Experiences and emotions can cloud our vision and dull our hearing of what the Lord is speaking by His Spirit, so it is good to consider ourselves so that we can get to know the will of Jesus better and repent of misconceptions and false things spoken in His Name.
The articles I wrote recently about adultery contained some stark ideas about our heart towards Jesus. Last night and this morning, I have been thinking about the ideas in Matthew Chapter 12 and I want to weigh these ideas against what was written in those articles.
In Matthew Chapter 12, we read that Jesus was rebuked by the religious authorities because He allowed His disciples to eat corn on the sabbath day and Jesus also performed healing miracles on the sabbath day. Jesus said that mercy is better than sacrifice and it is better to do good on the sabbath than to do evil.
They also accused Jesus of casting out devils by the prince of devils. Here is Jesus’s response:
25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
32And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
At first, I was thinking about the ideas in bold. Then, I looked to Matthew 12 for context and here are my thoughts. Take it for what it is worth or not worth.
Jesus says that all manner of sin and blasphemy against the Son of man (Jesus) shall be forgiven. Speaking against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven.
I’m wrestling with this idea. I know that the forgiveness of Jesus is amazing and He is truly a God of mercy. He will forgive us of our wrong doings against Him and the things we speak about Him falsely.
This is a good thing to consider for those who want to accuse their fellow servants as being false Christians because they carry a misconception about Jesus and about God. Some Christian sects and some individuals are way too harsh in their judgments. I have been there to, so I understand, but I also know that the Lord will open our eyes to this lest it be said of us that we were found “drunken and smiting our fellow servants.”
We all “see God as through a glass darkly.” He can reveal Himself to whomever He chooses, but the more we see the more culpable we become and therefore the more mercy we should be willing to give because our own transgressions could be weighed more heavily. Moses, when He struck the rock twice, is a good example of this.
I want to weigh all things with mercy as much as possible, looking to the blood of Jesus for forgiveness and justification in the sight of God.
However, we do serve a Kingdom in which righteousness dwells. We can show patience with our fellow servants who misunderstand Jesus, but when it come to the truth of what righteous living looks like and the heart towards Jesus that we should pursue, we cannot make room for spirits of devils and for Satan. They have to go, and it is by the Holy Spirit—the spirit of truth—that all manner of lies and the father of them are cast out.
If we love lies how can we love the truth, and if we do not love the truth how can we be made free, and if we are not made free whose servant are we?
If we say that evil is good and good is evil, how will we judge rightly, and if we cannot judge rightly, how do we do what is pleasing to our Lord? How do we serve Him in His Kingdom now and in the Kingdom to come?
Holiness should be pursued and should not be evil spoken of—and holiness requires us to show a great deal of patience and mercy with our fellow servants—especially in areas where we are all ignorant until Jesus reveals Himself to the world more fully and establishes His reign (after the false christ’s attempt).
Holiness also requires us to lead our brethren away from sin, but not in a manner that is overly harsh or condemning.
I trust that all who are truly my brothers and sisters in Christ, “those who do the will of my Father in heaven are my brothers and sisters,” will not be severed from Jesus. He will not “divorce” them but He will forgive them—because any who sincerely love Jesus will eventually come to the knowledge of the truth by the Holy Spirit, repent, and find renewed strength to do better and better until the day when Jesus returns and all is made right and new. This is a promise of God for His elect and He will do it.
However, I also trust that many will “lose what they seemed to have.” Many are “tares” and not “wheat.” Many are cast out for “not having on a wedding garment.” The door is shut on the “foolish virgins.” Many will be “removed out of their place.”
I was such as these at one point, and it was by the faithful preaching of a fellow servant that I was able to “come out of her” and seek Jesus more earnestly. I still aim to do so and Lord willing we all grow in that direction, knowing that there is always more to gain. We can always be more faithful to Jesus.
A good heart towards Jesus does not look for ways around doing as He would have us to do, but rather, looks for areas of sin that need to be repented of and weak areas that need to be strengthened—with faith—knowing that “He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it.”
So, we preach the truth—by the Holy Spirit of Truth—in attempts to toss out all things that do not fit in the Kingdom of God according to the measure of understanding we are given.
Thanks to Jesus that He loves mercy and we are forgiven of our misconceptions about Him and His love covers all sin. Many of our false teachings are forgiven also and He will gather us to Him and teach us afresh if we seek Him, even now if it is His will for us.
Yet, a heart that rejects holiness and truth but embraces sin and lies cannot find Jesus and grow in Him, and such a heart towards Jesus and His sacrifice is wicked.
How can we say that we have faith if our hearts towards Him are evil? Our fruits will be evil also and our trees cast into the lake of fire. Jesus said so Himself. “Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.”
We make mistakes. We strive against sin. We are confused sometimes about Christian doctrine. Jesus forgives and His blood covers us. Let no accuser stand against you. Let no slandering spirit stand either that tells us “you shall not surly die” if your heart is not in the right place towards our Lord and Savior.
If you are having trouble understanding the difference, pray about it and also think about your own relationships. You yourself are more gracious and merciful towards someone who wants to do right but cannot than someone who does evil without any regard for what is right.
Even when we regard what is right, we can be blind and think we are right when we are not. So, in humility, we remain “poor in spirit” as we seek Jesus to heal our blind spots, show us the right way, and give us strength to walk therein. In humility, we also do not accuse and condemn others who are striving in the same manner.
I hope this makes my stance clear. It helped me to consider if my hatred for fornication and adultery clouded my judgment. I do not think it does, but I do think it makes the mercy of Jesus all the more precious and the calling of His Kingdom—beginning with a pure and faithful heart towards God made strong by the Holy Ghost of God—all the more worth pursuing.