First Church of Livingston
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Love Overcomes Offense

Apr 27, 2017

Love Overcomes Offense

And Then (in the last days) many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  Matthew 24:10 NKJV

Jesus makes clear that the most obvious signs of the days leading up to His return will be offense, betrayal, and hatred.  You can’t turn on the television without seeing the obvious fulfillment of this prophecy as people march in protests over almost everything, with levels of hatred in speech and action unheard before.  But my major concern (and Jesus’!) isn’t with the world in general; it’s within His Church…!

The word “offense” denotes a tripwire to a trap.  Becoming offended at persons or situations traps us in a place where betrayal and hatred become natural and love and forgiveness seem impossible.  Truly, as John Bevere has made clear, it is The Bait of Satan.

Bevere is reintroducing his book and teaching series on the subject and as part of the promotion has established a test on the internet to see if one is holding on to offense.  Remember, you cannot operate in Love and Offense at the same time; offense is like a cancer that consumes those trapped in it, destroying hearts and making for “a root of bitterness (Hebrews 12:15)” that draws many others into the trap. 

TAKE THIS TEST TO SEE IF YOU ARE HOLDING ONTO OFFENSE:

The website is:  https://www.messengercourses.com/p/are-you-holding-offense

I encourage you to take the test, and if there is interest, we’ll teach The Bait of Satan here again.  In the twenty years since the book was first released, the problem of offended hearts has only grown exponentially. 

There are a few things that we need to make sure we are clear on concerning this end-time plague…

  1. Offense, betrayal, hatred, bitterness—these can literally destroy your walk with God.
  2. If you go looking for offense, you will find it. 
  3. Once offended—caught in Satan’s trap—our perspective on all of life becomes warped, and bitterness quickly replaces forgiveness and love as our “default” setting.
  4. Offense justifies all kinds of ungodly behavior, language, and gossip.  True and complete forgiveness is marked by an absence of these poisons. 
  5. Offended people walk away from their churches, marriages, and relationships—but find it almost impossible to walk away from their offended hearts…
  6. Offense is a contagious disease, trapping people as they take on other’s offense.
  7. “Offended Christian” is ultimately an oxymoron; offense and Christ’s Love are mutually exclusive…
  8. Justifying offense is like justifying murder; killing others in our hearts because they “hurt” us leads us to a prison every bit as real as death row…

If you are human, you have been offended.  But absolute forgiveness releases the trap.  Restored relationship breaks the bars.  Letting go of the hurt releases the hate—and opens the gates of release.  Don’t take on another’s offense; rather love them enough to confront the disease!   Don’t justify offense; don’t delve into betrayal; don’t glorify hatred.  These are the very things that killed Judas Iscariot—and they can as easily kill followers in our day!!

LOVE is the answer—but it CANNOT cohabitate with offense.  Repent, forgive, restore—until only love is left!

 



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Category: Love

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