The Bible is clear on what the church should look like to the world…UNITY IN CHRIST!
THE BLIND CULTURE
“But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. 38 This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted” (Matt. 12:37 NLT)
The prophet Isaiah foretold of the days of the willfully blind culture. He said their eyes would be blind their hearts hardened and that they would reject Jesus in favor of culture (Isa. Chapters 6 and 53). Today the greatest fear many people have is to be an outcast from popular culture.
THE BIBLE WARNED
“I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.” (II Peter 2:3)
BE CLEAR YOU ARE STANDING ON BIBLICAL TRUTH!
Wherever our political views they better not conflict with Sound Biblical Doctrine. God created man but he did not make man broken. As Americans we unify around the constitution and the flag. As Christians we unify in Jesus and the Bible, God’s Word. The Bible is the final Word on what is Truth and what is fiction!
WE HAVE A SIN PROBLEM
Sin introduced brokenness to our world. The way our world views everything is seen through brokenness! The super charged issues or our day: racism, gender redefined, bullying, inequality, freedom from religion vs. freedom of religion.
We cannot see any of these issues clearly while we are captive to sin. Sin clouds vision and distorts truth. Sin seeks to be justified and to blame. The very creation of God looks forward to a day when God will reclaim it from the curse of sin (Ro. 8:18-25). This sin problem is far reaching and has poisoned the minds of men and women all around us.
Many followers of Jesus today are unclear and divided from the body of Christ in their attempts to practice Christianity. On the one hand they have their Bibles and opportunities to learn and practice Sound Biblical Doctrine…
On the other hand, they have the passionate call of culture to join with them in a movement that seems very loving, logical and purpose filled. To make matters worse there are wolves in shepherds clothing giving Biblical justification to join with cultural norms. Some Jesus followers believe they can now justify: abortion, homosexual practice, gender identity expansion. The Biblical battle cry in this rank is “God is Love” therefore anything that seems unloving is not God.
Of course the devil is literally in the details. It is not unloving for us to scold or punish our children in order to prevent them from doing something that will harm or kill them. Confused followers struggle to see love in discipline, correction and denial.
FOLLOWER VS. DISCIPLE
Jesus has always had followers and admirers. There is a huge difference between a follower of Jesus and a Disciple. That difference is “OBEDIENCE”. Disciples recognize that the teachings of the Bible will always run counter culture.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Prov. 16:25 ESV)
On one occasion after many followers had abandon Jesus because of a “hard teaching” he brought, Jesus turned to his disciples to ask them; “will you go away also?” One of the disciples Peter rose up and responded “where shall we go? You have the Words of life”.
Authentic Christianity is practiced in obedience to God’s Word. No matter what culture says.
THE “PERSONAL” PROBLEM
Sin is sin until it is your sin or my sin or a close family member or friends sin. Surely God would not want to punish people who cannot help who they are right? Or who cannot stop doing what they do. When sin hits home with someone you love the natural path is to “lay blame” or “justify”. We start searching for people who agree with us rather than seeking out good Godly counsel and spending time searching the scriptures.
THE CHURCH WHERE JESUS IS PASTOR
Now more than ever before we need to not only follow but obey Jesus! New Testament writer and disciple of Jesus Paul admonished the people who listened to him to follow him only as long as they saw him follow Jesus. If ever he left Jesus to follow culture they should abandon him and continue to follow Jesus. Paul said this because he knew he was vulnerable to sin just as anyone else in his time. He wanted to sound an alarm to the early church that their true pastor was JESUS. Jesus said
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. (Jn. 10:11)
I love that God called me to shepherd with Him, but like Paul, I am a shepherd under Him. I do not make scripture, I obey it and put it into practice in my life so that I might be a good example to those I am blessed to serve. I am a Sheep of His pasture first and a shepherd by His call on my life second.
THE PRESIDENT ELECT
Many are concerned about the result of this election for various reasons. Others are celebrating the results for various reasons. The election again reveals almost a 50-50 split in how Americans believe America should be governed. Here is what we need to understand as Christians.
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. (Ro. 13:1.2 NLT)
Throughout the history of mankind there have been good and evil authorities empowered over regions of the planet. So long as those authorities did not require men to denounce God, God expected mankind to submit to their rule.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHURCH?
Some churches have become so politically motivated that they are no longer Kingdom effective. It is the role of the church to be on mission with Jesus.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Lk. 19:10)
This is our MISSION! We have been called, empowered and given authority to carry out His mission on earth:
“Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” (Lk. 10: 19,20)
This authority is released by our obedience to and unity in Jesus! We are to unite under the banner of Jesus Christ. Put away your concerns about the presidency for a moment and examine your heart. Can we unify as those who belong to Jesus as His disciples? Those who will follow His commands regardless the cost in our culture? Can we Obey Him fiercely? If you can answer “Yes” please join the Grace Place Church in reaching our world for Jesus Christ.
Pastor Alan Kirkpatrick