Jesus' longest sermon begins with a list of qualities or conditions that he says are 'blessed' (see Matthew 5-7). They are: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. I wonder if we, the Church, really value these as Jesus did. There is certainly evidence that we do not. We must conform our lives to His life. This is one of the most challenging verses in all of the Bible for me: "Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did" (1 John 2:6). Are you merciful? Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? Are you a peacemaker? Friends, I know it is a struggle, but we must be relentless in our pursuit of Christ-likeness. In addition to what is written above, I see two great dangers within the church: 1) A Crisis of Allegiance – by this I mean our loyalty and identity as Republican or Democrat is held by some, as higher than our identity in, and allegiance to, Jesus, who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our earthly politics must be subservient to our heavenly allegiance. 2) Following a Fictitious Jesus – Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, warning them that ‘another Jesus’ was being preached (2 Corinthians 11:4) and the Church seemed to accept that!
If we are not diligent in knowing Christ through the Scriptures and being led by the Holy Spirit, we can end up morphing Jesus in our minds into a imaginary lord, who always takes our side and gives us the stamp of approval. It happens. And we have been warned: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:21-23 Also, people who follow false christs hinder others from experiencing the joy of salvation through the authentic Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. He deserves our complete allegiance.