OPINION (Ricky Scaparo) – The modern Church has portrayed the Jesus of the Bible as one who only brings peace, love, acceptance, and forgiveness but never a Jesus who would bring correction, separation, rebuke or judgment. As a result of this, it has created followers of him that are left quickly offended and upset when circumstances do not play out as they expected or perhaps like the one behind the pulpit has taught Jesus to be. The outcome of this could actually result in the fulfillment of the parable of the sower and the seed where Jesus described these individuals as those who received the seed on stony places, One who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.- Matthew 13.
Another great example of this is found in the book of Matthew 10:34-39, Where Jesus proclaimed the following: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 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. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
When one reads this passage at face value it appears that Jesus desires to bring division to families and homes but that’s not the case. The fact is, The true Gospel always divides and separates! It separates the Sheep from the Goat, The Wheat from the Tare, and the False from the Authentic. The Word of God is light that shines unto the darkness and exposes the hearts of men! 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. – John 3
The result of the light of the Gospel coming forth in the darkness of its environment is, it will always produce separation and division. This is why once an individual gives their heart to the Lord and begins to let their light shine among men, that they are quickly met with opposition and resistance from those around them who remain in darkness. The old friends you used to party with no longer recognize you! Your family no longer relate you, What’s happened? The light emanating from you is exposing their need of salvation and redemption. Therefore, they will be faced with a choice. To embrace the light or resist the light. This many times will play out in families, marriages, work environments or whenever the Gospel is being released. No wonder Jesus said that “A man’s enemies will be those of his own household”. The very people we used to run with will now be repulsed by our presence. Remember, If our salvation results in everyone loving us and befriending us, It is surely a false conversion and not the true Gospel! When we truly get “Born Again” we will not look like, sound like or act like our old selves! Don’t be discouraged when you begin to lose friends, family or acquaintances for the sake of the Gospel. Remember the very words of Christ,.
29“Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. – Mark 10