As I continue to read and listen to the ongoing discussions concerning moral, spiritual, and religious matters, I can’t help but recognize how followers of Christ are being equalled with groups who oppose everything Christ said and did. When I say “followers of Christ” I mean exactly that. I am not referring to people who categorize themselves that way and live contrary to His teachings. I am not specifying denomination because I find that completely misses the point of what it means to be a follower of Christ.
An honest survey of the actual teachings of Christ contained in scripture sets Him apart from all others who are worshipped and followed among the religions of the world. His free gift of salvation to a fallen people who are without any means whatsoever by which to redeem themselves, too, is unique and precious beyond comparison. What was said of Him by the one who heard the accusers wanting to put Him to death? “I can find no fault with This Man.”
His Words called for love and forgiveness. Be sure to note He called us out of sin into HIs Holiness by being born of His Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, so that we would no longer be slaves to the nature of our flesh, sin. He admonished us not to repay evil with evil, but to do good even to those who despitefully use us. He sent His disciples out to preach “good news” to preach “the gospel of peace.” He made clear that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness. Oh my, how I see that so clearly these days. We were warned in scripture that the time would come when evil would be called good and good, evil. It is here.
Painted as haters, those of us who love God and love people long for exactly what the heart of Jesus desires. We don’t hate members of other “religions” not even those who seek our death. We know they are blinded by the spirit of error. They know not the truth, the love, that would make them free, free from hate, from destruction, and from death. How many times did Jesus speak of the gift of life, of eternal life? He conquered death. True followers of Christ do not promote or celebrate death. We long for others to come to know the giver of eternal life. We don’t hate homosexuals or idolaters or any other name given to those who walk apart from fellowship with Christ. We love them enough to pray for their hearts, their minds, their lives and souls and to speak the unpopular truth that may even elicit their disdain.
Questions that arise from my heart are these: Do I care more about what this person thinks or feels toward me in this moment or about the welfare of souls? Do I care more about what others say of me or what my Savior knows to be true of my heart based on my obedience or lack of obedience to Him?
How hard is it to determine a way of peace from a way of destruction? Can we not see the writing on the wall? Unfortunately, as this scripture reference brings to mind, many wait until the writing on the wall pronounces imminent death. Then, it is too late for them to heed the call of the Spirit; the Spirit of truth that whispers through the soul bringing unease.That disturbing unease is the Spirit calling, “wake up, wake up,” to those who wander in darkness. If only we would heed, if only we would weigh evidence, surely we could see the truth that beckons.
By God’s merciful design there is abundant evidence that His ways are best. Societies who have chosen to ignore His instruction have fallen in demise throughout all of recorded history and this is continuing before our very eyes. How desperately sad to me that it is my beloved country whose heart has turned cold toward our benevolent God. We have basked in unparalleled freedom and prosperity by His grace alone only to shun Him now and refuse to honor Him as the God of our nation. The only hate I have in me is for that which separates any soul from fellowship with his Maker. My prayers are constant for the Lord to receive the glory due His Name and for all to be drawn into HIs loving embrace.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)