Having been once again chastised for not being warm and fuzzy when presenting God’s Word, I feel the need to speak on behalf of the writers of His Instruction Book and those whom God has chosen to teach it. The Scriptures as well as church history reveal that these men were treated terribly by those to whom they were sent, proving that the Truth often hurts. The Apostle Paul, the Lord’s foremost Truth dispenser, was known for shooting from the hip spiritually speaking. This invariably brought him into conflict with uber-religious people within the church who criticized him for being straight forward and having no regard for the egos, self-esteem and pride of others. Evidence of negative reactions to his ministry is brought out in a question he asked the churches in Galatia: “Am I your enemy because I tell you the truth” (4:16)? One passage in his letter to the churches in the area of Asia Minor now known as Turkey explains why he was receiving negative responses from some people in those churches. In chapter 1 verses 6-9 he had the temerity to tell them that their minds were being perverted by false prophets who were teaching them a perverted gospel. In other words, he was calling them spiritual perverts. No one appreciates being called a pervert, especially a religious pervert. Today that type of statement is considered heresy. In today’s world, Moral Equivalence has replaced God’s commanded spiritual segregation of His people from counterfeit Christians. He voices this command in 2 Corinthians 6:17 where He commands His people to distance themselves from those in the church system who refuse to obey His Word. The same message is being spoken by the same God to his true saints today through His obedient messengers. Now, as then, only a few are embracing His Words (Mat. 7:13,14).
This website, the YouTube site and periodic newspaper articles are all dedicated to exposing the perverted gospel being preached and taught in the Institutional Church by Satan’s false prophets. Knowing that it does no good to reveal the wrong without revealing the right, I do so by giving the Scripture references, often printing or reading them aloud. Needless to say, few take to heart what I put forth. This prompts me to ask Paul’s Galatians 4:16 question: Am I your enemy because I reveal God’s Word to you? The answer–yes–is the same to any and all whom the Lord has called upon to speak and write His Truth. So why do we do it?
The answer is summed up in a simple statement made by Paul to people in the church at Corinth. In his first letter to them (15:1,2) he reminds them that he had preached God’s gospel to them and that they had accepted it and “stood” on it. Then in verse two he makes a profound statement that forms the foundation upon which God’s messengers stand. Here he refers to the gospel “by which also you ARE SAVED ….” It is at this point that church people stop reading. For this reason God’s messengers are forced to remind them to read the rest of the statement “… IF you remember what I preached to you, UNLESS (OTHERWISE) YOU HAVE BELIEVED IN VAIN.” Note it: Church people are (will be) saved, IF THEY CONTINUE TO BELIEVE AND OBEY GOD’S WORD. Otherwise, they will have BELIEVED HIS WORD IN VAIN. This is forcefully brought out by Christ’s statement to false Christians who will gather before Him on the Day of Judgment (Mat. 15:9).
Note another important fact. Paul uses the word “are” instead of “were” in the statement– “by which you ARE (being) saved” and would be saved IF they endured in obedience to God’s Word until the end, a fact which Jesus made clear in Matthew 10:22. The Word “are” in the Corinthian context is spoken in the present perfect tense, meaning that whatever is being referred to (in this case salvation) is ongoing, not completed. Note it: People in the church ARE NOT SAVED IN THIS LIFE, BUT RATHER ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BEING SAVED. WE WILL BE SAVED ONLY IF WE OBEY GOD’S WORD UNTIL THE END OF LIFE OR THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST. See Hope and Salvation.
Paul’s statement is rejected by church people who have been told that they are already saved, born again and heaven bound–none of which is Scripturally true. Now you know why Paul asked the Galatians 4:16 question. He had made himself the church’s enemy BECAUSE HE TOLD THEM WHAT THEY DID NOT WANT TO HEAR. It is for this reason that he wrote to Timothy the evangelist: “All Scripture is … profitable for doctrine, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for instruction in RIGHTEOUSNESS.” He wrote this because “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving (church people) and being deceived (by Satan)” (2 Tim. 3:13-16). This statement perfectly describes the whole of Catholicism/Protestantism. L.J.