Of Sheep and Goats

JEdwardsBy Angela Wittman

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14).

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6)

Dear Friends,

Last year I bought the book "Day By Day with Jonathan Edwards (Selected Readings for Daily Reflection)" which is compiled and edited by Randall J. Pederson and published by Hendrickson Publishers. I was in need of a daily devotional and I wanted something spiritually substantial to read each morning, as a light breakfast of fluffy evangelicalism just isn’t enough to keep me going throughout the day. I also purchased a copy of the 1599 Geneva Bible published by Tolle Lege Press in 2006 for my evening devotions. I have found that the Word of God, the thoughts of the early Reformers and a hot cup of cocoa before a roaring fire is the most perfect way to end my day. If you are looking for a daily devotional that will strengthen your faith and solidify your thoughts of God, I recommend both of these resources.

But beware, that as you feed on the Word of God, your outlook on life will change…Instead of believing everything you hear in the Christian media, you’ll begin comparing what the Christian personalities are saying with the Word of God, and then the next thing you know, you’ll be calling into their programs, and if you point out the inconsistencies between what the program host or guest is saying, you may be ridiculed on the air or abruptly disconnected.

Now, dear friends, as your appetite for the Word of God grows, you’ll soon find yourself delighting in His Commandments. You may even become so encouraged at the righteousness and justice expressed in Scripture that you will begin telling others about it. After all, if one finds a treasure, one may want to share the wealth with his friends and family… And if you are truly generous and kind, you’ll even tell your neighbors and complete strangers about it. But beware as many will not join you in your happiness. Instead they may become hateful, bitter and slanderous because your righteousness and love for the truth outshines their wicked hearts and testifies against their dark deeds.

Let’s not be surprised or caught off guard by the wicked. In the book "Day by Day with Jonathan Edwards" is a selection titled “The Little Flock” in which Mr. Edwards is speaking of two different types of sinners:

“The greater parts of the world are sinners. Christ’s flock is, and ever has been but a little flock. And the sinners of the world are of two sorts: those who are visibly of Satan’s kingdom, who are without the pale of the visible church; and those who do not profess the true religion, nor attend the external ordinances of it. Beside these there are the sinners in Zion. Both are the objects of the displeasure and wrath of God. But his wrath is more especially manifested in Scripture against the latter. Sinners in Zion will have by far the lowest place in hell. They are exalted nearest to heaven in this world, and they will be lowest in hell in another. The same is meant by hypocrites. Sinners in Zion are all hypocrites. For they make a profession of the true religion. They attend God’s ordinances, and make a show of being the worshippers of God. But all is hypocrisy.”

Just what are some of the more subtle signs of hypocrisy among those calling themselves Christian in the church? I think one of the most overlooked examples of hypocrisy is those who deceptively advocate the killing of unwanted children via abortion by supporting legislation and legislators with “exceptions.” These exceptions for the killing of preborn babies are usually an allowance for killing the child if he or she is conceived in a rape, and/or during incest, and/or if there is a perceived threat to the mother’s health or some sort of abnormality is suspected.

I am sure you have often heard these hypocrites ridicule those who take God’s commandment “Thou shalt not kill” as obviously meaning that all life is to be protected, including those babies conceived in less than ideal circumstances such as those described in the previous paragraph. The hypocrites often call those of us seeking to be obedient to God as “Purists” or “Legalists” or “Pharisees.”

If we dare to point out the hypocrite’s lack of consistency in obeying any of the Ten Commandments, they will not acknowledge that the Law of God is still binding upon men and nations today. Their favorite expression to throw at sincere Christians who advocate and admonish others to live by and govern society with God’s Law is “You want a theocracy!”

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines theocracy as:

“Government of a state by the immediate direction of God; or the state thus governed…”

I am a child of God and I do want to be ruled by God’s Law as it is just and right. I want my family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers to live peacefully and in safety. I want to go to sleep at night knowing that our nation is safe and secure. I want God’s blessing upon America. I am truly saddened that babies are being killed while still in their mother’s womb. I believe their blood is crying out to God, and I tremble with fear while praying for His mercy and justice on their behalf.

If you are a hypocrite, you should be terrified of God as you are in danger of spending an eternity in hell. Your heart should pound with the thought of the lowest part being reserved for you. I beg you to immediately run to the Cross of Jesus Christ, and cling to it with all your might while confessing and repenting of your sins. Receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is your only hope.

For those who are sincere Christians, be blessed as we are assured of our eternal security in Christ. Let us, the Church of Jesus Christ, march forward in all truth and righteousness without fear, as we reflect upon Psalm 102, verses 25 – 28, which tells us a wonderful truth about our God:

“Thou hast aforetime laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thine hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: even they all shall wax old as doth a garment: as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall stand fast in thy sight.” (1599 Geneva Bible)

Be encouraged little flock, as the footnote in the1599 Geneva Bible for verse 28 of Psalm 102 says:

“Seeing thou hast chosen thy Church out of the world, and joined it to thee, it cannot but continue forever: for thou art everlasting.”

Amen.

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