Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Be ye a Hatfield, or be ye a McCoy? Until he was arrested by Herod, the ministry of John the Baptist overlapped that of Jesus - John 3:22-23, and Acts 19:1-7. This should not have been a problem, but it was. That’s what happens when you let people in Church. The fuss was not between the principals, but rather their followers. It started out about the purpose or intent of baptism, but like today, became personal. The disciples of John argued: “Hey; you (John) have been doing this for some time, and have a large following. But now, this Johnny come lately (Jesus) shows up and everybody is following Him” - paraphrased from John 3:26.
Let’s turn the Spiritual Switch. Do you ever hear this today? Do you ever say it? Do you espouse one denomination over the other? Often this takes place even within a particular denomination. Do you present it as a personal preference? Are you sarcastic, condescending or even cruel?
This was John’s response as found in vs 27. “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” Jesus told His disciples the same thing when they complained that they had found others preaching in His name who were “not of them”. He told them to leave them alone. “If they are not against us, they are for us”. In 1st Cor. 3, Paul’s followers encountered a large following of believers who followed another fellow named Apollos. They went crying to Paul wanting him to say something like: “I am right, and Apollos is wrong. We alone are on the right track. You have to belong to our group.” But that’s not what Paul said. His reply? “I planted, Apollos watered, - God giveth the increase (brings forth fruit). He that planteth is nothing, and he that watereth is nothing, but only God.” - 1st Cor. 3:6-7. I’m not talking about Cults, or folks that think they can earn their way to Heaven in this life or the next. I’m talking about anyone who knows that Salvation comes by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone.
If you believe that, you are my brother/sister. And if God placed you in a ministerial position, how dangerous it is for me to come against you. “I’ve never done anything like that” you may say, but it may be as benign as this. You go to the restaurant after service on Sunday, and sitting with your friends, you complain and critique every aspect of the service, music, or congregation. After listening to you for twenty minutes, your waitress comes over and you, in all your spiritual glory, invite her to Church. Hello!!!!
Even though Saul was trying to kill him, when David had the opportunities to kill Saul, he would not. “I will not raise my hand against God’s anointed”. How will the world know we are Christians? By our love, one for another. God Bless.