Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry



By Jeannette Haley

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ

Hath made us free, and be not entangled again

With the yoke of bondage.” – Galatians 5:1

       We all laugh when our beloved friend, Rayola, accidentally calls Peleg (in Genesis 11) “Peg-Leg.” We know from Scripture that in Peleg’s time, “the earth was divided.” So, maybe “Peg-Leg” is one way of remembering that division did occur on the earth. If we were then to go a step further, we could say that when it comes to an individual being “peg-legged” spiritually, he or she has “only one real leg to stand on” which makes it hard to “stand fast.”

       The truth is, division can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the circumstances. Division, or separation, from evil is a good thing, of course; but on the other hand, separation from God for eternity is the worst thing that could ever befall a mortal soul. “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2.) This is a dangerous position to be in by assuming that God is hearing your prayers when He is not because of sin. Jesus, quoting from Isaiah 29:13 said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” This is a serious charge, not only for ancient Israel, but for us today. It seems that the post-modern church has forgotten that what God calls sin is still sin; and it also appears that most of mankind has forgotten the fact that God has not changed and He never will.

       Modern man is no different than ancient man when it comes to our responses to God, His commandments, His Word and ways. The bottom line is, because the post-modern church has so cleverly and eagerly embraced the world’s vain philosophies (psychology), un-scientific theories (evolution), and godless intellectualism (foolishness of the world), there is a massive infiltration of deluded, “peg-leg,” self-proclaimed “Christians.” You don’t have to look hard to find them; in fact, all you have to do is observe how sin has been redefined and made into something acceptable, fashionable or even desirable. We are warned in 1 Timoithy 4:1, 2 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” In Isaiah 5:20 we read this warning, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”  Proverbs 17:15 says, “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.”

       Clearly, a “peg-leg” Christian is a person who has one leg in Christianity, and the other leg in the world. Such a person has one leg on the foundation of Jesus as their Savior, while their other leg is anchored in the world rather than resting on Him as their LORD. No matter that the Bible is clear that Jesus Christ is both Lord and Savior. Acts 2:36 says, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” It is impossible to “accept” Jesus and be truly born again without “receiving” Him as not only savior, but also as LORD. That means He is Master and we are His bondservants. If Jesus is LORD, then He is the boss—the One calling the shots and not us. Being born again of the Spirit cannot take place when there is a refusal to give up the self-life. Jesus is the one whom we are to obey, and not the other way around.

       Consider Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” These are sobering words indeed. Calling Jesus “Lord” and doing great works in His name are not enough if we do not know Him, and we will never truly know Him if He is not our Lord. It’s a sad commentary on our times to note that great numbers of people who deem themselves to be Christian practice and even flaunt iniquity (moral deviation and sin), and defend their iniquity under the banner of “God is love” while arrogantly condemning the righteous who dare to expose, confront and rebuke their sin.

       The reason that the faith “once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) has been watered down, ignored, and even forsaken is because the true Gospel has not been presented wholly. In other words, it’s been diminished into a half-truth for our convenience. This “easy-believism gospel” doesn’t require anything from people; that is, they are never told to “count the cost” (see Luke 14:28-30), nor does it upset or offend them as the full Gospel does. This softer, friendlier approach is easier for people to “accept” so they can put one foot into churchianity or religion while dangling their “peg-leg” in the things of the world. Nowhere in Scripture does it tell us to “accept Jesus as Savior” and you shall be saved, forever and ever, no matter what, period. Just “say the little prayer” and then no matter what you do, how you live, or where your heart really is you’re a “Christian,” and some fine day you’re going to heaven when you die. This is one of Satan’s slickest lies which people gladly embrace. It makes people feel good to think that, in a way, they’re doing Jesus a favor by giving Him an “accepting” nod, and telling Him what they think He wants to hear, and then with a flippant commitment of “See ya around,” they go on their merry way, living like they’ve always lived.

       The slide from what the Bible says concerning receiving Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord to merely “accepting Jesus as savior” has resulted in a weak foundation of muddy, shifting sand, for countless numbers of people. P. B. Power, (1822-1899) a faithful servant of God wrote, “A half-and-half man, a half-and-half creed, will never meet with violent opposition or enmity from the world. Even what might be called a three-quarters man will escape without very much harm. It is the out-and-out Christian, and the out-and-out creed that the world hates. Making compromises is an old trade of Satan’s. It is one at which he shows consummate skill; he is willing to be large and liberal; he will concede far more than at first sight anyone would suppose; in fact, he will go so far as to say, ‘You may be nine-tenths Christ’s if only as regards the remaining tenth you will agree to be mine.’ The man of God must nail his colours to the mast, and not listen even for a moment to any terms upon which those colours are to be struck.”

