47 But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” – John 5:47 NLT
It wasn’t necessary for Jesus to accuse us or condemn us. Our unbelief has already condemned us. Just as the religious leaders were condemned by their unbelief of the Old Testament Scriptures, we are condemned by our unbelief. We have even more reason to believe the truth about Jesus than the people that Jesus was speaking to then. If we believe in Him, there is no condemnation or judgment for us.
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.–John 3:18,19 (NLT)
33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.—Romans 8:33, 34 (NLT)
Will the world accuse us and condemn us? Will we be offended? Of course, but we must remember that the words they speak have no authority in the courts of heaven. If we believe, there is no condemnation for us. This is the Good News that we need to spread to a world full of people searching for something to give them hope in a world filled with violence and discord. There is someone who can give them the peace for which they are so desperately searching.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29 I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?—1 Cor. 10:27-30 NIV
Jesus set the example of eating with sinners and he expects us to do the same. We are free to eat whatever is served to us. In those days, it was very possible that a person could have been offered something that was prepared as a sacrifice to an idol. If they were informed of that, then they should not partake of that food, not because it is a sin for them, but for the sake of the other person. Why? Paul is using the eating of meat that has been sacrificed to idols to show us an example of how we should be willing to give up certain rights rather than offend or harm another person. We are not judged by what goes into our mouth but by what comes out of it.
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”–Matt. 15:10,11 NIV
If we profess one thing and do another, we not only harm the Kingdom of God and ourselves, we also become a stumbling block to unbelievers and weaker brothers and sisters. If we know something offends another person even though it would not be a sin for us to take that action, then we should abstain from doing so in their presence. The only exception would be that if, in so doing, we had to violate our own conscience, then that is a line we cannot cross.
24 We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. 25 We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming. 26 If we go on sinning after we have learned the truth, no sacrifice can take away our sins. 27 All that is left is a terrifying wait for judgment and a raging fire that will consume God’s enemies. 28 If two or three witnesses accused someone of rejecting Moses’ Teachings, that person was shown no mercy as he was executed.—Hebrews 10:24-28 (GW)
God is waiting to show you the way.
If we are going to encourage one another, then we need to pray for each other and also we need to pray together. We need to meet with other Christians on a regular basis. Worshiping and praising God together is a great way to encourage each other. If we fail to communicate with other Christians on a regular basis, we tend to become discouraged in our walk with God. One of satan’s tactics is to separate us from each other. He uses the same tactics as animals that are predators. They separate one of the prey from the herd and it is much easier for them to kill the one they have separated. After all, satan is a “roaring lion” seeking those he can destroy. We must work together and be accountable to God and each other so that we don’t go on sinning. It is a good idea to have someone you respect and trust to be accountable to on a weekly basis. Just knowing that you are going to have to tell someone everything you did this week will help you to overcome temptations.