The Leopard Can Change It’s Spots

“Wherefore laying aside all malice,
and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies,
and all evil speakings.”             I Peter 2:1 

There is an age when it is hard for each of us to change our ways.  We are all creatures of habit.  This means that for any human to leave economic ideas is something that is against human nature.

By Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK - Leopard Head 2  Uploaded by TM

By Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK – Leopard Head 2 Uploaded by TM

There is one group of people who form together to encourage each other to make a dynamic movement in their physical, mental and spiritual way of living.  These people know they are in a chaotic condition.  A new way of life must take place.  This has a common name which we now know as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).  Since its’ beginning others groups have used AA’s formula for a personal transition.  The point is that there comes a time when the shift will happen.

My father, who was a minister in the Christian Church, not the Disciples of Christ, told me that there are few people who accept Christ as their Savior after 40. When I asked why that was his reply was that their heart is hardened after that so that a conversion is nearly impossible.  There are exceptions.  I saw one man who was 83 years old who heard the Gospel, confessed Christ, believed, repented and was immersed in water for the remission of his sin.  This was one person:  In my life these cases are far and few between.

If I were to ask my readers what was the oldest person they ever saw that became a Christian, I believe the age would be about 37 to 40 years old.

OLD TESTAMENT

In the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament the prophets said change your ways or judgment will be brought to bear on you and the nation.  There were times when some people would listen, but other people would listen but then they would refuse to act.

The Old Testament prophets made a call for reform.  Did it last? No!  These men of God pulled  no punches – from Samuel to Malachi the pleas were “Remove yourself from evil.”  Actually it took the destruction of Israel and Judea before these stiff-necked Jews ever got the point.  It was Nebuchanezzer who finally taught them the lesson of obedience.  It was seventy (70) years later that the reformation happened.  The remnants returned to Jerusalem.

It seems that we humans always have to be taught moral principles by physical punishment.  We would like to think otherwise but it is not so.  Inside of us is this sense of rebellion toward anything that is Godly.

The Scriptures teach many simple rules yet churches will divide over the application of the various commands.  God knows what is best for us.  Here are some areas of contention in the modern churches:

  • Tithing
  • Immersion (baptism)
  • Meeting places
  • Women serving
  • Who can be an elder
  • Who can be a deacon
  • When communion served
  • Once saved always saved (grace)

TRUTH UNVARNISHED 

There was a man who when you read about him he is portrayed as a “Tell it like it is” man.  It was not until recently that I ever heard his name written much less mentioned.

In 1914,  in a London newspaper this adventurous man ran an ad for a certain type of men to go with him to find the South Pole in the Antarctic Continent. Here was the ad:   Earnest Shalckleton

“Man wanted for Hazardous journey
Small wages, Bitter Cold, Long months of
Complete Darkness, Constant Danger,
Safe Return Doubtful, Honor and Recognition
In Case of Success.” 

The response was in the thousands but he could only take 28 men.  The man’s name was Ernest Shackleton  The story of this man is one which should be told to young men everywhere.  Truth is always a premium.

PETER TOLD HOW 

Christians do have a special standard of conduct which is puzzling to worldlings.  A list of mental attitudes is to be put away.  These are to no longer envelope us:  In I Peter 2:1 it reads:

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and
envies, and all evil speaking.”

When a person listens to the spiritual gentiles converse;  it becomes crystal clear the world encourages hypocrisy.  We say one thing, yet act out a different idea.

Never trust someone who is running for public office or is in public office.  The mid-term elections were held on November 4, 2014.  The operative word was conservative.  When asked what that word “conservative” means a remark like “Less spending and smaller government,”  will be said.  Yet I know of no bill to delete certain spending nor to decrease the size of government.  The remarks of a politician  are a sham.  In 2016, the same comments will be made.

Peter wrote against greed and evil speaking.  Tell the truth.

IT TAKES TIME

The church of today is in a huge mess.  What Christ prayed that we “Be one” has not happened.  Confusion in the body of Christ is evident when doctrine is examined.  Immorality among church leaders is rampant.  Greed is a format for groups.

There is a basic reason for the decline of the numbers and works of Christ’s body.  Peter wrote about the milk of the world.  He was stating that these people were not able to digest solid food.  See I Peter 2:2.

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and
envies, and all evil speaking.” 

The need exists for people of strong willpower.  Ernest Shackleton’s ad could be rewritten for Christians:

 “Help Wanted for Life Long Journey,
Constant Ridicule, Void of earthly wages,
Few, If Any Friends, Physical Abuse,
Persecution Will Be Yours, Never
Accepted Socially. God at Death saves
And Blesses You.” 

I believe the young should apply but if you are over 40;  it is doubtful you will even make the effort.

OUR TASK 

Most of the time we do not recognize who we are – much less the talents we have lying dormant within us as people.  Peter spent time with this idea in I Peter 2:4-5

“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallow indeed of men, but
Chosen of God, and precious, Ye also as lively stones, are built up a
Spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

This passage suggests that spiritual sacrifices are offered.  A sacrifice was/is a gift given to God for the purpose of honor and praise and glory to Him.  Since Peter calls us a priest this means we can go directly to Jehovah.  There is reason to have an intermediary who speaks and acts for us.  We are the priests who have access to the Creator.  In the New Testament  the priest only could approach the Lord.  Their restriction now has been removed.  We are our own priests. It was Jesus Christ who broke the barrier down between God and man.

FORETOLD ANOTHER WAY 

The Old Testament sets out a message that someone special would appear.  There were many prophesies about this person.  The Jews called this person the Messiah.  He was to be the Savior of Israel and the Gentiles.

The book of Isaiah has numerous passages about this person.  The quote of Isaiah is found from Isaiah 28:16:

“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation
of stone, a tried stone, a precious Corner stone, a sure foundation: he that
believeth shall not make haste.”

It must be divinely inspired because Isaiah lived about 850-800 years before Jesus came to the earth.

Peter knew what he was saying since he quoted this passage in I Peter 1:6 

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be ye
are in heaviness through manifold temptations.”

There are some people who will accept the truth.  There are rebellious individuals that will not and refuse to accept who Jesus was – the cornerstone,  placed here by God the Father.

By Dr. Andrea Bruce

By Dr. Andrea Bruce

 

What the cornerstone was – was the block of stone that was cut as a near perfect as humanly possible.  It was placed in or on the ground and was the method of measurement to keep the lines straight.  We do not use this devise today.  However we do lay a stone as a symbol in public buildings or other edifices in our culture.  I have seen it done in various buildings.

The world and its ruler, the Adversary, do not meet God’s rules for existing.  Imperfection is always present.

Peter condemned those who were not obedient to Jesus of Nazareth.  Reading from I Peter 2: 7-8 it is easy to see what is involved.

“Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient,
the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.
And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word,
being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed.”

However we should realize that we are a special group of individuals.  We are not like the rest of the world.

  • We think differently.
  • We act differently.
  • We know who we are – the elect.
  • We acknowledge who Jesus is – the Savior.
  • We see the future – we have read Revelation.
  • We obey God’s Law and
  • We go to God for help –prayer.

This idea is summed up in I Peter 2:9.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and holy nation,
a peculiar people; that he should shew forth the praises of him who
hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

Friend,  never cower before the world.  As a Christian, follow what Jesus said for

Our Task in Matthew 28:19-20:

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them
to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am
with you always even unto the end of the world. Amen.” 

In our time the world must hear about the Gospel of Christ.

“Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing pow’r?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
O be washed in the blood of the Lamb?”                Hoffman 

 

Gerald Fugit
November 9, 2014

Comments are closed.