       Henry M. Morris (1918-2006), One of the founders of Creation Research Society, rightly noted, “Jesus” is quite popular among worldly people today, but not the true Jesus.  The popular Jesus may be the baby Jesus in the manger at Christmastime, or the buddy Jesus of Nashville “gospel” music, or the success-counseling Jesus of the positive thinkers.  He may be the romantic Jesus of the Christian crooners, the rhythmic Jesus of Christian rock, or the reforming Jesus of the liberals, but none of these are the Jesus preached by the Apostle Paul, and therefore not the real Jesus who saves men and women from their sins. Jesus, in reality, is the Lord Jesus Christ, the offended Creator of the universe, who had to die as man on the cross to redeem us through His shed blood, and who then rose from the dead to be set “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named.”  Finally, it is this Jesus “who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.” The Lord Jesus, as He really is, is not the popular Jesus of T-shirts and bumper stickers, politicians and entertainers.  He was “despised and rejected of men,” so they “crucified the Lord of glory.” He is the mighty God, the perfect Man, the only Savior, the eternal King, and Lord of Lords.  God-called teachers will not preach an imaginary Jesus who appeals to the flesh, but rather, the true Christ of creation and salvation.”

       Think of all the biblical characters who were half-committed, half in and half out, half hot and half cold (lukewarm) or, as this short article portrays, “peg-legged.” Take, for example, Cain who was offended, crushed and angry when God refused his offering. The liberal non-thinker of today would sympathetically declare that Cain was doing his “best” and it wasn’t his fault, and that the LORD wasn’t “fair” in his dealings with Cain, in spite of the fact that he murdered his brother. After all, poor Cain probably suffered from PTSD after God’s rejection of his offering. Then there was “deprived” Esau who got cheated by his own mother and his twin brother, Jacob. Never mind that his birthright meant no more to him than a bowl of lentil soup. Even though he chose pagan wives, and lived without regard to God, the wonky worldlings of today, if they could, would vehemently argue with God that He is unjust because He favored Jacob, and “hated” Esau. (See Malachi 1:1-5.) What about the shocking horror of it all when Aarons two sons, Nadab and Abihu, were killed by God because they offered strange fire on the altar? The “bleeding hearts” in today’s soft-on-sin churches would be beyond incensed if such a thing were to happen in church. But, in a way, it did when Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, both lied to the Holy Ghost and dropped dead. (See Acts 5:1-11.) As for Aaron’s two sons, Nadab and Abihu, the “peg-legs” would argue that, after all, according to Exodus 24 they had been with Moses, Aaron and the seventy elders of Israel when they all saw a great vision of God. Besides that, they had been carefully taught and trained as Levitical priests. Surely that would count for something? In other words, God was surely too harsh on those nice young men for “making a mistake” and so why not give them a second chance to get it right. Even Judas, the betrayer of Christ, has found sympathy in some churches. Believe it or not, years ago I sat through a horrible play on “Easter Sunday” in a certain church where the emphasis was on poor Judas instead of the glorious resurrection of Christ! I suppose none dared call it blasphemy.

       We could go through every page of the Bible and find the contrast between light and darkness, truth and lies, righteousness and evil, life and death, obedience and disobedience, belief and unbelief, love and hate, wisdom and foolishness, and so on. The bottom line is, there is no middle ground, there is no blending of right and wrong, heaven or hell, the broad way and the narrow way, or truth and error. Either a person is born again, or they are dead in their sins. Jesus said we cannot serve two masters. We cannot dabble in the occult, satanism, Hinduism or any other “ism” and be saved; nor can we serve the Lord half-heartedly, for the “other half” belongs to the world, and Satan is the “god of this world.” The door will be shut against us when He comes if our lamps are only half full of oil, or if we lack faith, or if we are living in sin. With the LORD, it’s all or nothing. Jesus cannot be Saviour if He is not LORD. Again, in 2 Peter 1:11, we find the distinction between “Saviour” and “Lord”, “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”  2 Peter 2:20.

       To be sure, a person can never be whole in the Lord Jesus Christ until they are wholly His. “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him….” (1 Kings 18:21.) “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:8.)

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The Goal of Gentle Shepherd Ministries is to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to make disciples in compliance with the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19).

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