This is for the Christian who sees the world running gleefully-blindly-as fast as they can into the outstretched arms of the enemy of their souls.
It’s for the Christian who is not taken in by the snake-charmers’ song: the deceptive, twisted, soothing tune sung over a generation of somnambulists: so seduced by a dream world in which they can do anything they want with no consequence that reality is viewed as a threat to their very existence.
It’s for the Christian who is heartbroken to see perpetrators of deception even within the church: so addicted to the world’s approval they lie to people in desperate need of healing and tell them they’re not sick.
This is for you: the Christian who actually believes the Bible is God’s word and not an allegory from which we can pick and choose the truths that “sit right” with our own personal preferences: “truths” that won’t offend or cause us to be viewed as “different” from the rest of the world.
This is for the Christian who knows they are a sinner. The one who sins daily (just me?) and also daily repents. This is our reality…and the Holy Spirit convicting us and drawing us to repentance is evidence of our salvation!
This is for you, and I want to take a few minutes to throw you some encouragement. It can be exhausting clinging to truth when the hurricane-force winds of evil are raging unceasingly all around us, intent on destroying everything in their path.
Don’t lose your grip.
I know you have family and friends who are wandering off after myths; seeking anything that will scratch those itching ears.
I know you’ve been called names.
I know you’re hurt by the rejection of people you love and I know it can be hard to be thought of as different.
But think about it: when society applauds killing babies in the womb and mutilating confused children, being different seems like the only sane option.
Listen, we were all lost and on our way to eternal separation from God at one point. If people are not in Christ, we do not expect them to live as though they are!
But praise God, he made a way for us not to stay there! We don’t operate out of that debased mind anymore! We can see clearly!
So when people in the church support the very things God calls evil, whose team are they really on? How can they be led by the same Holy Spirit who helps us to hate the sin that destroys us? Um…
It’s not that complicated. I am reminded that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light, and so should not be surprised that many of his followers do the same. They hate us, too, even as they claim to love Jesus.
I hate writing that almost as much as I hate the undeniable truth of it.
If you belong to God, you’ll be different. And the world, which claims to love everyone, will absolutely hate you for it.
That’s when we hold even tighter to God’s word.
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.” -John 15:18-20
This is normal. It doesn’t mean be a jerk, obviously, but it does mean no matter how kind and loving you are, darkness hates light!
Jesus said we would share in his suffering. We suffer when we see people we love rejecting God and embracing destruction. We suffer animosity and disdain from those who call God’s good and loving commands “backwards” and “hateful” and label us the same. In some places, believers suffer physical persecution and death. This is Christianity.
Sounds great, right?
This is where the good news comes in: Jesus said that those who share in his suffering will also share in his glory; in his joy; and in his presence forever in Heaven. This is the hope found in the gospel!
Faithful Christians, keep going, because we’re not called to keep this hope to ourselves!
Cultivate community. Invite others in. Share the gospel.
Many will reject God, and reject us in the process. But some won’t.
Some will be saved and set free.
Keep living the way God has called you to live, speaking the truth in love, because sick people don’t need to be lied to. They need to be healed.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” -Galatians 6:9