What? -everyone screeches to a halt- Does Hearth not know the answer to that question? Yes. *I* know the answer to that question. But your non-Christian neighbor does not.
We are still acting as if we are in the paradigm of the Christian West, where everyone knows the basics about our faith and has heard the gospel. We act as if the people around us have only to be shocked into the truth of their situation, or argued into the Kingdom. We still want to pretend that everyone can see our white hats. But I don’t believe that’s the reality that we live in.
And the reason I don’t believe that’s our reality is that I talk to non-Christians. They’re not looking at us as if we were the nice people. I get told that I’m one of the few Christians my non-Christian friends will put up with all.the.time. Biblical Christians of whatever stripe are increasingly perceived as mean and unloving – they don’t WANT to hear about our religion!
It’s not important what people think of me, but it is important what they think of Christ. We live in the days of apostasy, where the Church is riddled with hypocrites, false teachers, wolves in shepherds’ clothing… and we’re trying to sell that? No. What we can show people is Christ in us.
It is vitally important that we do so. That we get our lives sorted so that we can show Christ in our words and actions. That we hold our heads high while we stand on the Word of God – and that we do so with love and gentleness and humility, knowing that *we* were once the ones who did not have the truth.
We have instructions for the days of apostasy, did you know that? They get overlooked. Book of Jude.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
1) Build yourself up in your holy faith.
2) Pray in the Holy Ghost.
3) Keep yourselves in the love of God.
4) Look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
5) Of some, have compassion – making a difference
6) Others, save with fear, pulling them out of the fire – hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.*
So – I am exhorting each and every one of you, my dear readers, to be serious about your Christian walk both within your heart and in the sight of the world. I ask you to pray for opportunities to show Christ’s love and speak His truth and the Gospel. I am asking you to have compassion on the people around you, just as Jesus had compassion on you. And perhaps we can manage to pull a few folks out of the fire. Please, let it be so.
Think eternally and put your hope in Heaven. Let’s get the Word out. Answer hard questions with soft voices. Remember that humans are never your enemies, only blinded by deception.
And have hope!
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Just keep going, doing what your God has called you to do, and have faith in the fruit that He will give.
* I stole this from Dr. McGee – but he’s been dead since before I graduated HS, so I don’t suppose he’ll mind if I share the ideas. Especially since it was on the radio on Saturday. ;)