Vol. 29, No. 6 June, 2005 NOT PEACE, BUT A SWORD

Vol. 29, No. 6  June, 2005

         NOT PEACE, BUT A SWORD

               By Pastor George Mills

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth. I came not to send peace, but a sword.”(Mt 10:34)

I cannot help but to be amazed at the preaching and teaching of the times we are in. To listen to some, you would have to come to the conclusion that the Christian life, the Ministry, the work of the Church is nothing but joy and peace, and no problems, along with health and happiness. I have not found this to be true in all the years of my ministry. I am happy doing what I am doing. I have peace in doing what I am doing. I would not trade with anybody. Today, I just want to remind us one and all that we, Christians are in a WAR. The enemy is real. Let us take the text in Matthew 10 and see what our Lord Jesus Christ warned us about.   Let us look at the subject of PEACE from God’s Word.

Peace in the Bible is mentioned in a three fold manner..

1. PEACE ON EARTH. This is IMPENDING PEACE, or, outward PEACE.

2. PEACE WITH GOD. This is

IMPUTED PEACE. This is upward PEACE.

3. There is the PEACE OF GOD This is IMPARTED PEACE. This is inward PEACE.

1. PEACE ON EARTH. This is IMPENDING PEACE, or outward peace.  Impending points to the future. There will be peace on earth when Christ sets up His Millennial kingdom. My space in this publication is limited so I must ask you to read great passages like Zechariah 14, Micah 4. “And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Micah 4:3). God has NOT forgotten His program for Israel. He will fulfill every word He said. No man, no nation, no kingdom can defer His plan for Israel. God does not need our help in working out His plan for Israel, and the nations. Now, in Matthew 10, Jesus did NOT say that the Truth proclaimed  would bring peace to the earth. The opposite is true. I am aware that in this text, Jesus sent His disciples with the Kingdom message to Israel. However, the truth of this text is for us today. Not many will believe. Look at the things the disciples faced.

(A) NOT PEACE, BUT PERSECUTION.

 

“But when they PERSECUTE you in this city, flee ye into another, for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of Man be come. The disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his Lord.   It is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord. If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of His household?” Jesus said of us in 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.”  Believe me, if you are a real Christian, the world does not like to see you coming. You will not be welcome at the morning coffee club in the neighborhood, or on the job where you work. Do not be surprised when you feel the PERSECUTION instead of the PEACE. I well remember when I got saved back in 1960. I thought that the guys that I had worked with for years would be proud to know that I had been saved. Not so. I was their joke. “Just think, old George got religion. That should last until payday.” There were years of persecution, not peace, until I gained their respect.

(B) NOT A CROWN, BUT A CROSS. “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” (v38) Christ bore His Cross to Golgotha. There He died bearing the sin of the world. There is a cross for each of His faithful followers. I do not know what your cross may be, but there is to be a death to self, to our desire, and a determination to do His will. This is why Christianity is not very popular. Too many times I have seen the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 come true. Some seed just fell by the wayside. Other seed fell on stony ground and had very little soil, and some seed fell among thorns. Jesus said, “When tribulation and persecution ariseth, because of the Word, by and by he is offended. He also that receiveth seed among the thorns is he that heareth the Word, and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the Word, and he becometh unfruitful.” (Mt 13:18-23). Did someone tell you that Christianity is easy, and that you will have no problems? No, my friend, there is a cross, death to self. So many make a profession and discover that “this will cost me something if I go any further.” Not a Crown, but a Cross.

(C) NOT HONOR, BUT HUMILITY.” Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves, be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (v16) “And ye shall be hated of all men for my Name’s sake.? He did not say that men will love us, that men would honor us (v22). I think of some of the great preachers of the past. Those who fought sin so hard. These giants had to have body guards. Now, the city fathers meet the preacher at the airport with the keys to the city. My, things have changed.  In our text our Lord  did not refer to us as royalty, like the Lion, king of beasts. He referred to us as sheep. Think of that, sheep. One of the “dumbest”  of animals. Sheep need a shepherd, a guide, a guard. Sheep cannot find food or water without the care and leadership of the shepherd. Think about that, SHEEP, A

Sacrificial Animal. Not Honor, but Humility.

(D) NOT RICHES, BUT REPROACH.  “Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses. Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves, for the workman is worthy of his meat.” ” And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house, shake the dust off your feet.” (v9-14). I marvel at the “health and wealth” preachers of today. People fill their coffers with money as they come to town with promises. TV preachers who have been kicked off the air are back with more promises. And people keep sending them money.   Becoming a Christian is not like winning the lottery. Suddenly, you have more Riches than you every realized.

