Please see Matthew 10:32-42. Verse 32 speaks of confession of Christ before men. Verse 33 speaks of the denial of Christ before men. Then in verse 34 Jesus states, " Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 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. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." Then in verse 37 Jesus states, "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. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." How does Jesus set family members at variance? How do family members become foes?
2 Cor. 5:17 states, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Col. 1:12-14 tells us that when we get saved, we are "delivered" from the power of darkness and "translated" into the kingdom of God's dear Son Jesus. Salvation divides family members by virtue of the fact that we become "New Creatures" with "new minds" going in a new direction. When I was saved in 1972, I did not try to lose friends and have variance with family members. Since becoming a new creature with a new mind, I could not think or act the same as before and that brought a division with them. If you have been saved recently and your family and friends ridicule you for not going where you once went and for not doing the things you once did, just pick up your cross and follow Christ. You cannot love father or mother, son or daughter, or anyone else more than Christ the Saviour. If we seek to please men rather than God, we fail. If we take up our cross and follow Him daily, it will bring variance and family can become foe because they cannot relate to this "new creature". In fact, many times lost family and friends put new Christians to the test of their faith and faithfulness. They do not understand why we do not want to go to the same old places with the same old friends and do the same old things we did before Salvation. They do not understand why we now read the Bible, Pray, Go to Church, Tithe, Witness and hate the things we once loved. They put us to the test by accusing us of being "holier than thou" and being "judgmental" when we refuse to live like we once did. They sometimes make plans for outings and occasions which put us in the position of having to choose between family and faith. What should a Christian do if non-Church going family calls to say they re coming for a weekend visit? Politely ask them to bring Church clothes and let them know you are going to Church. If they refuse to go, leave them at home and go anyway. Your first allegiance is to your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This will give testimony to your Salvation and dedication and may eventually lead to their own salvation.
1 Peter 4:1-5: "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead." Do you really love the Lord more than anyone or anything?