Thursday, August 2, 2012

If You're Only Going to Sing One Note, Make it the Right One!

It's not about "gay rights."

It's not about abortion.

It's not about religious liberty.

It's not about the Constitution.

Don't get me wrong.  All of those issues are very important, even extremely important.  But if we make them the focus, then we can lose the war even while winning battles.

So what is it about?

Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in Heaven.
Luke 6:10

He is patient with you,
not wanting anyone to perish,
but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9

That at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth
and under the earth,
and every tongue confess 
that Jesus Christ is Lord
to the glory of God the father.
Php 2:10-11

Make no mistake about it, no matter how many arguments you can win, or how many people you can convince regarding hot-button topics, you will not lead a soul to Christ unless you take him or her to the heart of the matter.

And the heart of the matter is simply this:

Jesus Christ is Lord, and I am not. 
My sin separated me from God,
but Jesus died to save me from my sin,
bring me back to God,
and begin the lifelong process
of changing me into
the image of Christ,
and bringing me into
glad submission
to His will for my life.

All of humanity 
has the same problem
of alienation.
And all of humanity
is offered salvation
only through 
repentance and faith
in Christ.

If we seek to change people's minds about issues, and not change their mind about Christ, then we are not going to win any wars for the Kingdom.  Don't get me wrong...we may accomplish wonderful things that may matter for eternity.  Seeds may be planted that will bring someone to Christ later.  An unborn child may be saved and allowed to survive to birth, and may later find new birth.

I don't want to discourage anyone from pursuing Kingdom-related purposes regarding major issues, just because they're not able to witness to everyone they encounter.  But I do beg of you to remember what the biggest issue really is, and to prayerfully seek opportunities to reach people for Christ with the spoken Gospel wherever possible.

If people repent, confess Jesus Christ as Lord, and begin by His indwelling Spirit to bring all of their lives into glad submission to Him, the controversial issues will necessarily begin to look different to them.  When they see Him as Lord over everything...

  • Their sexuality (how it was created, how it may be expressed)
  • Their reproductive abilities
  • Their obligations to their Creator
  • Their obligations to their fellow man
  • Their eating
  • Their drinking
  • Their playing
  • Their working
  • Everything else could their lives not be changed?

Look at that list above.  Are you starting to squirm?  Am I stepping on toes?  I hope so, because mine are a bit sore.

If Christ's Lordship over ALL of life is really the issue, then we've got a lot more repenting and submitting to do, don't we?  We can't approach our neighbor with a haughty spirit when we look at that list.

And you can be sure, Jesus Christ does intend for His Lordship to extend over all of these intimate details of life, and more (1 Co 10:31, Col 3:17).

In my last entry, I pointed out that we often misinterpret what we see as "losing," even when it's not.  But is it possible that we've also misinterpreted "winning?"

Did we think we were winning when sexual perversion, pornography, etc were in the closet and we could ignore them?  Jesus didn't.  He looked at us ignoring our lost neighbors, and He grieved angrily over the fact that we were content to see neighbors go to hell as long as they kept their lifestyle out of our faces.  Maybe one reason He has allowed the homosexual agenda to gain such power, and to be so "in our face," is because we've been such losers.  We've failed to genuinely love.  

God forgive us!  Now we can see our neighbors more clearly. 
Help us to love them to You.

What about our lost "straight" neighbors?  Are we content with their lostness because their particular brand of sinfulness doesn't offend us as much?  Do we care for our neighbors with eternity always in view?  Do we see their sin as no better or worse than our own?

Will we consider the abortion battle "won" if we get Roe v Wade repealed?  It won't be won that way.  Even if we get the law changed, the battle is still lost in every heart that insists on abusing God's good gift of procreation.  It will also be lost as long as we love "winning the war" more than we love those who oppose us in it.

Will we kid ourselves that the battles are won "out there" if they haven't been won in our hearts?  What if the morality battles, the abortion battles, and the Constitutional battles INCLUDE the battle to love our enemies in the face of these issues?  

What do we expect to hear when we stand before the One who died for sinners?  "Congratulations, you hated all the right people?"  I think not.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  

If Christ is your greatest good, then Christ is your neighbors' greatest good, too.  Love Him, and love them.  Serve Him, and serve them.  Speak the truth about Him to them.  

Let me sing my one note again.  DON'T MAJOR on the other issues, because you will never save a soul by changing a behavior.  Lead people to Christ, and the behaviors will take care of themselves.

Photo by Kristina R


Connie Arnold said...

Very well said, Betsy! If we could just let Jesus be the focus and center of our lives, and love each other more, how much better everything would be. Singing a note of praise and wishing you blessings in your day!

Mary Moss said...

As always - you are "dead on" and yes, a few of my toes hurt! Thanks for your honesty and forthright sharing the light of Christ.

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