended church folks is clearly discerned in the light of Matthew 24:11-12, “11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”  

Today’s false prophets preach a message that grossly exaggerates the love of God while totally diminishing God’s holiness. They create an environment where tolerance for sin is the norm. Today’s churches are so soft on sin that even the devil could go to heaven in their message.

Notice what Jesus says when the false prophets come iniquity abounds and the love of many waxes cold. The modern false prophets teach their disciples that God is so loving that sin does not matter. Then they boast of how loving and accepting their churches are of every kind of sin and sinner, with a not so subtle mantra of we don’t judge here. But Jesus says, “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of MANY will grow cold” (paraphrased by me).  ACCEPTANCE OF SIN IS NOT LOVE!!! On the contrary acceptance of sin will make the true love of God grow cold!!!

Consider a candle, the wick is lit and the wax begins to be soft and molten. Put the fire out and the wax immediately begins to harden. I’m telling you the false prophets of today are exploiting those offended by Bible adhering churches by condoning their offences, betrayals and even their hatred. If you think I’m that far off try this, go to your local Wal-Mart and strike up a conversation with just about any one. Then tell them about a time that you were hurt in church. It will not take long for them to say things like, “all of those people in church are hypocrites” or “all those preachers want is your money” and if you give them time they will get very specific and name names. False prophets are using this offended church culture to build their false churches and they are leading multitudes to hell. Please don’t be one of their victims or you will find yourself among the rubble as every stone is thrown down.

 

How to Repent

If you find that you have hatred in your heart toward others it’s time to back track until you get things right. Remember, hatred is the end of the regression backward it begins with offences.

If you are offended with God because you don’t like the way the world treats you, let me remind you that He gave you many warnings that the world will hate you. Blessed is he who is not offended in HIM. Confess that you don’t like the way the world treats you and that you actually love the world. Repent and turn from you worldliness and return to the Lord with all of your heart.

If you are offended with people, if possible, go to the person you are offended with. Follow the steps that are carefully spelled out in Matthew 18:15-17, and do your very best to be reconciled to that person.

If you have offended yourself, take that to the Lord and confess your failure. If the things that you are watching (eyes), or the things that you are doing (hands), or the places you are going (feet) are offending you, take responsibility for your own actions and seek God’s mercy.

If you have acted cowardly by covertly and deceitfully damaging a Christian or a church by pretending to be with them then hurting them as much as you can, you better hit your knees and beg for mercy. Judas couldn’t find pardon and I’m not sure if you can either, but I know that God is merciful. Weep your way back through the cross if perhaps God will forgive this dastardly action. The Bible always frowns on the sin of betrayal more than most others... So it’s time to weep.

If you can get the offences settled, and mercy for being a Judas, then the hatred thing will go away. The amounts of love that it will take to remedy the offences and betrayal will totally displace all hatred.

Run as fast as you can away from the false prophets of the modern day churches. Remember the words of the Apostle Peter, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, and holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” We are the “living stones” of God’s house. We are being built together in relationships with one another. Relationships have their challenges and difficulties but Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, by the love that you have for one another.

Christ has called us to an extraordinary love for one another, if you can’t love other Christians it means that you don’t love Jesus either. God is building His church out of redeemed people who have experienced the love and mercy of God at the cross and now give that same love and mercy to one another in the church.

Endurance

Jesus’ last specific words as to how things will personally affect His disciples before the destruction of the temple were this, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

Overcoming offences, betrayal, and hatred are absolutely vital if we are to avoid becoming the rubble of a fallen temple. Jesus said that not one stone will be left upon another and truly Christian relationships are being demonically attacked continually. Not only does satan desire to disrupt and throw down those relationships, God Himself wants to test who will keep loving Him in the midst of this kind of adversity. Jesus was offended, betrayed, and hated but He kept on loving all the way to the end. What about you?

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