Blessing Our Perscutors


by: Lucas Hawkins


How can we bless our persecutors when they believe we are practicing sinners and on the way to hell? How do we defend our faith when the churches, our family and friends tell us that homosexuality is a sin and that we are not worthy of the kingdom of God? How can we possibly convince them that we are who we are because we were born that way? They will not accept that. They believe we have the strength and the knowledge to change our behavior by just stopping it, but how can you stop being who you really are? There isn't a switch inside of me that I can just turn myself off. Everyday when I wake up in the morning to begin my day, I have to force myself to prepare for the things I must do to survive and pass as a male. I truly know that I can live no other way. Just doing my details of life, like, taking a shower and putting on my clothes; filling a backpack of stuff with extra clothes and underwear, as a precaution so that I have the security for whatever happens to me in the course of the day, I am protected. My body is a continuous reminder that I'm not biologically male. Every time I look in the mirror and see the image I feel fear of being discovered. Even though I know with all my heart that I am not deceiving anyone, because I show the world who I believe I am. This is the real me, not a woman, but a man -- a man that is forced to deal with the shame of my affliction, with frustration, anxiety, and depression in my day. But I continue to battle with it because even though my body is female, my mind is completely male, a heterosexual male. This is who I am! So what came first? The mind or the body? Which of these two are important to know who you really are. The doctors will immediately claim it is the body that tells us who we are by gender. But what really is the case here? Does the body really say what's more important about ourselves? Or how the mind thinks or the personality that one takes on? There are more things going on in the soul and spirit, which makes us unique and different from others. But our own brothers and sisters in Christ, will not accept this, because they will naturally believe that, "this 'lifestyle' is perverted and evil."

I struggled for many years to find the truth. I began to search for God. I began to read the Bible and started going to Bible studies and I was tutored in what the Bible was saying about us. I learned so many things about Jesus and what He was. This is where I finally found the Good News of Jesus Christ's finished work and the provision of grace where everybody can come -- no matter what you are, or what you've done, or where you were born, and, yes, even your gender or your sexuality -- you can come near to the Lord and proclaim that He is your Savior because you believe Jesus died for your sins -- past, present, and future. He did this on the Cross of Calvary, shedding his blood so that we could receive the free gift of eternal life. You don't have to do anything, just believe that Jesus took our sin upon Himself and bore the shame and pain of our sin, as well as every individual that ever lived on this earth. The sin issue has been accomplished, so there is no one who will go to hell for their sins. Those who go to hell are the people who reject Jesus' free gift of love, which is eternal life, a life with the Almighty God forever.

I believe that homosexuality is not a sin, anymore than being heterosexual, we are all sinners either way. We have no choice in picking out our own eye color, let alone have control over our sexuality. But I believe we all need to become meek before the Lord knowing that without Christ, we are nothing, and we ourselves cannot please God except through His Son, Jesus. We need to be faithful and obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit knows the truth and is there to spiritually teach us and also reveal the faithfulness of the Father. The fact we have grace doesn't give us a license to sin, but just the opposite. We are no longer slaves of sin, but now we can, upon conversion, receive the righteousness of Jesus Christ, whom the Father sent to pay the penalty for our sins. Therefore, we are slaves of righteousness and we are seated in heavenly places before the Father and His Son.

Romans six starting with verse six, says: "For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."

I am a transsexual and I've seen it all, and went through a lot of pain. There is no harmony between my body and my mind. There is no peace. People like me don't have a chance in hell of others who will understand what we are going through. Christians of today are so quick to judge you, even though they have never been in your shoes or suffered the pain and hardship and misery of having the mind of a male, but being stifled, and fearful of what people would do or say, if they ever found out I'm not a man but, unfortunately biologically female. Most likely, I would be called a lesbian, since so many people are ignorant and don't have a clue about what goes on in our world. I surely didn't choose this affliction and I would much rather not have been born at all than to go through life trying to be who you really are but never really feeling who you want to be, because you've always got this shameful body to remind you of what you really aren't.

It is the intentions of the heart that are measured. Our belief is in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, shedding His blood on Calvary to take away our sins and putting them on Himself, suffering the penalty we should have suffered.. Jesus loved the Father and he loved the plan of salvation, that whosoever believes in Him, the Son, has eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son" (John 3:16-18). In this, we must be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we believe this with all of our heart, knowing that you are hidden in Christ. "For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." (Colo. 3:3).

