What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?
1 Corinthians 5:12
I understand that the world we live in is changing. Our nation that once was a shining city on a hill seems to be growing darker and darker right before our eyes. However, I am not afraid. I believe we are right in the midst of the purifying will of God. Nothing that is happening is a surprise to God.
Personally, I believe this has been a long time coming. It’s simply the world we live in. We live in a fallen, selfish, lawless world where the majority of the people have forgotten God… including those who sit in a “church” building every week. It doesn’t do anyone any good to hear the Word if they do not live the Word. It actually just makes that person harder and nastier… like Pharaoh in the days of the Exodus.
The Word is very clear that as a believer I have no business to judge anyone who is outside of Christ. I am not to judge them, but in the kindness of God I am to demonstrate love to them by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. I am to speak and live the truth in love and pray that God would open their hearts and that the Holy Spirit would convict them of their sin and that God would draw them to Himself as I lift up and exalt Christ through a life lived to glorify Him. I am, in fact, to come to them as Jesus came to the woman at the well. He didn’t condemn her. He was probably the first person in a LONG time to treat her like a human being.
Sure it makes it easier to be “a Christian” if we live in a society that allows us to never have to actually choose Christ over convenience and comfort, but where do we read that in the description of following Christ? There are places I do not go and things that I do not participate in because I am convicted about giving God’s money to them or I am concerned about the safety of myself and my girls and feel it unwise to be there. This can be inconvenient at times, but it’s worth it to me.
“Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.”
I really don’t know if these new bathroom laws will be beneficial. Perhaps we should be more focused on laws that allow a doctor to surgically change the sex of someone from what is stated on their birth certificate. After all a person is born distinctively male or distinctively female. It’s in our DNA make up and changing our bodies or clothing can’t altar that. We have waiting periods on divorces and guns, but do we on this? Laws focusing on those who perform them may not change the hearts of those who desire it, but it would restrain the doctors who perform them simply out of greed. To me the bathroom laws are like when Hercules chopped the head off the hydra, all it did was grow more heads. He had to deal with the body of the beast in order to destroy it. The only one who can deal with the body is Jesus Christ.
Jesus never forced anyone to follow Him and God never forces anyone to conform to Him or His will. However, we will experience the full consequences of choosing not to. God can use us to work out His perfect plan for the ages whether we live in rebellion like Pharaoh, live in fear and failure for half our life like Moses, or live in steadfast obedience and faith like Joshua.
I would love to raise my Christian kids in a world full of melodies and butterflies, but it’s not looking to good for that, so my husband and I are preparing them to live in a world that hates them because they love Jesus. But do you know what our current day does for me as a believer? It makes me stand out. It makes me look, sound, think, and act different. In a world that screams hate, when I am found to be whispering sweet words of grace and love that does not condone sin, but instead points people to the reality that they do not have to remain slaves to it, it’s this whisper that catches the attention of the hurting… maybe not the evil… but the hurting. We have a nation FULL of hurting people.
We have a nation full of grown adults that were left to raise themselves. A nation full who were left to be taught their life convictions by the tv (and it wasn’t The Brady Bunch or Andy Griffith that they grew up watching). We have a nation full of men and women who were raised in fatherless and motherless homes by way of the selfish choices of those who were supposed to be willing to love them enough to live and die for them. We have a nation full of grown adults who were taught that they were an accident and nothing more than a glorified ape.
We have a nation full of grown adults who grew up in church being condemned, ignored, talked down to, or falsely hyped up with lies of a prosperity gospel that flowed freely from the lips of selfish men and women who, with a spirit of Balaam, told them what they wanted to hear in order to fill their own pockets and then left them with nothing to deal with the power of sin and the flesh and the deceitfulness of their heart. They either decided the people listening were too stupid to handle the doctrine of God, or they simply didn’t want them to know it, because then they would see them for who they truly were, wolves in sheep’s clothing.
I fear we have spent generations condemning sinners and giving grace to false prophets and false teachers. When we were supposed to be giving grace to sinners and condemning false prophets and false teachers. Our nation is backwards because the light started applauding the dark and we began glorifying the teachings of men and ignoring the teachings of Christ. We have too often put people on pedestals and made Christ an afterthought.
As a precept leader do you know how often I have heard Christians say that they don’t have time to study the Bible?
The world is going to get darker. Jesus told us that up front. He never sugar coated the reality of what it will mean to follow Him to the end. The world gets darker, but in its darkness the light of His church shines ever more brighter so that those who DO NOT LOVE the darkness can find that glimmer and follow it to the gospel of Jesus Christ and be transferred from this kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Light by faith in Him.
In this world we have a bunch of people who are in bondage to immorality because they are powerless to fight against the impurities, passions, and evil desires in their own heart and minds because they do not have the Word of God dwelling in them. Many do not have the Word of God dwelling in them because those who should have it to share with them have not put off anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech, and lies from themselves and therefore the message of the gospel is maligned and God is blasphemed among the lost. The true church of Jesus Christ is supposed to be known by our love for one another and our willingness to serve the least of these.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
In this short passage of Scripture the word thank is used three times in three different forms. After we are told to put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, to bear one another, to forgive, and to love, we are told to be thankful. This phrase is the word eucharistos and it means well, grant freely, thankful for God’s grace working out what is (eternally) good. As a true believer I am able to put this list of things on and I am able to freely grant grace because I know that God is somehow, someway, at sometime going to work out what is eternally good.
In whatever we do, in whatever we say, we have to remember that if we profess to be a Christian, we are doing and saying it in the name of Jesus. So how are you telling and showing people Jesus through your words and deeds? If you are the only Jesus they ever meet would they be willing to come to Him and lay down their lives and take up their own cross and follow Him?
I understand this world is getting a little scary. I understand the fear that can be placed in our hearts and minds as we watch the news and hear of all the calamities and perversions and simple lack of common sense that permeates the highest offices in our land and the pulpits of many loosely called churches in our midst. However, we have been commanded by our God to not fear, to not be surprised, but to be awake, prepared, and ready to give an account for the hope we have because of the One in whom we have believed.
God specifically chose us for this day and this hour…
He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation…
Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.
1 Corinthians 7:17
Does the Lord assign us to live as a believer in situations such as government and politics? Yes, He does. So if you are there in that position, that situation, then you live for Him. Does the Lord assign us to live as a believer in situations of education and entertainment. Yes, He does. So if you are there in that position, that situation, then you live for Him. Does the Lord assign you to live as a believer in your office or on your job site, every day, before your co-workers? Yes, He does. No matter what, no matter where, we are to live for Him, through Him, and in Him so that others can see Him.