The Reformation has never ended. It is just beginning.
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Do you claim the Bible to be your authority for faith and practice? If so, what are your thoughts and actions towards people who are not like you?
Are they like the Good Samaritan that Jesus pointed to?
Let’s read this short account in Scripture, along with its brief explanation and find out!
v. 25 - And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and made trial of him (Jesus), saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
v. 26 - And he said unto him, What is written in the law? How do you read it?
v. 27 - And he answering said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
v. 28 - And he said unto him, You have answered right: this do, and you shall live.
v. 29 - But he, desiring to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?
v. 30 - Jesus answered him and said, A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
v. 31 - And by chance a certain priest was going down that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
v. 32 - And in like manner a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side.
v. 33 - But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion,
v. 34 - And came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on them oil and wine; and he set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
v. 35 - And the next day, he took out two shillings, and gave them to the host, and said, Take care of him; and whatsoever you spend more, I, when I come back again, will repay you.
v. 36 - Which of these three, do you think proved neighbor unto him that fell among the robbers?
v. 37 - And the lawyer said, He that showed mercy on him. And Jesus said unto him, Go, and you do likewise.
Well, well. What have we here!
Yet another demonstration of what Jesus thought of the religious crowd in His day; you know, those who carried the scriptures around with them; those who boasted in their righteousness and church attendance and of how they knew God and followed Him.
“A certain priest” came down the road…a sacred person, a holy person, (one who offers sacrifices and is busy with religious activities) obviously a member of the institution came by and saw the man lying there, but left him and walked along by on the opposite side.
Then a Levite came by; one of the tribe of Levi. These were assistants to the priests. They were the ones who worked in the temple, keeping the sacred utensils clean, providing the sacred loaves, and many other things.
He came by as well; saw the man lying there; and left him there, passing by on the other side.
Then appears a Samaritan. Who were the “Samaritans?” They were a corrupted race; the lowest of the low. The Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. (John 4:9)
Jesus Himself is called a Samaritan and possessed of a devil: - The Jews answered and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a demon? John 8:48
The reason for this distance and aversion was “r-e-l-i-g-i-o-n.”
The Samaritans were viewed as being corrupted and defiling, labeled as outcasts because they viewed and practiced things differently from the Jews. (Hmmm. Sound familiar?)
We have no record whatsoever of this Samaritan's knowledge of Jesus, personal relationship with God, any church membership or religious beliefs. To the Jewish religionist, he was unrighteous because he did not agree with how the Jews viewed and practiced their religion. But yet still, in spite of this, Jesus points to HIM (the Samaritan) as the example of how to obtain eternal life.
WHAT??? Was this Samaritan even "a true believer?" Something is not lining up here.
Does not this portion of Scripture speak loud and clear?
Consider this Good Samaritan. He did what no other “person of faith” did. He went over to the poor fellow on the road; picked up the wounded guy and provided all the care that was necessary until the man was well again.
No questions asked. No lectures. He didn’t ask to see any of his financial records first. He didn’t ask if he was a “working class man” or if he “had a job” of any sort before he offered any assistance.
There was no fearfulness of being involved. Just calm, brave, strong, tender, time-consuming concern and care. My….what a novel idea. A man, full of compassion and Christ-likeness; a man who had a heart for his fellow human being, and yet one who was despised and rejected in his day because he didn’t go along with and follow the “organized religious crowd!”
This “Good Samaritan” is the example that Jesus pointed to in order to move the lawyer in the right direction! Do you want to love God with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind and your neighbor as yourself? Well then forget about the priests and the Levites.
The priest and the Levite were of no help. Carrying your Bible around and having strong convictions about the minutest details in life were of no help. Attending your church services three times a week were of no help.
According to Jesus, none of these things will produce a love for God and your neighbor, let alone, a life that truly lives by Scripture. According to Jesus, all of that is just showmanship and nothing more; whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
As the saying goes, “as then….so now!” - except for this one caveat:
Many today have been lying on the side of the road and left for dead, being trodden upon by the religious crowd – the church goers, the pastors and other church officials, the self-righteous, the tithe-payers, etc., not because they “fell among robbers,” but because they have been deliberately thrown there by the institutional church machine! Why?
“Because they have not joined up with a local institutional church and become church members like the rest of us.”
“Heretics; Dogs; Blasphemers; Apostates; Evil Doers; Know-It-Alls; Isolationists,” are just some of the samplings of epithets that are hurled in your direction.
Mark it down. To truly follow Jesus’ admonition and example will cost you dearly today, just like it did back then. When you do, you will learn very fast just how little interest indeed many of your supposed Christians friends have in God’s Truth.
Christ is our only Master and He will not play second fiddle to anything or anyone in our lives. Count the cost, because it requires our life. People who remove themselves from this corrupt, unscriptural system of Christendom and its man-made institutions, out of faithfulness to Christ and His Word, will have a heavy price to pay, just as their Great Example did.
When the Lord finally opens your eyes and you realize that His Truth is more important than personal belief, and loyalty to that Truth is more important than loyalty to traditions, the commandments of men, or to the “local churches of Christendom,” watch out!
“…Be not therefore like unto them…!”
Romans 15:1 – “Now we that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”
1 Corinthians 9:22 – “To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak: I am become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.”
1 Corinthians 10:24 - “Let no man seek his own, but each his neighbor's good.”
1 Corinthians 13:2 – “And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith,…but have not love, I am nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:5 - (Love) “Does not behave itself unseemly, and seeks not its own.”
Philippians 2:4-5 – “...Not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 6:2 – “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:14 - “And we exhort you, brethren, admonish the disorderly, encourage the fainthearted, support the weak, be longsuffering toward all.”
James 2:9 - “But if you have respect of persons, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.”
1 John 2:4 - “He that says, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
1 John 3:17-18 - “But whosoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his compassion from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My Little children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth.”
Are your thoughts and actions towards people who are not “on the same page as you” like that of the Good Samaritan that Jesus pointed to?
“Go, and do thou likewise.”
May the Scripturally True and Living God raise up more and more “Good Samaritans” in these dark days in which we live.
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