- 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)
- 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:18-26)
- Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
- But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16-17)
When tempted to reveal a secret out of pride,
Then instead in the Word of God abide.
When holding the confidence of others in honor,
Then never let faithlessness be in your corner.
When God tells you to refrain,
Then telling your secret is insane.
When secrets can cause strife,
Then have regard for your life.
When the Holy Spirit wants you to be tactful,
Then with your words be thoughtful.
When hidden things can cause sin,
Then except for the Lord hold them all within.
When Jesus’ word in the Gospel does remind,
Then let not your good deeds anyone find.
When you know you shouldn’t gossip bad,
Then don’t be a selfish lass or lad.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. (Proverbs 11:13)
People say that they have nothing to hide but yet they may have things on them which may endanger their good standing before their spouse, relatives and even the society they live in. Let me make it real to you; a politician is considered the best leader of the state for many years. But all of a sudden a secret which only his former aide knows comes out. The politician was once a drug addict in his teenage years and had to be rehabilitated but eventually overcame it all. However the politician’s former worker out of a evil heart bent on making money would tell about the drug addiction part but not mention that how the politician overcame his habit. Now there could be huge controversy in the media and political world, leading to the politician losing the confidence of his people and eventually having to resign and retire as well. However this could be averted by either of the two ways:
- The politician should have not trusted his former aide with his secret.
- The aide should have kept quiet.
I’d like to focus now on the part of keeping quiet. Imagine if you will, things didn’t work out well for the aide and instead he got sued for over a million and even landed in jail for not keeping privacy. Things like these too happen.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. (Proverbs 11:13)
An employee giving out secrets of a banking corporation in terms of their hidden plan to enter the equities market, can result in big time losses to that corporation or undue advantage to its competitors. If such an employee is found out, you can only imagine the lawsuits and jail time such a person would be getting. And also, there would hardly be any other bank that would then try to ever employ such a traitor of an employee. But what if in the first place, such a corrupt employee would never be given access to the banking corporation’s expansion plans? There are certain banks which give information to only select staff members about their tactical future plan and not to everyone in their employ. Then obviously there would very less a chance of information leaking to the public and competitors.
Imagine if an army general while being drunk at a party tells of the location of the nuclear warhead codes to anyone who gives him a drink. And then person who gave him the drink turns out to be a spy of an evil nation. Then there could be loss of life to the nation or innocents in other world regions, thanks to one incompetent general. No matter how much the general pleads, the army judge won’t give him a chance at normal life. And obviously, the army will do everything in its power to punish the general. Retirement benefits are out of the question of such secret revealing general.
This is the point, I’d like to make; keep quiet on your secrets when you have to keep quiet on them.
Let me make it real to you. Remember the incident in the Bible about Samson and Delilah (Refer the entire chapter of Judges Chapter 16) and you’d understand how the great warrior Samson who been given tremendous strength by the Lord God to defend Israel lost it all. And how did he lose it? The woman Delilah (as traitorous like Judas) tricked Samson by means of much fake love and concern into giving out the secret of his power. And the consequences were very nasty for Samson. Let’s read the following:
15 And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17 And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.”
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21 And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.
Now if you read the entire chapter of Judges 16, you’d know that Samson already lost his internal discipline due to getting into illegal affairs with women of perverse nature, Delilah being one of them. What makes Delilah more vicious is that she faked her love for him at the bidding of the Philistines only to wait for the opportunity to find out the secret of Samson’s strength. You will need internal discipline to ensure that you ward off any repeated attempts by vile people to away your secrets. Yes, be ready for repeated attempts if you have to.
There might be some people who might say why don’t you see how the Lord God still blessed Samson when he repented and due to that Samson took down with him at his death even more than those whom he had killed during his life? I’d say to them, I do not overlook the mercy of God in such a case. For the Lord God is even merciful to the very end. And by the Lord did Samson destroy the enemies of God’s people even at the last hour of his life. But here’s what I have to say; do not put your Lord your God to test by citing the example of Samson in giving away secrets that should never be given at all. Remember dear reader, that Samson’s eyes were gouged out. Eyes! A pin prick can cause much pain to most people, how much more the horrendous removing of eyes.
