Christianity 201

December 1, 2020

Enemies of God

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:34 pm
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We return again today to the writing of Bill Muehlenberg at the website Culture Watch. Much of the first two-thirds of this article is simply a scripture medley. Clicking the header below will take you to the article directly where you can further consider these verses and the existence of what he calls “committed enemies of God, the gospel, and therefore of God’s people,” and what our response ought to be.

God’s Enemies

Yes there are those who are at enmity with God:

Some of you might be asking: ‘What, enemies of God? God has enemies? But I thought he loved everybody, so he cannot have enemies. At least he cannot regard anyone as an enemy, even if others see themselves as enemies of God! Isn’t that right?’

Well, no actually. There are indeed enemies of God, and from both sides of the equation sadly. There are of course those who hate God and resist God and see him as their one great enemy, even as so many of them deny his very existence. But I am speaking here of those that God regards as enemies.

The truth is, those who refuse to acknowledge God and his rightful place in their lives are living in enmity against God. Here I will present some of the biblical data on this, and then discuss how we are to respond. Plenty of Old Testament texts can be offered here. These are just some of them:

Exodus 15:6 Your right hand, O Lord, is majestic in power,
Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.

Judges 5:31 Thus let all Your enemies perish, O Lord;
But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might.

Psalm 92:9 For, behold, Your enemies, O Lord,
For, behold, Your enemies will perish;
All who do iniquity will be scattered.

Psalm 110:1 The Lord says to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”

Nahum 1:2 A jealous and avenging God is the Lord;
The Lord is avenging and wrathful.
The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries,
And He reserves wrath for His enemies.

‘Ah, but that is the Old Testament’ you say. ‘Everything is different in the New Testament.’ Well, not quite. We find plenty of passages there which say the same thing. Indeed, it is interesting how often Ps. 110:1 is quoted or referred to in the NT, by Jesus and by others. Here are seven cases of this:

Matthew 22:44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

Mark 12:36 David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

Luke 20:42-43 For David himself says in the Book of Psalms,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
  until I make your enemies your footstool.”’

Acts 2:34-35 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
   until I make your enemies your footstool.”’

1 Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

Hebrews 1:13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?

Hebrews 10:12-13 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 

And then we have other texts, such as:

Luke 1:70-74 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we should be saved from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show the mercy promised to our fathers
    and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
   that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,

Acts 13:9- 10 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?”

Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Romans 11:28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.

Philippians 3:18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.

James 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

So the idea that God regards unrepentant sinners as enemies is found throughout all of Scripture. But let me finish by looking at one last passage…

click this link to read Bill’s article in full…