Surviving a Deceitful World

Preaching

I’ve seen this comment around… they might follow it up with something more descriptive, such as: They say you can only go to Heaven if you’re a Christian; They go around saying that homosexuals are going to hell… the nerve! The implication is that Christians are a narrow-minded, politically-incorrect, intolerant clique.

I don’t even know where to begin.

Well, I guess I should say I believe there are two types of self-described Christians: 1) Those that claim Jesus through religion and traditions, and 2) Those that claim Jesus through a living relationship with Him. So, in other words, there are those who go through the motions and those who are born-again. There is no confusion or hesitation between the two.  If you are born again, you know this for a fact.

I believe it is the first category of Christians that have given Jesus a bad name. Many are moral relativists or are apathetic to matters that cause division. They might say something like:

1) “Well, if that’s how they feel, God knows their hearts, that they’re doing what seems right to them.”  BUT, God provided us with the ability to search Scripture for determining right from wrong.  Our “hearts” don’t tell us what is right from wrong—the word of God does. He also fills us with the Holy Spirit for discernment within Scripture. We are not left alone for making decisions. “There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) That’s it—that’s the bottom line. Your religion doesn’t matter, so long as you have Jesus as your Lord and obey His words.

2) ”I don’t really care—homosexual people can get married or not, it doesn’t affect ME.” BUT, are you saying the Bible lies when it identifies homosexuality as a sexual sin? And, yes, Jesus came to tell us to love one another, but this was to teach us to be humble and being of service to each other. He never said, it’s okay that you live in a sinful lifestyle because I love you anyway. Yes, He loves us, but it is not okay with Jesus for any of us to live in sin. This is because the wages of sin is death—Jesus does not want destruction for anyone of us! If we know this as Christians, how SELFISH is it to go on, feeling “safe” because we go to church, while the living DEAD-in-their-sins surround us while we apathetically watch them march into the abyss of eternal death? It’s VERY selfish. Our Creator gave us minds to make decisions.

So many Christians live a watered-down Christianity. Instead of being a part of the body of Christ, they are a prosthesis.

But then there’s the other extreme. Those that preach down instead of lift up. Those that point out all that is wrong with you and how you’re going to hell unless you follow their example.  They say, “Look at this doctrine, look at this law,” a lot more than they say, “Look to Jesus.” Yes, without Jesus we are slaves and servants to sin. We are in bondage and everything about us is death. But Jesus frees us! Jesus delivers us from sin! All praise and glory to Him! When we see a person suffering under the slavery of sin, how about sharing the promise of deliverance Jesus has for them? How about praying for them or with them instead of condemning them? Let’s be clear that sin is not acceptable to God, but let’s LOVE the heck out of them! We are not their judge. We SHOULD warn them, but we are to be servants to each other, not their wardens.

There is spiritual toxicity in the church. There are doctrines of men in the church. There is truth mixed with lies in the church. It is only through a new birth in which we submit ourselves completely to our LORD that we can be set apart and be sanctified for service to Him and to help others heal.

I think that when we take the attitude of service instead of condemnation, they’ll have to stop calling us arrogant. They might still hate us or even kill us, but they will know that we truly are the children of God.

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