Articles

Articles

You enemy of all righteousness

You enemy of all righteousness

When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.” (Acts 13:1-13)

It is easy to see a man like Elymas as “an enemy of all righteousness.” After all, what he was doing to work against the Lord was blatant. God does have enemies! But who is his enemy? Who would dare to be? The one who fights against God is sure to lose. He fights a futile battle. He can't win. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent (Psalm 139:1-10). Imagine what it would be like to have such an enemy as God. “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). Who wants an enemy like that? Yet, many are His enemies.

Some Fight Him Openly

There are those who are his enemies who openly declare war upon Him. Some despise dominion, speak evil of dignities, and even speak evil of those things they know not (Jude 8-11). Some openly challenge God to show his power. “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Matthew 27:40). They ridicule God. These are God's enemies. They are also the easiest to see and recognize.

Some Will Not Hear

People who will not listen what the Lord has to say are His enemies. Jesus said that they reject God. “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me” (Luke 10:16). People say, “I don't want to hear that,” or “Don't quote that to me,” or “Don't mention that verse to me again.” They don't mean to be saying that they hate or reject God, but that is what Jesus says they are doing. Let no one close his mind to what Jesus has said. In doing that, you may be announcing that you are God's enemy.

Some Will Not Do

A lot of folks talk a great game about how much they love God, about what a friend they have in Jesus, and what a friend they have been to truth and righteousness down through the years, and yet will not do what God commands. The Bible teaches that people who will not do His will are His enemies. The friend of God is designated as the one who obeys Him. Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:14). James said Abraham was the friend of God because he believed and obeyed him (James 2:21-23). If the doing of God's will makes one the friend of God, the conclusion that neglecting or refusing to do God's will makes one an enemy of God is inescapable. If not, why not? Please be cautious about what God has said. Your reception or rejection of His command will determine whether you are His friend or His enemy. When the Bible says, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins,” or any other thing, do not say that you do not intend to do it. What you do about these things will determine whether you are God's friend or His enemy.

Some Are Friends of the World

There are those who have heard and obeyed God's commands regarding the remission of sins, who are also enemies of God. People who obey the gospel—becoming Christians and children in God's family—become God's enemies if they become or remain friends of the world (James 4:4). James calls this adultery. The language is easy for us to understand. If one, who is a Christian—married to Christ, is at the same time intimate with the world, he becomes God's enemy. One who would "two-time" God is not His friend. “For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things” (Philippians 3:18-19). When you see people who are members of the church and who pretend to be so pious, who attend church services, and who leave the impression that all is well with them; but at the same time give themselves over to the lusts and passions of the flesh, you can rest assured that they are God's enemies.

Some Won’t Recognize It

No doubt, other than that first class mentioned, many of the people mentioned do not realize that they are the enemies of God. Most of these will feel highly insulted to be so accused. They do not mean to be God's enemies. They do not want it that way. However, that is the way that Jesus explains it in Matthew 12:30: “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” We are either with God—hearing, believing, and doing what he says—or else we are against Him. There is no neutral ground.

Are you God's enemy? If one will not hear the message of Christ, he is God's enemy. If one will not do the will of God, he is the enemy of God. If one becomes a Christian, but carries on an affair with the world, he is the enemy of God. Do not become angry. Becoming angry and upset will not change anything. It certainly will not make you a friend of God. Reversing the things mentioned will make you God's friend.