Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For “He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit.11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:8-12 (NKJV)
This era of the Church is one of extreme deception due to compromise with the standards and focus of the world. Separation between the Church and the world is not being kept. Instead, the holy barrier between the two has been breached as false prophets have welcomed in not only the world and its ways into their churches. Not only that, but they have also embraced the mysticism of the Eastern religions….
Syncretism is the new byword. On the other hand, God is good. He keeps His promises. The Lord told Peter that He is the one building His Church and no evil will ever be able to destroy it. (Matthew 16:18) If this is true, and it is because our Lord spoke it, then how do we reconcile the rapid apostasy of so much of the visible Church with what He said? God always keeps a remnant during times of rampant apostasy. These Christians are the small group whom God has reserved who have not bowed the knee to Baal. These are also the ones in whom God is developing Christlikeness and through the fires of persecution by those in the visible Church who have succumbed to the heresies and ungodliness going on in it, He is teaching them how to stand firm and never compromise with evil. In this they learn the difference between debate and dialogue and know that the former actually clarifies the truth and why they hold to it while the latter is only a conversation which has the intent of compromising the truth. Therefore, as Christians, we must determine to debate those outside the Church, but never dialogue with them. Part of this strong stand against evil by the remnant is to remain humble as Peter stated in the passage I placed at the top of this post. As we minster and walk through each day, we will be tested. We will be put in positions in which our faith will be tested. In this, we are being trained to respond to these things the way Jesus would. He was firm. He never compromised. He was very abrupt and rigid with apostates, but with sinners who came to Him in repentance, He was gentle yet firm. We are to turn away from evil and do good as we seek peace and pursue it. However, our enemy will make sure that the pressure to compromise will come to bear in our lives. We must be salt and light in this world, but not be part of it.
Reposted from February 2018.