(E) NOT UNITY, BUT DIVISION.   “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.” (v34-36). Jesus said in Luke 12:52, “From henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.” Don’t be surprised if you are the only one in your house who loves Jesus. Don’t be surprised even if your parents mock you. Now, get this illustration: Jesus loved to visit His friends Lazarus, Mary, and Martha at Bethany. There at Bethany,  Mary anoints   Jesus with the alabaster box of ointment in the house of Simon, the leper, (Mt 26:6, Mk 14:3). Judas Iscariot is called “Simon’s son” (Jn 12:4) When you put these texts together, You will see that the anointing takes place in the house of Simon the leper, Judas Iscariot is Simon’s son, possibly, Lazarus is also Simon’s  son, and Mary and Martha are his daughters. Now, there is no Biblical evidence that Simon the leper was ever saved. There is much Biblical evidence that Judas Iscariot was NOT saved. There is much Biblical evidence that Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were saved. So, there in the beginning you have the house divided. Two against three, and three against two. Not unity, but division.

(F) NOT FINDING LIFE, BUT LOSING LIFE. “He that findeth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (v39).   People have the idea that real life is in possessions, or in popularity. Solomon wrote that he had tried it all. Wine, women, and song. Houses, pools and land. After he gained it all, he looked over it and said, “Vanity and vexation of spirit.”(Eccl 2:4-11). Finding life is not finding “things.”

This lesson could go on and on, But I trust that we can clearly see that there is NO PEACE on earth. Real PEACE ON EARTH is IMPENDING PEACE. It is future. Right now, the battle rages.

In Colossians 4, Paul lists the ones who had helped him, and he wanted the Churches to remember them. He lists Tychicus who had been with Paul since he left Ephesus, and accompanied him into Asia Minor (Acts 20:4), and Onesimus, a run away slave who had been won to Christ and is now a helper for Paul, and Aristarchus, who was with Paul in the great storm at sea, (Acts 27:2), and Marcus, this is John Mark, or Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark. He   had turned back from his first missionary journey,(Acts 13:13). Mark had redeemed himself and became a great help to Paul. Justis, who had been a source of comfort to Paul. Epaphras, the faithful Pastor who had a great ministry at Colossee. Luke, the beloved Physician, of who Paul wrote, “Only Luke is with me.” And finally, in Colossians 4:17 Paul writes, “And say to Archippus, take heed to the Ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it.” As I studied this Chapter, I was wondering why Paul did not address Archippus first and then mention the others he listed. Why did he wait until the end to encourage this young man in the Ministry? I believe that Paul wanted to remind Archippus that the Ministry of the Gospel of Christ is not easy. These had been with Paul. Some in prison, in riots, in storms at sea. Some of these had suffered. Paul wanted to remind Archippus that the battle rages. The task ahead will not be easy. So he lists some who had battled with him. Not finding life, but losing life.

2. PEACE WITH GOD. This is imputed peace, or, upward peace. “Therefore being Justified by faith we have PEACE WITH GOD through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ro 5:1). Peace freely given. Nothing we ever did to deserve it. We were “afar off”, “aliens” “Without hope, and without God in the world.”  (Read Ephesians 2. In the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, war was declared. Man has been at “ENMITY with God.” (Gen 3:15).   But Jesus came! “For He is our Peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us. Having abolished in His flesh the ENMITY, even the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making PEACE.”  (Eph 2:14-15). The issue today is NOT peace of mind, but Peace with God. This Peace comes only through Faith in the finished work of Christ on the Cross, and His Empty tomb. He is The Living Saviour. Has the issue of Peace with God been settled in your heart and life? Have you looked up to God and said, ?Yes, I believe that Jesus Christ died for MY sin, for MY peace.? If not, today, NOW, call upon Him, while He is near.