We have the ability to bring down blessings from God and all it takes is receiving His mercy. We need to start studying the scriptures for ourselves and not believe what most Christians think today. Satan tries to keep us away from finding out the truth behind all that has been kept from us for so long. I, for one, as a transsexual, had many obstacles in finding the truth. But once I started to seek God, He was there to be found with all the answers I needed. I finally found a church that teaches the full counsel of God -- rightly dividing the Word of God. This is where you need to be, with a pastor-teacher that is feeding his flock, like the good Shepherd. Then once you understand that the day Jesus gave up His life on the cross it is the day that the issue of sin was fulfilled. We are not judged for our sins any longer. What will be judged for are what deeds you've done, whether it was of the flesh or of the Spirit -- this will be the determining factor in the final evaluation.

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10).

You are in the presence of God who is omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, through the integrity of His essence. Every time you obeyed God by faith, it was recorded in a Book of Remembrance (Malachi 3:16).


A Finished Work Evaluation

"And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world" (John 12:47).

This verse reveals the Finished Work. There is no judgment now. We receive discipline, but no judgment, for now.

"He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48).

What will judge us? The Word. Man must live by every single word of God (Matthew 4:4). When Jesus prayed for His disciples, He said, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth" (John 17:17). Before that, He told them "...the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63).

Our sins have been placed under the Blood and forgiven, and they will not be brought up. Yet the heart attitude will be addressed. Were our actions motivated by love?


The Character of Love

As we stand before Him, the Lord will bring up the two great commandments -- Did you love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind? Did you love your neighbor as yourself? (Matthew 22:37-40). That will be the tough one. Then, He will let you know what you did.

He will ask whether you loved your enemies as He did (Luke 6:27, 35). He loved them by dying for them. He didn't talk against them. Did you live in reactions toward people at your workplace? Did you talk too much for years about people who hurt you? For all of those years, by just reiterating old wounds, you lost rewards. It doesn't mean we must have fellowship with our enemies. Yet, according to 1 John 3:14 and 16, by loving and laying down our lives for the brethren, we perceive the love of God, and we know that we have passed from death to life.

The first thing that we will be judged for is the character of God's love manifested through our lives. We will stand before Him at the Bema Seat all alone, and we will come away either happy or ashamed.

"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is , because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." (1 Cor. 3: 10-15)

The Bible doesn't say how long the shame will last, but it will not last forever, because heaven is heaven. So, love is the first thing.


Be Willing to Be the Victim

"Love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12, 13:34). This shows you are truly saved (1 John 3:14). Yet, how many of us understand that to love someone with God's love may mean to lay down your life for them (1 John 3:16), to be willing to be the victim? Do you run away from the idea? Are you afraid of it? Is it fair? Where did this principle come from?

Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53: 6).

The servant is not above his master (Matthew 10: 24-25). If the world despised Christ, they will also despise His representatives on the earth. In your relationship and dealings with others, including the unsaved and the unmerciful, you will be evaluated for your willingness to be the victim. Were you a loving victim, regardless of the unfair attacks against your character at times? In your relationship, were you able to love unconditionally? The Word implies that we did not deserve God's love, so we should love others freely as well. How we respond to the Word now will prepare us for our appointment in eternity, in the courtroom of heaven. Therefore, let your words on earth be few and let them be edifying. (Ecclesiastes. 5: 1-3)


Our Response to the Great Commission

While we are being evaluated by every word of God, He will not mention the sin issue because our sins have already been forgiven, forgotten, and washed away. Yet, He will bring up what we did in obedience to the Word.

Five times, the Holy Spirit recorded the commandment to go into all the world with the Gospel. Therefore, at the Bema Seat evaluation for the believer the Lord can look us right in the eye and say, "I gave you the Great Commission just before I left. Now I will show you what you did with My commandment."

Every theologian agrees that the Great Commandment is to love, and the Great Commission is to witness on purpose. We witness because we plan to go out soul winning. The Twelve, the Seventy, and the apostle Paul all evangelized from house to house. We surely can witness to our own people because we understand how it feels to be rejected and alone in who we are. We need to band together and witness to every gay, bi, gender-bender, and cross-dresser in town. It's about time we start telling our brothers and sisters that the Christian churches are not bringing out the truth about love, grace, mercy, and the Finished Work of Jesus Christ. We have to make sure that we have godly priorities included in our daily schedule so that we can go out and evangelize the lost. How will they hear if we don't tell them?


