Summary: It is an inescapable fact that we are all known in one way or the other. Question: How are you viewed by the majority of those who live and work around you? Do they see you as a godly person or an ungodly person? Do they see you as a peacemaker or a trou
Intro: Our text says, “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, KNOWN and read of all men." Everyone without exception is known in some ways to others. Without your knowledge, the people around you are reading your life like an open book. As they privately observe, they are reading your motives and deeds as either good or evil.
It is an inescapable fact that we are all known in one way or the other. Question: How are you viewed by the majority of those who live and work around you? Do they see you as a godly person or an ungodly person? Do they see you as a peacemaker or a troublemaker? Do they see you serving for the material or the spiritual?
Let us consider six famous men in the Bible and see how they were actually known, as others carefully witnessed and observed their lives. There is always the positive side to their lives but they were also known in negative ways as well.
1. SOLOMON was known for WORLDLINESS to some, and WISDOM to others. He was a wise man in many ways but he was also a worldly man. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. The result of having so many wives was this—they turned his heart away from the Lord (I Kings 11:1-5). He became mindful of power, possession and pleasure and later failed. When anything comes before God there will be sure trouble and misery (I Kgs. 11:6-10).
2. ABRAHAM was known for FAITH to some and for FALSEHOOD to others (Gen. 12:11-15; 16-20). Abraham lied in this respect. He told Pharaoh that his wife, Sarah, was his sister. Even good folks lie, if there is enough pressure put upon them. Col. 3:9 states we are to "lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds." It pays to always tell the truth. God will always bless the upright!
3. DAVID was known as “a man after God’s own heart” to some and for adultery and murder to others. He was an instant national hero, having slain the Philistine giant – Goliath. Many remember him as the sweet psalmist of Israel and a great king. Unfortunately, he compromised and tainted his testimony. Read II Sam. 12:7-9.
4. JONAH was known for DEDICATION to some and for DISOBEDIENCE to others. He seemed to be so loyal and dedicated to the people of Israel and hard-hearted against their pagan enemies. Yet, what most of us usually remember most about Jonah is how he ran away from his spiritual responsibility (Jon. 1:3). His disobedience was more costly than he had ever imagined.
5. PETER was known for DEVOTION to some and for DENIAL to others. Some remember repentant Peter at best preaching boldly on the day of Pentecost, while others mostly remember his blatant denial of the Lord Jesus (Matt. 26:74-75).
6. JUDAS was known for CARING FOR MONEY to some but for BETRAYING JESUS to others. He was the loyal treasurer of the disciples but turned over Christ to His bitter enemies, betraying Him for bargain price (Matt. 26:14-16). In every church there is always a Judas. If the Bible mathematics is right, one in every twelve is a counterfeit disciple! (John 6:70-71). We wonder who is the Judas in our churches? Why be a Judas to Him Who is Christ to you? Never sell out Jesus for fame and fortune for you will always be like Judas (the great loser) in Satan’s deal!
Conclusion: Beloved, there is a great difference between reputation and character. Reputation is what MAN sees in you and thinks about you. Character is what God sees in you and thinks about you. Reputation is OPINION, character is FACT! Christian, your reputation and character must not be divorced from each other, for then you would be living a lie, a hypocrite! Do right that you may not be known for wrong!