Doing The Wrong Thing For The Right Reason

These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you. (John 16:1-4)

Doing The Wrong Thing For The Right Reason

Jesus has less than twelve hours to live and as He walks with the eleven to the Mount of Olives, He warns them about coming persecutions they will face from their own Jewish brethren. None of the eleven know the hour has come for the Son of God to be glorified. The arrest, trial and execution of Jesus will happen so swiftly over the next few hours the apostles will be stunned, dismayed, and fearful. They will go into hiding. It will not be until the first day of the week when the disciples are gathered behind locked doors they see the realization of the resurrection. Over the course of forty days, Jesus will explain the will of the Father to the eleven. On the day of Pentecost, everything comes into place.

It does not take long for the words of Jesus to come to pass. Peter and John heal a lame man at the temple and are arrested and brought before the Jewish council. They are strictly warned not to teach in the name of Jesus, but no harm is done to them. Soon after, the twelve are arrested by the council for preaching Christ. Again they are warned and are beaten before letting them go. The disciples continued to preach the gospel. Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, was arrested by the council. Angered by his teaching, they take him out and stone him to death. A man called Saul of Tarsus is watching over the proceedings believing what he is doing is the will of God.

After the stoning of Steven, Saul begins a personal mission to destroy all those who follow Jesus Christ. He makes havoc of the church, going from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison. Saul persecuted the church to the death, arresting both men and women. He caused many believers to be sent to prison, and he cast his vote against them when they were condemned to death. The hatred of Saul against the Christians was so intense he persecuted them in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus. He was so violently opposed to them that he chased them down in foreign cities.

Saul believed with all his heart he was doing the will of God. He was zealous for the word of God. He believed he must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Everything he believed of the will of God drove him to an intense hatred of those who turned their back on the Law of Moses to follow the man from Nazareth. He felt he was bound by the word of God and that it was his duty to destroy those of the Way. Saul acted in ignorance and unbelief. But he was wrong. He had a zeal for God but not according to knowledge. Jesus warned the disciples they would be persecuted by those who believed they were offering to God true worship. Religious zeal does not justify error. Truth establishes salvation.

Near the end of World War II, many Japanese soldiers gave their lives for a man they considered a living god, the emperor Hirohito. The “Divine Wind Special Attack Unit” flew suicide attacks against the Allied forces, known as Kamikaze. The Crusades of the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries were religious wars against the Muslims by “Christians” seeking to regain the Holy Land. In 1857, an emigrant group from Arkansas, the Fancher party, was massacred by Mormons. One hundred and twenty men, women and children were killed. Jesus said that those who kill the disciples would think they are doing a holy service for God. Saul of Tarsus would come to know the true Way and embrace the true will of God. Paul would become one of the greatest missionaries the church would know. He was doing the true work of the Lord.

There is only one truth. Men try to justify what they do with religious overtones, but without the authority of the word of God, they labor in vain. Many churches exist today because religious leaders fool people into believing they are doing the will of God. There will always be times in history when violence will be brought against the true believers by false followers of what they believe to be right. More often than not, the greatest danger is when there is no violence, but the subtle teachings of error creep into the body of Christ by those who are wells without water and clouds carried by a tempest. The blackness of darkness is reserved for them. Zeal without knowledge leads only to destruction. Those who screamed for the death of Jesus thought they were doing the will of God.

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1 Response to Doing The Wrong Thing For The Right Reason

  1. PECULIAR says:

    Oh Lord do not allow me to be having rong zeal that will leads me to destruction in Jesus name!

    Liked by 1 person

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