Monday, June 29, 2015

Hateful Lies versus Unpopular Truths

Hatred Wins When People Call Lies the Truth
Barbara Henderson

It looks like judgment day is coming for the world.  The judgment will fall on the just and the unjust.  The exception to this is going to be the rapture of the church.  Jesus Christ will call His children out of the world leaving only the unsaved. But, even then, Christians spring up and begin to preach the gospel.  So when judgment comes there are always some people who are not guilty at least in the general sense.  Take Daniel and the three Hebrew brothers.  They were apparently godly boys or young men.  Their captivity most likely was not a direct result of their personal sins.  Nevertheless, the sins of the nation brought about a dreadful change in their lives and set them on a path during their life that was probably totally unimaginable to them and their families at one point.

As we see the horror of evil advancing in families, nations, and the world, we wonder why God doesn’t send fire from heaven and put an end to the wickedness going on.  I don’t know God’s reasons for delaying judgment and I don’t know His time frame.  But I do have a few thoughts on the matter.  First, if God took out all the unrighteous, there would be others springing up to take their place.  We are all sinners.  It is our nature.  There will come a time beginning with the Millennium  Kingdom when there are no unrighteous left.  The world will start out with two of the three evils we face daily in defeat.  The devil will be in hell for that time period.  The world government will be led by Jesus Christ during that time, so the evil of government will be removed.  That leaves only mankind and our sin nature.  Even during those ideal conditions some will reject Jesus.

Jesus also has a plan that includes an unknown number of people.  God planned in advance for the birth of everyone who was, is, or ever will be born.  We don’t know the time frame on that.  I have heard it preached that the rapture of the church will come on the day the last person who will be saved is saved.  Of course no one knows when that will happen, so there is no date setting there.

Jesus also has a plan for those who are without God to hear the way of salvation.  The children of God, Christians, are to tell the world that Jesus saves.  He doesn’t swoop down and save those who have their ‘heart is in the right place’.  He saves those who repent of their sins and turn from their old life to a new life in Christ.  The lost cannot hear Jesus Saves from their graves.  Neither can God’s children call the lost to repentance if all God’s children suddenly reside in heaven.  Since we are still here at this moment it means God is still showing mercy to the lost. 

Right now the most dreadful thing going on is that the government and society are labeling as good what God has clearly labeled as sin.  This puts people without Christ in an even more precarious situation.  How can they repent of sin if they don’t even know they are sinning?  At some level I believe they actually do know they are sinning.  But, it becomes much harder to acknowledge sin when the world around you is clearly saying your life style, your choices, even your perversions, are just fine.  This is hate on exhibit pure and simple.  People must have Jesus Christ to get into heaven.  That is the truth.  Christians are to speak the truth.  To tell the truth of Jesus Christ is to love others the way Jesus loves us. 

The path Jesus walked was not an easy path.  The world hated him.  The world rejected Him. The world murdered Him.  The world has consistently hated, rejected, and even murdered followers of Christ ever since Calvary.  They path Christians walk today may grow increasingly difficult.  Already the world hates Christians.  Christians are mocked and rejected as low intelligence people following an imaginary god.  Christians are marginalized and trivialized with the goal of pushing Christians out of any meaningful public dialog, job, or role of leadership.  Recently a doctor was fired for saying that a homosexual lifestyle is dangerous.  He has the facts to support his statement.  Yet, since it is not politically correct to tell the truth anymore, the man has been fired. Christians around the world are being murdered in the name of Allah.  While the statistics are clear that there are many Christians and Moslems and people of other faiths around the globe, life itself is making it increasingly clear that there is a growing number of the population who reject any god at all.  These people want religion relegated to the dustbins of history.  They are very vocal in their ridicule of anyone who believes in any god.  To them, freedom of religion is of no importance at all because they believe everyone worshiping a god/God is a silly human being without any real ability to think critically. 

Christians are not on an easy path.  Thankfully Jesus gave us instructions on how to behave in all situations.  We are to love our enemies.  We are love others the way Jesus loves us.  We are to pray for those who treat us badly.  Now comes the hard part.  Never once does the Bible say the way to show our love to the lost is to accept what God Himself clearly calls sin.  The Bible says to fear God and keep the commandments.  The commandments clearly tell us not to lie.

A possible situation is this.  Husband is gambling away life savings.  Wife doesn’t know.  Friend knows.  Should Fiend tell Wife the truth before Husband loses all their savings?  Friend does not want to hurt wife’s feelings, so Friend acts like nothing is wrong.  Husband and wife lose everything.  Here’s another one.  Teenager has fast sports car.  He drives way to fast on dangerous roads and during poor driving conditions.  Friend knows this is happening.  If it was Friend’s kid, Friend would take away the car keys and make Kid walk or take the bus a few weeks to get Kid’s attention.  However, Friend does not tell Kid’s parents because he doesn’t want to make trouble.  Kid crashes his car and burns to death.  In both these cases did Friend show love or hate by not telling the truth? 

