Enemies of Christ

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Often, people experience anxiety when they think about the future; however, it does not have to be that way. For those who know God, thoughts of the future bring eagerness and comfort. For example, describing a woman who knows and trusts God, Proverbs 31:25 says, “She smiles at the future.” 

Two key thoughts to keep in mind about the future are, first, God is sovereign and in control over everything. He knows the future and absolutely controls what will happen. The Bible says, “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’ . . . Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it” (Isaiah 46:9–11, emphasis added).

The second thing to remember about the future is that the Bible outlines what will occur in “the end times” or “latter days.” Because the Bible is God’s revelation to humankind, and because God knows and controls the future (as Isaiah says above), then it stands to reason that when the Bible speaks about what will occur in the future, we can believe it. Concerning predictions about the future, the Bible says, “No prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21). This truth is evident in the fact that, unlike the false prophecies made in other religions or by individuals such as Nostradamus, the Bible has never once been wrong – every time the Bible has predicted a future event, it happened exactly as Scripture said it would. 

In his epistle to the Philippians, the apostle Paul warned:

“For many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ” (Phil. 3:18).

The term “enemy” translates the Greek word echthros. It is a form kindred to echthos, “hate,” hence denotes one whose disposition is hateful, hostile, or in opposition to another.

In the context of Philippians 3, it referred to certain Judaizers who were contending that salvation is obtained upon the basis of submitting to the law of Moses (cf. Acts 15:1). If that is the case, of course, then the Lord’s death upon the cross was in vain (cf. Gal. 2:20). Those who taught this doctrine were, therefore, clearly in opposition to the cross.

Nothing more terrible can be said of a person than to suggest that he is an enemy of the Son of God.

Actually, there are two categories of people who may be denominated as enemies of Jesus Christ. The first has to do with those who consciously oppose the Saviour and His redemptive system. The other is represented by those who may be regarded as unconscious enemies of the Lord. Let us briefly consider each of these groups.

Conscious Enemies of Christ

There are those who, with eyes wide open and jaw set, are confessed Christ-haters. Satan certainly falls into such a classification. In the parable of the tares, Jesus told of a malevolent being who sowed tares amongst the wheat in a certain field. Later, in explaining the story, the Lord said:

“The enemy that sowed them [the tares] is the devil” (Mat. 13:39; cf. Lk. 10:19).

With unyielding resolution, Satan is a dedicated enemy of our Lord. For a more detailed study of his diabolical efforts, see Chapter 10 in my work, The Book of Job.

Others have been equally hostile in their opposition to the Saviour. Madalyn O’Hair was once interviewed by a national news service. In an article that subsequently appeared under the title, “Atheist Speaks Out,” the viciously profane Mrs. O’Hair said: “I’d like to close down every G— d—- church in the country.” Subtle, isn’t she?

British philosopher Bertrand Russell authored an essay entitled, “Why I Am Not A Christian,” in which his opposition to Christ was made abundantly clear. James Johnson, editor of The Atheist, published in San Diego, CA, distributed an article under the title, “The Insanity of Jesus Christ,” wherein he affirmed that the Lord was a sadistic paranoiac.

Certain sensualists, who have made lust their god, have also declared their enmity for Christ. Modern advocates of homosexuality, live-in sexual relationships, “open” marriages, etc., have made no secret of their hatred for the Son of God and His lofty system of ethics.

Unconscious Enemies of Christ

There are others who must also be categorized as enemies of Jesus Christ, even though such a concept may be quite foreign to their thinking. Such folks may even speak favorably of the Lord, commending His exemplary life and benevolent influence. They have simply decided that they have no personal obligation to submit to His authority.

Or, in many cases, people have ostensibly identified with Him, while merely attaching His name to a religious system of their own design.

Who are some of these enemies?

Enemies who deny the authority of Christ

First, the Bible classifies as an enemy any person who refuses to yield to the Lordship of Christ. Speaking of our pre-Christian status, Paul declared that as “enemies” we were reconciled to God (Rom. 5:10; cf. Col. 1:21).

In Luke 19:12ff, Jesus told a parable concerning a nobleman who went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then to return. The nobleman represented the Lord Himself, the far country was heaven, the kingdom to be received was the church, and the return denoted Christ’s second coming.

His absence, certain servants were charged with the responsibility of executing the Master’s will — some of whom were faithful and others were not. Another group, however, who “hated” the nobleman, sent him a message, defiantly exclaiming:

“We will not that this man reign over us.”

Clearly, this feature of the parable depicts all those who refuse to acknowledge the authority of Christ, hence, do not obey Him. The Lord thus describes the situation:

“But these mine enemies, that would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me” (19:27).

