Bullies

Bullies

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV

There are more bullies now than ever: unholy people, without natural affection. It’s like they’re not even human some of them, hmmmm? But we know God can change any heart He chooses to. He changed us, didn’t He? And He forgave us too. That’s my consolation when I think of bullies. Some of these coldhearted folks really belong to God. They just don’t know it yet.

God desires that we work with Him in saving souls, not work against Him by returning evil for evil.

“On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:20-21 NIV

Who knows if a bully we know will become like the apostle Paul? Paul (who’s name was Saul) went around persecuting the church of God in the first century? He went from House to house snatching believers out of their homes and throwing them in jail. He also approved of their murders. This same guy who so zealously persecuted the church later became a bold Christian himself! You can read about him in the Bible book of Acts.

Stories like Saul’s (who​ later became the Christian known as Paul) give me comfort when I think of the bullies I encounter. No wonder Jesus says to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. (Matthew 5:43-48) Some​ of them are us, they just don’t know it yet. They too will one day know what it’s like to be bullied or persecuted because of their faith in Jesus Christ:

“In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Acts 9:10-16 NIV

Of course every bully will not repent and come to Jesus like Saul did. Most bullies are who they are: children of the Devil. They have all of their father’s evil traits. They always lie, love to harass people, and use fear tactics to control others. Fire and sulfur, eternal torment in the lake of fire will be their reward:

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars-their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 NLT

Yes, the Devil has children too. We are not all God’s children like some say. That’s a lie:

“This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.” 1 John 3:10 NIV

Jesus told a group of religious folks this:

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 NIV

So you see the scriptures testify that there are children of God and children of the Devil.

Do not be surprised at how evil people are today. It is written that it would be this way. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) We are very much in the last days. And remember, some of those same bullies are us, they just don’t know it yet. But who will tell them about Jesus’ love and forgiveness? That’s where you and I come in. We have the awesome privilege of being fellow workers with almighty God! Be very careful not to let their conduct cause us to grow hateful. If our love grows cold Satan has gotten the victory over us.

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13 NIV

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