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It's a sad TRUTH, but even though you have been called by the LORD and have chosen to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, and you have a burning desire to change your life to please God and share the Gospel with everyone you know and love ...

Not everyone shares your enthusiasm.

For a lot of Christians, this is true, especially concerning family.

Let us look within the Bible for truth on how we are to react.

 

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It can be very disappointing when your family isn't touched within their hearts in the same way that you are about Christianity, but I'd like to tell you, that you are in great company because did you know, Jesus also was mocked by those from His own hometown?

Matthew 13:54-58
And when He was come into
His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? is not His mother called Mary? and His brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in Him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

We see that a person of God should NOT expect to be heard or believed in their own house.

This is because they THINK they KNOW you.

Did you catch what they said about Jesus?

Is this not that guy who this and that?

They saw Him as merely ONE OF THEM.

In like manner your family remembers the OLD you.

But, you have been reborn in Christ so let not their inability to believe in your change, ever affect your calling.

We are even taught to EXPECT to be hated by many.

John 15:18-19
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

In simple terms ...

EXPECT to be hated and misunderstood ...

Even by family and "friends" ...

Something to ponder ...

IF they are your friends or family ...

They would UNDERSTAND and be elated about your choice cuz your choice will get you to Heaven.

 

Ya know ... It is not only when you want to share the Word, that those dear loved ones seem to cringe, but they just can't seem to accept that your Christianity is part of who you are, that you've made a choice, and that you don't want to be the way you used to be or do the things you used to do.

You have chosen to change your whole life.

They are confused cuz you are no longer inspired about their worldly choices that they have made and the lifestyle which they have become accustomed to which is contrary to what we have been taught to do by the LORD.

A friend of the world and follows worldly ways is an enemy of God.

James 4:4
... whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

 

1 John 2:15
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.


 You've changed your whole lifestyle and you try and do what Jesus would do in every situation, every day of your life ...

But, this seems to annoy people for some strange reason, doesn't it?

If you say anything righteous, you can almost feel them wanting to roll their eyes and whisper about you to whomever is next to them. That's because by every righteous act you perform, you are testifying that the works of the world are evil because you choose not to follow them.

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BUT ... THEY ARE FAMILY

Maybe you were raised to believe that you can have dear and loyal friends, whose souls you feel are knit with yours, but family is family, and no matter what, they will always be there for you.

What is the old saying?

Blood is thicker than water?

Cute lil cliche' but here is TRUTH ...

The BLOOD of Jesus is thicker than ALL.

 In most families, when an individual chooses to accept the calling that the Lord has offered them ... Not half heartedly, but with fervor and devotion ... The Christian family member will become the outcast. I'm not saying this to discourage you, but rather to warn you, so that you'll be prepared and your heart won't be broken if it happens to you ...

Expect it.

 The Bible makes it clear who you should trust when wanting someone to "count on" ...

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 18:24
... There is
a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

In this generation, with all the signs pointing to the End Times quickly approaching, don't forget that adversity within families will increase.

Jesus even told us:

Matthew 24:12-13
And because iniquity shall abound,
the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Luke 12:53
The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Luke 21:16
And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.


Maybe the members of your family aren't Christian. Or, maybe they claim to be Christians, but they sure don't see things eye to eye with what you deem as Christian. Maybe they think you're "too" Christian. Maybe it started out with just a little disapproval of your commitment to WHOLLY following the Lord because they fear you will discern the TRUTH of their
claim to be Christian, but cheat on their Lord by drinking up worldly ways and if they detect any disapproval from you, they may feel guilty for the lifestyle they've chosen, and that starts the ball rolling.

They want you to be a good little pup and tag along with them, practicing the same sin(s) that you've decided you no longer want in your life. Maybe they slapped you around a little bit (not physically, but with their comments and discouraging remarks) at first, but gradually they've become more and more bold about blatantly opposing your Faith, and they don't hesitate to beat you down anymore.

They verbally abuse you ... They've come up with nicknames for you that they think are clever ...