To repudiate the reign of Christ is to spurn His kingdom. It is equal to refusing membership in His spiritual body, the church. Thus, biblically speaking, all who are outside of the body of Christ are viewed as enemies of the Savior, regardless of how sincere or “religious” they otherwise may be.

In fact, is it not the case that people will sometimes point to a good, moral person and observe: “Look at John Doe. He is not a Christian and yet he is a wonderfully nice gentleman. He is honest; he assists the needy, etc. If he can be so noble without being a part of the church, so can I.”

Hence, the rationalization is made that Christianity is really unessential. Such “moralists” are detractors; they are unwitting enemies of the cross.

Those who promote division

Even those who profess to be followers of Christ, and yet, who by attitude and action promote divisions contrary to the doctrine (cf. Rom. 16:17), stand in opposition to the Son of God.

Jesus fervently prayed for unity among those who would be His disciples, the design of which was that “the world may believe that you [the Father] did send me” (Jn. 17:21).

Sectarians who promote denominational organizations unknown to the New Testament are acting contrary to the interests of the Redeemer. And so are those within the church of Christ who peddle their own brand of divisiveness.

Modernists who deny the Scriptures

All are enemies of Christ who seek to emasculate the Bible of its supernatural elements.

For example, some would relegate the Genesis account of man’s origin to the realm of mythology in an obvious attempt to accommodate the Mosaic record to the evolutionary scheme.

Jesus charged that any such subversive procedure was, in reality, an attack upon Him. Listen to His words:

“If you believed Moses, ye would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?” (Jn. 5:46,47).

William Barclay’s commentaries are full of this type of infidels approach. In discussing the miracle of the coin in the fish’s mouth (cf. Mt. 17:24-27), Barclay suggests that all the narrative means is that the Lord wanted the apostle to get back to his fishing business so that he would have the means by which to pay his debts! Hence, he declares that Peter found a stater in the fish’s mouth in the same sense that a typist will find a new coat in the keys of her typewriter, and the auto mechanic will find food for his family in the cylinder of a car! (Barclay 1975, 189-190). Such modernistic rubbish is unworthy of a serious response.

Those who depart from the faith

Those who are apostates from the faith have become enemies of the Lord Jesus.

This is quite clear from the inspired statement of Hebrews 6:6. Concerning those who “fell away,” the writer affirms that they “crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

Consider, for instance, the case of Demas. This brother is thrice mentioned in the New Testament and the testimony is one of spiritual degeneration. He is initially named in Philemon 24, where, along with Mark, Aristarchus, and Luke (good company), he is styled as one of Paul’s “fellow workers.”

Next, he is mentioned with Luke in Colossians 4:14. And whereas Luke is complimented with the title “beloved physician,” it is just plain “Demas.” The silence is eloquent. That no epithet is attached to his name may be a shadow of that weakness which comes fully into view in 2 Timothy 4:10 where Paul writes: “Demas forsook me, having loved this present world.”

The comment of James is certainly appropriate to this case.

“Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God” (Jas. 4:3, 4).

Demas was a friend who became an enemy. And sadly, his spiritual kinsmen in today’s world are legion.

The Lukewarm Christian

There are numerous pathetic souls who, though they have not severed formal fellowship ties with a local church, nonetheless are so spiritually apathetic as to be practical enemies of the Lord.

We do not speak, of course, of those who are sincerely trying to please Christ, though struggling with personal problems (as indeed we all do to some degree or another). Rather, our attention is directed toward the listless, hypocritical child of God who mainly clings to an identification with the church as a sort of security blanket (against the fear of going to hell), but whose heart is really in the world.

This type of person attends church services randomly, he makes no effort to win the lost, his contribution would not pay for the communion bread, he constantly dabbles in questionable (if not downright wicked) activities, etc.

These people generally feel that what they do is nobody’s business. After all, they claim, they are not hurting anyone. But Christ assesses the situation differently.

Listen to his description of certain ones of the Laodicean church.

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15, 16).

Conclusion

The choice is ours. We can be a friend of Jesus Christ, or we can be the enemy. May we have the courage to identify with the former.

Related Articles
Works Cited
  • Barclay, William. 1975. The Gospel of Matthew. Vol. 2, Westminster: Philadelphia, PA.
Scripture References

Philippians 3:18; Philippians 3; Acts 15:1; Galatians 2:20; Matthew 13:39; Luke 10:19; Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:21; Luke 19:12; Romans 16:17; John 17:21; John 5:46, 47; Matthew 17:24-27; Hebrews 6:6; Philemon 24; Colossians 4:14; 1 Timothy 4:10; James 4:3, 4; Revelation 3:15, 16

The erosion of peace and increase of turmoil that precedes the Rapture will reach epic proportions when untold numbers of people disappear from the earth. Such an event will cause panic and demands for a strong leader who will have answers to all the world’s problems. Preparation for this leader has been in progress for some time, as historian Arnold Toynbee has noted, “By forcing on mankind more and more lethal weapons, and at the same time making the world more and more interdependent economically, technology has brought mankind to such a degree of distress that we are ripe for the deifying of any new Caesar who might succeed in giving the world unity and peace.” Out of a revived Roman Empire, one that is organized in a European ten-constituency fashion (cf. Daniel 7:24Revelation 13:1), the Antichrist will arise and sign a covenant with the nation of Israel, which will officially begin God’s prophetic seven-year countdown to Christ’s second coming (cf. Daniel 9:27). 