3. PEACE OF GOD. This is imparted peace, or, Inward peace.  “Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the PEACE OF GOD, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Ph 4:6-7) This peace is imparted  through prayer and a surrendered life to Christ (Please read all of Philippians 4). The Christian does not have to worry about mental (minds) or emotional (hearts) breakdowns. The Peace OF God is on watch, keeping and guarding. Jesus said, “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.”  (Jn 14:27). The Peace of God is imparted as our Mind is fixed on God; “Thou wilt keep him is perfect PEACE whose MIND is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.” (Isa 26:3) The Peace of God is imparted as we fellowship with God in His Word,(KJV) “Great PEACE have they which love Thy Law, and nothing shall offend them.” (Psa 119:165) The Peace of God is imparted as we busy ourselves in spreading the Gospel of Peace. Jesus said, “Peace be unto you. As my Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.” (Jn 20:21).

Now, let me bring this all together. I realize that some may be questioning some things I have said in this message, but hear me out. I had to learn, like everyone else has to learn about these three points. I had to first learn about PEACE WITH GOD. I did that in August, 1960. I began that day to live forever. I asked Jesus Christ into my heart. And then I had to learn about the PEACE OF GOD. This peace “passeth all understanding” This is that settled INWARD PEACE that comes through Prayer, Bible study, obedience to Christ, fellowshipping with Him. Being involved in His work. Maybe YOU have made Peace WITH God through Christ, but you have not the Peace OF God. This is your fault. Get involved with Christ and His Work.   PEACE ON EARTH  will come one day, in God’s time. Until that time, we are in a battle. I had to learn some lessons. I had to learn the lesson on PERSECUTION before I learned about PEACE. I had to learn the lesson of my CROSS before I learned about a CROWN. I had to learn about HUMILITY before I learned about HONOR. I had to learn about REPROACH before I learned about RICHES in Christ. I had to learn about DIVISION before I learned about UNITY. And I had to learn about LOSING MY LIFE before I found REAL LIFE.

And the battle still rages. But we are on the winning side. PEACE REIGNS in the hearts of believers all over the world today. The Peace that only God can give. “There is NO PEACE saith my God to the wicked.” (Isa 57:21).   “Thou wilt keep him in PERFECT PEACE whose MIND is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.”  (Isa 26:3) I urge you to trust in Christ today. Receive Him into your heart. “How do I receive Him” The Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” His Spirit is there where you are. He will hear the cry of the repentant heart. Begin TODAY to live FOREVER!

Christian, get involved. While the battle rages, you can have that Deep, imparted, inward Peace that passeth understanding. May God bless us together as we “fight the good fight of faith.”

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THINK ABOUT IT   Peace is free, but it is not cheap. Our Peace with God was paid for in full, there upon the Cross.

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RELIGION FOR SALE, VERY CHEAP!

Bottles of “Miracle spring water”  are being sold by a “minister” who was kicked off TV as a fraud. He is back again peddling his “miracle water.”

And another “minister” who was kicked off TV is back again offering “How to have everything you ever wanted.” All for making a “vow”  Of course, the “vow” involves money, with his address and zip code.

And another offers The Lord’s Last Supper “Kit” listing 10 “blessings” that will come by partaking of this “kit.”

And another is receiving offerings to help move Israeli families   back to their homeland. And my e-mail is flooded with pleas for Israel.   Let me say that God has a plan for Israel, and God will fulfill His plan for Israel in HIS TIME. God will call Israel to her homeland when He is ready for Israel. God does not need our help. The “Gospel Of The Kingdom” will call Israel home when world conditions are right.

Books, “bibles”  “versions”  tapes, videos, “how to books” all sold by the millions. RELIGION for sale, CHEAP!

            HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

             By Pastor George Mills

                   TO MY DAD

Many of you out there, for one reason or another have been separated from your Father. Believe me, I know how some of you feel. There are questions. There is a special place in your life that only a Dad can fill. I was separated from my Dad by divorce when I was about three years old, and I never saw him again. Believe me, down through the years I asked, “Why?” so many times. Since I did not have my Dad with me to teach me day by day, I must have made many mistakes as a Father myself. I regret each one. In recent years I have located the gravesites of my Father, my Grand-parents, and many relatives on my Father’s side of the family. I have learned that my Father’s people were humble, kind, Christian people. In fact, I learned that my Grandfather, Thomas Mills was instrumental in the founding of two Baptist Churches; one in Blakely Georgia, and one in DeLand Florida.

