Have you ever found yourself in a situation and asked the question, how did I get here? Sometimes marriages take turns and we ask that question or sometimes our children turn from loving little children, to parent hating teenagers, and we ask the question. I find it interesting that in Genesis 1 we see God blessing everything and saying “it is good.” However, if we fast forward to the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, we see it end with a pronounced curse. How did we get there? Look no further for the answer than Genesis 3, the fall of man. That one event led to a history of events that are marked by the words of Judges 17:6 and 21:25, “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve chose to believe someone other than God, and the rest as they say is history. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” All truth has as it source God. That is why Jesus, who is God (John 1:1), said “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.” Outside of God, there is no truth. Therefore, what God says is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If we fast forward into the New Testament we read Paul’s word in Romans 1:22 that mankind “professed themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Why is that? Because of what is found in Romans 1:25, we “changed the truth of God into a lie.” Literally translated is “exchanged the truth of God for a lie.” We would rather believe what we believe is the truth, than what God says is the truth. What we do when we take our opinions over God’s word, is we set ourselves higher than God, which is precisely what Lucifer (satan) did (Isa. 14:12-14). I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that worked out too well for satan. So the question would become, why would I want to be guilty of the same thing? There are a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest probably is the fact that if we can write a holy, righteous God off and out of existence, then we are convinced we will not be held accountable for our decisions, there is no absolute truth, and so life then becomes all about us. The problem is, you can do this if you want, but it doesn’t change the truth that there is a holy, righteous God that we will all stand before one day. It would be great if you could eat chocolate all day long, big juicy hamburgers covered in cheese and bacon, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts all day without gaining weight. But do you know what you will get if you eat chocolate and Krispy Kreme’s all day? Diabetes, that’s what you’ll get! It is like the old saying, “God says it, I believe it, that settles it.” What a horrendous lie! That sets us up as the authority of truth, rather than God. My dear friend, God said it, that settles it. You can believe it if you want to, but the truth is the truth.
As bad as society has become, and it is bad. The problem is, too often the church is becoming a mirror of society. We who have been called out to stand out, have done our very best to blend in. The result is staggering and saddening. The truth is being lost to moral relativity that says “what is right for me is right, and what is right for you is right.” We live in a time in which we believe there are no absolutes. We as God’s people must get back to the truth, God’s Word. I realize it is not popular today, but can I remind you of this, it wasn’t popular in Jesus’ day either. This lack of popularity of God’s Word is nothing new. Now a word of caution. Remember, the message will be offensive, the messenger is not to be. We cannot expect the lost to act like they are saved or to pretend to like the message. The Gospel is offensive to a lost person. However, I don’t have to be a jerk while getting the message out. Sometimes my brothers and sisters, and even myself want to claim persecution for our “righteous stances”, but in actuality we are really just being jerks. We need to present the truth of the Gospel boldly, yet lovingly. How can we do that? Here are a few suggestions.
1-Remember what it was like to be lost. It seems the further we get from the day Jesus saves us, the less loving, gracious, and forgiving we become. Again, you can’t expect the lost to act like the saved.
2-Approach them with humility. The old saying “except for the grace of God go I.” You know God saved me from a lot of really dumb choices. I know it is frustrating when you present the truth and it seems like no one listens. But just remember, you and I were like that before God got a hold of our heart, saved us, and changed us. We can never condone sinful behavior in a lost person or a saved person, but we don’t have to berate them either. All sin is sin, worthy of the same punishment, yet the blood of Jesus Christ can cover any and all sins this side of eternity.
There is a lost and dying world out there who doesn’t need our judgment, they need Jesus! I heard someone say one time, “The church is God’s plan ‘A’ for sharing the Gospel, there is no plan ‘B.'” We need to take the Gospel to them in a way that God is glorified, the sinner is convicted by the Spirit, and sinners are saved by God’s grace.
By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him