Posts Tagged ‘christian walk’

  I had the awesome opportunity to have guest writer Emily Satterfield share with VOD a very important and controversial subject. These words are written from the experience of a young woman that used to claim to be Christian but was also proud to be a part of the LGBT community. Please take the time to hear her story and how she found forgiveness in the loving truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Is Christianity an easy path to walk? Is following Christ a journey that’s supposed to make us popular with
the world or enemies of it? Did Jesus promise that we would be loved or hated for His name? Contrary to
what so many evangelicals believe, both pastors and laypeople, Christianity is by nature divisive and does
not mesh with the lost world.
Initially submitting our lives to the lordship of Christ is a necessary and difficult thing that all sincere
believers must and will do, but I don’t think it’s the hardest thing we have to do. A true believer is one
who doesn’t pick and choose which portions of the Bible to adhere to, and, while that seems
commonsense, that principle often doesn’t carry over into our relationships with the unbelieving world
around us. Yet somehow, either due to lack of discipleship or courage, frankly, we are much quicker to
cherry-pick which parts of the Bible we follow when it comes to the lives of those around us. It’s scary
when the truth forces us to go beyond ourselves, and as a result, many of us wrestle with obedience and
often fall painfully short. We cower back and reject the conviction He brings us, even when there are souls
at stake.
It is not an overstatement to say that most people are under the misconception that discussing the sins of
others is unloving. “Judge not” is a phrase I’ve heard used out of context more times than I could count,
and that’s just from within the church. Yet in John 7:24, Jesus tells us “Do not judge by appearances, but
judge with right judgment.” Perhaps we have to dig beyond the first verse in Matthew 7 to understand
what Jesus meant in regards to judging.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be
judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the
speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or
how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the
log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will
see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5

Upon further examination of the text, we can see plainly that Jesus is referring to judging hypocritically.
To go to a brother living in blatant sin while you yourself are living in blatant sin is hypocritical and isn’t
going to hold any weight with your brother and could cause him to doubt the authenticity of your walk. We
must first repent (remove the log out of our eye) then go to our brother that he may also repent (help
him remove the speck from his eye). Here we see not a warning to keep our mouths shut, but rather a
charge to repent and help your brother to do the same.
Obedience to God is the most loving thing we can do for both Jesus and those who must repent. We know
that those who walk in darkness do not know God (1 John 1:6). We know that Jesus’ call to all His
followers was to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). We also read in John 14:23 that those
who love Him will obey Him. So what is it that keeps believers from faithful obedience when it involves
others outside of themselves? That answer is found in Proverbs 29:25: “The fear of man lays a snare…”
It’s scary to tell lost people that they’re lost. It’s frightening, particularly with loved ones, to tell them that
their lifestyles are incompatible with the faith and that they must repent. It no longer looks pious and
prestigious when we go from living holy lives that look different but don’t directly affect others to
engaging with a culture that hates the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus promised us that believers would
suffer in this world. Paul told us that “all who desire to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”
(2 Timothy 3:12).
As believers, we have to be honest with this dying world, despite the costs we’ll surely face. We’ve been
granted salvation from hell and an abundant life in the present while the lost are condemned and headed
for hell apart from Him granting them repentance and faith. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in him is not
condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the
name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18). At this very moment, our neighbors and loved ones are at
enmity with God because they have not repented and believed.
Christians have been given a commission; a parting command from our Savior:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded
you.” – Matthew 28:19-20a

Believers have been given an obligation and a responsibility to proclaim the truth to this world even when
in an age of ‘tolerance’ that’s the most unpopular thing we can do. The modern understanding of
‘tolerance’ is directly contrary to what the Bible teaches, as it demands that we not only accept but
celebrate various forms of sin in the lives of those around us. Not only can we not condone the sins of this
world, but we must go to those who are practicing it and share both the gospel and what He’s commanded
them to do. As scary as that seems, I assure you that the original disciples faced far greater risks for their
obedience as we do today in America.
The task is made to appear harder when one considers how groups like the Westboro Baptist Church have
done more than put a bad taste in the mouths of many Americans, both the lost and the saved. They
picket funerals in protest of sins like homosexuality and they do so in the name of Christ but demonstrate
no discernible fruit by which one might reasonably consider them to be sincerely Christian. Not everyone
who says to Him “Lord, Lord” will actually inherit the Kingdom of God (Matthew 7:21-23). In light of this
baggage, how should the believer go about speaking the truth to the lost about their sin? Paul gives us
the answer in Ephesians 4:15 with the phrase “speaking the truth in love”. In that verse we see that
there’s a message (the truth) and a manner that conveys that message (love). Though many will still
lump true Christians who display this character with those of Westboro Baptist Church, the difference is
known at least to God and those sheep who will hear His voice and repent by His grace.
Figuring out how to communicate the content of the message of truth is perhaps the most difficult part.
The believer first has to give that person a context for what sin is and what its effects are. This is where
the gospel comes in. We have to tell the lost, whether they are deceived ‘cultural christians’ or adamantly
atheistic, about their sin nature and enmity with God, their need for reconciliation with Him, and the
atonement He made at the cross for those who will repent and believe. In Romans 7, Paul tells us “if it
had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.” The law shows us that we’ve fallen short. The law
brings us, by the Holy Spirit, conviction for our sin. The remedy for that sin is the gospel, the power of
God for salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16). This means that people have to understand that they
are sinners and are guilty before a holy God. We have to be faithful to speak the truth to them, in love,
that they may repent. If we’re affirming sinners in their sin, we’re aiding them into condemnation. That is
not love but hate.
I became a believer in April of 2014 at 22 years old. Up until that point, since age 15, I was dating girls in
serial monogamous relationships. I esteemed myself to be a ‘good person’ and had many ‘believers’ in my
life affirming me in my sin. I was kind to my family, was a loyal friend, and was bold for the LGBT cause. I
enjoyed my sins of course (drunkenness, drugs, sexual immorality, etc.) but called myself a Christian and
boldly proclaimed “Love is love, and God is love.” I had formed a god in my head to suit my sin and my
desires that resembled nothing of the God of the Bible. I had a few people reach out to me to show me my
error and my need for a Savior but I had “already done that” (prayed a sinner’s prayer and been baptized)
and was content. I was condemned where I stood and was storing up wrath by the minute. Fortunately
the Lord showed me mercy and opened my eyes, through His law, to see my sin and my depravity and He
granted me forgiveness and a new life no longer enslaved to sin.
I did not enjoy the few times that believers came to me and pleaded with me to repent. I so much more
liked those who shrugged and either said “God will save her when she’s ready” or worse, “She’s a good
person. Surely God wouldn’t send her to hell for acting on those feelings.” Who loved me rightly? Who was
obeying our Lord and caring for my soul? It’s easy to overlook those who are in sin either because it’s
scary to talk to them about it or because we can’t fathom that they’re condemned already apart from Him.
If we believe the Bible is the word of God, and all sincere believers do, we have no choice but to go to
those who are in sin and plead with them that they repent and believe. If we believe that hell is what’s
awaiting them, how can we not do all in our power to stop them? How selfish could we be to withhold the
keys to eternal life from others just as guilty as ourselves for fear of rolled eyes or at worst, an argument?
Do we value our egos so much that we can’t be obedient to Jesus and give them the truth they must hear
to be saved (Romans 10:17)?
It was Spurgeon who said “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.”
Because we love Jesus and because we love our neighbors, we have to be radically obedient. We have to
endure what comes anytime truth is proclaimed in a sin filled world and trust the results to God. It’s easy
to let culture and fear trap us and keep us quiet and ineffective. We must repent of our apathy for the
lost, and we must obey. He can save and He will save; we need only be submissive to Him and rejoice
that He allows us to take part in the unfolding of His plan. If we believe the Bible, we cannot and we will
not be silent. “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon
me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” – 1 Corinthians 9

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What would our society look like if we, as Christians, actually decided to take Him seriously as our Master and obeyed Him? I know that it sounds like a silly question but take the time to stop and think about it. What is the greatest commandment? That we should love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. The second is that we love our neighbor as our self. This isn’t optional or a nice suggestion. This is actually the definition of Christianity. It is a command.

What does this look like in practice? The answer is so simple that most Christians today wouldn’t even see it. The answer is in James 1:27. He tells us what pure religion looks like. Pure and undefiled religion is manifested in how we treat the widows and fatherless and how the world around us effects our lives. It is worth reading.

If our lives don’t fit the description of these two passages in the Bible than we are only living a disgusting mockery of the God we claim to serve. We have made our own god. His name is Self…we love to worship him.

If you don’t love God with all your heart you wont love others as yourself. We love ourself with all are heart, don’t we? We strive greatly, our whole lives, just to be happy, just to have that moment of pleasure, the vacation we’ve always wanted, a time of rest and quiet, a tasty meal, a good book, new clothes. We want it our way…but God wants you to love others THAT much. We should be willing to give our own desires up for the sake of others. Isn’t that what Christ did? Did not He give up everything He deserved to abandon Himself to the bonds and chains of humanity? So why aren’t you? Why do you refuse? What excuse have you concocted in a heart of selfishness and pride? As Christians we GAVE UP our right to self at the bloody cross of Christ.

Stop thinking about how spiritual you want to become or how righteous you must be for bearing all of your trials. Everything you do in life is spiritual. Everything you do is a decision. A decision to follow one of two masters. You decide to follow God or your flesh. You can’t serve two masters. If you serve the flesh, God is NOT your Master but just a nice guy up there that saved you from Hell. For most of us, we never intended to allow God to keep our lives. We gave only to gain what we couldn’t get on our own. We laid our sin crippled bodies on the alter of sacrifice and repentance only to get up and walk away to indulge ourselves on the tasty fruit of the tree of good and evil. It feels spiritual to lay down on the alter…I mean, look at all that we’ve done and given up to lay there. Look at me! I made such a sacrifice. But what about the knife? What about the death to self? Are we hoping for a miracle to save us from death? God stayed the hand of Abraham, right? That may be true but He wont for you. Jesus gave His lifeblood for you and you took it. That is wonderful but now God requires something from you. Do you know what that is? It is YOU. Yes, you.

Are you surprised? Probably not. Why would you be…you have heard this before. We are to be a living sacrifice. Living yes, but that life is Christ’s, not yours. You MUST DIE. There is no getting around it. Have you allowed God to kill you? He wants to. This isn’t pretty is it. No, actually it is the greatest tragedy of history. Man rebelled against God. We disobeyed Him and cursed all of humanity with death. Creation has been groaning under this burden for thousands of years. Sorrow. Pain. Destruction. Hate. Hurt. This is the world you create when you decide to rebel against Love.

So back to the question, what would our society look like if we obeyed God? And more specifically, what would YOUR life look like if you gave God His rightful place of honor? We have become accustomed to the phrase, “you will know them by their fruits.” Everyone has said it at least once in their life. It has become a cute Christian slogan. So do you have the fruit of the Spirit? John tells us that we WILL love our brothers and sisters IF we have the love of God abiding in us. Do you? If not, why not? This thought scares me. Have we subjected ourselves to an imitation christ? A christ that promises safety from Hell but leaves our wicked heart intact? The real Christ wants that heart removed with the knife of the Word. But our fleshly heart is still beating. Why? Have we become so comfortable in the grace of God that we have allowed the world to cheapen it? To make it a license to wickedness? What have you done THIS WEEK that you KNEW was wrong but CHOSE to do it anyway? Be honest. You did it because you knew Christ would forgive you. You said in your heart, “Stay on the cross a little longer. Let the wounds of vile sin bleed a drop more. I need a bit more of your blood to wash this sin away. Don’t worry, I’ll say I’m sorry later.”

We have gotten drunk on a perverted communion. We drink the blood of Christ, knowing that there is an endless supply. Our remembrance of Him always brings us back to what we can gain instead of what we have been blessed to give. Christ didn’t die so you could buy indulgences for your sin. Do you sin that grace may abound…God forbid! How do you that are dead to your sin continue in it? Are you dead to your sin? Why not?

If you were willing to be honest with yourself, you would have to admit that you have at least one thing in your life that is worth Christ being beaten and mutilated and hung on a cross until He suffocated to death. Think about it….”Sorry God, I just couldn’t help myself.” Are you not ashamed of what you have done before the just eyes of your Creator? My guess is that you have not cared enough to really ponder it that much. We should weep over this. It should break our hearts. It broke His…

Maybe the greatest commandment doesn’t mean much to you. Maybe “pure religion” really isn’t that high of a priority right now. Maybe the Great Commission has taken the back burner. But that’s okay right…I mean, everyone else does it. You LOVE and WORSHIP your own BLINDNESS. Being blind is like resting in a big over sized comfy chair, listening to your favorite music and sipping a nice cup of tea. Go ahead and rest. Sing a lovely song about how much you want to worship God. Raise your hand a say, “Alleluia!” There is just one thing that you have to know. Your comfy over sized chair is resting softly atop millions of bodies. Some of them are dead, others are hanging on by a shriveled thread of existence. So many tortured souls, some weeping others hiding years or hurt and loneliness behind callous laughter but they are all looking at you. They are all looking for that hope that is supposedly lying within you. They are looking for that love, the love of God. They are looking for that fruit of the Spirit. Their eyes are searching for peace and hope and long-suffering and kindness….Is it there? You have squandered the death and blood of Christ, why not your neighbor’s?

Do you remember the definition of pure religion? Well, here is your opportunity to follow the example. These bodies, these wretched souls are the widows and fatherless. They are waiting for you to meet them in their affliction. Why wont you get out of that chair? Is it too much to ask for you to set down your cup of tea?

So do you love your neighbor as yourself? The answer is a resounding “NO!” All God asks is that you be the Good Samaritan. Help someone up. Set them in your over sized comfy chair and give them a sip of your tea. True love GIVES. The examples of the true Christian life in the Bible was NEVER a group of smiling people getting together on Sunday morning and Wednesday night to listen to a sermon and sing a few songs. This is nice and even good but that’s NOT Christianity. Your worship means NOTHING to God when His goodness is squandered on your lusts and when you have refused to love your neighbor. It becomes a mockery of the whole reason why Christ came. He came to GIVE not TAKE. God wants you to give your heart to Him…your heart and your dreams and your desires and your time and your money…your whole life. God wants you to give to others.

Its time to be a Christian, Christian. If you don’t want to than my suggestion is you get out of the ranks and stop giving fodder to the enemy. Christianity isn’t a fun journey. It never was supposed to be. But it is JOYOUS. The stark reality of this is astonishing. It is uncomfortable. Some will be angry after reading this but it is true.

Jesus so lovingly gave of Himself for you and the the whole world. How selfish of us to hoard this for ourselves alone. The world is going to Hell and many are proud of this fact. Be the voice that pleads with them to find the straight and narrow path. Be the warning cry. Be the watchman on the wall. Sound the alarm. That’s the most loving thing you could ever do. We are living during a national emergency everyday of our lives. Every moment another person slips into an eternal lake of fire. Every moment another soul asks you why you were too busy or too comfortable to tell them of their bitter end. Every moment death comes banging on someones door to take them to their new home of darkness, pain and eternal separation from our LORD.

This post was written by a good friend and fellow Abolitionist. May it be an encouragement and a good reminder as we enter into the fight. God has set the perfect and righteous standard. Let us be willing vessels.

‘For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.’
Deuteronomy 14:2
‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.’
James 4:4

We live in a rebellion saturated culture. America is a country founded on and won by the principles of rebellion and revolution. Americans worship rebellion, individuality, freedom of expression. Americans don’t like being pushed around. ‘Don’t tread on me.’ That is the watchword of our culture. That is the surface. Underneath we find that the truth is, our culture of rebellion is just regulated individuality.
Rebellion against standards and conscience? Yes. Freedom to immorality? Absolutely. But beyond that, the pursuit of individuality and expression is a carefully controlled and segregated. We are a culture that worship individuality in word, but conformity in action. The rebellion does not pass beyond the bounds of physical appearances in many cases.
Yet America is a ‘culture of rebels’. I am not here just to harp on the foolish conformity of our youth. I am here to talk about righteous rebellion. If I were to ask who was ready to be a rebel for Jesus, the answer would be a resounding, yes, from most. After all we are still a christian nation in census if not in deed.
Somewhere between seventy-five and eighty-three percent of our nation identify themselves as ‘christian’ (ABC News and Gallup Poll ). Rebellion is good, we like to say that we’re ready to be weirdos for God. It sounds good. It appeals to the American Spirit. Yet somehow there is a peace treaty between the world and the Christians. After all that makes sense, our nation is eighty-three percent christian, right? If that were true our nation would not look the way it does today. Does America look like a nation under God to you?

The fact is that we are not rebels, we are seldom even very different. What sets you apart from the people of the world? A slightly different dress-code? Sunday morning attendance? Those are both good things, but they are a mere fraction of Christianity! A few little things that can be overlooked since you seem nice besides your superstition.
If the friendship of the world is enmity with God, does it not follow that the friendship of God is enmity with the world?
We are not standing up! When you’re the only one standing in a room full of sitting people, they notice you. If we were standing up, we would be different. The Bible says ‘A peculiar people’. We do not need to seek to appear different, if we really follow what God say we will be different. Our nation is not Christian and if we act like Christians, really lived our faith according to God’s command and Jesus’ example, we will stand out.
We say we are willing to be rebels for Christ, yet our lives reflect little or nothing. The fact is, rebellion is hard, being the minority is hard. When the majority lauds and supports the minority, it isn’t hard being the minority, is it? But the fact is the world will hate us. They hate even the idea of a just God, the idea of consequences and accountability. Jesus is a rock of offense and they will despise Him and those who stand for Him, even if they do not realize why. For God to use us we must be empty vessels. But we have to accept God. Satan does not need the invitation, the empty are ready vessels waiting and open to be used by him. They will not remain empty, something will fill them, like the man in Matthew 12:43-45. I’m not saying that everyone is demon possessed, I believe Satan can use people without them being possessed. There are no noncombatants in this war, there are only allies and enemies.
It is hard when the rubber meets the road, when the hatred is not a vague impersonal concept of evil people out there somewhere who don’t like you. When it is acquaintances, neighbors, and friends that begin to cut a wide berth around you. If your nation is eighty-three percent ‘Christian’, than you are going to be hated by ‘Christians’!
I am not saying to seek hatred. The Bible says, ‘If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.’ We are not to try to alienate and anger people, but if you emulate Christ’s example, it will happen as a result.
Just remember, those that hate you for following God are the enemy. Did the allied forces in World War II worry that the Nazis would hate them? No, they stormed Normandy beach, they fought the Japanese tooth and nail for the hills of Iwo Jima! If the enemy loves you, then you’re on the wrong side of the battlefield! We do not need to fear to be hated by the enemy.

God has called us to righteous rebellion. True Christians have always been and always will be the rebels. Look at Peter and Paul and the apostles who ‘turned the world upside down’, ‘doomsday-ers’ like Noah and Jeremiah, John the Baptist ‘fanatic’, The world has never had true peace with Christians and never will.
I can almost guarantee that if you could go back to the inception of our nations independence, when we were newly founded, a nation under God; that the true Christians still would have challenged the status quo and still would have been hated. Even if the laws of the nation were right, they would be hated for standing for God. Maybe just to admonish people to live lives truly surrendered to Christ, for instance. They would still be hated.
As Christians, we are very fond of talking about being a ‘weirdo’ or ‘Jesus Freak’. It is easy to say and easy to rally around, but are we truly willing to be righteous rebels for God? Do we mean it? Are we willing to be hated for His name’s sake? I’m not saying that it might happen, the Bible says that it will happen. Jesus is a rock of offense to them. But to us He is the cleft in the rock, the hiding place, the shield and protector, and we can face the world with no fear.

“Abortion is only a symptom of sin. The real problem is that they aren’t saved. You need to focus on the gospel. Abolition work is just a distraction.”

These may not be the exact words of a man I talked with a few weeks ago but they encapsulate his mindset. They are touted by the majority of Christians because they sound good. They sound spiritual. What could be wrong with keeping your focus on the gospel, right? There is just enough truth in this lie that it sneaks by without being challenged. So if the majority of Christians won’t challenge this mindset, I will. I am going to challenge you Christian to take a moment and think for yourself in the light of scripture. Don’t worry about what you heard your Pastor or friend or favorite pro-life leader say. I challenge you to worry about what the Bible says. There is nothing wrong with listening to the advice of the people I just mentioned, as long as it is in line with the Word of God. Acts 17:11 tells us that the Berean believers searched the scriptures to see if what they were being taught was biblical. They were called noble for this. Let’s learn from their example. It is a good place to be. Our confidence in what we believe should be from God. When you take the gospel of Jesus Christ out of the church buildings and into the world where the people are, you will be attacked by the “Christian community.” Often the Christians are the worst enemies of the gospel and abortion abolition because they think that they have God on their side. They may have a god on their side but it isn’t the God that I serve. They will throw Bible verses at you like darts. They will attack you with cute Christian slogans that have been adopted into the modern church. They cling to them like doctrine. So lets look at the words that this Christian man told me and see if they are in line with the Scriptures.

Abortion is only a symptom of sin.”

It sounds good but it isn’t true. Abortion IS sin because abortion is murder. Sin is a symptom of a life not yielded to God. It is true that abortions occur because of a broken relation with God but it is more than “only a symptom of sin.” Abortion has consequences that affect more than just the mother and father. It destroys a life made in the image of God. Christians use this line because it sounds spiritual but honestly it is an attempt to down play what child sacrifice really is and lumps the sin of murder in with all the rest of humanities sins. They will quote verses like James 2:10 that says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” They assume that this means that all sins are equal in the eyes of God. This is taught in church but it isn’t true. It is true that even one sin separates us from God but nowhere in the Bible does it say that every sin is as bad as the next. In Matthew 23:14, Jesus, very emphatically stated, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” The Christians today do not want to hear this verse because it speaks to them directly. They have become the Pharisees. They make spiritual arguments against us with things like, “You just need to be like Jesus. He loved people.” They make “long prayers” while “devouring widow’s houses.” They go to church and sing Oh how I love Jesus while their apathy and laziness devours babies down the street. Greater damnation seems fitting in light of this disgusting indifference. Abortion is not only a symptom of sin, it is murder of the most innocent and defenseless among us.

The real problem is that they aren’t saved.”

Yes and no. Of course, with a regenerated life in Christ the excuses for murdering your child will melt away. When we have new and abundant life in us we wont worship death anymore like so many millions do. Truly, the gospel is the focus for an Abolitionist in our fight against the wickedness of our age. We need to bring the righteousness of God into conflict with this culture that practices and literally worships child sacrifice. The death and life of Christ is the only thing that can bring lasting life and hope to this dying world. The lost need Jesus. Mark 8:36 says, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” We are not trying to make America pro-life but to lead them to find new life in Jesus Christ. There are many pro-life advocates going straight to Hell. Standing against abortion wont save you. Acts 4:12 says that,Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” It is because of our faith in Jesus Christ that we do what we do, not in spite of the fact.

So yes, the problem is that they haven’t put their trust in Christ but it shouldn’t stop there. What about the life of the child? Is he/she of less importance? Christians say, “Well at least they are going to heaven.” I think that this is very callous. If that is your excuse for not speaking out for the millions of voiceless innocents I am sorry for you. You don’t know the love of God that gave His own life for filthy sinners like we used to be.

When I was confronted with this statement I answered with a question. “If you saw a man beating a ten year old child to death across the street would you just pray for the wicked man’s salvation?” Of course he said no, but I have to wonder. I understand that a woman going in to get an abortion and a man beating a born child to death aren’t the same thing but they are guilty of the same crime before God. The result is the same; a dead child. We are commanded to preach the gospel to every creature but we are also commanded to intercede on behalf of the children in our towns that are being slaughtered by abortion. Please consider reading: https://voicesofdissidence.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/abolition-the-work-of-every-christian/

Why do we favor one command of God over the next?

You need to focus on the gospel.”

This statement may be true but the context has been skewed. As I mentioned earlier, the gospel is central to the work of abolition but there is one thing that many Christians fail to recognize. What brings a person to the place that they realize they need God? It is the law of God. Psalm 19:7 says, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul…” Galatians 3:24 explains it this way, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Romans 7:13 says that, “sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” The law of God was given to us to show us our failure and need for Christ’s righteousness. Our good standards are nothing in the eyes of God. Even our righteousness is as filthy rags before Him. The law condemns us. This is essential to the gospel. Without the knowledge of sin we would never see a need for God. Declaring that abortion is murder and that Jesus offers forgiveness for this sin is the gospel. It is a message of hope for a soul lost in the inky darkness of murder and pride and selfishness. The early church preached grace to the humble and law to the proud. Many people today are blinded by their pride and arrogance. They justify the murder of their children with a smile on their faces. Mocking the Giver of life they flaunt the blood on their hands. The devil loves death. He loves to see destruction and pain and ruined lives. He would have loved to see Christ remain in the grave. But Christ defeated death! This is the message of salvation but the world’s vile sin holds them back. The light of God’s Word must shine on the wicked deeds of man. When Paul went to Mars Hill he preached against the people’s idolatry. This was because they clung to their wickedness in defiance to the one and only God. People today do the same thing with abortion. They worship it. They worship death. You don’t believe me? Stand against this work of darkness in the public sphere and you will see for yourself how deep the claws of sin and self have embedded themselves into our society. Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all he had to find everlasting life. He knew that this man had to give up the idols of his heart before he’d have a place for God. John the Baptist preached against Herod’s sexual immorality and lost his head over it. Christians tell us all the time that, “you just need to meet people where they are at.” That is just it. We are. They are in the slums of sin and repentance is the only answer.

Abolition work is just a distraction.”

This is probably the most ridiculous statement of them all. It shows a bit of self-righteousness and a lot of ignorance. Again, it almost sounds good. Almost. My question in return to such a statement is this, is every commandment of God a distraction from the gospel? If visiting the fatherless in their affliction is a distraction, taking care of the widows must be as well. And here I thought that taking care of the fatherless and widows was the definition of pure religion…This is ridiculous! A Christianity that has been stripped of its outward effectiveness is not Christianity. The life hid in Christ works. Our belief in Jesus was never meant to be vain words but love in action.

Why won’t pastors say that tithing is a distraction from the gospel? Or how about their huge conferences and revival meetings? Why won’t the average church-goer say that their youth-group activities and potlucks are distractions from the gospel? It doesn’t take much to figure out. The Pharisees did the same. They loved to pray elaborate prayers in public while completely missing the weightier matters of the law.

Speaking out on behalf of the unborn is not a distraction from the gospel of Jesus Christ. They go hand in hand. The world and the worldly church want a silent bride. They want our light to be hid under a bushel. They want our salt to be a bit less salty. We are too strong for a tongue that has grown accustomed to the sickening sweet comforts the world has to offer. They want the leaks and garlic of Egypt.

It is time to stop pandering to the whims of the masses. Let’s obey the voice of the Lord for He is worthy.

cross-blood

What do you do with a Christianity that is more concerned about how the world perceives it than faithfully obeying the Word of God? What do you do with a faith that withers in the face of opposition? What do you do with a people that no longer know how to give the lost and dying world an answer for the hope that lies within them? What do you do with a follower of Christ that stops following the moment Christ walks against the tide of our culture?

Does not this describe the heart of God’s people today? I really wish that this was an over-exaggeration. I wish with all my heart that these questions were laughable. I desire that we would be so lost in the love and power of Christ that the world couldn’t help but be drawn to Him. But this isn’t the case. We live distracted Christian lives. God has become just another part of who we are. We forget that Christ is our life and no one else. Sitting in a pew on Sunday and Wednesday night has become our devotion to Him. Conviction has become an addicting adrenalin just powerful enough to keep us coming back for more. But whatever happened to pure, sincere, heart-felt repentance? It should break our hearts that we are only willing to give our left-overs to God. The problem is that we have become obsessed with ourselves. Everything has become about us, about what we can get out of it, how we benefit. We need the mind of Christ. Jesus said, “Not my will but thy will be done.” Will you be willing to let that be your prayer? The verse in John 12:32 is very telling. Jesus says that, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

Who are you lifting up today?

Are you declaring Christ or boasting about yourself? Who do you think about the most? When people mock or revile you do get angry and offended? Will you take time to watch a movie or play a game without even giving the Bible a second thought? When you wake up each morning do you think, what am I going to do today or what does the LORD want me to do today? Is your life so planned that you don’t have time for God to interfere? We want the world to see Jesus and yet we hide Him behind the dark curtain of selfishness. We want the world to give their all to Him when we wont even give Him a few hours of our day? We desire to declare the truth in public and yet at home we make provision for sin through things like the TV, movies, internet, books, conversations and jokes. In light of these questions, who are you lifting up in your everyday life?

How was Christ lifted up?

He was lifted up on a bloody instrument of death. He was lifted up on a cross. You may say, I don’t lift myself up. I present Christ in my life! Examine yourself. The Pharisees thought that they were lifting up God. They prayed elaborate prayers to God in public while looking down their noses at the world around them. God became a flashy jewel around their necks. A prize that they earned by obedience. But the true Christ is lifted up on an ugly cruel cross. There is nothing flashy about that. It is raw Christianity displayed in honesty before men. Jesus said that we are to daily take up our cross and follow Him. Have you taken up your cross and followed Jesus? Have you been crucified with Christ? Have your past works of righteousness been counted as dung? Are you walking in His Spirit of truth?

Why was Christ lifted up?

He was lifted up to draw all men unto Himself. He came to seek and save the lost. He came to preach law to the proud and grace to the humble. He came to give life. Why are you lifting up Christ? He has commanded us to preach the gospel to the whole world. Are you? All He asks is that you begin in your Jerusalem. Do you have the ministry of reconciliation? Why should we ever want to hoard the greatest gift that God has ever bestowed on mankind? Christ was lifted up for YOU. Now point the sinner to the cross. Jesus is waiting.

When is Christ lifted up?

Christ is lifted up when we, like John the Baptist, say that He must increase, but I must decrease. He is strong in us when we are weak. His strength is made perfect in weakness. That is why He has chosen the foolish things of this earth to confound the wise. It is Christ perfect righteousness in us. Stop stealing the glory that belongs to God. He alone deserves the honor and glory.

Let’s be salt and light!

That light is the light of salvation, the light of His Word. It is not our own. All we have to do is trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding and He SHALL direct our paths. His Word is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path. We wants His light to shine on a hill. This light of His righteousness will expose the works of darkness. His holy presence, when He is lifted up will convince men of their sin. The wages of sin are made clear in light of the agony of Calvary.

What in your life is more important than God? What idol has replaced Him in your heart? I’m talking to you Christian. Don’t think that you exempt from falling for an idol. Many have fallen away from their first love. They are worshiping a God of their own imagination, a golden calf made from their own riches, those flashy jewels of self-righteousness taken from the Egyptians.

There’s no reason to let apathy or bitterness or discouragement or regret hold you back from lifting up the Son of God. Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. The time for loving your God is now. The time for reaching the lost with His love is now. The time for walking in His Spirit is now.

Don’t be afraid of the world. Nothing touches a child of God without first passing through the hand of God. We are to fear God not man.

I plead with you Christian to follow the Lord. His yoke is easy. There is no lasting pleasure in a life lived for self and sin. Jesus Christ can be your all.

Bonhoeffer-Banner-1“Silence in the face of evil, is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless.  Not to speak, is to speak, not to act, is to act.”
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Your city has an abortion clinic. Down the street from your church stands a place that makes money on the death of tiny human beings. You drive by it everyday and never give it a second thought. The citizens in your city live in peace with the destruction of your neighbors because YOU live in peace with it. What does your “pro-life” opinion mean without Christian action to follow it? Is not faith without works dead? Are you a hearer only and not a doer?

You may be thinking, “But my town doesn’t have a abortion clinic in it.” Are you sure? Take a moment to stop and think. Your local grocery store has become the abortion clinic, the killing center. You can buy the murder of your unborn child for under $50.00 at the place where you buy food. Shouldn’t this be abhorrent to us? My town sells abortions at Walmart, Safeway, Super 1 and Sandpoint Super drug. If you don’t believe me, read this: http://ahanorthidaho.com/AbolitionArticles_02152015.html

Whatever happened to living in the land of the free? What happened to the unalienable rights that the conservative Christians in our nation tout so loudly?

What does pure religion look like in a town that sells abortions at the local pharmacies? Death is being sold freely around you at the whim and convenience of the murderer. As Christians, what do we do about it? Is there anything we can do?

We stand outside of Sandpoint’s abortion clinics and plead with people to follow Christ. We plead with them to stop worshiping death, to stop sacrificing their children on the alters of convenience, pride and selfishness. We plead with the Christians to love their neighbor as themselves. We plead with moms and dads to care about their unborn children. While we were there, I had a Christian youth pastor tell me that, “You should go where people are actually getting abortions. Go to a bigger city. You know, 90% of everyone here agrees with you guys.” The statement was appallingly ironic. We had this discussion in the parking lot of a place that sells abortifacient pills. I told him that he should stand with us and see for himself how the majority of those coming in and out of this place are actually haters of God. Our culture is in love with death.

A Christian minister that has a church in the area pulled up in his car and without even taking the time to get out began to argue with me about the message I was preaching. He said I was judging and that I had a bad spirit. I urged him to consider the verse in Proverbs 6:17 that tells us that God hates the hands that shed innocent blood. He didn’t want to hear it. No matter how much I shared with him the Word of God he refused to listen. He fails to hate murder as much as God hates it.This leads me to the question that I asked earlier. What does pure religion look like in a town that sells abortions at the local pharmacies?

The answer to this question lies in Psalm 97:10. These two Christian men failed to understand this. “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil.” This is a small verse with huge implications for the Christian today. The greatest commandment ever given is that we love the LORD with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We all already know that we are to love the LORD but what does that love actually look like in a culture that loves evil and hates good? If you truly love God you will hate evil. How couldn’t we when it was evil that separated us from God? Evil is why Christ had to submit to the death on the cross. Evil is rebellion against our holy God and Savior.

As Christians, we already know that we are to love. We know that love is long suffering, kind, does not envy, is not arrogant and proud, in not unseemly, does not seek its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil, rejoices not in iniquity but rejoices in truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things and never fails. Love is by no means just a feeling. Love is the character of God flowing out of us through actions. Real love acts.

James 2:15 says, “If a sister or brother be naked, and destitute of daily food,

And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

This is hollow faith and empty love. Acts don’t automatically mean you have God’s love because in 1 Corinthians 13 the Bible tells us that, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”

But when we truly have the love of God in us we WILL act accordingly. Love is evidenced by action. God became man because of love.

Isaiah 53:4-5 tells us that, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

That is love. A love that took Him to the cross. A love that acted accordingly. This is sacrificial love. He gave His life for the lives of lowly man. His love was hateful. Jesus loved us so much that He hated the evil that separated ourselves from Him. Is that the kind of love you have, Christian?

As love is an action so is hate. We are commanded to hate evil. Do you? David is a perfect example of a man of God that hated evil. 1 Samuel 17:26 states, “And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” David asks, “Is there not a cause?” That question rings through the centuries. Is there not a cause today? Do not wicked men and women defy the soldiers of God today? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by whom we are called? Is not the image of God being defiled right now in your city? David was young and inexperienced but this didn’t matter in light of Who his God was. David told Goliath in verse 45, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” That is my God. That is your God. David loved the Lord enough to hate the wickedness of this Philistine. He stood when no one else would.

Verse 46, “This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” What evil is the Lord waiting to deliver into the hands of His faithful servant? What evil must we behead in God’s name? Could God be waiting for a David? Could He be waiting for men and women that hate the evil God hates? Stand against the evil in your city. If you really love God you will hate evil and act on it. You will want to stand against those that defy the name of your God.

When you stand against evil people will say that you are hateful. Tell them that they are right. We hate evil because we love God.

Abolitionists stood outside of Safeway and exposed the works of darkness. Safeway and many other stores in your city sell abortifacient drugs. You can buy murder in your local grocery store for $50.00.
This is a conversation with a woman that claims to be a Christian but is a supporter of child sacrifice.

People, both confessing Christian and non-Christian, hate to be confronted with the light of truth. Light in painful to the eyes accustomed to darkness. Darkness can be a comfortable place to be. It hides your accountability. It covers up the scars and masks the condemnation. Darkness is where Adam hid in the garden after he sinned against the Holy God. It is the covering of fig leaves fashioned in foolish desperation. It is the dank hold of the ship where Jonah lay in hiding. We, as Christians, are commanded to be salt and light in our culture. That light is none of our own but the light of Jesus’ gospel. God sent His light when He gave His only begotten Son. We are commanded to declare this light. If we truly have a relationship with our Father we can’t help but tell the world about Him. His commands are no longer grievous but a joy.

When you obey the Lord and shine as a light in the darkness you will be condemned and reviled. Both professing Christians and non-Christians will call you hateful and judgmental. If you oppose the evil you will face accusations. Truth sounds like hate to those that hate the truth. It has never been politically correct to expose the works of darkness. We live in a country that worships tolerance and acceptance. God doesn’t tolerate sin and neither should His children.

John 3:17-19 says, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

The darkness hates the light because it loves the evil that it clings to. We don’t have to condemn the world because the world is already condemned. The righteous law of God has condemned them for us. Their conscience bares witness that they have broken the perfect standard of their Creator.

Verse 19 says that the condemnation is the light that is come into the world. Don’t be afraid to stand for truth. The anger that others feel toward you for declaring the message of truth is the conviction of the Holy Spirit against a wicked heart. The world and the worldly Christian will try and convince you that you are being unloving and even hateful if you boldly stand for truth against the evils of our age but our guide shouldn’t be the opinions of men but rather the Word of God. It can be discouraging to be told that you are being too zealous and unloving, that you don’t care for the people you are trying to reach. The devil will do anything to weaken the message of light. He knows that we have the lamp that lights the path to salvation. He loves to dim that light. I hope that I can encourage you in your stand for truth and bring the truth of God’s Word into conflict with the opinions of those that assist the devil in his attempts at dimming your light and weakening your boldness.

The world is accepting of God as long as He is shown only as loving and merciful. The modern church has caught on to this and has presented a god stripped of his righteousness, wrath and justice. They no longer worship the God of the Bible but an idol of the imagination and, quite frankly, the world loves him. Why wouldn’t they? He is a god of darkness. The light has been removed. But this isn’t the God that I serve. I serve the Almighty God. And this God, though loving, gracious and full of mercy, demands that we fear Him. The sin sick world hates this. I don’t blame them.

God cries out in Deuteronomy 5:29, O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!”

Nehemiah appointed rulers for Jerusalem in Nehemiah 7:1-2 and his requirement was that he was a …faithful man, and feared God above many.”

Proverbs 3:7 says, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” This is a command. Many Christians try to apologize for this. We don’t think He really meant what He said. We dim the message by saying that what He really meant was for us to reverence Him. Fearing God is not politically correct. Might it be that they have never met God? When Isaiah saw God in Isaiah 6:5 he fell on his face and cried, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips…” Notice that God didn’t object to this reaction. He sent the seraphim unto Isaiah with the burning coal from the alter and cleansed the sin for which Isaiah was condemned. This should be us when we meet the LORD. Should Isaiah have apologized for the “radical Christians” that point to the righteous judgment of God? This fear isn’t the cutesy honor that most Christians make it out to be. Matthew 10:28 tells us, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Christian, that is your God. The God that is love is also pure righteous judgment.

As a Believer that has been delivered from our sin and condemnation, we don’t have to stay here because “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” Once we are reconciled to God we can have a deep and loving relationship with Him. But many professing Christians have never even begun to fear the Lord because the god they serve never required it of them.

So what does the fear of the Lord look like? Proverb 8:13 gives us the answer. “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil…” To hate evil…what a thought! This is a foreign concept to many. Tolerance and acceptance doesn’t allow such a thing. Hating evil is exposing and reproving it. It is showing the wages of sin. It is declaring the deliverance from its destructive end. It is being salt and light.

Psalm 97:10 says, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil…” Do you love the LORD? If you do you will hate evil. Examine your heart. What sin do you cling to? What evil do you give a pass out of apathy? What idol have you refused to give to Him? Don’t hide behind the good you do. God hates this kind of worship and service. He desires a clean heart.

The world and the worldly church shrink at the sound of this message. Why? Because it is painful. But that’s okay; it should be. God hates our sin. Read Proverbs 6. Psalm 7:11 says, “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” The world needs to hear the danger they are in. It should break your heart. Hell is their destination. Ephesians 5:6 says that because of fornication, all uncleaness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, jesting, whoremongering and idolatry the wrath of God is upon the children of disobedience. Jesus is coming back to “smite the nations” and to “rule them with a rod of iron.” The perfect righteousness of God is no joke but the churches today would like you to think so. They will tell you that this is hateful to tell people. If this is true than Jesus was hateful. They are calling the God of love, who became sin for us, a hater of mankind. What a disgusting accusation against God. They don’t know Him.

Hebrews 11:7 tells us that, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” By faith Noah condemned the world. He believed God and preached for a hundred years about the coming judgment. His righteous actions condemned the world in that it shown the light of his obedience on the evil hearts of those that hated God. That is what we are called to do today. Stop apologizing for your righteous stand. Christian, be encouraged that you are not alone in shining as a light. The preaching and preparation for the coming judgment was the most loving thing that Noah could have ever done.

A good friend of mine pointed out that in James 3:17 it says, But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable.” Often we focus so much on being at peace with everyone that we compromise the purity of our message. Don’t be afraid to speak the unadulterated Words of God. They bring life.

“Judge not lest ye be judged!” This is a favorite among those that oppose the gospel message. It is taken from Matthew 7:1-2 which says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged…” This is talking about hypocrisy. The Bible actually commands that we make righteous judgment. In Amos 5 God tells us that He hates when people praise Him with their lips but their heart is far from Him. He says, “Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” Righteous judgment is proof of our faith.

John 7:24 states that we should, “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” We are to judge righteously. Not in condemnation but in truth.

You will be called hateful because the world hates the truth. Amos 5:10 says, “They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.” Let that be said of us.Stand for truth no matter what man may say. Judge righteous judgment despite the accusations of the church-goers. We are on the side of right so let us be the light God has commanded of us. There’s no need to be discouraged when God is on your side.

Shine on in the darkness!