Is blood really thicker than water? Is your family’s blood thicker than Christ’s blood?
Early in 2018, God surprised us by leading us away from my large extended Adventist family. My wife and I had been praying earnestly for them, and I had tried to share the Gospel of Grace with them multiple times via conversation, videos I had made, and things I had written. All of my letters and messages were ignored. I had often spoken to my mother about it, but always hit a wall.
When I tried to share our hope of the impending Rapture during a visit by one of my brothers and his wife, I was mockingly silenced as my mother and my brother’s wife chanted the verse about ‘no man knows the day or the hour’ in unison. They were ready for me. It occurred to me that the reason that they had no eagerness to hear that the Lord might be returning soon was that they had no confidence that they would be saved.
Suddenly, unexpectedly God had directed us to move on, indicating through a sign that our ministry to them was complete. As I said, this change of direction surprised me, and the way forward was unclear. I prayed to the Lord that He would show us where He was leading us and what our obligation to my family was. This new path seemed in conflict with many of the principles of Christian love, and even the commandment to honor father and mother.
At the heart of this division was a revelation of the fruit of this large family whose members had spent their entire lives professing faith in God, attending church regularly; their children reared in Adventist church schools. An undercurrent of bitterness that had festered for decades had in recent years spread alarmingly as it propagated from family to family and from mothers to children. The fruit of the Spirit was glaringly absent in all other ways too and was most blatantly obvious in the way my siblings and their children avoided my mother:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, and self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23 WEB
God has given me a gift to write, and often when writing, the Holy Spirit speaks, providing Godly wisdom, blessing and direction through the scriptures. In seeking His direction, I sat down to write. What follows is what I wrote over several days and I believe it may serve to answer the questions of others who are faced with a similar path. This is what I wrote:
Where is God leading us?
Why has He taken the initiative at this time to divide us from our family? What is my obligation to my mother regarding holiness? (My father died in 2004) Does the commandment to honor father and mother become of no effect if God leads us away? (Not that we are bound under the law, but the law is our tutor, teaching us what is sin) What did the Lord counsel His disciples to expect?
“Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three.” Luke 12:51 WEB (emphasis added)
“ 1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” Also verse 12:“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 12 WEB (emphasis added)
What is the power of God if it isn’t the ability to save us eternally and irrevocably from our sins? We are not presently in the day of miracles. Those signs and wonders were performed before the Jews so that they might believe in the Messiah. Similar signs and wonders will be performed again by the Antichrist during the Tribulation to deceive all mankind. The power of God, as it is revealed today is to draw us to Christ; to save us and to sanctify us. He is the author and the finisher of our faith. When we stand before His throne, all glory and honor will be due to Him for our presence there. He paid the price of our salvation, and has adopted us as sons.
Any requirement for the sinner to produce good works to secure their salvation exalts man and denies the power of God to save. It infers that sinful men are even capable of producing good works. Though they may outwardly display an imitation of holiness, their hearts remain wicked; unchanged by the power of God.
If you want to uncover the truth about what your children think of you, look at the way their children treat you. In the privacy of their homes, your children complain openly of their contempt, disdain and disrespect. Their children grow up hearing what they truly believe. Those grand-children lack the sense of obligation to present more than a facade of affection or the artifice to convince you of their respect. Rather than laboring to keep up the deception, they avoid you.
Why is that important? Because it is the proof of their parent’s true attitudes toward you. It reveals the absence of love in their hearts in a way that their mouths never will. The neglect and disrespect demonstrated by the children of your children is often the expression of your own children’s hearts.
Contrary to their claims of Godliness, what does the Lord say about their true state?
“Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white clothing, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” Revelation 3:17-18 WEB
Where do we go from here? Where is God leading us?
“1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3 WEB
Finally, our course is laid out for us by Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have
righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or
what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an
unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we
are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM;
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.
“AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
And I will welcome you.
18 “And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor 6:14-18 WEB
What could be better than that?
To what degree should we defend the path that the Lord has directed us down?
When I informed a member of the family that God was leading us in a different direction, a short, contentious exchange followed. I will spare you the details of that exchange, but I considered carefully just how much energy I should expend arguing outside of a door that was clearly shut.
Reject False Teaching
“3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting over questions and disputes of words, out of which comes envy, strife, railings, evil suspicions, 5 Perverse wranglings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself.” 1 Timothy 6 (emphasis added)
December 27, 2018 This all began in April, when the Lord led me to correspond with my mother, announcing that He had directed us to sever our connection with the family because they refused to accept the free gift of salvation, choosing rather to cling to the Pharisaic false religion that had produced such hate-filled fruit. We have avoided any further contact and have never been happier or freer. God has brought other members of the Body into our sphere, and they have become our dearest family. The Lord continues to bless us with expanding richness in His word, and a growing relationship with Him where we feel His love and power on a daily basis. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
“If anyone comes to me, and doesn’t disregard [in some translations, forsake or hate] his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can’t be my disciple.” Luke 14:26 WEB (emphasis and brackets added)
The Lord isn’t trying to deprive us of anything, but in His lovingkindness He is calling us to remove the weights that keep us from walking joyously and freely with Him. As we lay all that we are at His feet, we become new creations. All our relationships become subject to His will, and if He wills it, our family relationships will be restored to us, but in righteousness.
God has brought other members of the Body into our sphere, and they have become our dearest family. The Lord continues to bless us with expanding richness in His word, and a growing relationship with Him where we feel His love and power on a daily basis. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
- Adapted from #91237724/Jankovoy-adobe stock.com
- #6173471/Stock photo graf-adobe stock.com
- Don’t Mess With Israel by Greg Lauer @alittlestrength.com