Fit for the Kingdom?

 And as they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.”  And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”  And He said to another, “Follow Me.”  But he said, “Permit me first to go and bury my father.”  But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”  And another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say goodbye to those at home.”  But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 9:57-62) 

Many that I have known throughout the years put their hand to the plow and planted a lot of good seed.  Their homes were in order, especially while their children were young.  The enemy is always present to destroy families that are true witnesses of the Life.  I have seen many who at one time stood against the sin within the Church.  Many meetings were called to deal with adultery, fornication and rebellion.  Many were removed from fellowship because they would not come out of these sins.  These rebellious ones were not associated with any longer.  Few ever repented and were restored to fellowship, but those that did were thankful that the Body had dealt with them.  However, the enemy is always working on those who once made a stand.

 As time passes, the small children get older and problems arise in these households.  These same men who at one time stood for the Body now will not deal with their own families.  Children of sin and rebellion are not confronted.  The wives pressure the husbands to keep silent and the demons have access to the entire family.  The head of the home has allowed the enemy to destroy his stand.  The men have said to me that they do not want to deal with their wives.  They are afraid to deal with sin in their home for fear of losing their children or their spouse.  They were able to stand against sin in other families at one time, but now that it is in their own households their views of how to handle things change.

 I have watched this happen many times in my life.  When these ones who once stood begin to allow compromise in their homes, they all seem to do the same thing.  They realize that they have discontinued fellowship with many backsliders in the past, many of whom they disfellowshipped themselves.  Satan begins to speak to them about how they have judged others, while at this time they or other members of their family are doing the same sins themselves.  These people then get the false inspiration that the loving thing to do is to contact these disfellowshipped people and apologize to them for their former stand against them.  In this world filled with psychology, this approach sounds healthy and loving; however, they are not fit for the kingdom.  At the same time they are working on restoring fellowship with backsliders, they cut themselves off from the Body because they do not want anyone confronting them about the problems in their family.

 It is almost always family members who are not dealt with that will separate us from the Life.  Seldom will we find the people who will stand against their own church family because of sin.  We will discover very quickly why the saints of old found that this life on earth is a lonely and isolated life.  When we are in a position today where all of the Christians in our area love us and accept us, then we probably have not stood for much of anything.  Where are the men today like George Fox, William Penn, Watchman Nee, T. A. Sparks, Wesley, G. Whitefield, Darby and many others.  Have we forgotten or never come to the revelation of the Cross?  Have we become “springs without water, and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved”? (2 Peter 2:17)  When we have sin growing within our own families, we must deal with it in a proper way, and if necessary we must stand against that sin.

 For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.  For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them.  It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and “A SOW, AFTER WASHING, RETURNS TO WALLOWING IN THE MIRE.” (2 Peter 2:20-22)

 A good study of church history will help many to understand what the great cloud of witnesses around us have stood for.  Get a copy of Miller’s Church History by Andrew Miller.  Rare Christian Books (573-336-7316)

 Jim Dermanoski

September 2004



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