When Sin Forces Our Hand
Robert Wurtz II
See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:25-29 NKJV)
“Forcing someones hand” is an expression defined as “bringing about a situation which necessitates an agent to act, often causing a plan to be executed prematurely.” In the kingdom we have this promise that God is going to shake all creation. Why? So that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.
Most people have an aversion to testing. Nevertheless, God is a God of testing. Jesus Christ was tested and we are going to be tested. This life is the “testing grounds” of our faithfulness. Are we going to be faithful to God? Will we pass the test? Or will the test reveal what God already knew — our allegiances lie elsewhere than with Him.
Recently Ron Bailey wrote a statement that has real significance to our subject. We read:
“Loyalty is usually thought of as a virtue but it can be a vice. When our Bibles use the word ‘loyal’ in the OT it is usually translating the Hebrew word ‘chesed’. ‘Chesed’ is a wonderful word but it doesn’t mean slavish loyalty to one tribe or another; it is ‘Covenant love’ or ‘faithful dealing’. Sometimes to be ‘faithful’ doesn’t mean you ‘back’ someone irrespective of the issue, “my country first, right or wrong”. It means ‘speaking the truth in love’ no matter whose mouth God used to speak it. Loyalty can be just another name for bigotry.
As Paul expressed it “Test all things. Hold on to the things that are true”. That’s the difference between “loyalty” and “faithfulness”. First “test it” and then “hold on to what is true” no matter whose mouth it is coming from.”
This is a powerful exhortation and full of wisdom. It applies to all areas of our life, not just to our country. Ron states, “Loyalty is usually thought of as a virtue but it can be a vice.” Why? When we are ‘loyal’ to someone or something in such a way that we run cross with God’s revealed word — we are in sin. For example; every day people are faced with how to react to a friend or a family member that has chosen a life of sin. This could be anything from false religion, a lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, hedonism etc., to full blown sexual immorality (pornea). This can be everything from sexual relations outside of marriage, whoredom, homosexuality, beastiality, etc. As a Christian, what should we do? This is where the battle is. Are we going to honor God or are we going to honor our friend or family member? The world not only wants us to love the person (which a Christian should always do), but they want us to “sign off” on the sinful behavior or pretend that it’s not sin. It is right to love them, but the enemy wants us to love them more than we love God. He wants us to compromise our commitment to God by agreeing with their sin. We cannot do this without compromising our faithfulness to God. Moreover, if we have the mind of Christ, why would we want to?
The Example of Eli
Loyalty is when a person stands by and supports a person or thing no matter how wrong or right they are or it is. Faithfulness is when you stand for truth no matter who it affects. Eli is a good example of a person whose loyalty to family got in the way of their faithfulness to God.
God’s reaction was exemplary. He and his family were put off of the high priestly line.
Understand that these type challenges are ancient. We all have to face them. Will we be faithful to God? Will we be loyal to friends and family?
They Went Out…
This is where a lot of Christians are being “shaken” today. We must never allow the lifestyle of the people we love to alter our theology or Biblical standards. If we do, all we have proven is that we were unfaithful. As John has said, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” (1 John 2:19 NKJV) God knew it all along; but circumstances brought it out. This is very sobering.
Not Worthy of Me
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. (Matthew 10:37)
Friends and family members will force us to choose what side we are on. This is the plain implication of the text. Every minute of the day someone in the world is forced to choose between Christ and a friend or family member. Imagine being in a Muslim nation where Christianity is persecuted. Other parts of the world are equally hostile to Christianity. To become a Christian is to abandon your friends and family. We are only now experiencing this in the West. We may have to watch family and friends walk away because of the stand we take for God and His Word. Everything is going to be shaken. The question is; who will you and I be agreeing with when the shaking stops? Will we agree with God or will we agree with our friends and family? Will we be loyal to family and friends or will we be faithful to God? This is the great question… and we will all sooner or later answer it.