Food for Friday

And as they did eat, He said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray Me. Matthew 26:21

What a bombshell to drop in the middle of a lovely dinner! Thirteen men, all very close friends and all very much into the Passover spirit, are just nicely launched into the evening’s festivities when the Head of the feast makes His startling announcement. The disciples are accustomed to hearing new and different things. They have spent the best part of three years hearing teaching that contradicted much of what had been dogma for most of their lives. So when the Lord Jesus began speaking, they were shocked and startled. We can imagine their eyes popping wide open, and their jaws drop in amazement and shock. They stare in unbelief, and stare at the Lord Jesus and at each other, unsure of what to do or say. The fact that they did not immediately pounce on Judas Iscariot shows how carefully that false disciple had hidden his intentions and feelings. So suddenly, the joyous passover is changed from a merry atmosphere to one of shock and suspicion. The presence of a traitor among them had an amazing impact once the fact became known. What would we do today if we knew that traitors were lurking among the Lord’s people?

Why would traitors, grievous wolves (Acts 20:29) that the apostle Paul spoke of when he addressed the elders of the Assembly in Ephesus, come in among us? The devil has successfully reduced most of the denominational churches around us to meaningless organizations that are largely devoid of spiritual live and are totally incapable of bringing glory to God. Having won this battle, the evil one now targets those little companies who faithfully follow the Word of God and who honour His Son. At no time in history were God’s Assemblies at greater danger than today. Most of society has been reprogrammed to see Bible-believing Christians as old fashioned, out of date, and dangerous to the modern programs of acceptance of gross immorality and evil. Already those who stand for the truth of the Word of God are sneered at and rejected, and openly opposed. In the next few years, we will see individual Christians and entire Assemblies directly targeted for our faith. And the most dangerous challenges will come from those who are within.

Much prayer and much wisdom is needed these days as those who act in Assembly oversight capacity interview new Christians who desire to join the Assembly fellowship. Keeping the traitors out is much easier than dealing with them once they are part of the fellowship. Some Assemblies are already dealing with challenges to the way in which our Assemblies function. Those who would have us water down our opposition to evil, or even to accommodate those who are friendly with evildoers, are starting to show up.

Who among us will betray God’s Assembly? Some will! -Jim MacIntosh

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