What does it take to be an enemy of Christ?
Do you have to hold a rally with signs that say, “I hate Jesus”? Must you burn the Bible in public? Would you need to publish articles that belittle and ridicule Jesus’ words or deny the historicity of Jesus?
Those would be rather obvious ways to let others know that you were an enemy Jesus Christ. I don’t suppose any of us reading this article would dare to do such things.
But is it possible to be an enemy of the Lord in more subtle ways?
In Jesus’ parable of the pounds (cf. Lk 19:11-28), Jesus spoke of his “enemies” in clear terms: “these enemies of mine … did not want me to reign over them” (Luke 19:27, ESV).
Being an enemy of Jesus is easier than we think. It has been correctly said that people are usually more interested in Jesus as Savior than Jesus as Lord, or ruler, of their lives.
For Jesus to be Lord, we must accept a new burden. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me” (Matthew 11:29). Like a pair of oxen yoked together for plowing, we are yoked together with many habits, ideas and attitudes contrary to the will of God, which we have learned from the fallen world (cf. Ep 2:2-3).
When we put on the yoke of Christ, we not only rejoice in his forgiveness of our past sins, but we also accept a new burden — one that involves a renewed effort to unlearn what the world has taught us, to learn what he is teaching, and to receive what he is offering. He promises that, compared with the yoke of sin we have been wearing, “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mt 11:29).
Paul wrote, “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame — who set their mind on earthly things.” (Pp 3:18).
These enemies of Christ are those who desire the Savior’s forgiveness, but still wish to live on their own terms.
Rick Kelley, “Prestonsburg Informer”, Prestonsburg, KY