Now the Bible does not speak of Delilah’s repentance. See and make note, there are some people who never repent for the damage they cause by misusing secrets. Don’t think that Delilah went to heaven, unless the Bible clearly says so. There are people so hardened of heart that they just do not care if they made wrong use of your secret or of anyone else.
If Samson were given the option to turn back time after all that happened to him (unfortunately who even gets this option) I think he would first off never be friends with the wrong women and never have given off his God given secret of strength to anyone! Don’t want to hide this but there are many in this world who wish they could only turn back time to prevent themselves giving out their secrets which may have caused them great shame, vast disrepute and even major financial losses. They won’t be able to turn back time by themselves. But at least if they then decide to be wiser and call upon the name of the Lord God they would stand a chance to live in faith and honor.
Now that you know this, please avoid giving out your secrets when you do not have to. Some secrets in fact must never be given out (to be covered in a later post). And trust in the Lord God and do not put him to the test.
Christ be with you!
A secret is like money, it can be used wisely or misused wickedly. There are secrets which (ironically) should not be kept as secrets while there are secrets which can and must be kept secret. The people of God need to know how to discern between both such types of secrets. This will be covered in detail in series of ‘Keeping Secrets’ posts which I’m writing up. However for now I share a few good reasons for keeping secrets. This basically comes from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6. So here we go:
1) Keep secret your good deeds of charity so that you don’t seek pride nor fame in your acts which causes you to lose your reward from the Lord God.
“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-4)
2) Keep secret your prayer life in a such a way that you pray like how the Lord God wants you to pray without being a self seeking hypocrite but rather exalt the name of God alone. This will ensure your reward from the Lord God.
5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread;
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
13 And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:5-14)
3) Keep secret your fasting so that you don’t get undue praise by people and so miss out on your reward from your Heavenly Father the Lord God.
16 “And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The three reasons above are good enough to consider keeping secrets that are meant not to be paraded before people so that you indulge in self glory and so lose your reward from your Father in heaven who is none but the Lord God. I hope this make you realize the importance of keeping secrets. Keep yourself open to the will and counsel of the Lord God manifest in the Bible so that you learn to keep secrets wisely.
Christ be with you!
- “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” ― Dante Alighieri, Inferno
- “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? (Luke 6:46)
- 14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. 15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:14-22)
- 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (Revelation 3:14-22)
- Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
- What was Jesus’ message to the church in Laodicea in Revelation? (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- Can You Really Raise a Child with an Unbiased Worldview? (lovingmylot.com)
- The Peril of a Soft Heart (reason4thehope.wordpress.com)
- An Agenda to Deceive (lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com)
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:43-45)
Every person can identified as to what they really stand for by observing their words and actions too. Inward thoughts of a person eventually show up in the way they behave sooner or later. A person who fakes his love for classical music can try to hide his intentions. But when someone asks him about Mozart or Beethoven being the latest new entrants to rap music, he might not know what to do. He might actually say yes he even heard a few of the rap concerts. That’s exactly when he can be told that these men were of the past centuries and actually had more to do with classical music than anything else. A person genuinely interested in classical music will not need to be told much. He will by himself research classical music, try to sing or play the notes on his musical instruments etc.
My point is; genuine actions follow the genuine intentions of the heart and false actions follow the false intentions of the heart. The Lord God is the greatest expert in knowing who is right and who is almost right and who is entirely wrong. He has established wisdom and counsel from of old and knows how to render to each one as per their works.
5 The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them. (Proverbs 12:5-6)
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. (Proverbs 12:22)
The Holy Scriptures should be our standard by which we examine ourselves first and even others later on. Anyone willing to be humble enough to read, pray and accept the Word of God, should not find its standards too difficult to follow. We simply observe our actions and thoughts and correct them if wrong. And we continue with them if they are acceptable to the Lord. While for others and their thoughts and actions, we can be on guard from being influenced by them or correct them.