For three and a half years, the Antichrist will reign over the earth and promise peace, but it is a false peace which will entrap the people of the earth. The Bible says, “While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Wars, earthquakes, and famines will escalate (cf. Matthew 24:7) until the end of the Antichrist’s 3.5-year reign when he will enter a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and proclaim himself to be God and demand worship (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Matthew 24:15). It is at that point that the true God responds to the challenge. For another 3.5 years, a Great Tribulation will occur, such as has never before been seen. Jesus predicted, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” (Matthew 24:21–22).

Untold loss of life and destruction of the earth will occur during the Great Tribulation. Also, large numbers will come to faith in Christ, yet many will do so at the cost of their lives. God will still be in control as He gathers the unbelieving armies of the world in order to judge them. Of this event, the prophet Joel wrote, “I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people” (Joel 3:2). John records the battle this way: “And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan] and out of the mouth of the beast [the Antichrist] and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. . . . And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon” (Revelation 16:13–16). 

At this point, the Messiah Jesus will return, destroy His enemies, and claim the world, which is rightfully His. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’ Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in mid-heaven, ‘Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.’ And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him, the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Revelation 19:11–21). 

After Christ has defeated all the armies gathered in the valley of Armageddon, He will reign with His saints for one thousand years and fully restore Israel to her land. At the end of a thousand years, a final judgment of the nations and all remaining mankind will occur, which is then followed by an eternal state: either spent with God or separated from Him (cf. Revelation 20-21). 

The above events are not speculations or possibilities – they are what will take place in the future. Just as all the Bible’s prophecies of Christ’s first coming came true, so will all the Bible’s prophecies of His second coming. 

Given the truth of these prophecies, what impact should they have on us now? Peter asks this question: “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! ” (2 Peter 3:11–12). 

The Effect of Bible Prophecy on Us Today
There are four responses we should have to Bible prophecy. The first is obedience, which is what Peter speaks of in the verses above. Jesus continually tells us to be ready for His coming, which could happen at any time (cf. Mark 13:33-37) and to live in such a way that we are not ashamed of our behavior. 

The second response is worship. God has provided a way to escape His end-time judgments—His free gift of salvation offered through Jesus. We must be sure we receive His salvation and live in gratitude before Him. Our worship on earth will one day become worship in heaven: “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation’” (Revelation 5:9).

The third response is proclamation. The message of God’s salvation and the truth of His second coming need to be proclaimed for all to hear, especially to those who don’t yet believe. We must give everyone the chance to turn to God and be saved from His coming wrath. Revelation 22:10 says, “And he said to me, ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.’”

The last response to God’s prophetic Word is service. All believers should be diligent about carrying out God’s will and performing good works. Part of Christ’s judgments will be of the works performed by believers. They do not determine a Christian’s acceptance into heaven, but they do show what each believer did with the gifts given him or her by God. Paul says of this judgment, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). 

In summation, God is sovereign over all events and people of the world. He is firmly in control of everything and will bring a perfect end to everything He has started. An old Christian song puts it like this: “All is God’s creation … Fashioned by One hand … Satan and Salvation … Under One command.”

Fulfilled prophecy is proof that the Bible is a supernatural book. Hundreds of Old Testament prophecies have already been fulfilled, and it is reasonable to conclude that what it says about the end times will be fulfilled as well. For those who know Jesus and have trusted Him as their Lord and Savior, His coming will be their blessed hope (cf. Titus 2:13). But for those who have rejected Christ, He will be their holy terror (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:8). The bottom line is this: to survive the end times, make sure you are a believer in Christ: “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

Contributors Contributor

StevieRay Hansen
Editor, HNewsWire.com

MY MISSION IS NOT TO CONVINCE YOU, ONLY TO INFORM…

Jesus come quick, there is nothing left in society that’s sacred….

“Have I, therefore, become your enemy by telling you the truth?”

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18 Comments

  1. […] Enemies of Christ […]

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  4. Edwitness on April 25, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Thanks for that Stevieray.
    We all need to be ready for His soon return. By trusting in Him and living like we do. All things will happen just as He told us they would in His word. Praise God for His wonderous love.
    Blessings:-}

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