Doctrine 1: The Doctrine of Household Salvation, Part 5 (continued from Tuesday)
“21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” (Matthew 10:21-25)
“34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36)
I love the Scriptures, and the way that they just seem to “make sense” and “fit together” so perfectly. If you study the Scriptures carefully, you’ll begin to see wonderful things emerging that you would not have thought previously would have been there. But they are.
Take a look, for example, at the above two passages of Scriptures, found right near each other in the same chapter. Together, they provide for us two opposing meanings of the word “household” as used in Scripture. In the former passage (Matthew 10:21-25), the word “household” is used (last word in Matthew 10:25) to denote the “household of God.” Read the verse carefully. Jesus said, “If they [i.e. Satan’s camp] have called the master of the house [i.e. Jesus] Beelzebub [i.e. Satan], how much more shall they call them of his household?” (Matthew 10:25). So, the word “household” here means “God’s household.” Jesus is saying that since you, as a Christian, are part of God’s household, don’t be surprised if “they” (“Satan’s household”) treat you just like they treated Jesus himself!
Now here is the funny part: Who are “they” in this verse specifically referring to? “They” happen to be your very own “flesh” brothers and sisters, as recorded just a few verses back in Matthew 10:21! And these are the ones who may, according to this verse, deliver up “the brother to death”! Having said this, it is also true that many many of those who “put Jesus on the cross” later repented for their sins and found Christ as Savior! Glory to God! He is amazing — but it didn’t spare Jesus the agony of the cross, and neither will it spare some Christians the agony of being persecuted, even killed, by their very own family members.
The second meaning of the word “household” is found just a few verses later, at the end of Matthew 10:34-36 (second passage above). In this case, Jesus says, “a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” I like that — not the statement that my family will be my enemy, but the fact that God has delineated here for us two different meanings of the word “household.” So, in the first case (Matthew 10:25), “household” means “God’s household.” In the second case, “household” means “man’s household.” This particular household is not spoken of too highly in these verses! Indeed, there are some who have, and continue to be, severely persecuted by those of their own household. This is tragic — but God has warned us that it will happen to some of us (particularly those who are of Muslim, Jewish, and other types of backgrounds, in my experience).
The doctrine of household salvation, then, does not agree with the above verses, but instead makes a mockery of the serious warning that God gives here — that some Christians will even be killed by unbelieving relatives — those who belong to Satan’s camp, as Jesus himself said to some of the Jews which he met, “Ye are of your father the devil!” (John 8:44). This does not mean they cannot repent for their sin. However, nothing guarantees that they will repent, so we must not delude ourselves into thinking that all is “peace, peace” when it is not! Be on your guard!