Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 18, 1970

God's Enemies

Robert H. Farish

Elymas, the sorcerer, is described as full of all guile and villainy, son of the devil, enemy of all righteousness. Acts 13:10. The saints at Colossae were, before their reconciliation to God, "enemies in your mind in your evil works" (Col. 1:21); those of the Gentile world who refused to have God in their knowledge, were by God given up to a reprobate mind and are described as "haters of God" (Rom. 1:30). James informs the reader that "whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God" (Jas. 4:4).

It is something of a shock to come upon such statements of truth as the above. Think of it, God who "is love" — who "so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son" for the world, has many in the world who are regarded by him as his enemies and even described as haters of God. Hatred and enmity in the face of the love of God is shocking, even when manifested by the world, how much greater is the shock when those who are identified with Christ, at least in claim, are branded by the Holy Spirit as enemies of God. No wonder Paul could say, "I . . . . tell you even weeping that they are enemies of the cross of Christ." (Phil. 3:18).

These enemies are Satan's "fifth column" in the church; they neutralize the force of the preaching of the cross of Christ by their attitude and practice; claiming to be friends and members of the church, they sabotage it. Are you an enemy of the cross of Christ? How can you tell? The characteristics of these church members whose end is perdition should be studied in order to avoid walking as they walked. "For many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ" (Phil. 3:18).

"Whose God Is The Belly"

One becomes an enemy of the cross when he accepts the sovereignty of any other than the Lord Jesus Christ. This is done when one is in subjection to sensual desire — his god is his belly. The saints at Rome were besought by Paul to "mark them that are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which ye learned: and turn away from them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Christ but their own belly" (Rom. 16:17, 18). The practical transfer of allegiance from Christ to the belly frequently exists in a church member at the same time he is professing his loyalty. Theoretic loyalty is vain in the absence of practiced Christianity. The reign of sensuality in one's life now as then identifies that one as an enemy of the cross of Christ.

"Whose Glory Is In Their Shame"

These enemies of God were proud of their shame; with them their shame had a good reputation. Rather than highly prizing honor, virtue, purity etc., these put the "blue ribbon" on shameful things. Do you know of any church member, even that one that stares at you from the mirror, who is glorying in things of which he ought to be ashamed? It is of the utmost urgency that the Christian carefully examine the objects in which he glories. "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." (I Cor. 1:31)

"Who Mind Earthly Things"

These poor church members had their "heart set" on earthly things. Secularism had converted them into enemies of the cross of Christ. Little attention is given to regulating or directing the mind, yet it is a duty divinely imposed. "If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth" (Col. 3:1, 2). This is a duty assigned to the one who is raised from the give of baptism. It requires conscious effort. No one will be a successful seeker of the things above who does not set his mind on the things above.

The end of those who walk in the way of these, whom Paul called enemies of the cross of Christ, is perdition. Perdition is the end of all enemies of God whether from within or without the church.

— Box 301, Cedar Park, Texas 78613