I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as
serpents, and harmless as doves,”
Matthew 10:16. So often today, we only see a section of this verse being adhered to, and that’s
to be harmless as doves. Many Christians seemingly dismiss the part about
being wise as serpents. Jesus was sending His disciples out into the world,
a world full of evil. His commandment still stands, He sends every Christian
out into the midst of that same evil world overwhelmingly inhabited by evil,devouring,
you forth as sheep. Don’t misunderstand the meaning here.
The sheep in this case are those of us who are called by His name, those
belonging to the Lord. Jesus is our
good shepherd. We are
His Church, His flock,and
as such He sends all Christians out into theworld
to be the light of the world.
We’re not to hide from the wolves, but we areto
witness to them and to spread the good news of Christ to all those who are
perishing. Even the most fearsome of wolves need to hear the Gospel.
Christians are content with remaining as sheep no matter who becomes their
shepherd. On November 4th of this year, many professing
Christians exchanged their true Shepherd, who calls them by their name, for
a false shepherd, who will only lead them astray. Sheepish Christians will
be led to the slaughter as they continue in the mindset of this false
shepherd being their new deliverer. If this false shepherd has his way,the
Christians in this country will become the apostate Church spokenof
in the Book of Revelation
midst of wolves. Jesus used wolves as a metaphor referring
to cruel, greedy, rapacious, destructive men. Jesus said “He that
is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth
abroad, Matthew 12:30.
Basically those who are the followers of Satan are the wolves
in this case. Everyone – that’s everyone–who
doesn’t follow Jesus Christis
a follower of Satan. Consider carefully Jesus’ statement above, Satan is
utterly and emphatically against Jesus Christ. Satan spreads lies, because
he is the father of all lies, and scatters people abroad. Jesus’ statement
places everyone who is not with Him in the same category as Satan;Satan
is already condemned and so are all who follow him. The difference being
Satan can’t change his eternal destiny,but
those deceived individuals who follow him can.
Christians today are so full of fear that they allow this evil world to
dictate to them what they can do for Christ and what they can’t. My brothers
should not be so. We are to be the example in a world of evil and we can
only be an example if we are actually out in the world proclaiming the
message of the Gospel of
Christ. We have nothing to fear for “You are of God,
little children, and
have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in
the world,” 1John 4:4.
how many are influenced by fear of men! Oh, you cowards, will you be damned
out of fear? Will you sooner let your souls perish than show your manhood by
telling a poor mortal that you defy his scorn? Dare you not follow the right
though all men in the world should call you to do the wrong? Oh, you
cowards! You cowards! How you deserve to perish who have not enough soul to
call your souls your own, but cower down before the sneers of fools!”
certainly pulls no punches. As Luke, a friend my mine from Australia ,so
aptly puts it, “Straight down the line, no mucking about”. That was
Spurgeon’s way, and why was that? Because that was our Lord’s way also.
Jesus did not mince words andit’s
not difficult to understand what He means by “Wise as serpents”.
serpent was a symbol of cunning and wisdom. Jesus doesn’t want us to be
complacent in our walk with Him but to be ever vigilant, prudent,and
sensible as we confront this world and all its evils. The world is full of
temptations that we Christians must, at all cost, avoid. The serpent was
wise and cunning and Jesus expects His sheep to
display at the very least those two
characteristics, but to use them in a very different way than the serpents
and the wolves of this world. We who are filled with His Holy Spirit use
those characteristics with love and compassion as we confront the lost souls
of this world.
men were wise enough to see that suffering for Christ is honour, that loss
for truth is gain, that the truest dignity rests in wearing the chain upon
the arm rather than endure the chain upon the soul.”
as doves. The
English word harmless is translated from the Greek word “akeraios” and
refers to being of a pure mind, without a mixture of evil, free from guile,
innocent, as in the case of a dove. Jesus isn’t saying we should be fearful
but that we should be innocent as doves as we trust Him and step out in
faith because it’s through His name, and through His power we do so.
today’s prominent Christian leaders are admonishing their flocks, not to
concern themselves with politics. They say spreading the Gospel is our
can’t be harmless as doves if we are involved in politics. Yes, spreading
the Gospel of Christ is number one on our list of priorities, and yet, every
Christian in this country should know that
if it hadn’t been for the
overwhelming intervention of Christians when this nation was first
would be no United States of American as we know it today.
Christians today aren’t really following Christ’s commandment to preach the
Gospel to all creatures and in that sense there’s no need to be wise as
serpents, just harmless as doves, or a better description would be worthless
as salt that has lost its saltiness.
send you forth.Simply
put, God Almighty sends us forth to spread the Gospel of Christ to all who
will give an ear. Sadly, many Christians today aren’t willing to spread the
Gospel. As a matter of fact,many
professing to have the love of
Christ in them have no heart for the lost whatsoever.
Spurgeon states that suffering for Christ is an honor. Is
that our attitude today? Or are we merely going about our business
unconcerned with the salvation of those who are so deceived that they follow
Satan instead of Christ?
What of their eternal destination?
Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who
follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 9:12. You and I once walked as those
worldly wolves of today, which is after the lust of the flesh. No longer are
we tied to this world in such a way as to follow those who are under Satan’s
power. We should not be lusting after personal gain to obtain self-reliance.
Being indwelt by the Holy
Spirit means we aren’t motivated by the flesh as is the world.
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations…”
2 Peter 2:9. Jesus will supply all the power we need
to escape temptation if we will only trust Him.
Christians we have been called by a Holy calling, and as such we are to be
wise as serpents, cunning, and full of the wisdom that comes from God alone.
As believers we are to approach each day as a child of the light,confronting
evil and calling on the power
of the Holy Spirit to bind evil from our midst as we spread the
Gospel of Christ to a lost and perishing Christ rejecting world.
minded, innocent as doves, without a yearning to pursue evil desires, but
still as wise as serpents. We’re in the world but not of the world, we are
different, and that difference is what galls the world, they just can’t
understand Christian behavior. They’re out there, those wolves, just around
the next corner waiting to devour us. Thanks be to God we have nothing to
fear from them.
Fear not is
mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. Clearly God’s wish for our lives
is that we shouldn’t fear because we’ve placed our trust and faith in Him.
True faith does not
fear what we don’t know or can’t see,
true faith and trust
is allowing God to take care of all those little things. There’s an old
adage that was passed around a few years ago and perhaps this is a good time
to bring it back. It went something like this, “Don’t sweat the little
things, and all things are little things to God”.
entered the last of the last days and Jesus will extract His Church very
that I’m sure. In the meantime,Christians
are to be that light Jesus speaks about set on a hill, and most certainly
we’re to be active in the governmental processes of our land. “No
man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither
under a bushel,
but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light,”
promised us that if we be “wise as serpents” we would not be deceived,
especially in these end times when He told us there would be so much
deception being promoted as truth. Even those individuals you’d love to
follow can be deceived. Be careful, be diligent, and be wise as a serpent.