2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Just because a Christian is sound in doctrine doesn’t make him complete before God. The Ephesian church started pedaling backwards with the love they once showed in Christ by becoming more insensitive to others, probably treating them more harshly, being void of love. Not only should we obtain sound doctrine but it has to be accompanied with love. In the Book of Ephesians, we see how they used to be before Jesus sent them this letter (warning) written by the hand of the Apostle John. In Ephesians 1:15-16 it says, 15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him.
If your brother or sister in Christ has a different understanding that does not concern core doctrine of scripture, we should not label them as heretics or false. If a Christian disagrees on any fundamentals of doctrine, either they don’t know the Bible very well or they are deceived and without their knowledge are deceiving others. In a case like that, we must show them love with correction, pointing them to the truth because most likely they haven’t come to a true saving faith in Jesus Christ. Regardless of the circumstance, we have to love them but without compromising with the truth.
2 Kings 18:22
22 Suppose you say to me: We trust in the Lord our God. Isn’t He the One whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem: You must worship at this altar in Jerusalem?
A false messenger will contradict the scriptures to deceive you that you are disobeying the Lord. Demons are the ones behind the messenger manipulating his thoughts to twist scripture for the purpose in making you fall into his trap. He claimed that Hezekiah did wrong by taking down the high places and altars but Hezekiah actually obeyed the Lord by taking it down as seen in 2 Kings 18:4-6 which states, “4 He removed the high places, shattered the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake that Moses made, for the Israelites burned incense to it up to that time. He called it Nehushtan. 5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord God of Israel; not one of the kings of Judah was like him, either before him or after him. 6 He remained faithful to Yahweh and did not turn from following Him but kept the commands the Lord had commanded Moses.”
2 Kings 18:25
25 Have I attacked this place to destroy it without the Lord’s approval? The Lord said to me, ‘Attack this land and destroy it.’”
The false messenger will claim that he was sent by God to give you a message of correction but in reality is for the sole purpose in destroying your faith.
2 Kings 18:30
30 Don’t let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord by saying: Certainly the Lord will deliver us! This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’
When the false messenger sees that you’re not budging he will proceed to destroy your shield of protection, your trust in God’s Word, the promises found in scripture. He will attack God’s sovereignty and say that God is not all that powerful.
2 Kings 19:4
4 Perhaps Yahweh your God will hear all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke him for the words that Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.’”
Prayer is an essential part in a Christian’s life to battle any type of deception asking the Lord to open up your spiritual eyes to see the snares set before you by knowing scripture very well.
While I was doing my regular reading of the day which was in 2 Kings, this is the message that was put in my heart by the Lord.
23 The sun had risen over the land when Lot reached Zoar. 24 Then out of the sky the Lord rained burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah from the Lord. 25 He demolished these cities, the entire plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and whatever grew on the ground. 26 But his wife looked back and became a pillar of salt.
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities because they rejected the Lord in their hearts and filled it with all types of lust and satisfaction of the flesh. They chose death instead of life. Lot’s wife looking back meant that she rejected God’s love and gave her love to the world instead. She left the city physically but her heart stayed in Sodom. Her heart was never the Lord’s even though God rescued her, she chose the world. Since she rejected the Lord, the Lord in turn rejected her and she met her doom along with Sodom and Gomorrah that faithful day.
Why did God turned Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt? The answer is found in:
Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men.”
Salt has two main qualities, preservation and flavor which preserves and gives good taste to any type of food when added to. As Christians, when we are right before God and the Holy Spirit dwells within us, God uses us to preserve and give flavor or meaning to the person with whom we are sharing the gospel with. God’s Word will preserve their life by convicting them of their sins and revealing that Jesus died for them on the cross and on the third day He rose from the grave. The gospel will season them with flavor (meaning) so that they may know God’s purposes for their life.
Let’s not be like Lot’s wife who rejected the Lord God almighty and was eternally lost but let’s hold on tightly to Jesus Christ who will never leave us or forsake us. Let’s choose to hold on to Life rather than be a flavorless salt which is only good for being trampled on and useless to God like the life of Lot’s wife was.
Galatians 5:1 “Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
Remembering this 4th of July of America’s Independence Day when they were set free from the Redcoats (Britain). Also, we as Christians should remember the day that Christ set us free of sin so that we can have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ who gives us eternal life. As this special day draws to a close, let’s thank the Lord for giving us an Independence day from sin into righteousness in Christ Jesus.