From Paul’s letter to the Philippians we read,
- “For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ.” (Philippians 3:18 – NASB)
Each letter that Paul writes has in its content some kind of warning for us to watch out for “enemies,” for those who oppose the true faith that Christians embrace. The same goes for Peter, and John, the author of Hebrews, of James and Jude. These writers were adamant in their refutation of false teaching coming from those who “are enemies of the cross of Christ.”
The dangers of spiritual warfare! “Enemies” at every turn, for take note, there are “many” of them. Satan and his horde of demons, along with willing laborers of evil, all of them seeking to undermine the church and its work. The apostle Paul speaks to the identity of these “enemies” and their plight,
- “whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:19 – NASB)
Note them, these “enemies!” Their “god is their appetite.” There are so many charlatans speaking on behalf of Christianity today in our media saturated world. Their “appetite” is oh so often one that can only be satisfied by the filling of their pockets and the partaking of worldly pleasures.
Their “glory is their shame.” They seek “glory,” a “glory” that places them at the head of the crowd, in the best seats in the auditorium, a “glory” of recognition. They are steeped in self and self-gratification . . . to their “shame.”
They most notably are of this world! They “set their minds on earthly things,” on prestige, on money, on possessions. They are as Jesus said, “of this world.” You can readily identify them by their accumulation of “earthly things,” by their love and attention given to “earthly things.”
Brethren, we may be told to pray for our “enemies” but we are by no means to sit quietly by as they seek to wreck havoc on the church. The church is Christ’s body, His bride, and as it is special to Him so it is to be to us also. And we are not to be idle observers when the “enemies of the cross” rear their ugly heads.
Take heed that through those who Christ has commissioned to preach and teach His Word, the intent is that we be a people who are most capable of identifying and dealing with the “enemies of the cross.” For as we are set apart in the truth (Ephesians 4:11) the result is to be that,
- “. . . we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14 – NASB)
Oh yes brethren, we have “enemies!” And they are a most formidable foe to us in the church of Jesus Christ. But if we are where we are supposed to be, IN GOD’S WORD, then we should not “be children,” immature in the faith, “children” who can be easily “tossed here and there” by them, seduced by their “doctrine.” We should not be deceived by their “trickery” or be caught off-guard by their “craftiness,” a “craftiness” that is carried out in the sphere of “deceitful scheming.”
Everything hunky-dory? No way! There is a war going on and the “enemies of the cross of Christ” are very real! Know that their “end is destruction” . . . . . . but until that “end” comes, the battle rages on!
Have a good day brethren . . . and as I always do, I implore you to be in the Word, always equipping yourself to be a good soldier of Christ (II Timothy 2:2-4).
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