New Covenant

Instead of having to follow the letter of the law of God, Christians are living under a New Covenant. God has written His law on our hearts and minds, and we walk before Him as His children.

We have the privilege to make godly decisions daily -- purposing to become what Christ wants us to be for that day. Every morning, noon, and night, we reaffirm those decisions.

Do we fail at times? Yes, But we continue to grow because we serve the God of all mercies. He loves it when we draw near to Him in full assurance. It is a worthy goal to develop a lifestyle that is focused on mercy.

We can go as far with God as we will receive His mercy to grow. We will grow in spiritual dimensions just as much as we understand that grace is for us. God's unconditional love is unchanging. Sooner or later, it will change men and women who have God living inside of them.


Vessels of Mercy

"And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory" (Romans 9:23).

We were ordained to be vessels of mercy for the glory of God. An entire generation of God's people perished, except for Joshua and Caleb, because they rejected the mercy of God. Instead of accepting mercy (God withholding the judgment they deserved) which would have prepared them to receive His grace (God giving what they didn't deserve at all), they began to evaluate their own ability to take on the task and they fainted.

As God leads, begin to get in the habit of saying, "Lord I want to do everything to let Your mercy and Your grace make me what I can be and what I should be when I face You."

The Word of God has made it very clear that because of the mercy of our God on high, our foot shall not be moved (Psalm 21: 7). Practically speaking, our foot shall not be moved because of the high and holy place of God's mercy.

"I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

"For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens" (Psalm 89:1-2).

God has established His mercies in the heavens. His mercy is higher than anything in this life -- it is greater than any power. He has established His mercy beyond principalities and powers, beyond the strength of the old sin nature of men, women, and young people. God has established mercy forever.


Mercy and Truth

God wants us to understand the great possibilities that we have because of His mercy. It all began when mercy and truth met together. This truth is the truth about God's holiness, God's Justice, God's sinlessness, the truth about God's perfection. It is the truth that God cannot look upon sin (Habakkuk 1: 13), the truth that God hates unrighteousness and iniquity (Psalm 45:7).

So, in eternity past, Mercy said, "God, I want a meeting with You about Your holiness." And during a meeting known as the determinate counsel of the Trinity (Acts 2:23), Jesus Christ appealed to the Father and said, "Father, you are the Father of mercies." (2 Cor. 1:3). If I become a man and die after living a perfect life in a hypostatic union (absolutely God and yet completely human), will You meet everyone who believes and receives Me, and give them Our righteousness?

Because of that agreement in eternity past, sinners today can have peace and righteousness just by believing. Truth springs up from the earth, righteousness looks down from heaven, and we receive the truth about our new identity in Christ. We became brand-new the moment we were saved because of mercy.

God delivers us according to His mercy (Psalm 109:26). It is so important that we understand this: God delivers us according to His mercy, not according to His Law, not according to our frailties. Deliverance is always accompanied by mercy.

Christ is glorified when I can trust Him. My way is established by believing (2 Chronicles 20:20). I do not become established by worrying and fearing but by accepting what God has given. The issue is not what I do wrong but what Jesus Christ did right.


A New and Living Way

God wants us to understand that we have been given a fantastic new and living way. The Holy Spirit is a witness, in Hebrews 10:15. He confirms that our sins and iniquities are remembered no more (Hebrews 10:17). Furthermore, he says that where there is remission of sins, there is no need for an offering (Hebrews 10:18). Instead, we have boldness to enter into the holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19), "by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh" (Hebrews 10:20).

The veil in the holy place was torn from top to bottom, so the priests could look in. There was no longer a wall, no barriers to keep us from fellowship with God at the Mercy Seat. We have Jesus Christ, who is our High Priest, always pleading our case before the Father in heaven (Hebrews 9:24). God the Father will hear our every prayer because mercy met with truth, and mercy rejoices against judgment. Mercy is always waiting for us to receive its value, its capacity, its motivation, its integrity, because of His death for us which purchased our redemption.


Draw Near

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

"Let us hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised;

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works;

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:22-25).

God never leaves out a single promise that grace and mercy ask Him to fulfill. And as the day of His return approaches, we should be fellowshipping around this mercy more and more.

