When Kingdom love means choosing to say no

I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. Rev.1:9

John got in trouble and suffered because he spoke of the word of God and his testimony of Jesus. He said “no” to a law or someone’s command that he shut his mouth about Jesus. But the love of Christ compelled him. This is similar to what happened to Jesus; the Pharisees tried to silence Him, but He kept on preaching and living the Kingdom of God. And this resulted in His suffering. His living the Kingdom and His suffering death were and are now both borne of love. Early believers in Rome chose to say “no” when the Empire demanded that they make a confession that ‘Caesar is lord’. They in love said “no” to the authorities and instead confessed, “Jesus is Lord.”

Have you ever had to say “no” to something because of your love for Christ? As we walk in our bodies through this world, the Kingdom of God is within us. Conflict is inevitable. Our response to this conflict of kingdoms, is due to our love for Christ, and His love for us. Our mutual covenant of love, necessitates having to make difficult choices. The kingdoms of the world want us to make one choice, but the Kingdom of God within us leads us to a different choice. The reason for saying “no” to what the world wants us to do, is always because of love. Our “no” is not a result of us being unloving; on the contrary, it is a result of a great love in the Kingdom of God, our union and communion with Christ. Our “no” is thus a great witness to the world.

People and things I have said “no” to (short list):

  • A teenage boyfriend who challenged me to choose between him and Christ.
  • College professors who required the reading and acceptance of occult books to graduate.
  • A Church that had patriotic nationalist songs as part of the song worship service.
  • A Church that practiced pragmatism, CGM, TQM, lying, and “New Age lite”.
  • Saying the Pledge of Allegiance (to the USA Gov.) at Christian school events.
  • A preacher teaching us that we should reverence and honor a political nation.
  • Ministry leaders and pastors that taught fear of “the heathens” and “war against enemies is necessary”, at a Christian conference.

This is just a sample of some times I chose to say “no”. I said no to these things because His life in me compelled me. Choices to say no are personal matters of obedience to Christ, a matter between you and God, as they are done because of His personal, individual leading in our lives by His Life, as He is our life (Col.3:4). Kingdoms are in conflict and sometimes saying no to certain activities or people’s demands is living the Kingdom love of Christ, as well as a witness to the world. Saying “no” to something in favor of the Kingdom of Jesus sometimes brings backlash and suffering from “the world”, but it always brings righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom.14:17).  When and why did you choose to say “no” to something out of love for Christ and His Kingdom?

9 thoughts on “When Kingdom love means choosing to say no

  1. Hi, Loretta. Being sheep, it’s tough to say no because we mostly like to move in a crowd. This is what sheep do except when they’re wandering off and getting lost.
    This year, I’ve said no to Christmas. Our fellowship puts up a tree in the sanctuary and figurines, etc. (We also have a flag – two Christian and U.S. – there.) Ever since I was a child I loved Christmas but have to be done with it. It’s also always made me blue. Now the Lord has taught me from His Word and the research of others that it isn’t TRUE OR REAL, and comes from pagan thinking and our love of this world. I’m also sad that our brothers and sisters, though they know how we feel, don’t mind our absence for a month or more. So, it’s no to Christmas.
    It’s no to so-called images of Jesus and movies about Him because they’re lies.
    It’s no to politics.
    Thank you for posting in simplicity and truth,

  2. Maria, I hear what you are saying and you say it well, however, I’m thinking “Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.” I hear what you are saying with respect and love as well, and I’d like to give you another perspective. In this particular instance, we have a real baby to consider. I choose to celebrate His miraculous birth – the birth which led to His making it possible for us both to be saved into an eternal relationship with Him! We must nurture Him in our hearts from birth to death, and to resurrection.
    You are right, there is too much “bath water” – the commercialism, the secular trashing of our Holy Lord, the rank overindulgence, – anything that the enemy uses to try to get us to take our eyes off Jesus. Yes, we must not participate – we must throw that out – while we, as His family celebrate His birth, and His life, together. It doesn’t have to be at the church that offends you, for there are plenty of non-denominational places which focus completely on Jesus’ birth -God with us- and His coming to earth. Please seek the true meaning of Christmas (I usually call it “Christbirth” instead of “Christmas”, it seems more fitting) The scriptural accounts are beautiful, don’t you think? Please don’t turn your back on Christbirth. Won’t you join me and our brothers and sisters in prayerful, worshipful, singing and celebration? It won’t be the same without you.
    Your brother in Christ,

  3. Gloryteller, thank you for your comment, I do understand the positions of both sides of this topic but this is not a debate blog; I am rather inviting all readers to share their stories or personal examples of when they have decided they had to say “no” to something, anything in the world or in the “Church” system, in order to follow conscience because of love for Christ. On the topic of holidays, we are free in Him to observe or not observe, as our conscience dictates; we must in love, allow one another have their personal convictions about that. But what other situations have there been, readers, where you have had to say “no”? I have another one today. Recently so called “America’s pastor” (He is considered to be the top leader of the Evangelicals) suggested that the Roman Catholic pope is “our” pope, suggesting that the pope is the pope of “ALL Christians”. To that i say –“No.” The pope is not my Father or my Savior or Lord. God is my Father, Jesus Christ is my Lord.
    I must say “no” to any agreement the Protestants or Evangelicals have with the “bring all the Christians under the pope” statements by Rick Warren. Why? Because I love Jesus Christ and my loyalty is to HIM.

    • Loretta, I agree that on the issue of “re-union” with Rome, that if we are the Lord’s we must take a stand against it. Here is a good link with more discussion of Warren’s work:
      Another issue to be firm on is that Christians must not see the answers to the evils of this world in political activism. Christians have fallen in love with this and are frightening in their zeal. We must be the church and know that the Lord alone is sovereign, and that we can’t and aren’t called to take dominion over this world system which is essentially evil, or evil by nature. That is not to say that we are not to be good citizens because this would contradict the Word of God too.

      • Hi Maria, yes i agree; that is Christian Reconstructionism or Christian Dominionism, and this is actually being used as a tool (along with many other “isms”) to help .the progress and development of a new kind of global religion in the world.

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