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with Common Sense 4 Uncommon People

These Are Those ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: September 3rd, 2015   Category: belief, Deception, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love

These Are Those

Jude did a good job with a very difficult concept. “Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.” (Jude 1:22-23 MSG). We tend to treat sin and sinners alike, combining them as a bulk commodity. We throw everything into the same barrel and then we cart or ship that barrel off to the dump. That’s just wrong. It might be easier to see just how wrong it really is, if we could look back see ourselves thrown into that stinking barrel too. Somebody could have decided that we weren’t worth any effort or consideration either. Everybody trips and stumbles at some point but not everybody decides to make a profit out of that tripping and stumbling. Not everybody works tirelessly to dress up and justify that stinking barrel they call their business, life or lifestyle. Not everybody sells those stinking barrels as collectables to trade on. But some do, too many actually. Most crooks don’t look like crooks. If they did we’d throw them in the barrel and forget about them. No, they choose to look like ordinary or even very prosperous people. They choose to establish their own trendy neighborhoods where nobody will notice their sneaky behaviors. They evoke envy under false pretenses. They find narrow cracks in the rules of goodness and exploit those cracks until goodness virtually disintegrates. They get us to look up at their prosperity rather than down at their deceptions. They might even snicker at those who choose not to admire them but will quietly tolerate their shameful antics. These are those who take the wrong way and make a life out of it. These are those we should go after, for these are those who will destroy our lives and ways simply to further their own. White collar crime is still crime. Deception is still not truth. Sin dressed up, is still sin, and to those others who are in or who aspire toward high heaven, it all still stinks. Only truth wins with God.

We don’t intellectually rationalize that something is wrong, Holy Spirit tells it to those of us who are listening. Everyday this conversation happens, sometimes hundreds of times a day. We know it’s wrong even when we can’t see the sin which their immoral actions are masking. The harder life is, the harder good people work. It’s become very hard to work through these deceptions now and it’s going to get even harder. The sinners who love and live their sin every day are making it so difficult for the rest of us to ignore anymore. They don’t care how many they destroy as long as they get what they are going after. What they feel entitled to. They do this by setting up the good people who can’t see their evil ways of deception.  The good people who are victimized are those who choose trust over wisdom, tolerance over righteousness and forgiveness over persecution. These are good things when applied with God involved. We can be good and not fall into this victimized category, but we need help. This is where it all gets complicated. If we have Jesus in our lives, we are ultimately going to prevail with love alone but if we don’t, the picture is as ugly as those stinking barrels we despise. By being just love, we shall be saved but it won’t be easy. It will be hard. Sinners can be saved but sin will necessarily perish. If the sinners cannot be separated from their sins, both will perish. That is God’s simple rule. Going after those who take the wrong way offers some hope for them. Going after in this case means rescuing. Those who continuously choose the wrong way and then attempt to justify it are another story, one which only God knows the ending for. God is the best lie detector ever. Nothing gets past Him. God in us can help us to both see and avoid the traps which await us in this world of ever growing deceptions. From this much more elevated, spiritually integrated perspective we can then share the Lord’s love. Love without God is a very powerful but frivolous emotion. P.T. Barnum once said “there’s a sucker born every minute.” What he was doing was attempting to justify and profit from deception. If we want to make sure that we’re not becoming victims of such a circus of deception, enlist the aid of Holy Spirit. Get bathed in spiritual wisdom, not fire-hosed by sinful deception. It’s extraordinary to be able to effectively see and hear deceptions. It may be harder to reveal them so each person needs to arm themselves accordingly. Such an equipping will work better than just love alone for the time being.  The deception which is taking place right now, threatens the world as we know it.


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