Why Don't You Defend Yourself Against Critics?
by David J. Stewart | February 2018
Luke 6:22-23, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.”
Mark Twain said, “It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart: the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.” So true! When someone tells me what my critics say, I just place it into the Lord's hands (Matthew 25:40; John 15:19; Romans 8:34). Remember that even our blessed Savior, the spotless and sinless Lamb of God was slandered by His enemies.
Kindly, I never respond to slander and criticism on the internet. Web visitors sometimes ask, “Why don't you defend yourself against critics?” I don't for these good reasons:
First, I cannot stop them and the Lord said it would happen (John 15:19; Psalms 37:12).
Second, God fights my battles (Matthew 25:40; Psalms 5:11).
Third, it's really Jesus that they hate (John 7:7).
Fourth, criticism earns me rewards (Luke 6:21-23; Matthew 5:11-12).
Fifth, my friends won't care what my enemies say & my enemies won't care what I say (Proverbs 17:17).
In Matthew 27:63, evil men called Jesus a liar and a deceiver. In John 7:20 and John 8:52, evil men called Jesus demon-possessed. In John 10:20, evil men called Jesus crazy (“mad”). In John 8:41, evil men called Jesus a bastard (“born of fornication”). So if evil people said horrible things about the good Lord, what do you think they will do to imperfect Christians in this generation? What saith the Scripture? John 15:19, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
Nearly 2,000 years after Jesus walked this earth, evil men today still portray the Savior as being an adulterer, a conspirator, a bastard, crazy, a homosexual, a fraud and a liar. My enemies are enriching my rewards in Heaven. Luke 6:21-23, “Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Faithful Bible preachers have always been hated and persecuted by this ungodly world, especially in these reprobate times of legalized homosexuality, abortion, public nudity, lying and theft in business as well as government, greed, adultery and drunkenness.
“It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart: the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.” —Author Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Social media has allowed depraved humanity to simply travel farther down the road they were already on, to destruction. People (young and old alike) are uploaded naked photos of themselves to the internet. It is an alarming phenomena. The spirit of Satan (“the accuser of the brethren,” Revelation 12:10b) permeates social media today. I absolutely despise the Fighting Fundamentalist Forum, which is nothing but a place of sinful gossip and tearing down the names of godly Christian preachers. Dr. Jack Hyles is right, “No one can withstand the attack of a critic!” (a great quote from Dr. Hyles' MP3 sermon, “I Find No Fault In This Man.” If our enemies cannot find fault in us, then they will fabricate a lie and bear false witness, as they did with Joseph, Naboth, Daniel and Jesus.
Whom Do You Say Jesus Is? (Liar, Lunatic or Lord?)
I have heard hateful people call Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001) the most ungodly slander imaginable. The saying is very true, “Don't believe anything you read, and only half of what you see.” Gossip and slander are epidemic today in the United States! Our ungodly American newsmedia is much to blame, because all they do is spread manure, tearing down people's names and utterly destroying their lives. We live in a merciless society today, a generation whose teeth are sharper than swords. Proverbs 30:14, “There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.” America has a massive homeless problem right now, and no one seems to care enough to do anything about it. Yet Americans own $98,000,000,000,000 of wealth collectively (not including another $113 trillion in property and other assets). We have the money, no one cares enough to organize help for the poor and homeless. One of the woeful sins of the city of Sodom was ignoring the needy and poor, as we do in the U.S. today. ...
Ezekiel 16:47-50, “Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways. As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”
That describes America today!
A FLOOD OF FILTH | MP3 (Pastor David Wilkerson; a grim future image of America from 1974)
I remember hearing a true story years ago in the news, about a young professed Christian woman who got involved with a cult in Kentucky. The teens ended up killing someone in their foolishness. The newsmedia reported that the girl's father had worked for Billy Graham many years earlier. Do you see how evil the media are? What in the world does Evangelist Billy Graham have to do with an occult killing by the daughter of a former attorney (not even an employee of the ministry)? The media are evil murderers, as is the Devil, the father of all liars and murderers. John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
And may I say, just because you read some slander about a person on the internet, or heard it from someone, doesn't give you a right to repeat it to someone else. In fact, to do so is a wicked thing to do. Proverbs 11:9, “An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.” An ungodly person goes around spreading garbage. Proverbs 18:8, “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” Tragically, in America today a person is deemed guilty once accused, and that person is slandered and demonized all over social media, and there is nothing they can do about it. The Devil is behind that type of evil injustice!
I know a U.S. preacher who had to leave the country as a missionary, because he was unjustly accused of a horrible crime by a young man. He had to leave the country because of the persecution from social media and the public, unable to work in any church capacity due to controversy it causes for any church he works at. I won't give any details to avoid helping the Devil destroy the victimized preacher. The younger man accusing him is an open homosexual. There is no evidence of anything wrong, sinful or criminal having occurred. In fact, there is nothing more than the accusations of the young man against the preacher, who entirely denies the allegations. Tragically, the mainstream newsmedia wrote a story about the matter, attacking the preacher as if the younger man's accusations are likely true, with no evidence whatsoever. That is how ungodly our nation has become! It is injustice when anybody can say anything about anyone, and the accused is hurt by those accusations without penalty for the accuser. In the Old Testament, if you accused somebody, you were punished with the same penalty that would have happened to the accused if it is found that you lied.
The Joy of the Lord is the Believer's Strength
My joy as a Christian comes from God being pleased with me as His child. Nehemiah said the joy of the Lord was his strength...