In case number one Friend knew what would happen if he told the truth.  Some people would call him a trouble maker.  Others would say Wife already knew about Husbands gambling problem.  Others would just say Friend should mind his own business.  In case number two Friend really just doesn’t want to get involved.  Maybe Friend was a little gleeful at the thought of Kid getting into some trouble.  After all, parents of Kid were uppity and difficult.  A little embarrassment on their part would be fun to watch.  Friend never considered the dire consequences that were possible.  Friend basically took the easy way out in both situations.

These stories are just corny stories obviously.  But the point is that people need to hear the truth.  What they do with the truth is their choice.  It is called freedom of choice.  Being spoon fed lies is not going to help anyone.  It will not bring peace among the nations or in families.  It won’t make skin color invisible.  Lies are ‘a gift from the father of lies’.  Nothing good can come from lies.  Unfortunately, telling the truth is not always easy.  It will often get you into trouble because people living in sin want to hear what their itching ears want to hear.  They want to hear, ‘Jesus loves you just as you are.  Come to Jesus.  He will take you just as you are.’ 

When I was growing up we heard his in church all the time.  At the time the preacher always explained that since salvation is by grace through faith cleaning up your act before you go to Jesus is not even possible, much less necessary.  So no one needs to have a long list of good works or give up particular sins to go to Jesus.  What they do have to do is go with a repentant heart fully acknowledging they are sinners.  The Bible says everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  In true repentance there is sorrow for wrong doings and desire to change that is born of God.  Never under any circumstances or ridiculous scripture twisting does the Bible teach that since God loves you He doesn’t require obedience from you.

Our original ancestor Eve opened the Pandora’s box when she listened to the lie Satan was telling.  Satan lied to her because he hated her.  Satan is self-employed as the chief hater and father of lies.  That is what he does.  Nothing good can come from something based on a lie.  Would anyone, having just received a stage 4 cancer diagnosis, prefer treatment based on a lie? Would they want to hear, ‘Well, yes you have stage 4 cancer, but you really don’t have to worry about it.  Treatment is going to include taking two pills twice a day.  You will be cured in a week. In two weeks you will back to living your life as usual.’  Obviously, that would be a lie.  The person would die.

And here we are today.  There is a massive attempt going on to proclaim sodomy as a normal lifestyle.  Sodomites are to be accepted into society without any discrimination.  This does not change the truth.  God calls it sin.  The job of Christians is not to go looking for a fight.  The job of Christians is to respect God’s Word and God’s plan. 

God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  God commissioned Christians to take the gospel to the world.  God commands us not to lie.  There is no greater lie than a lie that aids the devil in keeping the truth from the lost.  No one should get their hopes up that there will be a great revival at this point in time, although it could happen.  What will happen for sure is that at least some of God’s children will speak the truth clearly and plainly.  Repent and turn from your sins.  What else will happen is that at least some lost souls will be saved.

Right now the world is up in arms regarding the Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage.  I am as appalled as everyone else about this blatant slap in the face to our Creator God.  Yes, Christians and churches do need to speak out against it as it is condoning a sinful lifestyle.  However, many churches have been very lax in their treatment of all sin.  People sitting in church may not want to hear, sex is reserved for one man and one woman inside a marriage.  Gossip is a dreadful sin.  (see my article ‘Gossip Hurts Everyone’ )  Adultery is an outrageous sin with tentacles of pain and hurt that rips families apart.  Jealousy, coveting what doesn’t belong to you is an overwhelmingly evil sin.  I have noticed that jealous people often don’t want what someone else has.  They just don’t want that person to have anything.  A political aside here is that I see that in the liberal politicians.  They do not want people who work for a living to have the gains of their own labor.  They also do not want poor people to rise above poverty.  IF they actually wanted to help the poor, they would acknowledge their ‘help’ so far has not helped the poor, but actually hurt them!  Then they would look for ways that actually help people instead of nailing a lid on any possibility of a poor person climbing into the middle class.

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘living a lie’?  It is when someone is basically pretending to live one sort of life while actually living another kind of life.  That is what the world is doing today.  They are pretending to care about people, about equality,  justice for all, economics, and helping people.  They are willing to micromanage the lives of every single individual on the planet in order to achieve their lofty goals.  In reality they care about themselves.  They care about staying rich and powerful.  They care nothing for the people. 

