A Disciple Needs Thick Skin
Sometimes I think that one of the reasons Jesus chose fishermen to be in His group of disciples was because of their “thick skin.” Jesus knew that He needed people who could handle the truth – even if it brought discomfort to their flesh.
Think about it . . . Jesus said “Get behind me, Satan” to Peter! Did Peter get emotionally devastated and go into a corner and pout? No, Peter still followed Him. Why? Because Jesus had the Words of Life! (John 6:68)
How would you react if someone called you a devil?
A Disciple Must Prize Truth in Any Form
At some point during our walk with God, we each have to learn to prize His truth over our feelings. The Word says:
2 Thessalonians 2:8-12
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
This verse is an indictment against many who call themselves “believers.” Prizing truth above all else at the End of the Age is a deciding factor as to whether you “might be saved.”
A Disciple Prizes Truth to Escape the Strong Delusion
Consider this – if you find yourself cringing when someone tells you the truth of the Word, you don’t prize it. And, according to 2 Thessalonians, God Himself will send the delusion to you, and you will be “damned.” That’s not me speaking . . . that’s the Word!
But you see, a very large percentage of the modern day church wants nothing to do with the truth of the Word. Sure, they love to hear about the grace of God towards them as “sinners” – and they ABSOLUTELY ADORE the passages in the Word that declare God’s undying love for them. But when you want to talk about obedience to God’s commands and how we can show our love to HIM (1 John 5:2-3), somehow the “lights” go out.
Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
The Truth About Loving God
Here is the truth of the matter:
Our love for God is defined by our obedience. Don’t tell me that you love God but find no obligation to obey His commands. If you do, the Word says that you’re a liar. Strong words? Yes, they are, but they are true.
1 John 2:4
He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1 John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
I’m sure I’ll get a few emails/comments on this last bit, but I’ve grown used to it. It seems like people just can’t handle the truth of the Word, unless it’s pre-packaged to suit their own personal “glitches.” This group of people I have dubbed the Cult of Nice – and they are everywhere.
People who belong to the Cult of Nice will compromise truth in the name of what they call “love.” They serve a frail, gentile Jesus who likes to hold baby sheep under His arms. Remember the pictures of Jesus that you grew up with in Sunday school? The Jesus who was surrounded by little angels (that look like fat babies with wings)? Yeah . . . me too.
Hardly a picture of a victorious King . . . whose name IS the Word of God. (Revelation 19:13)
Truth Offends the Cult of “Nice”
With the Cult of Nice, it’s doesn’t really matter what you say . . . as long as it’s the truth, it’s offensive. You could take good, solid scriptural truth, wrap it up in their favorite Christmas wrapping paper, put a little bow on it, then smile and tell it to them in a “whisper” . . . and they would still think you were being mean. They want a “nice” truth, custom fit to their own desires and perspectives.
Think about this . . . if a message is molded and modified to suit everyone’s personal ideas of what “truth” is, where could the real truth reside?
Truth with Imperfect Delivery is Still Truth
Obviously, there is some perspective needed here. We shouldn’t feel that we have the right to just walk around and tear apart everything we see, especially when it comes to newborn believers or the broken. But if you’ve been “in the Way” for awhile (and many of us have), you should welcome truth in all its forms. It should be like music to your ears! Sure, it’s not always pleasant and sometimes it’s tainted with the perspectives of others. But honestly, if you’re a mature believer, you should be able to discern what God is trying to tell you, even if there is an imperfect delivery.
This Christian sensitivity is all done under the banner of showing the Love of God. For an accurate definition of “the Love of God,” read Psalm 107.
Don’t Sacrifice the Gospel on the Altar of Your Feelings
The majority of the modern-day church is sterile and ineffective because we have bought into this lie that showing the Love of God culminates in altruistic acts birthed out of emotional unction.
This is why so many of our churches are jumping on the bandwagon of the latest great cause. Don’t get me wrong . . . caring for the widows, orphans and those less fortunate is a vital part of what we are to do as believers . . . but it should never, EVER replace preaching the Good News to lost souls.
And you can’t win the “lost” without telling them the truth – just like you can’t stay “found” unless you embrace the truth.
So the next time you feel the need to tell someone something that could be interpreted as harsh or mean, check with the Holy Spirit first. Don’t beat them over the head with it just because you are in a bad mood . . . but at the same time, be faithful to God to deliver His Word. Be like Jeremiah . . . don’t be afraid of their faces! (Jeremiah 1:8)
Those who belong to the Cult of Nice are enslaved by the fear of man. Let’s fear God . . . His Words are forever.Kevin Kleint
Originally written March 01, 2013