You will have to decide from the start if being popular matters more than being faithful.
- Jim Shempert
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:18-25
For some, that paints a pretty dim picture. For the church, it should be a wake-up call to repentance, and a battle cry. Nowhere in scripture is the Christian called to hide in a hole until the return of Christ! As the days turn darker, we are called to shine all the brighter. Shouldn’t we try to save all we can?
In the US, it’s an election year. Both sides are trying to paint the other as the ultimate end of civilization should they win. Here’s a newsflash: neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump can change the spiritual direction of our nation. The job of the president is to manage the direction of the country. Whoever is elected in November is going to have a monumental task. However, the power of altering the course of our nation lies in the testimony of those who have been changed by the Gospel.
The only thing that separates the saved from the unsaved is accepting of the work of Jesus. That is why Spurgeon wrote: ““If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”
Who better to tell a sinner of the saving grace of Jesus Christ than a redeemed sinner? That’s what Christendom is. One beggar telling another beggar where they found bread. Nothing more or less.
Finding Christ is easy. He looks for you way before you look for Him. Living for Him after conversion is much harder. You will have to decide from the start if being popular matters more than being faithful. If it does, Christianity is not for you. Far too many people, especially in America, like the socially acceptable Christianity that is based more on the #blessed life than one based on Scripture. If you stand on the foundation of Scripture, you will quickly find yourself on an island. Even in your own church, many will find your sola scriptura approach to be extreme.
We are living in a Romans 1 world. It is getting darker, and at some point, God will turn us over to our own desires. It has happened before, and will happen again. The remnant of the Church, though, is called to stand firm for God even as the world begins to burn down around us. Our job was never to be liked or celebrated. Our job was to preach the Gospel to the world, to expose the darkness to light so that all who would come out of the darkness could. Our job was never to change the Gospel so that it is “more appealing.”
It is because the light drives out the darkness that is worth going towards. It’s worth fighting for. It’s worth giving everything to pursue.
As Christians, the Word is what gives us hope, even in a world that is so lost. It’s also a clear indication for all as to where we stand before God. A.W. Tozer may have said it best: “God never negotiates with men. Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross put an end to any kind of negotiations. It is now Christ or nothing. It is now God’s Word in its entirety or nothing.”