Disclaimer: I am not advocating that we kill anyone for attempting to persuade us to leave our faith. The Old Covenant has been fulfilled and these statues that Moses commanded the Israelites do not apply today. But the principle does remain.
How can we live the Christian life if we are weighed down with struggles and cares of the world? If I was in an actual foot race, would I not desire to run with as little resistance as possible and to embrace every thing that would make me faster. Of course. So it is to be with our faith! If we are going to run, why not try to win!
Deuteronomy 13:5-11 “You shall purge the evil from your midst. If your brother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known, some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him. But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people…because he sought to draw you away from the LORD your God…And all Israel shall hear and fear and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.”
When I read this passage I was struck by two things:
- The attitude that we are to have towards even our loved ones in relation to God.
- How serious God is about people loving and worshiping Him alone.
Firstly, Jesus mirrored the Father’s concept from Deuteronomy in Luke 14 when he said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” It is incomprehensible today to think about killing our children or our wife if they broke from the Christian faith and attempted to persuade us to do the same. The radical nature in which God expected His people to behold Him is lost in our society today. Without going into the reasoning behind why we are not to kill our family members if they committed the same offense today, we must observe the principle in which God so adamantly spoke from. Ultimately, every human being belongs to God. My daughters and my wife are under my stewardship, but they belong to God. He has the right to do with them as He wishes. They are each personally responsible for either their acceptance or denial of Him. I am responsible for my facilitation of their knowledge which would enable them to make that decision–along with my own profession of faith. This is why we must never put anyone, much less anything, before our God. We have become desensitized to the power and wrath of the Father because Jesus satisfied that wrath 2000 years ago on the cross. But we must remember that where there is no sacrifice for sins, judgment remains, and God’s wrath is an attribute of his, that like all of the others, never changes (Hebrews 10:26-31). If he did not even spare His own Son, what do you think STILL waits for those who have refused to acknowledge the significance of God experiencing His own wrath for mistakes that that very individual made (Matthew 25:41)!
Secondly, the bottom line is, unless we have tunnel vision in regards to honoring, worshiping, and loving the Lord Jesus Christ–we are not in His will. God so jealously wants our attention that we cannot allow any room for sin. We cannot make excuses for half-measures in regards to our faith. We are to be sold out, full of faith, loving beyond our abilities–those are Christians. Abandon everything that restricts your ability to run your race as a Christian! Hunting, fishing, running, T.V., drugs, alcohol, sex, cursing, relationships, music, food, hobbies, religion, WHATEVER!
Remember what Paul said in Hebrews 12:1-5, “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
It’s time to get serious Church! Get rid of the evil and embrace the holy! Embrace Jesus and hold on for dear life or we may find ourselves disqualified!