A Sermon of Hate - An Evidence of Apostasy

   ‘Why I hate Barack Obama’ is the title of a sermon that was preached on August 16, 2009, by a baptist pastor in Arizona.
    In his sermon the pastor exclaimed, “I’m not going to pray for his good. I’m going to pray he dies and goes to hell. I’d like him to die of natural causes. I don’t want him to be a martyr; we don’t need another holiday. I’d like to see him die like Ted Kennedy of brain cancer.”
    It is very difficult for me to comprehend that someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ could permit such a heinous proclamation to spew out of his mouth. It sounds more like this man is a follower of Hitler than the Lamb of God, and makes me wonder; what is the difference between this man’s heart condition and the average terrorist?
    To me this is yet another evidence of the apostasy that is rampant in the pulpits of the United States. The dictionary defines the word apostasy as an abandonment of one’s faith. The first century principles of Christianity are certainly being abandoned in churches all over the country and man’s opinions and political philosophies are held in higher esteem than the actual word of God.
    God has ordained His true pastors and teachers to prepare the people for eternity and to oversee their spiritual development into the image of Christ. Teaching others to hate another human being, no matter what is the perceived crime, was never part of God’s original mandate.
    We are told to love our enemies, and do good to them – (Matthew 5:43, 44). We are admonished to pray for our leaders (I Timothy 2:1,2). We are commanded to forgive, because if we do not forgive we cannot be forgiven (Matthew 6:14,15).
    This pastor and his followers are walking in unforgiveness because they “do not know the manner of spirit they are of.” This is the reprimand that Jesus gave His disciples when they wanted Him to command them to rain fire on those who rejected Him (Luke 9:54-56). One of those disciples was John. He apparently learned his lesson and repented of his former attitude for later he penned these words to all of us –

    “He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now (I John 2:9). He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him (I John 2:10). In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither is he that loves not his brother (I John 3:10) - For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another (I John 3:11). We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death (I John 3:14). Whoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (I John 3:15).

    The apostle James jolts us with this thought – “You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils believe, and tremble” (James 2:19).
    The apostle wants us to stop and think about what distinguishes us from a believing demon. I’ll give you some hints:
Devils cannot worship God.
Devils cannot humble themselves and repent.
Devils cannot love.

    Jesus makes a distinction between the sheep who follow Him (John 10:27) and the goats who have not served Him in love (Matthew 25:31-46). Just for a moment, can we picture Jesus' face superimposed over the black man who is our president as He says, "If you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to Me."
    In Matthew 25:41, Jesus puts the goats in the same category as the devil and his angels. It's a sobering thought.
    I will leave you with this question to ponder as you search your heart – sheep or goats - which camp are you in?

Copyright 2009 by H.D. Shively

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