Can Christians focus on Jesus now? Please?

The Apprentice has been fired from his job as President. The Democrats, considered by many Republicans to be Godless, have been given the job. So, can Christians focus on Jesus now as our leader? Please?!

Can Christians focus on Jesus now? Please?

Can
Christians focus
on Jesus
now?
Please?

Many times over the last few years I’ve pointed out that as Christians, some things need to be remembered.

Our leader should be Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Eph 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

Eph 1:11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

All Christians, together, under one head, Christ.

Can Christians focus on Jesus now? We really should, you know.

We are part of the Kingdom of God.

A Tree and Its Fruit

Mt 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Mt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

Yes, we are part of the Kingdom of God. However – we don’t enter the Kingdom of God just because we think we deserve to be there. No, we become citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven because the King, Jesus, died for us. And, lest we forget, gave us some commands about things to do and ways to live. Our citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven then is not up to us, but is up to Jesus.

Can Christians focus on Jesus now? We really should, you know.

In this political and fallen world, but not of it.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

Jn 17:6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

Jn 17:13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”

There’s really nothing to underline, to point out. The entire passage is completely relevant and pretty much summarizes my point.

Can Christians focus on Jesus now? We really should, you know.

What does all this have to do with a new president?

You may still be wondering, why bring this up just because we have a new President. Let’s look at the beginning of Mark’s Gospel to see why.

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

3:1-12 pp — Mk 1:3-8; Lk 3:2-17

Mt 3:1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the desert,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’ ”

Mt 3:4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Mt 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

Mt 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Notice especially the first part. A reference to Isaiah. And a reference to God’s messenger, John the Baptist.

The reference to Isaiah reminds us of Jesus as both the suffering servant and the triumphant King. Of Jesus sacrifice for our salvation in His first coming. And then, of Jesus as judge in His second coming.

And so, once again, I have to ask: Can Christians focus on Jesus now? We really should, you know.

Isaiah passage takes us to Malachi

Interestingly, while Mark does reference Isaiah explicitly, that passage also leads us to Malachi, since Malachi takes us back to the same thought of God’s messenger. Let’s see that.

The Day of Judgment

Mal 2:17 You have wearied the LORD with your words.
“How have we wearied him?” you ask.
By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

Mal 3:1 “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.

Mal 3:2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.

Mal 3:5 “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.

Ah yes, the day of judgment. And while the day of judgment is when Jesus returns, let’s also remember one very relevant fact. Even if we aren’t alive when Jesus returns, there will still be a day of judgment for us. We don’t avoid it by dying before His return. Our judgment will take place.

Also remember, whether we participate in the celebratory judgment for citizens of Heaven, for the true followers of Christ – or the so-called White Throne Judgment for unbelievers – that’s not up to us. It’s entirely up to Jesus, based on the choices we made, how we lived our life. Not on what we claim to be, but on what we really are.

And so, if I may repeat it yet again: Can Christians focus on Jesus now? We really should, you know.

I’m sure, some of you are still asking, what’s this got to do with anything? Well, here’s why all of this matters.

Conclusion – Can Christians focus on Jesus now? Please?

Did you happen to pay attention to Malachi 3:5? Let me put it here one more time.

Mal 3:5 “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.

Please, pay very close attention to what’s in there. And to what’s not in there.

The judgment Malachi warns us of has to do with how we treat people.

Poor people, including our objection of their due wages. Regardless of their color, race, sex, Etc. No exceptions are in there.

People who are oppressed, like widows and fatherless children. BTW – it doesn’t say anything about color, race, sex, Etc. either. Once again, no exceptions.

Aliens who are deprived of justice. And there’s nothing saying it’s OK to break up families, isolate children, and put people in cages.

I also feel a need to include something on abortion, which is not included in here. I know – many people just love to focus on abortion and nothing else. Or to make comparisons with abortion and something else. Please don’t. Jesus told us clearly that murder and calling someone a fool are both justification for eternity in Hell.

You may also feel like abortion wasn’t an issue in Biblical times. I tend to disagree. Look at these verses from Exodus.

Personal Injuries

Ex 21:22 “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

Here’s an excerpt from an article on JSTOR about this passage:

exodus - abortion

[1]ISSER, STANLEY. “Two Traditions: The Law of Exodus 21:22-23 Revisited.” The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 1, 1990, pp. 30–45. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43718023. Accessed 20 … Continue reading

People did know how to commit abortion at that time.

Also note that Jesus did not include murder.

Not that these things don’t matter. But it does point out that God most certainly does care about how we treat each other.

Also remember that Jesus said:

Mt 12:7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.’

So can we please, please, focus on Jesus? What Jesus said. The things Jesus taught us.

And no matter whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat, both of whom at least claim to believe in God, when they do something in line with what Jesus taught us, acknowledge it? By all means, give credit to God. There’s something of God in all of us. We need to build on that, rather than tear each other down.

We can never bring someone to truly know God if we beat them over the head.

After four years of some Christians beating people over the head with their view of Christianity, isn’t it time to get back to what C.S. Lewis called Mere Christianity? Just like so many assume Democrats can’t be Christian, can we acknowledge that not all republicans are Christian? And that both need to learn more about what Jesus’ message really is?

And shouldn’t we all do that? None of us truly understands the full extent of Jesus’ message. Isn’t it time to focus on understanding His words, rather than the words of political people?

And so – one final time:

Can Christians focus on Jesus now? We really should, you know.

We all realize murder is wrong.
What we don’t seem to realize, haven’t yet learned, is that every other unkind thing we do to each other is just as wrong!

Murder
5:25, 26 pp — Lk 12:58, 59

Mt 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”


Image by Milada Vigerova from Pixabay


Footnotes

1ISSER, STANLEY. “Two Traditions: The Law of Exodus 21:22-23 Revisited.” The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 1, 1990, pp. 30–45. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43718023. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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