August 24, 2013

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all by goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”  I Corinthians 13:1-3

A conversation:
“Yes, I am a Christian, and my faith is very important to me.  But I don’t force my beliefs on others.  My beliefs are best for me.  I can’t tell others what’s right for them. ”
“So, you don’t think your beliefs are the truth?”
“Well, yes, it’s the truth for me.  But it may not be the truth for them.”
“You don’t believe that Jesus is the only way for salvation?”
“Well, of course, I do.  That’s what being a Christian is, isn’t it?”
“Okay, so the truth is that Jesus is the only way of salvation, and you believe that, but you don’t think it’s a truth worth sharing with others?”
“I didn’t say that.  Of course we’re supposed to share it with others.  But I shouldn’t force anyone to believe the way I do.  If I offend them, it might turn them away from the truth.”
“Ah, so you’re not going to share the truth of Jesus with anyone because you might offend them and make them not want to hear the truth that you’re not going to share.  Makes perfect sense.  One other question; if Jesus is the only way for salvation then anyone that dies without Him is going to Hell, correct?”
“Well, yeah, I guess.”
“So, it’s good that you know the truth, but it’s perfectly okay for everyone else to go to Hell as long as you don’t offend them.”

Vance Havner said, “There are only two kinds of people in this world; Christians and everybody else.”  That is absolutely true.  The Bible tells us that all of us will eventually die and face Jesus in judgement.  No matter what other labels you give people, no matter how you try to divide and sort the masses of the world, we will all stand before Him and be judged under one premise; you either know Jesus or you don’t.  Furthermore, the Bible is very clear on the consequences of not knowing Him; eternal separation in Hell.  Jesus Himself said, “I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me.’ ”

This being the case, why are we so determined to come up with any excuse to not tell others about Him?  Or, why do we allow the world to convince us that we shouldn’t speak of Him lest we offend someone?  We have been ordered by our Lord and savior to tell the world about Him and His saving grace.  We know that what we have is the truth.  And we know that those who die without this truth will spend eternity suffering in Hell.  Yet we choose to remain silent or are intimidated into being so.

I don’t know about you, but I am pretty sick and tired.  Tired of my own disobedient behavior when it comes to following Jesus.  Tired of listening to weak, worldly, wishy-washy Christians speak with pride about how tolerant they are of other people’s feelings by not sharing Christ.  Tired of the Family of God listening to the babblings of the world rather than the commands of our Master.  Tired of people using the love of Christ as an argument for their idea of tolerance when it is only an allowance for sin and an excuse for cold-hearted indifference toward others.  Love is not making other people feel good, about themselves, their beliefs, or anything else.  Love is commitment to the absolute best for someone regardless of the cost – even if they hate you, ridicule you, despise you, destroy you, or nail you to a cross.

Certainly everyone has the right to believe as they wish, and I believe we should respect each person’s right to do so.  But one’s right to believe as he chooses does not give his belief credibility nor does it cause his belief to merit the respect of others.  Furthermore, simply hearing or seeing things that do not agree with your own point of view does not violate that right.  Until someone insists that you change your beliefs, or behavior based on those beliefs, or face some sort of consequence, your rights are intact.  And frankly, I have NEVER seen anyone hold another person down and force their beliefs down their throat.  What I have seen is someone getting their feelings hurt over another’s ideas, someone refusing to accept that their own beliefs or ideas have no basis in truth, or someone being confronted with their own sin.

Truth can and does stand on its own.  It needs no one to believe in it for it to be the truth.  The world would have us believe that opinion is the same as truth, that all truth is relative to the person and situation.  We as Christians know that is a lie, and we must stop playing that game by the world’s rules.  Many things in this world are simply opinions instead of truths, and sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference.  But God has the final say on what is and is not truth.  And He loves us enough to put that in His word.

All men, and women, have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.  All mankind are in need of a savior.  All will one day stand before a righteous judge and give an account.  But praise be to God that He loved us enough to send Jesus, His only begotton son, the judge before whom we will stand, to pay the price for our sin and provide a way for us to be with Him.  These are the truths that a dying world needs to hear.  And if we believe these truths, if we are obedient to Him, if we care for others at all, then these are the truths we will share, regardless of the consequences.

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