A Christian Should Not – #3
As a Christian, I should not hate anyone. The Word of God says, “14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” 1 John 3:14-15. The Christian has passed from spiritual death to spiritual life. Why? Because of our love for the brethren. If a Christian does not love his brother, he continues to abide in spiritual death. Hating will send your soul to hell! One should notice the strong language of the Holy Spirit in verse fifteen! Hating is compared to murder. Both do not have “eternal life abiding in” them. If you find yourself hating someone, you need to repent. 2 Corinthians 7:8-10; Luke 13:3, 5.
As a Christian, I should not waste time. The Word of God says, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16. This is no casual thing, not just an incidental. The times are evil, and the wise thing to do is to walk, “redeeming the time,” buying up all opportunities, which are on the positive side. To walk with a casual care, or a negative attitude, such as, well there will be other times so “not now,” is an attitude not designed to redeem the time. In fact, the greater the evil, the greater the need for walking wisely, buying up the opportunities – now, today, not next time. Opportunities come and go, but once an opportunity is gone, it is gone. There may be other similar opportunities, but when time and opportunity have passed, those particular opportunities, then, are forever gone. Christians need to redeem the time – buy while buying is good. Time and opportunities are truly relevant; they are inseparable. How much time do we have? It is well to plan for tomorrow, the future, but it must be understood that today is the day we have. Are we ready for today? Have we been buying up opportunities for today? If not, the opportunities may pass without recognition and attention.
What does time mean to a Christian? The Bible says there is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2. Time and eternity are endless. Time has a fragile label, “it passeth away,” the Word of God says. God is outside of time. God is not subject to time. God is timeless. Time means nothing to God. This label of time, “It passeth away,” is indelibly stamped upon everything man possesses, regardless of cost; regardless of sentimental attachments; regardless of plans for the future, everything has an inside label, “it passeth away.” Why should Christians walk wisely, redeeming the time? “Because the days are evil.” This being true then Christians should buy up every opportunity possible. We should not develop a negative attitude; that is, the days are so evil there is not much I can do about it. Rather, Christians should have a positive attitude; that is, we have an opportunity to redeem the time, and incentive to “buy up” those opportunities for preaching the gospel and saving souls. In one way we could say that the eviler the times, the greater need for walking wisely, redeeming the time.
As a Christian, I should not live after the flesh. The Word of God says, “19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication [illicit sexual intercourse], uncleanness, lasciviousness [filthy words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females] , 20 Idolatry, witchcraft [sorcery], hatred, variance [strife], emulations [jealousies], wrath, strife [factions], seditions [divisions], heresies [parties], 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings [drinking parties], and such like [meaning anything like the things just stated]: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21. Those who take part in the works of the flesh will be lost! In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, The Holy Spirit told the Corinthians the same thing. The practicing of these things is tantamount to having a carnal mind-set. No person with a carnal mind-set will inherit the heavenly kingdom of God. However, a carnal mind-set can be changed by the gospel and the one with this mind-set can repent and convert himself (change his mind-set) and be forgiven.
The Bible is the Word of God, and it is clear to what one must do to be saved! Only the saved will be in heaven. Examples of those who were saved in the New Testament: Acts 2:14-42; 8:5-13; 8:30-39; 9:17-18, 22:6-16, 26:12-18; 10:34-48; 16:13-15; 16:25-34; 18:8; 19:1-7. One must hear, believe, repent, confess, and be immersed according to these examples! Jesus said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:48.
Bobby D. Gayton