"Am I Therefore Become Your Enemy..."
After rebuking the Galatian Christians for some things they were doing (Ga. 4:9-11), Paul asked the question: "Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth" (Ga. 4:16). The Galatian brethren needed to be told about their error so correction could be made. Their wrong doing led to Paul standing in doubt of them (4:20). Sometimes we are viewed as enemies because we preach the truth. The truth does not always fall on honest and sincere hearts. A reading of Matthew 13:1-9 substantiates that point.
The Truth Is Still Needed
Some may wonder if it matters whether or not the truth continues to be preached. Certainly it does! Jesus said the truth makes one free (Jn. 8:32). It is vital that the truth continue to be spread if people are going to be freed from enslavement to sin. The preacher today cannot be pleasing to God without preaching the word (2 Tm. 4:2). To preach the word is to preach the truth of God. The word of God was identified by Jesus as the truth (Jn. 17:17). Without the preaching of truth as revealed in the Bible, people are going to be lost. This ought to provoke one to get busy doing the Lord's work as souls are at stake!
There Are Different Reactions To Truth
Everyone does not respond in the same way to truth. Sometimes people get very angry at the preaching of the truth. Such a reaction is not new to our time as the same was preasnt in Bible days. There were those who were angry at Christ's teaching and tried to kill him (Jn. 7:1, 10:39). In Acts 7, Stephen was busy teaching those of his day. Because of the reaction of the Jews to his teaching, he was stoned to death (Ac. 7:59,60). One shouldn't be angry when their sin is pointed out. Rather they ought to rejoice that they have opportunity to repent of that error and be pleasing to God.
There are times when individuals may be saddened at the truth. The Bible gives us an example of this in Matthew 19:16-22. God did not promise being a Christian would be easy. In fact, there are sacrifices that are going to have to be made and they may be difficult to make. However, as Christians, we must present ourselves as a living sacrifice unto God (Ro. 12:1,2).
To some, the preaching of Christ is foolish. Notice what Paul penned: "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18). How sad that God's redemptive plan is considered by many as foolishness.
There are those who are made happy at the hearing of truth. In Acts 17 it is recorded in reference to the people of Berea, to whom Paul preached: "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word will all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (v. 11). These individuals had a mind that was ready to accept the truth and as a result they searched the scriptures to see if what they heard was so. Inspiration referred to this characteristic as being noble.
Upon hearing the truth preached, the Jews in Acts 2 were pricked in their heart (v. 37). Such a conviction led them to make inquiry as to what needed to be done. Peter answered their question (v. 38) to which about 3,000 obeyed (v. 41). The truth may not always be easy to accept but necessary nonetheless if we expect to make Heaven our eternal home!
What Is Your Attitude Toward Truth?
As you consider your own attitude toward the truth, what do you find? Do you get angry at the truth? Are you saddened at the teaching of the truth? Do you view the teaching of Christ as foolishness? Does the truth make you happy and cause you to rejoice?
Here is the truth on becoming a Christian: 1. One must hear the truth (Ro. 10:17) 2. Believe it (Jn. 8:24) 3. Repent of all sins (Lk. 13:3) 4. Confess their faith in Christ (Mt. 10:32,33) 5. Be baptized for the remission of sins (Ac. 2:38). Have you obeyed? Are you faithful?
- Donnie Oliver