Monday, December 30, 2013

Make the Message Clear and Plain - Christ Receiveth Sinful Men!

Make the Message Clear and Plain
Barbara Henderson

It was an interesting day in Jerusalem to say the least. In recent weeks Jesus Christ had been crucified, buried, and rose up from the grave.  He was seen by many.  There was no doubt that Christ was risen from the dead.  He ascended to heaven.  His Apostles were gathered in Jerusalem waiting for the time to come to preach!  The crowds gathered, also waiting.  THEN Peter, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, stood up to preach the good news – salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, through Christ alone.

In the crowd listening to Peter preach there were people from all over the place! Most languages and cultures were represented right there in Jerusalem listening to the fisherman tell every individual how to be reconciled to God Almighty and obtain citizenship in heaven through Jesus Christ.  Peter made the message clear and plain.  He did not turn aside to avoid hurting the feelings of those who worshipped false gods.  He did not attempt to entertain in order to get people’s attention.  He did not dress like the most popular culture. He did not care what celebrities were doing at the moment.  He did not have a praise band playing pop music disguised as music designed to please Almighty God.  Peter simply opened his mouth and proclaimed the gospel.  He made it as clear and plain as possible.  He told the truth.  Were some people offended?  Most likely.  Were some converted?  Definitely!  The church exploded with true converts.  Peter made the message clear and plain.  There was no confusion regarding exactly what the message was.  The message was REPENT!  You are walking down a road that leads to hell.  You don’t have to go there.  Turn from the things of this world and look to the gift of eternal life offered through Jesus Christ alone! 

If you have been following the news in the United States you know that headline news was the story of the Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson clearly saying homosexuality is a sin.  He got suspended from his job as a television star on a reality show.  The network – A&E – thought because of the money involved that they would be able to get an apology out of the bearded icon.  It didn’t work!  A&E thought America would rise up and condemn the man for not accepting homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle.  They got a big surprise.  In the end – there was a lot of money on the line, and A&E reinstated the Duck Dynasty patriarch.  Personally, I don’t watch the show.  Having relatives in Arkansas and Oklahoma who could match the Duck Dynasty stars homespun humor and lack of any bending to peer pressure, the show may be just a tad too close to home for me.  However, I am pleased to see a show that represents Christian family values.  I just don’t watch it.  I don’t watch a lot of television period.  I applaud the family values in the show, and their refusal to bend to the forced tolerance that is rampant in the current political, cultural, and social setting in the USA and in the world.  I have been thinking about how to go forward in stopping the sort of evil treatment Christians and conservatives get for simply speaking the truth.  This is what I came up with.

Today I am calling for national rebellion against forced tolerance of anything and everything that is not right according to God.  There is no one person or even half the population of any nation that has the authority to change into ‘good’ what God has clearly called ‘bad’.  End of story.  Do not let the world silence you!  You don’t have to go looking for a fight.  Just be ready to tell the truth when the opportunity arises.  You don’t have to say it in a hateful manner.  On the homosexuality issue simply quoting scripture is enough. Tell those who don’t like the message in the Bible to take it up with God.

We are at war, and this war is far more than a culture war.  This is a war for the truth.  The truth is clearly stated in the Bible on every important subject.  Truth is unchanging.  It is not affected by time, culture, social agendas, acceptable morals in any particular culture or social environment, or quantum leaps in pseudo-science. 

First, there is a personal decision to simply speak the truth when called on regardless of the social or political fallout.  If you wind up facing the giants, remember that you are just a lowly messenger.  You don’t have any authority to change the truth.  Do what is right.  Don’t waste your time trying to fit into the current culture.  Don’t waste your time trying to stay in touch with the current politically correct hot buttons or the social agenda’s making headlines.  If you make a real effort to do what is right according to God Almighty you will make one major effort each and every day.  You will work to treat others the way you want to be treated.  That means treat others with kindness and tell them the truth.  Remember that very often things that are social acceptable or politically correct are not based on truth. 

Second, there is the church.  The duty of every church is to tell the truth without deviations.  That’s it.  When the truth of God is mixed in with pop culture, political correctness, attempts to reach different cultures, or anything else that distracts from the gospel the message is NOT clear and plain.  Listeners have to sort through all sorts of gobbled-gook in order to find the truth.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.  It doesn’t matter if you live in a shack or a palace. The message is the same.  It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, rich or poor, smart of not so smart, the message is the same.  It doesn’t matter if you are from central Africa or Scandanavia.  The message is the same.  It doesn’t matter if your culture is Southern American or Yankee American.  It doesn’t matter if you live in a nation where freedom of choice of religion is allowed or in a nation where accepting Jesus Christ may get you murdered.  The message is the same.  Jesus says come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.  That is the message.

There is no better message than the message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ – the only begotten Son of God.  You can, however, confuse the message drastically by dumbing it down, applying worldly tactics for business growth to church growth, pop culture, social agendas, political correctness, or any other distraction. 

The motto of Christians could be ‘Make the message Clear and Plain’.  Christ receiveth sinful men!

Christ Receiveth Sinful Men

Sinners Jesus will receive;
Sound this word of grace to all
Who the heavenly pathway leave,
All who linger, all who fall.
Sing it o’er and over again;
Christ receiveth sinful men;
Make the message clear and plain:
Christ receiveth sinful men.
Come, and He will give you rest;
Trust Him, for His Word is plain;
He will take the sinfulest;
Christ receiveth sinful men.
Now my heart condemns me not,
Pure before the law I stand;
He who cleansed me from all spot,
Satisfied its last demand.
Christ receiveth sinful men,
Even me with all my sin;
Purged from every spot and stain,
Heaven with Him I enter in.

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