Jesus Christ did not live a lie.  He came to seek and save the lost. Everything He did was working toward that goal. He did not compromise in order to get along.  He showed His love by not changing His message even though it took Him to the cross.  He certainly did not bow down to the politicians and religious leaders of the day. 

Christians should not live a lie either.  We don’t need to pretend to be sympathetic to the evil the world is calling good – which include far more things the latest Supreme Court Rulings.  If something was sin in the days of Jesus’ life, then it is sin today.

 I would like to hear more preaching from the pulpit saying, ‘If you are living with someone without actually being married then it is time to get married.  I don’t care if you are going to lose that monthly check that comes in because you have children without being married.  It is sin.  Stop it!’  (This is not related to any skin color – it is rampant in every segment of the population.)

I would like to hear more preachers shouting, ‘God wants you to be obedient!  In obedience you will find joy, but this business of ‘god wants me to be happy’ is a lie from hell people use to excuse all sorts of sinful behavior.’

I would like to hear preachers clarify the ‘do what is right for you’ movement.  For Christians, the ‘do what is right for you’ theology clearly means within the boundaries set for godly behavior in the Bible.  It does not mean you can live in sin, commit adultery, or steal someone else’s spouse because God wants you to be happy or because it feels right for you.

I would like to hear preaching regarding dissention and gossip in the church.  Of course there are doctrinal disagreements in churches that must be addressed.  Sometimes these differences bring about rifts in the church.  The tragedy is when personalities cause the problems.  This is cannon fodder for the devil’s attack on the credibility of Christianity.

I believe that so-called ‘gay marriage’ is now considered legal and even morally correct by some, because what is commonly accepted as sin has been trivialized and marginalized by the ‘let’s all get along’ crowd.  Jesus never changed His teachings to ‘get along’.  He might have lived a longer more peaceful life if He had, but then His message of repentance to make peace with God would probably not have had much of an effect on the world.  The church, in doing things like accepting scantily clad disco dancers as tools of evangelism, has been a full partner in watering down the message of the church.  There is nothing worldly that the church can use to advance the cause of Christ.  If people want worldly things they have access to every single worldly thing without setting foot inside a church.  If a church tries to entice the world into the church through worldly things such as feel good sermons instead of preaching Jesus Christ crucified, buried, and risen again, then they are starting with a lie.  Liars never prosper.  You can see that in the dreadful excuses for churches all across the land.  Telling people ‘come to Jesus’, ‘He accepts you just like you are’, gives people a very good reason NOT to come to Jesus.  After all, if Jesus requires no change, and you can get everything the world offers without going to Jesus, then exactly why is there any reason to go to Jesus?

Now is the time for Christians to get it set in their own hearts if they are actually know Jesus, or if they only know about Jesus.  I know about a lot of people that I have never personally met. There is a huge difference in knowing about Jesus and actually knowing Jesus. 

True Christians need to set their mind on doing the work of Christ.  Struggle daily not to sin.  Live like the Christian you claim to be.  This includes telling the truth.  God Himself takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  Neither should we.  Instead our job is to give them the truth so they will have an opportunity to make an informed decision.  Don’t be pushed to the sidelines.  Remember my dad’s fishing story.  We are like fishermen standing at a great waterfall.  Fish are going over the falls in great number.  Throw out your net and pull in a few.  Don’t concentrate on the fish that get away.  Be thankful for the fish you catch.  (Actually, dad used to tell that story using the term ‘fish’ sometimes, and the term ‘lost souls’ other times.  It illustrates the point either way.) 

It is funny when you think about it, but there are no more dedicated people in the world than dedicated fishermen.  They will fish morning, noon, and night, in any kind of weather.  They will go out in boats, stand of logs, and even hang from tree branches over the water if they think it will get them closer to that elusive fish.  I have seen obvious fishermen trailing their fingers in the water of an aquarium at a restaurant!  Jesus knew how fishermen are.  Fishers of men should be as dedicated as fishers of fish!  I know when we look at the world we see leaders who will most likely never come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  But this short sighted on our part.  Take your eye off the big catch and look for any catch.  Any lost person needing to hear about Jesus is the potential catch of the day.   Love them enough to tell them the truth.  Repent and be saved.  

Rescue the Perishing seems to be a song that will inspire Christians to reach out to the lost. 
Rescue the Perishing
  Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.
  • Refrain:
    Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
    Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.
  Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,
Waiting the penitent child to receive;
Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
He will forgive if they only believe.
  Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.
  Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died

I love the entire song but several lines seem to tell grab the heart strings.
‘Rescue the perishing – duty demands it’ – so true.
‘weep or’ the erring ones – lift up the fallen – tell them of Jesus the mighty to save’ – so true.
‘tell the poor wandered a savior has died’ – how will they know if we don’t tell them?