A Believer's Relations with Unbelieving Kin
How are followers of Yahushua the Messiah supposed to relate to their unbelieving relatives? For insight into this question, let's turn to the Word of YHWH...
Joshua 24:1 - And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before Elohim. 2 And Joshua said unto all the people, "Thus saith YHWH Elohim of Israel, 'Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other elohim. 3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.'"
Now verses 14-16
Joshua 24:14 - "Now therefore fear YHWH, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the elohim which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye YHWH. 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve YHWH, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the elohim which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the elohim of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve YHWH." 16 And the people answered and said,"Far be it from us that we should forsake YHWH, to serve other elohim..."
and now verses 21-23
Joshua 24:21 - And the people said unto Joshua, "Nay; but we will serve YHWH." 22 And Joshua said unto the people, "Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you YHWH, to serve him." And they said, "We are witnesses." 23 "Now therefore put away," said he, "the strange elohim which are among you, and incline your heart unto YHWH Elohim of Israel."
We are given a choice as to whom we will follow:
Genesis 12:1 - Now YHWH had said unto Abram, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." 4 So Abram departed, as YHWH had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
The call of Abraham is our great example:
Hebrews 11:8 - By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is YHWH.
continuing in verses 15-16
Hebrews 11:15 - And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore YHWH is not ashamed to be called their Elohim, for He has prepared a city for them.
We are to look foward "to the promises" and not back to "the way our lives were, before we believed."
Paul wrote in Galatians...
Galatians 3:26 - For you are all sons of YHWH through faith in the Messiah Yahushua. 27 For as many of you as were immersed into the Messiah have put on the Messiah. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in the Messiah Yahushua. 29 And if you are the Messiah's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Yahushua made it clear that if we are the children of Abraham, we will do the works of Abraham. Yahushua responded in John 8:39...
They answered and said unto him, "Abraham is our father." Yahushua saith unto them, "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham."
and John the baptist said...
Luke 3:8 - "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, 'We have Abraham to our father.' For I say unto you, That YHWH is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."
Blood descent is not what is
important, but a spiritual relationship with YHWH.
Yahushua did not come to bring peace!
This is very important in our understanding of the truth of the glad tidings of Yahushua!
In Matthew 10:34-38, Yahushua said...
"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. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his stake, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me."
In fact, things are going to get so bad...
John 16:2 - "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth Elohim service."
And during the great tribulation...
Mark 13:12 - "Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
Mark 10:29 - And Yahushua answered and said, "Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the glad tidings, 30 but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life."
Why is this so important in Yahushua's teachings?
2Corinthians 6:14 - Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has the Messiah with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of YHWH with idols? For we are the temple of the living Elohim; just as YHWH said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. 17 Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says YHWH. "And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. 18 And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me," says YHWH Almighty.
This applies very much to the topic of unbelieving kin! Even though we can see that we are not to be yoked unequally with unbelievers, Yahushua made it clear that we are not to be totally separate from the world. He showed this first in a parable...
Matthew 13:24 - Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, 'Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?' 28 He said unto them, 'An enemy hath done this.' The servants said unto him, 'Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?' 29 But he said, 'Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
Yahushua showed that the field is the world...
Matthew 13:36 - Then Yahushua sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, "Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field." 37 He answered and said unto them, "He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."
And he also showed this in a prayer...
John 17:14 - I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
In Mark 8:34, Yahushua said...
Mark 8:34 - And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow me."
This not only has to do with material treasures, but it has to do with our entire life, including unbelieving kin. Unbelieving kin do not want to hear the truth!! Now, when we accept Yahushua as our savior, we are at that time, also accepting YHWH as our Elohim. Yahushua said...
Matt 11:27 "All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him."
YHWH said to Moses...
Exodus 19:5 - "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a set apart nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel."
Romans 8:7 - Because the carnal mind is enmity against YHWH: for it is not subject to the law of YHWH, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please YHWH. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of YHWH dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of the Messiah, he is none of his.
The 14th chapter of Luke has much to do with unbelieving kin! A great multitude was following Yahushua...
Luke 14:25 - And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his stake, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."
In the next few verses, Yahushua is talking in parables, about unbelieving kin...
Luke 14:28 - "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish.' 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 - So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."
Is Yahushua saying that we should dishonor our fleshly mother and father? Yahushua said:
Matthew 15:4 (NKJV) "For Elohim commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.'
5 "But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me [is] a gift [to] [Elohim]"--
6 'then he need not honor his father or mother. 'Thus you have made the commandment of Elohim of no effect by your tradition.
7 "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
8 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with [their] lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching [as] doctrines the commandments of men.'"
We can see here that Yahushua's teachings in no way relieves us of our responsibilities concerning YHWH's commandments, but we are to love Yahushua more than anyone else including our fleshly father and mother.
Matthew 10:37 - He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
1Corinthians 7:12 - But to the rest speak I, not YHWH: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is set apart by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they set apart. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but YHWH hath called us to peace.
"If they be pleased to dwell",
means, that even though they do not believe, that they will not cause any
problems because of what their spouse believes. There does, however, usually
seem to be problems when one partner in a marriage is a believer and the other a
In the third chapter of Mark, Yahushua is told that his mother and brothers were there, desiring to see him. Yahushua responds...
Mark 3:33 - And he answered them, saying, "Who is my mother, or my brethren?" 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, "Behold my mother and my brethren! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of YHWH, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."
The following excerpt is taken from the book of Ruth. It shows the contrast between Orpah and her sister Ruth. One of them sincerely wanted to be a child of YHWH; the other wanted to "go back". This event took place after the death of Naomi's two sons, in the land of Moab...
Ruth 1:7 - Wherefore she (Naomi) went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law (Orpah and Ruth) with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah. 8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, "Go, return each to her mother's house: YHWH deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. 9 YHWH grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband."
then in verse 14...
14 And they (Orpah and Ruth) lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. 15 And she said, "Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her elohim: return thou after thy sister in law." 16 And Ruth said, "Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy Elohim my Elohim: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: YHWH do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me."
in the next chapter...
Ruth 2:11 - And Boaz answered and said unto her (Ruth), "It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. 12 YHWH recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of YHWH Elohim of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust."
From the book of Micah...
Micah 7:6 - For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house. 7 Therefore I will look unto YHWH; I will wait for the Elohim of my salvation: my Elohim will hear me.
Matthew 11:28 - Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Mark 10:27 - And Yahushua looking upon them saith, "With men it is impossible, but not with YHWH: for with YHWH all things are possible."
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