Nehemiah 8:10, “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Luke 10:20, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
1st Peter 1:7-9, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus said that the world will always be a place of tribulation, but He encouraged us to BE OF GOOD CHEER, knowing that as our Savior he has overcome this wicked world. Enemies and critics (trolls) will drag us down if we let them. I choose to live above the clouds as Pastor Jack Hyles did. The rains of criticism and hatred fall under the clouds. What saith the Scripture? Colossians 3:1-3, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” No matter what, you'll be judged, so be yourself. Fear God and keep His commandments. Keeps your eyes of the precious Savior! Titus 2:13, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
The Righteous Person Avoids Critical People
The Devil is an “accuser” the Bible says. Specifically, Satan accuses “the brethren” (Revelation 12:10). Since I know this is the nature of unsaved people, it doesn't bother me as much, because I know that is what wicked people do. I choose to love them with God's unconditional love, and see beyond their hatred and lack of understanding, and see them for what they can become through faith in the Gospel. I have received countless e-mails from former haters, critics and slanderers, who hated the truth; but as God used the seed of truth that they found on my ministry website (to God be the glory), they began to ponder the truth until finally they got saved. I love testimonies like that. So perhaps, hopefully, more of my critics will one day get saved and see the truth of the glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am just going to love everybody with God's unconditional love, the same wondrous love that compelled Christ to lay down His life for all mankind!
Remember, our battle is not against flesh and blood the Bible says, but against “spiritual wickedness in high places” and “against the rulers of the power of darkness” (Luciferians in power). We battle against the Devil and demons. My ministry critics are inspired by “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). So I don't take it personal. It is really Jesus that they hate and are attacking (Matthew 25:40). John 7:7, “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” At most I may have 20-25 years left of life. I am 52. I hope I am gone much sooner. I agree with Paul, who eloquently said in 2nd Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Psalms 37:12, “The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.”
God's children are under attack these days, horribly so. 2nd Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” The nature of my ministry is to do the work of an evangelist. The evangelist can say the harsh things that a pastor often cannot, because he has to live with his people 365 days a year, I don't. And since my financial support does not come from my web visitors, I can say whatever I want, no matter how unpleasant or offensive it may seem. A pastor's next meal is dependent on what he says from the pulpit. Granted, a true man of God will serve God and not mammon, and even on pain of losing his job as pastor, will not betray his calling as a preacher of the truth. I am doing the dirty work of an evangelist, which most pastors wouldn't dare do. Whereas a pastor comforts the afflicted, an evangelist afflicts the comforted!
My ministry websites have made many enemies, because I preach THE TRUTH. God will reward me. My only regret is that I cannot write thousands more articles to preach the truth, to help others find their way to new life through the cross, and to mentor God's sheep into becoming fruitful soul-winning Christians, and to help them find and attend a good local New Testament Bible-believing church. We are all struggling saints. The Bible prophesied that in the end times Satan will “wear out the saints” (Daniel 7:25b). It will get much worse I assure you before it is over. Jesus foretold in Matthew 24:10b that Christians will “betray one another.” The persecution is just getting started in America! The LGBTQ agenda is sickening, but many of the churches have already accepted it, to the shock and horror of God-fearing saints. Dear reader, we are on the winning side in Jesus Christ! BE OF GOOD CHEER!!! (an excellent YouTube sermon by Dr. David Gibbs Jr. based on the Lords words in John 16:33). Persecution is coming for God-fearing saints!
Psalms 5:11, “But
let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout
for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.”
I don't know if you saw this presentation, but it is something that every Christian needs to watch: “Speechless: Silencing The Christians.”
Anyone who takes a stand for God will have enemies (2nd Timothy 3:12). Jesus Himself had many critics, who said the most awful things about Him. Even today 2,000 years later people still deny Christ's deity, call Him an adulterer, a bastard, a deceiver, et cetera. If they will say that about the sinless Lamb of God, then they are certainly going to attack believers (and were not perfect)...
I started my online ministry for the Lord Jesus Christ, by God's grace, back in 2002. I have been doing this long enough now to start clipping coupons, so to speak. I have received letters from men who were saved, and now pastoring churches, as a direct result of this ministry. I have received countless letters from people who said they once hated me years ago, thinking I was a nut, but a seed was planted after visiting my website, and now they are saved and grateful for THE TRUTH! Amen and amen! I always give God ALL the due praise, credit and glory. HEAR YE HIM!
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Souls Are Dying!
Precious Christian Testimonies
How Permanent Is Your Salvation?
(an excellent MP3 sermon by Pastor Hank Lindstrom, 1940-2008)
“The mark of the child of God is that he loves everybody!”
(a quote from Pastor Jack Hyles' classic MP3 sermon, “FORGIVENESS”)
John 3:16, “For God
so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
BELIEVE “THE GOSPEL” 2B SAVED!
Confession Is Never A Requirement For Salvation
'The Gospel' In Just One Minute (by Pastor Max D. Younce)
“As a blind man has no idea of colors, so we have no idea of the manner
which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.” —Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
Another Gospel Which Is Not Another (a red-hot MP3 by Dr. Curtis Hutson exposing Lordship Salvation)
“If you have to look at
your life to prove that you are saved, it proves that you're not!”
—Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold; an excellent quote from the awesome YouTube sermon titled, “Why Lordship Salvation is WRONG! | MP3.”