As a child growing up, I did not have a single photograph of my   Dad, so I just had to imagine what he looked like, and in my boyish mind, I made a real hero out of him. A few years ago I was given a photograph of my Dad as he stood in the waters of Baptism along with 18-20 others. Today, I have that glad hope  that at some time, my Dad had placed his trust in Christ as his Saviour. I have that glad hope that I will see him in Heaven one day, that I will hug him, and embrace him one day. I visit my Dad’s grave in DeLand Florida as often as I can. I respect him and honor him as my Dad. I have an enlarged photograph of him on my office wall. He is dressed in his uniform as a soldier in world war 1. As I said, I respect and honor him. Without my Dad, I would not be here. Without him, I would not have had the privilege of spending my life with my dear wife. Without him, I would never have known my sweet children. Without him, I would never have met the thousands of kind people I have met. Without him I would not have had the opportunity to share the Wonderful Gospel of our Lord Jesus. So, from time to time, as I stand by his grave I have to say “I owe you so much. Thank you for being my Dad. Without you, there would be no me.”

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                        MUSIC

         By Pastor George Mills

The downward trend in Gospel Music today is alarming. I love the traditional hymns of the Church. The great hymns are filled with doctrine. We learn as we sing them. The melodies are sweet and the words are solid, inspirational, and help build faith, hope, and character. Recently, in our local newspaper there was an article about the “Acceptance of Christian Rock Music In The Church,” Rock music is NOT acceptable, and it does not have a place within the boundaries of Sacred Music. There is nothing   about Rock Music that builds character. If you put the label “Christian” in Rock Music, that does not change a thing about it’s nature, it is still dangerous. We have seen the results of Rock Music on many of our young people of this generation, and to bring this into the Church is alarming to say the least. If you tune your TV set to some of the “religious programs” and turn channels very quickly to one of the Rock channels, you will see no difference in the two. Same beat, same lights, same sound, same noise, same body movements, no difference. In the Church we do not have to adopt the ways of the world.   The thinking of some is, “If we are going to win the world, then we have to become like the world.” NOT SO! We have something far better than what the world offers. Just today I received word that a former Fundamental Baptist College in Chattanooga Tennessee just had a “Christian Rock” concert in the Church auditorium there. What a great fall from where it once stood.. And beside the” rock beat” of much “music” today, so many of the modern religious songs   are written with sales in mind. Many songs are not doctrinally sound. The trend seems to be, “If it rhymes, record it.” A forsaking of sound doctrine has opened the flood gate for the false. Even the loveliness of Sacred Music has been affected. EVERY CHURCH SHOULD CAREFULLY GUARD IT?S MUSIC PROGRAM!

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              LOST AND FOUND

           By Pastor George Mills

“I have found the Book of the Law in the House of the Lord.  (2Chr 34:14-21)

The Word of God had become lost right in the House of God. Strange place to lose the Word of God, but it happened, and history has a way of repeating itself. We have come to full circle. I believe that the Word of God has become lost to this generation. We must ask ourselves, and be honest with ourselves, “Is the Word Lost to me?”

1. Sometimes the Word gets lost through neglect. You know, the Bible (KJV) becomes just an ornament. There on the table, covered up by other books, magazines and such. It’s Wisdom is never sought. It is not part of our daily diet. It’s just there, all covered up.

2. Sometimes the Word gets lost through familiarity. Now, the Word is not neglected, it has become our textbook. We are looking for lessons, for sermons. We do not read it as a message from God. We don’t allow It to speak. Busy, busy, busy. The Bible says, “In His Law doth he MEDITATE”  He thinks, he ponders, he digests the Word of God. Don’t read your Bible just to prepare your lesson. Seek the mind and will of God. Do not let the Bible become just “familiar”  It gets lost that way.

3. Sometimes The Word gets lost through translations, or “versions.”  I am afraid that this is where we are today. There are at least 50 versions on the market today. They all claim to be God’s word. I do not see God in all of this confusion about His Word.   Today, every preacher has his own favorite version. If he doesn’t like what the Bible says, he can simply change it by saying, “I checked the Greek” I sometimes wonder what Greek he is referring to. Or just where did he happen to find an “original”  when there are no originals. There has been no revival in the land since these new versions hit our pulpits. And there will be no revival until we find the Word, and get in the Word. Great crowds do not indicate revival is in the land. Great crowds are being attracted daily. But no revival. “Rattles” and noise is not an indication of revival. When revival comes, people change, morals change, communities change, and souls are born into the family of God. Our Wonderful Bible is not out-dated, and It does not need to be up-dated. Don’t let It become LOST!

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THINK ABOUT IT.. A man tried to change horses in the middle of a stream, fell from his horse, and drowned. This is no time to change horses. The horse that brought us here,(KJV) will take us on home.