Anyone who is paying even a little attention knows that this country and the whole civilized world is deeply divided. I believe we are at the point of no return. Things are not going to get better. People are not going to suddenly start seeing eye to eye, ‘reaching across the aisle’, working together. Yes, there is cooperation going on in some places, but in the big picture, the divide is worse than ever and I don’t see how it is possible for it to change, for one very important reason. Even people who are not actually hostile to those they disagree with and would prefer to live and let live will eventually be forced to take a stand on their beliefs, for one important reason. People who say they hate politics and try to avoid conflict by never discussing hot topics will have to decide which side they are on, for this reason.
The reason we must pick a side is there are only two sides, no middle. There is a line and on one side are those who fear God and understand that one day God will judge the world. On the other side are those who have no fear or belief in any god and those who believe wrongly about God. Without a proper knowledge of one’s OWN coming judgment, one will not seek the forgiveness for sins through Jesus that will provide pardon and grace for one’s sins. And without understanding of GOD’s holiness and wrath, one will not feel the urgency to warn others. Those who wrongly believe heresies such as 1)Everyone goes to heaven or 2) There is no afterlife, most likely do not know God at all. The Bible is very clear on these issues and anyone who has been truly born again will be able to understand that God is a god of love, but cannot tolerate sin, and will punish it. It is not required that you understand exactly how or when judgment will come, only that God says it will and faith in Jesus is the only way to avoid it.
Christians who understand the truth have a job to do. Well, two jobs. 1) Continue to share the pure gospel of Jesus Christ to unbelievers through various outreach ministries and in our personal lives. And 2) Take care of each other. Jesus says we should stay awake. That means we are not to become complacent and worldly while waiting for him to come back. We are not to blend in and fit in , we are to be separate. We are to LOVE our fellow Christians by doing whatever is necessary to help each other get along in life, including financially and spiritually. The church must withstand the world’s pressure to make us conform to their values. Christian values are incompatible with worldly values. We are to call out our fellow Christians who are in sin and restore them. We are not to excuse or ‘tolerate’ sin.
However, it is not our job as Christians to police the personal lives of non-believers. They will not like it and they will not understand our motivations are for their own good. They must be born again first! This has become very obvious to me on social media. The people who do not know Jesus will not benefit from your warnings and rants on social media because they don’t see the danger. They do not fear God. Before you have a discussion, consider what worldview the other person is coming from. Do not expect them to discern spiritual things if they are not saved. So I do not expect an unsaved person to understand this post, unless they ask God to open their eyes of faith.
As I discovered this week on Facebook when discussing the Super Bowl show, the worldly and unsaved simply do not have the eyes to see the world the way Christians ‘can’ if they desire to. But I also saw, sadly, that some Christians have accepted the world’s idea of praising the good and ignoring the bad. The problem with that is that Satan loves to corrupt good things from the inside so it’s not so noticeable, like a silent cancer growing that eventually shows symptoms and then kills. Most importantly I became painfully aware that I need to change my own focus. The growing evil in the world is hard to ignore and must be resisted, but I need to focus more on being a member of the body of Christ. I will keep sharing the gospel, but not waste time arguing with non-believers. I need to focus on what I can do to help and serve and leave the judgment to God. I would appreciate prayers for wisdom in finding my role in God’s plans.
For the average unsaved person, the main goal is to be accepted by others, be comfortable, and enjoy this life . For Christians , our goal is to serve and love God and our fellow Christians, share the gospel and live holy lives because we know that this world is not our home and we look forward to eternal life.
Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.[a]
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[b] That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3 NIV
We have a saying in the LDS faith to “be in the world but not of the world.” I agree with taking a side in terms of values and morals. I see the middle ground as you do: a place to be kind and reach for others, not necessarily a place to compromise those values.
That’s a good saying . Even though I’m not LDS I admire the effective methods they have of discipling and I wish other churches would learn from them .
Amen! We must stand firm in Christ and speak the truth! Well said, God bless!
I’m not sure why I just saw this today, but maybe it was God’s good timing! I’m starting an evangelism class this evening, working through how we can share our faith in Jesus Christ and do so in a loving and gentle manner, without fear. As you state, those who are not saved will not understand the point, but I believe we are called to find their soft spot, that point where they can be reached, if only to start a dialogue. I’m looking for an opportunity this evening to discuss this very point, which is this question, “When is it appropriate to even attempt a discussion focusing on spiritual matters?” I agree with you that we’re beyond the point where the schism can be healed. I just want to encourage more people to step over the line from darkness into light. God bless!
I wonder if it would help to simply ask permission to discuss spiritual things ? Such as, you’re with a person, you’re talking about something, they mention something that you feel warrants giving a spiritual perspective, so you ask, would you mind if I offer a Christian perspective on this issue? If they say no thanks, then at least you tried. But you never know, God might have prepared their hearts!
Yes, I think that’s the best approach — always ask permission. If they say ‘no,’ that’s it. Just pray for them. It also requires us to look for those opportunities to ask that question. As you say, there’s no hugging the sidelines. We’re in the fray.