November 17, 2018

“Will you persevere in resisting evil…? (Proper 33B)

This is the fifth question we were asked in our baptism. We are asked if “whenever you fall into sin” - not if we fall into sin; we will “repent and return to the Lord”. The Readings include the example of Hannah persevering in resisting the insults of her rival; Paul calling us to persevere in our faith in Jesus and Jesus warning to watch out for false messiahs coming in the End Time. Welcome to life in the End Time. We are at the end of the churches year. Next Sunday we celebrate the Reign of Christ, the last Sunday in year B before we begin year C.

1. Have any false messiahs appeared?

Lucille asked this question when we were reflecting on the Readings. At first I thought it was a strange question. I mumbled some examples of messiah-like figures, like Hitler, who had deceived people as Jesus warned. Then I had a nudge.:
  • This was actually the key question
  • This was what I had been persevering in resisting for years
  • The false messiah is not a new person but a revisionist consensus that has completely  redefined who Jesus is
  • I had described this in my blog “Liberalism and Christianity” which is a summary of Machin’s “Christianity and Liberalism” published in 1923 and 2009
  • Revised Jesus was not divine, had a human father, did not have supernatural power to heal people
  • He could not die for the sins of the world because he was human and not divine
  • Revised Jesus did not need to die for the sins of the world because God loves us unconditionally
  • Revised Jesus loves us and was a great teacher and role model so he saves us by teaching us to be good
  • This is probably the majority view - and the majority has failed to persist in resisting evil and is toast

2. Christians have the “Light of Christ” to guide them
The “Light of Christ” is a short form or code for all the teachings, actions and healings of Jesus in the Bible.
  • The Hebrews Reading (10.11-25) teaches us that God added to the Covenant of Moses with the real Jesus as a divine and human sacrifice that created a new way for believers to repent, confess and receive pardon for specific sins.
  • Holy Spirit is the continuing “light of Christ in the world

3. Holy Spirit guides us and strengthens us in resisting evil
As those who have been on Cursillo know there are “Obstacles” that make it harder to persevere in overcoming our darkness:
  • Our delusions, self-deception, fear of ridicule
  • Our sloth – most people have not actually read or studied the Bible themselves – essence of Protestantism - and fatal flaw
  • “False teachers” (Mark 13.5, 22) – including bishops
  • Human weakness – pride, envy, jealousy, fear
  • Spiritual temptations, lying spirits, bondages

4. The Good News is that we know how to overcome evil:
  • Focus, humble ourselves and ask Holy Spirit to show us the cause of the darkness
  • Listen to the Holy Spirit and specifically name and repent the sin behind the darkness
  • Ask Jesus to take this sin-guilt to His Cross and pardon us
  • Really accept our forgiveness from Jesus and give thanks!

  • Others need to see the joy and purpose in our lives and be drawn into the loving fellowship of our church.
  • This is how we can all persevere in resisting evil and witnessing to the Light of Christ in a dark world.

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