They make jokes and talk behind your back to other relatives and friends. They may even defend things that they would normally think are wrong, but since it concerns you and you're a hindrance to their living in comfort with their worldly ways, suddenly what they used to think is wrong, seems right in their eyes (y'know, the old double standard thing). 

When it comes to your family ties ... Are you blinded by your own emotions, because they're faaaaamily? Just because they're blood relatives, does that give them right to attack your Faith, and do you have to accept it because you have an emotional bond called love that keeps you from speaking up and saying how wrong they are for condemning you?

If so, you'd better scroll back up and read those four selections from the Gospels where Jesus talked about how He would divide families.

Here's another great one:

Matthew 10:32-40
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in Heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in Heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on Earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth Him that sent me.

 And another:

   Luke 14:26
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

TESTING, TESTING, 1-2-3

Remember, Jesus said He didn't come to send peace, but a sword, so if you find yourself suppressing your Faith when you're around your family to keep the peace ... What you're really doing is denying your Father before mankind.

As if you are ashamed of your Faith.

Luke 9:26
For whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the Holy Angels.

We are to CONFESS and TESTIFY of our Lord with NO fear or shame.

Luke 12:8-9
Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Just after Jesus said that anyone who put family above Him would not be worthy of Him ... He said that if you don't take up your cross and follow Him ... You're not worthy.

Matthew 10:38
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Could your cross be your test and could the test be ... That you must CHOOSE to defend your Faith against those whom you love?

James 1:12
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who LOVE Him.

 Perhaps your relationship with them will change and never be the same again, but I can assure you ...

It beats the alternative!

Speaking of tests ... Let's talk about the End Times for a moment, and how your emotions for your family can land you ...

AND your family in Hell.

That's right, I said Hell.

Let's suppose you're captured during the Great Tribulation by one of Antichrist's goons, and you have your little child hugging your knee. They tell you that you must receive the mark of the beast, or they'll kill your child. If you accept, they're going to mark you and your child, and you just agreed for both of you to go to Hell ... In the name of Love for your child.

It doesn't matter if it was a trick, and no matter what tactics are used, if you have the mark of the beast, you're going.

Revelation 14:9-11
And the third Angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the Holy Angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

BUT ... If you refuse to accept the mark, they will kill you and your child, and you will both go to Paradise to rest from the wickedness of the world until the Resurrection comes, when you both will go to Heaven. 

Yes ... Antichrist knows that this is an unfair practice.
Yes ... He's counting on peoples' weakness to steal as many souls as he can this way.
Yes ... There are a lot of Christians who will fall for this trick because they will put their family before God
because of family ties.

FAMILY TIES ...

WHO IS YOUR FAMILY?

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Jesus was told that His mother and brothers were wanting to talk with Him while He was doing God's work.

Matthew 12:47-50
Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him,
Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And He stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in Heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Jesus told them that those that do the will of God were HIS family members.

In fact ...

Jesus was missing at age 12 and Joseph and Mary sought for Him diligently and when they found Him ... He was preaching in the Temple and when they asked Him what He was doing and that they were worried about Him ... Here is His response:

Luke 2:49
And He said unto them,
How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

Soooooooo ...

Jesus is not only in harmony with the TRUTH being shared with you today ...

HE IS THE SOURCE.

Better get untying those worldly FAMILY TIES and tie your knot tighter with God, my friend.

We ALL know deep within to put GOD FIRST.

Think about how many other things you would do differently if you removed the emotion from your family ties. How many times have you given advice to other people because you can see it so spiritually and so objectively, but if you were faced with the same circumstances in your own family ... You would have trouble seeing the light of TRUTH in many matters? 

Any time you have that funny feeling that you're giving in to your family's coercion away from your Christian values and beliefs ...

REMEMBER ...

Luke 9:26
For whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the Holy Angels.

 

WORDS TO LIVE BY

Some things are a lot easier said than done. Living by what we believe, not just professing it, is one true test that we must display in our lives in order to prove ourselves. In order to do that, we have to put our emotions in check, because they can lead us into making the wrong choices. Of course your family doesn't see their foolishness, because they haven't come into the light yet, as you have, and chances are, they don't realize what they're doing, because evil has a way of hiding the TRUTH from those who are taken in by it.

