Following my message last week of “Contending for An Unpopular King,” I want to offer a few thoughts regarding a challenging truth; namely, Jesus himself said that the world will hate you because of your love for Him.
You can love the world like Jesus loves the world and still be hated. It’s not your fault, so don’t change your method. Your advocacy for Christ should never come at the expense of your relationship with Him.
Many Christians have it in their minds that hating people’s sin (including our own) means hating the individual (and often ourselves). This message is due in part to our culture but many Christians sing the same tune. Instead of hating sin for the separation that it causes between us and God, they accept the sins of others in the name of “loving them for who they are,” often labeled as tolerance.
But the problem is when we accept people for who they want to be, we neglect the people that Jesus made them to be. Jesus was the prime example of love, but never does He display an ounce of tolerance. In fact, the cross was proof of His intolerance. What type of tolerance prompts a king to step off his throne to die for his people?
We don’t get to make up the narrative here, my beloved brothers and sisters! The story has already been written- and it is beautiful! Tolerance was never part of the story! The gospel does not boast “come as you are, stay as you are” but rather “come as you are TO BE RESTORED!”
But being different from the world has its costs, “You are not of the world, so don’t act like you are” is a short summary of Rom. 12:1-2. But I am often told something like “But Jim, Jesus partied, drank, and hung out with sinners, so I can party, drink, and hang out with sinners!” Well, sure I guess you can say he partied because He did attend parties and even contribute alcoholic wine to one. But the above quote is used in a defense of partying that is NOT consistent with Jesus’ partying, and I am sure those who make the argument know that full well.
As Christians, we are to be light and salt to the world (Matt. 5:14). Salt gives flavor to bland food, light gives vision in darkness. See the analogy there? We are to be different and we are to be good. Good in behavior and good in our advocacy for Christ, if our agenda is to represent Christianity.
We’re quick to sing popular worship songs like “O to Be Like You” and “Jesus, Be the Center Of My Life” but how practical do we allow this to be? We need to be like Daniel, Esther, and Joshua. People of faith who love without ceasing and represent Jesus without compromise.
Nobody is perfect but no one knows it more than me; it’s one thing to sin and try to justify it, while it’s another thing altogether to sin and repent; confessing and turning away from sin. Will you join me to stop flirting with what we can get away with, and instead pursue the life of holiness and being set apart for God’s service that we have through Jesus Christ.