(read this and was encouraged thought others might be to. rdg)
Seven Kinds of People in Christendom
1) Utter rebels. Though “in the church” from a proximity standpoint, often even “leaders,” they are not near Him. They despise God (at least the God of the Bible) and despise authority. They will do it their own way, function as they see fit at any given moment. They are lovers of self and of pleasure, rather than Truth. They do what they do, not for the Cross, but for themselves. They are the “final say” about anything—authority does not exist to them. They can be quite impressive and attractive... unless you “cross” them.
2) Spineless and energyless. Everything they do is for their own comfort—never restraining their flesh, except by fear or man-pleasing. The sights and smells and pleasures of the world system may bring “joy” and adrenaline and “meaning” to life, but Jesus’ desire for them and His Way... does not. Bummer.
3) Haters of hypocrisy with great passion. And because they see it, all around (primarily because they see it in themselves, but can’t acknowledge it). Because they “hate” hypocrisy (and rightfully so, in one sense) they are paralyzed to believe anything, do anything meaningful, love anyone, or submit themselves in any way to anyone or anything. They die alone.
4) Those born for “religion”—but not the REAL Jesus. They are in their element when swimming in spiritual-sounding words, “deep” teaching, types and shadows, intellectual conjugating, programs, “bible classes,” cradle-rolls, skits, “specials,” good deeds, nice people (at least on the religious surface), singing, “worshipping,” picnics, ceremonies, “services,” and various forms of dress-up. All of this brings them deep satisfaction. The tenacious loyalty to the sweetness of “religion” is exposed as shallow and self-serving by virtue of the fact that “relationships” that meet their needs will not be put in jeopardy for the sake of Jesus and Truth. They will find a way to not make people mad. They won’t address anything seen, except in a mealy-mouthed way. Or, “Let the Spirit do it. I’m not their Holy Spirit.” (Of course no one can be anyone’s “Holy Spirit,” yet many folks live in direct disobedience to Heb. 3:12-14 and 1Cor. 5.) They won’t take a chance in giving them anything to read that might threaten “the relationship”, etc. They won’t seek advice from people that will say what they don’t want to hear.
5) Some are almost real and alive and on the brink of truly in the Spirit—but don’t want to pay the full price of “sharing in the Fellowship of His Suffering.” Perhaps the obstacle is a sin they don’t want to let go of, or the loss of family or friends that they simply won’t put up with. (“There must be some other way! I HAVE to go bury my father—it’s the ‘Christian’ thing to do!”) Or perhaps a low pain threshold for rejection or the inevitable internal suffering of the soul that they won’t “hold on” through.
6) Movement-driven, or knowledge-driven folks that really don’t have a clue who Jesus really is. They will gladly massacre others over their opinions of “TRUTH!” and seldom speak in endearing terms of the person of Jesus. Why? Because they don’t know Him as a person. Their zeal is without question, but they can easily be the worst enemy of TRUE christianity because their object is their pride or ambition or self-gratification, or family heritage, or something (anything!) external, rather than Him. “But You taught in our streets and ate at our tables! We did big things for You!” “I never knew you.” Jesus said that the gates of Hell would prevail against everything that is not built on the Rock. Without a revealing of His Sonship to our inner man, that the Father Himself placed there, we have little to nothing. If that’s not you, cry out to Him... He longs to give good gifts!
7) And then there is the person with ever-increasing Reality. Aletheia. They need no jargon. They suffer with dignity. When gently, but vigorously, living for Truth, they cannot and will not consider what consequences there may be for their words and deeds. They can melt their lives into others’ lives deeply and courageously, with little need for being doted upon or receiving anything in return—because their needs are met in fellowship with Jesus. This allows them, not to retreat into hyper-spirituality where they are disconnected from everyone, but rather allows them to give away all. They despise the crutches of hypocrisy, religion, and worldly affections, but are devoted to helping those that will hear Jesus’ call to lay those things aside. Still, because they live for Jesus and not themselves, they are also able after “one more year” to tearfully say good-bye to anyone that continues to crucify Him afresh by not turning to Him. They look more and more like Jesus, as the years roll by....
“...God watched over me, His lamp shone upon my head and by His light I walked through darkness! ...God’s intimate friendship blessed my house, when the Almighty was with me... when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.
“When I went to the gate of the city and took my seat in the public square, the young men saw me and stepped aside and the old men rose to their feet; the chief men refrained from speaking and covered their mouths with their hands; the voices of the nobles were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths. Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him. The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing. I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth.
“I thought, ‘I will die in my own house, my days as numerous as the grains of sand. My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches. My glory will remain fresh in me, the bow ever new in my hand.’
“Men listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel. After I had spoken, they spoke no more; my words fell gently on their ears. They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain. When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them... I was like one who comforts mourners” (Job 29:2-25).
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
“They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.
“Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs” (Isa. 61:1-7).
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-25).