Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Last week we talked about deliverance from a situation or circumstance. That is what salvation is — deliverance from our situation, (operating in the world’s value system which is sin) and circumstance (hell bound, without a leg to stand on).  “And you hath he quickened (made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked (acted) according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit that now worketh in the children fo disobedience.”  Eph. 2:1-2. 
We learned that In Christ, we have been delivered from tyranny, slavery, oppression, but not persecution. What?  Lots of folks will tell you from lots of pulpits that if you give your life to Christ, your life will become immediately Hunky Dorey.  This couldn’t be more false. This isn’t a great recruiting tool, but the fact of the matter is – When you give your life to Christ, it’s more like you have had a bulls-eye painted on your back, and you were dropped behind enemy lines. Does this sound radical to you?  “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”   John 15: 18-20.  Then in 16:1-2: “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”  Now it begins to make sense when the Bible tells us that our citizenship is in Heaven, and we are “ambassadors for Christ” - . 2nd Cor. 5:20. What is an ambassador, but one whose citizenship is one country, while he serves his kingdom in another.   We are foreigners, sojourners. This is not our home. Here’s some extra credit.  As much as I marvel at this place; as much as I enjoy recreating here, I have to remind myself chronically that this is a wrecked earth. It is a shadow of what it was intended to be, due to sin. It is, in fact, so inferior to what it should have been, that Satan was sent here as a punishment. Think about that for a minute.  Recap: This world and system belong to Satan. Satan hates God, and you, by virtue of the fact that God loves you. The world is at enmity with Christ, and you by extension, and yet we strive to be loved and accepted here?  If you get along swimmingly with the world, you should question your relationship with God. Sooooo,   Persecution to the Christian is much like a badge of honor. It confirms that you are “not of this world”.   “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations (various trials) ;” James 1:2.    God bless.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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