Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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Recently, I visited a web site that exposes many of the heathen roots of the Catholic Church. It was educational, and in the main, the evidence was convincing if not downright irrefutable. However, at times, the webmaster’s anti-Catholic zeal caused him to overstate his case. His hatred for Catholics was clear, and it motivated him to make some questionable statements. The Lord let me know that no one can hate Catholicism that way unless his own religion is like it.
Then I remembered that Catholicism, the great Whore of Revelation, produced “daughters” who were like her. God called those daughters of the Whore “harlots” (Rev. 17:5), and these “harlots” are the Protestant sects of Christianity. The webmaster of that anti-Catholic website belongs to one of those harlots. He was looking into a mirror of his own religion and did not know it.
When we “find” the one true faith of Christ, our awareness that it is impossible for anyone to find it on his own is overwhelming. We are made to know, if we are in the true faith of Christ, that we are in it only because of the mercy and choice of God, and that awesome awareness makes it impossible for us to hate others who are still in darkness because we know that the only difference between us and those who are still searching is God.
There used to be a man (we’ll call him Ronnie) who, with his family, worshiped with us in my house. Ronnie’s testimonies often reeked with sarcasm and contempt toward those who did not know the truth of the gospel. The Lord showed me that Ronnie thought he was pleasing us when he stood up and made sarcastic comments about Christians during his testimonies. But that was not the case. I was often sick to my stomach after he finished “testifying”. The truth is that Ronnie was sarcastic toward the blind because he himself was blind. He was arrogant and proud against those still in darkness because the darkness was still in his heart.
In spite of the Lord’s efforts to show him the better path, Ronnie never learned. About a year before Ronnie fell away from righteousness altogether, God gave him one of the most terrifying warnings I have ever heard of, and as a result, Ronnie made some much-needed changes in his life . . . for a little while. But he drifted back, and the end of God’s great patience with him came. The last I heard of Ronnie was that he was living a debauched, wretched life, wandering from job to job. His home was shipwrecked because of his filthiness, and his own children, who suffered great emotional abuse while living with him, now want little or nothing to do with him.
If you ever find yourself speaking uncharitably about anyone who is not as blessed as you are, or if you find yourself unable to pray for your enemies as Jesus told us to do, please consider that the reason for your attitude toward them may be that you are like them. It may be that when you see those whom you despise, you are looking at a reflection of your own spiritual condition and that you despise the image that you see.