A missed but vital component

When a born-again believer witnesses about the truths of God’s divinely inspired Word, often challenging many religious apostate teachings, frequently one hears the following… “A born-again believer should act like Jesus, being understanding, compassionate and loving.” Absolutely true. However, there is a vital component that many ignore, and that component is thinking like Jesus. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) Simplified, true believers have Jesus in their hearts, so their thoughts are…or should be…dominated by Him. Unfortunately, not wanting to accept truth or face reality, the unsaved just want agreement or silence; certainly not bold, biblical truths. Even Jesus couldn’t offer either agreement or silence when He experienced sinful conduct and ungodly thinking and attitudes. Examples are the money changers in the Temple – Mark 11:15,16; John 2:13-16, and sanctimonious religious leaders – Mark 3:1-6.

Those who speak out for Jesus don’t speak out in anger but speak-up in truth, hoping to lead souls to Christ. A perfect example is Apostle Paul as he spoke to the Athenians, hoping to lead them to Jesus. These people were deeply involved in religious idolatry, so Paul explained what was wrong with their worship (Acts 17:22-34). He didn’t understand their beliefs, nor did he attempt to do so (Acts 17:16,17). He knew truth. He had the ‘mind’ of Jesus. So, when subjects like religions with man-made rituals and traditions, salvation through works and baptism, and everlasting judgment are addressed by comparing false religious teachings against God’s Holy Word, the believer is not being disrespectful, but following the Lord’s command to testify truthfully about His Word! If born-again believers simply remain quiet about religious falsehoods, they’re thinking of self, and not thinking like Jesus. Believers should be kind, yet firm, in relating God’s Word, and dedicated to expressing what’s in their hearts; hearts devoted to Jesus!

From the heart, believers convey Jesus’s words, and Jesus says this about salvation. “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). Unless one calls upon the name of Jesus, nothing anyone does, in or out of religion, will provide eternal life. Perhaps infuriating to many, but born-again believers must voice truth that comes from the very lips of Jesus!

When believers deny the erroneous claim that many paths lead to life eternal, Jesus agrees, saying, “Enter ye in at the strait gate;……because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” When Jesus said ‘few’, He meant few, causing those having the ‘mind’ of Jesus to be concerned for those who travel the broad path(s) leading nowhere but to eternal punishment. (Matthew 7:13-14)

When ‘good/kind’ people think they are heaven bound, Jesus disagrees. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God:…” (Romans 3:23-26). We are all sinners but God being no respecter of persons sent His Son (Jesus Christ) to be the ransom for many, so that anyone can obtain life eternal through faith in Jesus.

Under threat of angry comments, but fully aware of the everlasting horrors awaiting the unsaved, shouldn’t every believer share Jesus’s warning about hell and the lake of fire? “…if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.”. (Matthew 18:8,9) This is a subject people don’t want to address, but if there is no eternal torment, why does the Bible speak more about hell than heaven?

Not meaning to offend, but vast multitudes often endeavor to find reason and comfort in false religious theology by looking through the eyes of man (Matthew 7:15). Often, those eyes are blinded by ambition, pride, conceit, arrogance. But biblical truth cannot be gained through the twisted logic of man because man wants to listen to self, not God! For the born-again believer, the negativity one receives from witnessing must be overlooked as we spread the Gospel (death, burial and resurrection of Jesus), and freely share our personal relationship with the Lord!

Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) This needs to be done despite the vitriol that may ensue. Jesus further said,” If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world………the world hateth you .” (John 15:19)

Heart-wrenchingly, the world’s hatred for believers and genuine Christianity is accelerating. Nevertheless, we must continue acting and thinking like Jesus as we faithfully witness for Him!

Thoughts of Faith usually appears each Saturday on the Focus o Faith page. To submit a Thoughts of Faith, email jhoutman@mariettatimes.com

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