We are saved by mercy through grace and by faith. Mercy delivers us. In Psalm 90:14, mercy satisfies. It satisfied the publican who could only cry out, "Be merciful to me, a sinner." He went home justified, and he was satisfied with God's provision. For those who were living in adultery or in deceitfulness, when we ask for mercy in true repentance, just as David did, we will go away with amazing mercy.


Mercy's Motivation

The psalmist said he would sing about the Lord's mercy (Psalm 59:16-17). Throughout all generations the story of God's mercy is recorded in His Word, and it is there for us to read about today.

The Bible teaches us that grace has never at any time failed a sinner. And when a sinner understands grace, he doesn't want to continue in sin (Titus 2: 11-12). He doesn't want to be fainthearted or fearful. A sinner who understands grace and mercy desires to go into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the world with this message.

Grace and mercy motivate us to establish outreaches in our cities and to do all that we can to reach the lost, to help the poor, to bring joy and peace to the brokenhearted and to those who have failed. God wants to inspire prayers for the sick, and He wants to help the weak with His strength.

There is no limit to what God can do in our hearts, in our minds, and in our emotions. Through this process of grace and mercy, we become great vessels of mercy. Instead of following legalism and the letter of the law, desire to become vessels of mercy and children of grace who trust God. Receive His nature. He not only died for us but also died as us.

No child of God has to be a second-rate citizen. A child of God doesn't have to be a casualty, even in failure. A child of God can run to the Holy of Holies. We can enter in boldly through the blood of Christ, through a way that was consecrated for us. It is a new way.

"Come boldly to the throne of grace and find mercy and grace to help in your time of need" (see Hebrews 4:16).


Conclusion

God writes His Word in the hearts and minds of believers (Hebrews 10:16). As a result, we have a great privilege to draw near. This is the new way. It is the key to victory, to power, to fellowship, to overcoming, to joy, and to prayer.

No matter how terrible you feel, draw near with a true heart and a true understanding of this new way with Jesus Christ. He will sprinkle your heart from evil and wash your body with the pure water of the living Word. He does it by the new and living way of mercy that rejoices against judgment.

God has already won the victory over sin and over death. He has already judged everything that we could be judged for. We are now candidates for faith, for grace, and for love. We have no reason to withdraw. God is for us, and He always will be for us. And when God is for us, who can be against us? (See Romans 8:31-39).

Think of it: Hastings, a well-known Bible scholar, says that there is no limit to God's forgiveness. He wrote that there is no limit to the readiness of a Christian to forgive others who has received His forgiveness. Bitterness, negativity, vindictiveness, and implacability all leave when we truly understand forgiveness.

Picture the number of people who said a prayer to God and sensed a release the first time they know that they were truly forgiven. The beautiful thing is that God will never remember our sin (Heb. 8:12; 10:17). People will search for the sins of Israel and the iniquity of Judah, but the sins will not be found (Jeremiah 50:20).

The only way this kind of forgiveness is revealed is when we are tenderhearted and forgive others through the Holy Spirit as God forgives us. In 1 Kings 8:30, the word calach says when you hear a negative report or accusation, forgive.

A verse that is seldom taught in pulpits today is Matthew 6:14 practiced often enough. Do you know what people do instead? We have tendencies that when we hear that somebody is on our case, we dwell on it for hours, or even days. But the attack is a test of whether we have the fruit of forgiveness.

About the thing we hear that come against us personally, a great man of God once said, "If it isn't true, thank God it isn't and be quiet. If it is true, get right and thank God they said it!"

When we discover what has already been accomplished for us, we can begin to walk in the fullness of our potential as new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5: 17).

Thank God that for many of us, the barriers have come down, and we have been reconciled to God and to each other. It didn't happen through a system of works in the flesh. It wasn't mandated by letter-of-the-law legalists. The victory was revealed by the spirit of reconciliation given to us because of the Blood.

Because God brought down the barriers, every Christian in the world can have a spirit of reconciliation. With no barriers left, all we have to do is to walk by faith in the nature of God's Word, in the life of His Spirit, in the wisdom of His knowledge, in the fervency of His love, in the preciousness of His faith, and in the mercy of His grace.

Copyright © 2001 by the author
All Rights Reserved


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Other Articles By Lucas Hawkins:

The Purpose of Suffering

Letting Go of Our Fear


Also In This Issue:

Stem Cells and the Heterosexual Agenda

The Sharp Edges of Blessings






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