Greetings Brothers and Sisters in Christ.  It is my sincere prayer that your faith, which is of more value than life, is growing in hope and grounded in truth.  I am writing to you to encourage you to withstand the temptation to be dragged away in the flood of manufactured joy that is based on worldly philosophies and religion.  As you can clearly see the world is growing more and more opposed to all that is Godly and righteous.  Even the most optimistic and “peace”-loving Christians cannot deny that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is still being persecuted by the world, and the concept of political correctness.  This should come as no surprise to anyone who has the spiritual enlightenment that is given in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Scripture speaks of man’s increasing godlessness, and outright denial of God’s righteousness.  Jesus Christ Himself says in John 15:18-19, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.   If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you”.  Also in Matthew 10:22 Jesus says, “You will be hated by everyone because of Me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved”.  It is a fact that it has never been easy for anyone who has been given the honor and privilege of being a servant of God in this world. Jesus Christ, who is the standard and author of our faith, was rejected and crucified because He spoke against those who failed to acknowledge God’s Sovereign rule and purpose for all mankind. That being said, how is it that many “Christians” manage to avoid the same persecution and trouble that everyone from Moses to Jesus Christ endured because of their faith in God. 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”  In 1 Peter 4:12 it says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you”.  Again in Luke 6:22, the gospel says “Blessed are you, when men hate you, and when they separate you from their company, and reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake”.  It is painfully obvious that being cast aside and mistreated is an unavoidable part of the Christian walk.  Not only is that so, but we should embrace the suffering, for it is a sure confirmation that you are truly walking by faith.

My next question is going to challenge the faith of many, but it is important that our faith be challenged, pruned and nurtured in truth. Question: How is it that “Christians” can participate in the same holidays, rituals, celebrations, and traditions as those who hate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? I realize that this is not a comfortable topic, and that, for many, the “holidays” and traditions are the foundation of their faith.  I pray that we listen to this message with ears that are inclined to wisdom and eyes that see the truth that is made visible through the grace that is given to those with humbled hearts. The truth is that obeying God’s commands will lead us into situations that bring about strife, persecution, and alienation, but God is faithful and is at His best when we suffer because of our faithfulness to Him. The world is, and always has been hostile territory for those who love God, and the way by which we express our love to God is by obedience to His Word (see 1 John 5:3). Obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ does not make us conform to the world and its’ ways, on the contrary; obedience to God’s Word is what separates us from the world, and all that reject God’s Word. It is actually ironic that those who claim Christianity and those who blatantly reject Jesus Christ can come together and sing “Kum Ba Yah” my Lord –  meaning “come by here Lord”, because He is indeed going to come see them, but it isn’t going to be a peaceful occasion. Think about it, Jesus Christ was not able to get men to come together as one in peaceful fellowship, but somehow man has managed to do so, at least for a few special days designated on a calendar.  If indeed this theory is true, why wouldn’t man just make everyday a holiday or celebration; that way we’d always be at peace with one another and live happily ever after. Oh yeah, I forgot that Satan is the Ruler of the world and the god of flesh.  His mission is to steal, kill and destroy, so it wouldn’t benefit his cause if all of God’s creation were one.  He lets us feel good about ourselves on designated days, creating a false sense of Godliness that alienates us from the one true God in Heaven. Crafty fellow that devil, but God has given us His wisdom, power and freedom to escape Satan’s schemes, so we are without excuse.

We must stop being fans of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. We must stop being weekend Christian warriors and become true worshipers.  We must stop being adulterous, and unfaithful to God, who gave His only begotten Son so that we could serve and love Him through the Gospel.  So the next time you sing Kum- Ba-Yah, ask yourself; are you living in a way that you want God to come and judge?

I humbly pray that this God inspired message lands on fertile hearts and souls.

Now that you know God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you are turning back to those weak and worthless principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! Galatians 4:10-11

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. Matthew 16:25

Your Brother in chains to the Gospel of Christ Jesus,
Minister Rodney