‘Conservative Legalistic Extremist’ or Living a Holy Life? :: By Candy Austin

Matthew 4:8-9 “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

The Bible: Jesus is Tempted by Satan in the Desert

When Jesus walked this earth, and after 40 days and 40 nights of fasting, He was tempted by the devil three times. The final temptation was for Him to acquiesce to what the world had to offer, and all of it would be given to Him if He would just bow down and worship the evil one. This offer, mind you, after showing Him not a shiny new expensive car, wads upon wads of cash, extreme level of fame and prestige, a huge lavish mansion to live in; no, it was after showing Him all the kingdoms of the whole world and their glory (a vision we cannot fully fathom or grasp, no doubt)! And what did our Lord Jesus do in that instance? He rebuked the enemy and told him to leave by quoting holy scripture!

Matthew 4:10-11 “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”

In light of our being in the last days and especially in recent years, have you been called ‘Conservative, Legalistic, or even an Extremist’ just for trying to live in accordance with God’s Word? Have family and friends turned on you when you took a stand against evil or any appearance of it? Have coworkers looked down upon you for declining to participate in various activities that would go against your conscience?

If so, Congratulations! For you are now no longer a friend of this world and its system but are now on the Winning Side! Although it doesn’t look or feel like it now, the rewards that we will experience in the next life are beyond anything we can imagine!

1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Despite having to endure such negativity in this life for wanting to please the Lord, just know that this is actually a ‘positive indicator’ of your spiritual life! See, in order to have even the capacity to want to live a holy life that is pleasing to the Lord, one must have the earnest (down payment) of our inheritance (salvation), which is the Holy Spirit that has been promised to us!

Ephesians 1:13-14 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

When one has the Holy Spirit operating in one’s life, they will produce the Fruit of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control). They will no longer live in fear, for God has not given us the spirit of fear but a Spirit of Love, Power, and of a Sound Mind! One will no longer want to live to please the self but instead will want to live to please the Lord Jesus Christ! For it is He who makes us a new creature by giving us a new heart, new desires, and a new nature!

1 Peter 1:15-16 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

Sadly, even those among the church in these end times (the apostate, lukewarm, and sleeping) will deem those of us who want to live out a holy life as ‘legalistic.’ Lost people tend to see our behavior as ‘conservative, religious, or even all-out extremist.’

Hate to burst their bubble, but guess what? The godless people who live in the ways of the world and its customs (immodest women, involvement in drugs, drunkenness, paganism, idolatry, fornication, lying, abuse, and the list of sins go on), will be judged by the God of Holiness and Justice on the Day of Judgment if they do not repent (have their sins covered through salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ)!

What is Judgment Day? | GotQuestions.org

90 Powerful Bible Verses About Holiness KJV (triviafaithblog.com)

Romans 6:11-23 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

“For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

For young people, the cost of living out a holy life may seem too high when ‘losing friends and becoming unpopular’ is the huge price tag. Some may even ask how can I live in such a way when the world, culture, and everyone I know influences me to do otherwise? Back in the early 2000s when one of our kids was in middle school, there was a type of rally that was held where pocket-sized New Testaments were given out to the students.

Mortifyingly, though, our child came home to tell us that most of the kids ended up throwing and kicking these compact Holy Words of Wisdom and Truth from God down the hall to each other and even outside! Unfortunately, episodes like this don’t help our young ones to gain confidence in standing for God and His Righteousness, Truth, and Holiness!

Deuteronomy 11:19 “And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

“If we don’t teach our children to follow Christ, the world will teach them not to.” – Christian Quote

It is important that we start early in teaching our children and grandchildren to follow the things of God, His Word, and to have faith in Jesus Christ, because if we don’t, who will? Plus, it is a given that the world will teach them not to! A good place to start is to get a Children’s Bible with pictures inside and read to them a few pages each night before bed.

For older kids, there is The Action Bible, which is illustrated in comic book style for added interest for young minds. I believe it is better to give them a Bible with that kind of illustration in it, which can help lead them to Christ, than to give them the popular albeit debased influence of the superhero comic books from this wretched world’s pop culture and system, which only helps to lead them into apostasy!

How can I live a holy life? | GotQuestions.org

How should we live in light of God saying, “Be holy for I am holy” (Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:16)? | GotQuestions.org

If wanting to live this way deems us ‘Conservative Legalistic Extremists’ (even though it doesn’t because it is simply just wanting to follow God’s Word), nevertheless, if that is what ‘living a holy life’ translates to, then so be it! After all, if you were accused, arrested, or on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Finally, don’t you want to hear Jesus say the following at the Bema Seat Judgment? “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the Joy of thy Lord.” I know I certainly do!

What does the Bible say about when God will judge us? | GotQuestions.org

The Doctrine of Rewards: The Judgment Seat (Bema) of Christ | Bible.org

Malachi 4:2 “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”

MALACHI 4:2 MEANING (kingjamesbibleonline.org)

KJV Bible Online Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary:

“4:1-3 Here is a reference to the first and to the second coming of Christ: God has fixed the day of both. Those who do wickedly, who do not fear God’s anger, shall feel it. It is certainly to be applied to the day of judgment, when Christ shall be revealed in flaming fire; to execute judgment on the proud, and all that do wickedly. In both, Christ is a rejoicing Light to those who serve him faithfully. By the Sun of Righteousness, we understand Jesus Christ. Through him believers are justified and sanctified, and so are brought to see light. His influences render the sinner holy, joyful, and fruitful. It is applicable to the graces and comforts of the Holy Spirit, brought into the souls of men. Christ gave the Spirit to those who are his, to shine in their hearts, and to be a Comforter to them, a Sun and a Shield.

That day which to the wicked will burn as an oven, will to the righteous be bright as the morning; it is what they wait for, more than those that wait for the morning. Christ came as the Sun, to bring, not only light to a dark world, but health to a distempered world. Souls shall increase in knowledge and spiritual strength. Their growth is as that of calves of the stall, not as the flower of the field, which is slender and weak, and soon withers. The saints’ triumphs are all owing to God’s victories; it is not they that do this, but God who does it for them. Behold, another day is coming, far more dreadful to all that work wickedness than any which is gone before. How great then the happiness of the believer, when he goes from the darkness and misery of this world, to rejoice in the Lord for evermore!”

Until next time, Maranatha!

Sincerely & In Christ,

Candy Austin