Your good works don’t earn you into Heaven, but your bad works CAN disqualify you, if not repented of. From Scripture we know that grace comes to those who repent, and God’s love comes to those who are surrendered to Him (the cross). Teaching people that Grace can come by other means than repentance is irresponsible, and it’s a dangerous doctrine to tell others that God’s love is not dependant on surrendering to Him. (quote by Robert Brownell)
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10)
The Evil One doesn’t always go on hating Christians. He loves lukewarm Christians, in his own twisted way!
14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
One of the strongest features of Lukewarm Christians (also called Sunday Christians) is that they are pompous about their prosperity. Obviously the richness of life they revel is all about the flesh, the external and not the internal which is the spirit. Because in the spirit they are anything thing but good. They do not realize their spiritual condition which is grim and unholy. Blindness is the keyword to describe their lives. They hear the word of God but do not act on it. I’m not saying they reject it outright but rather they don’t put the teachings of the Gospel to practice.
Why would Satan love them who are Lukewarm Christians?
Because these are the ones who act in a manner that contradicts the Christian faith. They may hear of miracles by God yet will feel no joy. If someone gets healed, someone who was suffering for decades and lost a lot of money on treatment, all they can do is hear of it and feel nothing. They won’t give praise to God nor will they try to decipher if the miracle is true or not.
Adding further, Satan loves such people because they are deceived into thinking they will to heaven even if they remain in sin. It’s one thing to be forgiven of sin but its a another thing to keep going back to sin. These people say that they love Jesus Christ but the be silent when the time comes to stand witness for Christ and so end up lying about their love. They just don’t want to repent. They may love flirting, excessive drinking and money laundering and even be aware that these are wrong. But if the call for repentance comes they will keep postponing it to another day. This sets a wrong precedent for their children and colleagues who witness their behavior almost daily.
These see the poor and suffering of the world and yet do not feel pity nor pray for them. Donating to charity is a far-fetched concept to them. Even unbelievers will speak out for those suffering due to war, disease and famine. But all that the Lukewarm Christian is concerned is about doing their jobs, partying and going to sleep and waking up the next day to go back their jobs, party and go back to sleep. A self-centered life is what they live.
Since they don’t live by the teachings of the Gospel, they won’t speak about it. They will encounter people who need to hear the Gospel but they will not bother. Instead all they want is blessings but never want to bless others. No wonder Satan loves them so much, that he has a special place selected for them in the afterlife to repay them with all due interest.
What does Jesus not like about Lukewarm Christians?
This all because of their works. They are neither hot not cold. They choose be neutral to the things of God. With so many saints, martyrs and witnesses who chose to do the will of God in face of great danger and with so many recorded accounts of them, the Lukewarm Christians have no excuse at all. They can never say they don’t have role models to follow.
Does Jesus hate Lukewarm Christians?
Jesus doesn’t hate them because he actually said “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3: 19). And he said this when speaking about Lukewarm Christians. All he wants is that they understand their true condition in spirit and then hear his voice and come back to him in all genuineness. So the context is very clear.
What should a Lukewarm Christian to do get out of this mess?
Anyone who is in the trap of being a Lukewarm Christian (or Laodicean) must be zealous and repent. It’s that simple. Become zealous for Jesus Christ. Show it in your words and actions. Repent because repentance is not optional in the Gospel. It’s by many standards the starting point of your faith in Jesus.
Will a simple prayer be enough in this context?
No as salvation is not ‘say a prayer and get your ticket to heaven’ but rather it’s that you continue to believe in Jesus Christ to your last hour and your last breath. If you feel led by the Holy Spirit then one can pray about it, no doubt. However, one must always live a holy life unto God. Prayer and holy living must always go hand in hand.