Proverbs 9:6
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Does the Lord want you to be sad and lonely for your family?

Of course not.

When Jesus said those things about dividing families, does that mean that if you have a righteous Christian family, you should hate them because the Bible says so?

Heavens no.

Doesn't it make more sense that when your family, if they are ignorant of the TRUTH, do and say things that are unrighteous, you should hate it and not them? If they knew the TRUTH, if they were of understanding hearts, they wouldn't behave as they do.

WHO DO YOU BELONG TO?

Your family may thing that they own you, and that you are obligated to live by the moral values (or lack thereof) that they raised you to have. When you became a Christian, you were adopted into God's family ... Baptized ... Bought for a price ... One with Christ ... Any of these things sound familiar? You belong to God. He created you. You were never OWNED by your family, you were on loan to them, and your Lord was hoping that they would bring you up ...

Ephesians 6:4
... in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

You are HIS to do whatever He pleases with. You surrendered your life to HIM.

1 Corinthians 7:23
Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

1 Corinthians 6:19
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and
ye are not your own?

 

WHAT EXACTLY IS IT THAT THEY DON'T LIKE, ANYWAY?

We think it's a doggone shame that the members of our own family are the ones that contend with us against our devotion to Christ, but when you think of it ... it's a true test. Yep, it's hard sometimes, but there's a reason ... Nothing worthwhile comes by easily. If it was easy, what kind of test would it be?

Don't turn away from your Faith for one second because of emotional, family ties, or a false sense of obligation to those who are of your blood. Your devotion belongs to the Lord, and living by the Word that you profess ... 

Psalm 50:23
... and to him that ordereth his conversation (lifestyle) aright will I shew the Salvation of God.

Ahhhhhhh ... Everlasting life. It's the one promise that we as Christians hope for every day of our earthly lives. It's THE reason we're in the position we're in with our families and darn right it's confusing ... to THEM.

Another thing to remember when you feel like your Faith is being attacked by your family is that they're not rejecting YOU, so don't take it personally ... but they are rejecting your Savior's policy ... THAT is something to take to heart.

REMEMBER !!!

John 15:18-19
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

So what are the magic words that I have to make the boo boo go away, because it hurts that your loved ones are rejecting you?

REMEMBER ...

You have a Christian family too, not blood brothers and sisters, but spiritual brothers and sisters!

Matthew 12:47-50
Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him,
Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And He stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in Heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

If you are being persecuted by your family and being made to feel like an outcast ...

REJOICE!

Matthew 5:11-12
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in Heaven: for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you.

I encourage you not to just act like it doesn't bother you that your family seems like your enemies, but to truly not let it affect your heart and your spirit. Remember how Jesus always seemed to be at peace, no matter who was contending with Him. He knew we would face the same opposition, so keep the peace of Christ in your heart, and stand by your beliefs, because you always have family, right here. Your Christian brothers and sisters all face the same trials and tribulations that you do, but in Christian family unity, our Faith remains strong.

Here's one I want you to pay close attention to:

Mark 10:29-31
Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the Gospel's. But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

 

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

DON'T GIVE UP

It's the ultimate goal of the devil ... For you to give up.

He has no prob using those that are most dear to you to accomplish his wishes.

Because he knows how much you love them.

But don't you love God more? 

Here is an interesting Scripture ...

Luke 14:26
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Are we to hate our family members?

God forbid ... God is LOVE.
 

Jesus is referring to choosing them over Him IF they try and make you choose or if you find you have to make the choice.

We are NOT to put ANYONE above God and in so doing ...

Luke 18:29-30
And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

FAMILY BIBLE STUDY VERSES REVEAL THAT FAMILY CAN BE USED BY THE ENEMY OF OUR SOUL TO HINDER GOD WORKING THROUGH YOU.

LOVE YOUR FAMILY, BY ALL MEANS ...

BUT ... PUT GOD FIRST

 

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