Young children mimic everything. If we, as parents, occasionally let an inappropriate comment slip, how can we be surprised to hear those same words from our children’s mouths? If we kick our dog in anger, they will do the same. Ignore the speed limit? Just wait for sixteen. Mistreat our spouse? We know the pattern by now.
The same is true of the new Christian. What we do—as experienced Christians—sets an example the young convert cannot help but follow. Just as children mimic a parent’s every move, in the Christian walk there is no “Do as I say.” We live our lives in a “Do as I do” mode, whether we like it or not.
Revelations 13:10 reveals the crucial importance of this concept. It also reveals how we can avoid bungling this most vital part of our Christian experience.
Let’s look at this verse in three parts:
Part 1: “He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity.”
This first part of the verse has two meanings. In the carnal man, if we do not come to Christ and accept him as our savior, our families will not find him either, and sin will bind them for all time. In the spiritual man, if we are not careful to follow the whole teachings of Christ, we will lead others astray. They will become captives to the lies of the devil.
Part 2: “He who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword.”
The middle of the verse applies to how we treat our fellow man, for if we are indifferent to those in need, God will be indifferent to us. If we are cruel to our fellow man, God will treat us in the same manner.
Part 3: “Here is the patience and the faith of the Saints.”
The final part of the verse applies to those who have placed their faith in the Christ who is our Rock and Salvation. When we stand firm in him and follow the teachings of the Son, others will see the love of Jesus in us, and they will be drawn to the cross.
We can say what we want, but it is our actions that show the validity of our Christian faith to those around us. If we take a wrong turn, those coming behind us will take that wrong turn right along with us.
The only footsteps we can trust to lead us to the cross are those of Jesus.
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Flashback Friday: Originally Published November 13, 2013 in Relationships