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Camouflage Christians

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Some Christians camouflage themselves to blend in with the world.

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Text: Mat. 26:69-75

69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

Introduction

I know everyone here is familiar with Camouflage. It is something that hunters wear to hide themselves from the quarry they are seeking. Camouflage lets you blend into the background so it much harder for man or beast to tell that you are there.
The word Camouflage is derived from a French word, camoufler, that came into use in the late 19th century. It meant disguise, or to deceive. Originally it was a slang word used by thieves. It came into common usage during the First World War through use by the military.
I have used camouflage quite extensively myself in the military, as a hunter, and as a wildlife photographer. I know, first hand, how effective it can be.
I remember being on a bow hunting trip at Canton Lake many years ago. I was dressed all in camo, even camo paint on my face. As I was sitting in a tree waiting for a hapless deer to come by, I noticed a squirrel in the tree next to me. He could tell there was something not quite right but he didn’t know what it was. He got as close to me as he could from the next tree then finally jumped over to the tree I was in. He was still intently watching me, I was remaining as still as possible. He would get closer, a foot or two at a time until he was only about three foot away from me. At that time I turned to him as said “Boo.” He instantly turned and ran up the limb and jumped back into the other tree.
This is a case were my camouflage was entirely effective in deceiving that squirrel as to exactly who and what I was.
In this day and age that we are living in, a lot of Christians are using camouflage to the point that you can’t tell the difference between a child of God, bought with Christ’s blood, and a lost sinner bound for hell.
Today we will be looking at a couple of characteristics of a camouflaged Christian, and a remedy for that situation.
Number one, camouflaged Christians blend in with the world.

I. Blend In With The World

What are some of the ways that you can blend in with the world?

A. Speech

Lets look at our passage, verse 73 and 74, speaking of Peter:
73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee.
You see Peter had a Galilean accent and they recognized it.
74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
What better way could Peter find to blend in to the world, to conceal himself as a follower of Jesus than by sending out a string of curse words. When you hear someone using some course language like that, what is your first thought? You’re probably not thinking “This guy must be a Sunday School Teacher.”
But yet, how many times have we heard this kind of language from someone we know, and later, when we get a chance to talk to them about the Lord, they tell us that they know the Lord and they are a Christian. I wonder if that person would have ever told you they were a Christian if you had not brought up the subject.
Another way to blend in with the world is by the way we dress.

B. Clothes

There are certain styles of clothes that are popular today, that probably should not be worn by someone who professes to be a Christian. I’m speaking here primarily of the ladies of the church, although there are some examples that pertain to the men.
I’m sure you have you heard the phrase: “Clothes make the man”? Our society spends a lot of money on clothes. The right style of dress can enhance a persons appearance. Some people spend a great deal of time trying to find just the right colors and style in their clothing to make an impression.
Not only to make an impression, but finding just the right clothing can make us feel better about ourselves, and make others feel better about us as well. For example in a job interview.
There is certainly nothing wrong with dressing nice, but look at:
I Timothy 2:9 (1)
"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;"
Now, I am not going to say that woman cannot wear a gold ring, or a string of pearls to church. I once saw a church almost split over whether women should wear lip stick or not. I don’t think that is what the passage is talking about.
It is talking about a woman whose outfit is so far over the top, that she is obviously trying to impress someone with her wealth, or status, or just making a statement that she is in a different class from everyone else.
Another application that I see today is women who wear clothing that is all too revealing. Shorts or skirts that are cut way too high, or blouses that are cut too low, or tee shirts that are too tight.
Basically, this is a woman who is exhibiting herself to whoever she encounters in public. This is not the style of dress that you would expect of a Christian woman, it is not what you would define as “modest apparel” as described in scripture, but it certainly is an effective means of camouflage to blend in with the world.
With men, it is a little bit more difficult to determine their Biblical world view by their style of clothing, but an example might be a tee shirt with crude or inappropriate lettering.
When I first moved to Michigan I started attending a church not too far from my house. One of my first visits there, I was sitting there in the pew when the ushers were called to the front to take up the offering. As one of the ushers came by me, I glanced over to the left, and all I could see was a hairy thigh. Yes, one of ushers was wearing shorts. It was the last thing in the world that I expected to see in church. I ended up being the associate pastor of that church, and the man with the shorts ended up being a good friend of mine.
In the end, I could not blame him for his appearance. He had just never been taught that what is considered proper street atire might just not be proper church attire. That man ended up being a very faithful and usefull member of the church.
We can also camouflage ourselves to blend in to the world by our actions:

C. Actions

2 Corinthians 6:17-18 (2)
17 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
Come out from among them, be separate from them, touch not the unclean thing. A few places come to mind where a Christian could camouflage himself to be unidentifiable from the rest of the world. Bar rooms, racy movies, so called gentlemen’s clubs, or maybe even a public park that has a reputation for illegal activity or unseemly conduct.
And it really goes further than our physical location and activity, we must cultivate a mindset to separate from the world as well.
Romans 12:2 (3)
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
It says transformed (metamorphoō) by the renewing of your mind. The word transformed is the where we get the word metamorphosis. That is the term that we use to describe how a caterpiller becomes a chrysalis, and then a cocoon that becomes a butterfly. When you you think about that kind of change, a caterpiller to a butterfly, it’s hard to imagine a more radical change than that.
But that kind of radical change is the kind of change that we should experience as we enter into a relationship with Lord. Like a lot of things in life, the change happens on the inside before the results are seen on the outside.
A second characteristic of a camouflaged Christian is they are not doing anything in their life that brings glory to God.

II. Don’t Work for the Glory of God

Proverbs 11:30
"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise."

Fruitless

Those that are not working for the glory of God exhibit a fruitless life.
There are 253 listings for “fruit” in the King James version of the New Testament. All most all of these are describing an increase as it relates to a relationship with the Lord.
In the book of Matthew there is an account of Jesus traveling with His disciples when He sees a fig tree along the path:
Matthew 21:19
And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
The lesson to the disciples is this: the tree has leaves. It looks like it is healthy. It looks like it is everything a fig tree should be, but upon closer inspection, it bears no fruit.
Jesus is demonstrating that He has little use for a fig tree that is not bearing figs. That is what a fig tree is suppose to do, bear fruit. And that is what we are suppose to do as Christians, bear fruit.
John 15 (4)
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Verse 2 says every branch that bears no fruit it cut off. It is a principle that gardeners use to this day. You cut off those limbs that are drawing nourishment from the tree but are not producing fruit.
I had a small tree that my father-in-law had given me when my boys were very small. It was said to be a pecan tree, but it turned out later that it was not. It was a sad looking little thing. It looked like a stick stuck in a bucket of mud. I took that little tree and I dug a hole in the back yard and planted it.
After a couple of weeks, it was not looking too good and figured that it was going to die. One day when my son David was about three years old, he was playing in the back yard. I went out to check on him and discovered he had pulled just about every limb off of that little tree. I was a little disappointed but I figured that little tree was going to die anyway.
You know, that little tree started thriving after that. Within about three years, when I moved from there, that tree was about 15 foot tall. I happened by that place many years later and that tree was still thriving. David, in his innocence, had pruned that tree in just the right manner for it to grow and become the kind of tree it was meant to be.
Sometimes God has to do a little pruning on us as well. He has to remove those dead and unproductive aspects of our life and our spirit and prepare us for greater works that what we think we are not capable of.
We have explored the two signs of a camouflaged Christians, blending in with the world, and being unfruitful. Now what is the solution?

III. Trade Your Camo For Your Spiritual Armour

In the animal kingdom, there are two strategies for survival. You can camouflage yourself, hide out, hope to not be noticed. Or you can use armor and weapons to defend yourself against the dangers of the world.
As Christians we have a very similar choice to make. We can blend into the world, cause no waves, not rock the boat. Or we can put our faith on display and prepare to meet the world head on.
We can trade our camouflage for spiritual armour and spiritual weapons.
Ephesians 6 (6)
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Conclusion:

Will you trade in your camo this morning for your spiritual armour. Will you quit trying to blend in with the world. Will you be a profitable servant to God and bear fruit for Him?
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