Bible Ballistics: BBs #228 All Things To All People???
This may not be my most popular article but I feel deeply led to remind us of our call as the followers of Jesus. Jesus came to redeem fallen man, and we are to carry on that work—of course not “redeeming” men ourselves, but calling men to receive the gift of salvation and the Savior who paid the price for mankind’s redemption at Calvary, and was buried, and then raised from the dead to pay for our sin; all of our sin—all of MY sin, all of YOUR sin! And only when we receive the forgiveness of sin that He provides can we know and have eternal life.
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:12-14
We come to Him in repentance and faith in His sacrifice for ‘my’ personal sin. We must bow before HIM as the one who atoned (to make amends or reparation) for my sin! And without Jesus there is no escape from the death that sin will bring.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
And because I know the truth of who Jesus is, because I have received Him as my Lord and Savior, I am obligated to share the truth at every opportunity. I am obligated by the love that God has given me, to reach out to others with the truly “GOOD” news of the Gospel!!! That brings me to the heart of what I’d like to share today. Why are so many who claim the name of Jesus, so distracted by the things going on in the world, so consumed with the very hate that we often decry? Instead of reaching out in every way possible to share the call to repent and be saved– to receive the love of God that Jesus displayed at Calvary, and will extend to all who will believe in Him—we are spewing out as much hate and alarm as the rest of the world. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not calling us to compromise our faith in, or allegiance to the Word of God and it’s truths, but I am asking that we examine our attitudes and actions toward fellow believers and also toward those who don’t know the Savior. We must examine ourselves and our attitudes, and whether or not we are “going” and “teaching” and “gathering” the lost to the Savior? Or are we scattering abroad in opposition to the heart of Jesus?
“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30
Jesus called us to take the Gospel to the world, and He also called us to love that world, because a message from lips of hatefulness never attracts much of anything. While we know that trouble will come when we proclaim the truth, it shouldn’t be caused by the provocation of a mean-spirited presenter! We are to “go” with love and compassion, to “speak the truth in love”! We aren’t called to be “politically correct” nor devoted to “society” but to be “rightly dividing the word of truth” (See 2 Tim 2:15). Paul also has some good instruction for our attitude and outreach to a lost and dying world. Let’s examine what scripture says our attitudes and actions ought to look like:
“What is my reward then?
Verily that, when I preach the gospel,
I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men,
yet have I made myself servant unto all,
that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews
I became as a Jew,
that I might gain the Jews;
to them that are under the law,
as under the law,
that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law,
as without law,
(being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,)
that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak,
that I might gain the weak:
I am made all things to all men,
that I might by all means
23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake,
that I might be partaker thereof with you.” 1 Corinthians 9:18-23
So, what does Paul tell us? Look at verse 23, which sums it all up for us. We are to do what we do with one overriding purpose and drive, “this I do for the gospel’s sake”!!! While some say this passage says we can do “anything” to share the gospel, I would have to challenge that understanding; Paul isn’t calling us to compromise our convictions nor the Word of God, but he is calling us to reach people where they are. We are to reach out to people in their ‘lostness’ not in some sanctimonious exalted attitude that we are reaching “so far down” to others worth less than ourselves! We are called to reach out in gratitude for what we have received, understanding and remembering where and what God saved us from, and then share that same hope and joy of salvation with others at every opportunity.
We are also called to share with those opposed to us as we have opportunity! We are to reach out to the weak and weary with the truth of the gospel. Paul never compromised or backed down from his convictions or the truths of the Word of God, yet he reached out to those in every venue that God opened before him. Paul shared the Gospel with the superstitious Greeks, the idolatrous Romans, the religious Jews and just plain old pagan Gentiles of every order and in every place where God led him.
What are we doing for Jesus? It seems that we who claim the name of Jesus (And not all that claim to know Him truly do—see Matthew 7:13-29) are simply cloistering about our clicks, groups and genre’s. We throw rocks at those who disagree with us in any way, instead of mutually respecting the right of each person’s conscience without yielding the veracity of the Word of God, which is always the determining standard. I’m not purporting the abandoning of valid, biblical differences, but I am calling us to get our eyes on Jesus and off of ourselves, the politics around us and the hatred of those who oppose and even want to destroy us. Jesus calls us to march to a different drummer than the world does. In His own words:
“Blessed are they
which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye,
when men shall revile you,
and persecute you,
and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
and be exceeding glad:
for great is your reward in heaven:
for so persecuted they the prophets
which were before you.
13 Ye are the salt of the earth……….
14 Ye are the light of the world…..” Matthew 5:10-14 (Portions)
We must stop expecting the “pampered diva” treatment and get down to business for our Lord—it’s HIM that we serve, not ourselves, not politics, not treasure, popularity or social acceptance or acclaim. Let’s stop attacking one another, and respond in understanding and love. Let’s take the Gospel to the world, even the world that hates us, and stop throwing rocks at them. They are lost and are acting lost!!! Duh??? It’s all they know. Why do we get upset that others hate us? Jesus said it would be that way, so let’s just live for Jesus and share the Gospel at every opportunity—it is Good, Good News!!! Love should be our banner!!!
I love you and pray that you will seek the face of God about your attitude and your purpose. Perhaps God is sending the harvest to us? Will we burn and destroy the field or share the Good News about Jesus and trust God with the harvest? Regardless of how it looks, or what it costs us? When will we who are His, behave like it?
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35