Philippians 3:18 – 19 “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.”
If the devil himself came into my church, with a pointed tail, horns, and a pitchfork, I would not listen to his teaching. I would tell him that he is not welcomed at my place of worship. In the same way, if someone who blatantly claimed to be an enemy of Christ tried to convince me to follow him or her, I would go the other way. But Satan doesn’t work that way. He places people in leadership positions in our churches, and he dresses them up like Christians. And then, he uses them to lead us astray.
Have you ever noticed that many churches are filled with ungodly people? They are often active church members, even church leaders. Paul warns us against following the examples of these people. They are worldly, sometimes even bragging about the shameful things they do. They are in the church, claiming to be Christians. But in reality, they are enemies of Christ.
Unfortunately, our churches today our filled with a watered-down gospel and immature Christians who lack discretion and discernment. Because of a lack of solid teaching, many believers have difficulty recognizing these so-called Christians as enemies of Christ. And sadly, many of these “enemies” aren’t even aware that they are working against Christ. They truly believe that they are living the right way.
We can recognize these enemies of the cross by watching the way they live their lives. Do they sincerely want to please Christ? Do they sincerely try to live according to God’s Word? Or do they gossip and slander, are they immoral and ungodly, do they cheat and lie and steal . . . It is one thing to mess up, and to be sorry. We all do that. But when a person’s life is consistently lived in contrast to godliness, then we should recognize that person for what he/she is: an enemy of the cross.
Paul wept for these people, and we should too. We need to be aware of them, and not let them lead us astray. But we should pray for them, for the enemy of our souls seeks to destroy them. And they don’t even know it.
Dear Father, Please help me to recognize Your enemies, even when they pretend to be Your friends.