16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; 18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. 20 For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. Matthew 10:16-20 (NASB)
If we listen to the common message from the vast majority of “Christian” leaders these days we will not receive one of eternal focus, power, or value. Instead, if we believe the message, we know that God desires for all of His people to have it their way, to have their best life now, to live any way they choose all the while seeing that the point of Christianity is to be blessed here and now….
If we suffer then we must have sin in our lives that we have not confessed. Is the point of Christianity the believer’s health, wealth and prosperity? Is the focus of our faith primarily on this life now?
I have a New Testament I found in the bottom of a box of books I was preparing to sell. When I saw it, I rescued it. It is white with gold page edges. The color isn’t really white anymore. It is more of a dirty tan color. On the front cover my name is embossed in gold letters. It says “Michael Ratliff.” On the flyleaf a person with very good handwriting wrote this: