1 Corinthians 15:57-58, 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, 2 Peter 2:17-22, 2 Timothy 2:19, Be Not Conformed, County Fair Christians, God Knows His Own, Hebrews 13:8, Hebrews 1:1-3, Jesus Saves!, Jesus transforms lives, John 10:30, John 1:1-5, John 1:11-13, Living For Jesus, Matthew 5:17-18, Real or Imitation, Revelation 1:8, Romans 12:1-1, Romans 14:12, Romans 8:28-31, True or False
Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 15 A County Fair Christian???
I love the county fairs in south Mississippi and try to go down at that time of year as often as I can. While we have county fairs here in Oklahoma, I love the fairs in the deep south; but one thing they all have in common is that they usually include livestock shows. A livestock show is where people (mostly young people) bring their livestock to show and compete against other’s animals. You’ll find pigs, cattle, sheep and horses among other various animals all on display seeking a blue ribbon. You will find cleaned up pigs, cows, and even household pets at the fair; but no matter how much soap, powder, spray and polish the owners use before the show, when they get back to the farm, guess what? Those animals will be back in their normal habitat, for no matter how much they are “fluffed-up” for the show, they are still pigs, sheep or cows, and they are still what they are, they didn’t change their nature just their environment.
The same can be true of some professing believers in Jesus! Peter talks about false teachers/preachers in his second letter, and his words are what I want us to consider today; as I am often wont to say, “saying so doesn’t make it so”!
“These are wells without water,
clouds that are carried with a tempest;
to whom the mist of darkness is reserved
18 For when they speak
great swelling words of vanity,
through the lusts of the flesh,
through much wantonness,
those that were clean escaped
from them who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty,
are the servants of corruption:
for of whom a man is overcome,
of the same is he brought in bondage.
20 For if after they have escaped
the pollutions of the world
through the knowledge of the Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ,
they are again entangled therein,
the latter end
is worse with them
than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them
not to have known the way
than, after they have known it,
to turn from the holy commandment
delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them
according to the true proverb,
The dog is turned
to his own vomit again;
and the sow that was washed
to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:17-22
In fact, I believe this entire second chapter is the most succinct description of false teachers in scripture. It’s why we are committed to sharing The Word of God, and helping others know truth; for while the times may change—God’s Word never does! (And without Jesus a pig/dog is still a pig/dog—county fair or not!)
and to day,
and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8
Jesus describes Himself as “the beginning and the end”, the very essence of God—ever working in His own.
who at sundry times
and in divers manners
spake in time past unto the fathers
by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days
spoken unto us
by his Son,
whom he hath appointed
heir of all things,
by whom also
he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory,
and the express image of his person,
and upholding all things
by the word of his power,
when he had by himself
purged our sins,
on the right hand
of the Majesty on high;” Hebrews 1:1-3
“I am Alpha and Omega,
and the ending,
saith the Lord,
and which was,
and which is to come,
the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8
“I and my Father are one.” John 10:30
In other words, Jesus is the final Word; He is creator, Lord, The Word—the spoken Word and the Living Word. And HE never changes—and neither does HIS Word!
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 The same was
in the beginning
3 All things were made
and without him
was not any thing made
that was made.
4 In him was life;
and the life
was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth
and the darkness
comprehended it not.” John 1:1-5
And “the Word” came to fulfill all that scripture declared about HIM—both His first coming, and HIS return; His timing is perfect in God’s plan!
“Think not that I am come to destroy
or the prophets:
I am not come to destroy,
but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you,
Till heaven and earth pass,
one jot or one tittle
shall in no wise pass from the law,
till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17-18
As we compare these things with what Peter penned in 2 Peter chapter 2, we see that God’s Word has stood the test of time and will continue to stand until “all” is fulfilled. It also tells us that God knows those who are genuinely HIS; for God changes not only the outside, as cleaning a pig for a show, but HE makes all things new in HIS own. And even when we stumble and fall, God is ever working to conform us into the image of HIS Son. (See 2 Peter 1:19-21)
“He came unto his own,
and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him,
to them gave he power
to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe
on his name:
13 Which were born,
not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man,
but of God.” John 1:11-13
“Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things
are become new.
18 And all things are of God,
who hath reconciled us to himself
by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us
the ministry of reconciliation;” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
“And we know that all things
work together for good
to them that love God,
to them who are the called
according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow,
he also did predestinate
to be conformed
to the image of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn
among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate,
them he also called:
and whom he called,
them he also justified:
and whom he justified,
them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say
to these things?
If God be for us,
who can be against us?” Romans 8::28-31
Paul told Timothy that God knows HIS own! We may not be able to know, but God can and does!
the foundation of God standeth sure,
having this seal,
The Lord knoweth them that are his.
And, Let every one
that nameth the name of Christ
depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19
Our job, as God’s children, is to yield everything in our life to our LORD and accomplish HIS purpose; to give God the glory in all our life, is an evidence that I have been changed by the blood of Jesus and transformed into God’s child.
“But thanks be to God,
which giveth us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be ye stedfast,
in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know
that your labour is not in vain
in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
Paul commands us to draw near to our Lord—presenting ourselves to Him as a “living sacrifice”—our life devoted to and focused on the Lord Jesus whose name we claim!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove
what is that good,
will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
So, are you a county fair Christian, who can wash off his “faith” when it’s unnecessary; or one who truly belongs to Jesus, and lives for HIM in all things—good, bad or mundane! The choice is yours but choose wisely—there is a test!
“So then every one of us shall give account
of himself to God.” Romans 14:12.