‘You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us, and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you! For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored.’ ~ 1 Cor. 4:8-10
To fully understand what Paul said in the preceding verses, we must back up to chapter 3 and take in verses 1-4. Here Paul warns against the worship of men. ‘And I brethren, could not speak to you as spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you are not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, ‘I am of Paul’, and another, ‘I am of Apollos’, are you not carnal?’ The following is simply a restatement, ‘Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come all are yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.’ (verse 22) Meaning simply that we have been given everything we need to know God because we are His and He is ours, and we are all God’s children. In other words, the only shot caller in God’s kingdom is God Himself! Who by His own gracious hand has made us all kings individually with Himself!
The sufferings and persecutions Paul speaks about in chapter 4:8-13 are a direct result of those that have declared themselves kings and queens of their own little castles while Paul and the apostles suffer dishonor like common criminals. Hence Paul’s statement, ‘You have reigned as kings without us.’ In other words, while you’re in church singing songs about the Lord, we are outcasts in the streets getting beat to death. Sound familiar?
Unfortunately most christians will not experience this until it’s too late and has actually happened to them. I say unfortunate because if we were discerning enough we could stop some of this nonsense before it occurred. However, it is not until we actually stand against religion and the worship of men in an organized church that this horrendous, yet enlightening experience is actually felt. Sadly enough, the worst persecutions are almost always in house! This is a terrible, yet very true and present reality.
My friends, if you have been disfellowshipped by a clergy gone wild and your suffering persecution in regards to the purity of God’s loving grace and the gospel of Christ; here is what I believe Jesus would say to those coming in like prisoners at the end of the procession:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the poor in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
George L. Miller
P.S. Since leaving the physical church, i.e. the building; my wife and I have begun to see and experience God like never before! Because now ours truly is the kingdom of heaven! God bless you all!