The Lord Knows Who are His Own – and Who are Not

2 Timothy 2:19 ESV  But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

There are two great consolations for us in this text. First, that the Lord knows who are His sheep. Second, that His flock consists of those who depart from iniquity. They do not walk in sin. They are new creations. This is consolation for us because it seems so often that there is such a mixture of tares among the wheat that sorting them out may appear impossible.

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Growing Accustomed to Evil

Isaiah 1:1-4 ESV  The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.  (2)  Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the LORD has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me.  (3)  The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.”  (4)  Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged.

Some years ago I was in a meeting with some local people who claimed they wanted to help abuse victims. One of them was a judge in a local court. I was explaining that attorneys representing domestic abusers in family court very often misrepresent (lie) the victm and use the court system to bring even more prolonged suffering on their target. Frivolous proceedings. Many of you have experienced this.

But what I wanted to share with you here is that judge’s response. He said “of course they do.” And the tone in which he said this communicated volumes. It was obvious that he was not angry about this fraudulent use of the justice system but took it as a matter of fact, normal and expected practice. He was accustomed to evil, and he no longer really cared.

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The Wicked Demand Secrecy – Darkness Hates the Light

When in hearing the Word preached, and sins reproved in the congregation, some hearers misapply the same. As for example, the minister reproves the sin of swearing, of drunkenness, or any such sin; then someone guilty thereof, does not only surmise, but also breaks forth into this speech: Now the preacher means me; he speaks this of me; he censures my facts and speeches. Hereupon follow spite and malice against the person of the minister, and also rash censuring and condemning of his ministry. [From an unknown Puritan minister of long ago]

A friend sent me this quotation recently. They did so because all of us here in this church have seen this very thing played out many times over the years. We have been hated by the wicked because the preaching of God’s Word exposed their evil.

The wicked, and perhaps even especially domestic abusers pretending to be holy Christians, hate any kind of exposure and they stand ready to punish any hint of light shining on who they really are and what they are really doing.

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