How’s your world today? We are almost frightened to turn on the news these days because of the bad news that streams from every broadcast. Is it possible that so many evil things can be happening every day in our world?
The answer of course is yes. We live in a world where people behead innocent people in the name of religion and bully nations, like Russia, take what they want from weaker nations. We live in a world where the United Nations works hard to find Israel guilty of war crimes but says nothing about ISIS as they role through Iraq raping, murdering and persecuting everyone who doesn’t agree with them.
The world is becoming more intolerant and the response of the western nations is to simply become more politically correct towards the abuses around us. Recently in England it was discovered that a gang of Arab men had been abusing upward to 1400 girls for years. The agency responsible for these girls, when confronted by a caseworker about the reported abuses, sent her for sensitivity training instead of dealing with the situation.
We live in a world where Ebola runs rampant throughout parts of Africa and California is drying up from drought, but somehow everything seems so distant because we are not impacted directly. I live safely in a little town on the coast and every morning I wake up to boats chugging out to the fishing grounds and the sounds of birds as they drift on the morning breezes. When I look around me it seems almost impossible to imagine that so much of the world is torn and ripped by wars, famine, drought, disease and corruption.
Our culture of plenty in North America makes it very difficult to get a handle on Biblical theology that talks about a literal end of time and the return of Jesus. When was the last time you heard a sermon about the second coming of Christ from the pulpit? Have we become so desensitized to the Scriptures mandate that we don’t want to believe Jesus is going to return? Or, are we so content with what we have and our enjoyment of the things we possess that we don’t even think about the return of Jesus?
How do our thoughts, or lack of thoughts, about the second coming of Christ impact our witnessing? If we keep Christ’s return on the back burner of our spiritual life then we may not see the urgency in sharing the gospel. After all, if there’s plenty of time for a twenty year old to get to know Jesus then let’s not bother him too much right now so he can concentrate on marriage, family, work, building a future and accumulating things. But, what if everything we are seeing in the world right now is the unfolding of Biblical prophecy about the end of time?
One other thing, if you are attending a church that is based on “word of faith,” or “prosperity” gospel then you need to seriously think about getting out and finding a Bible centered church. One of the great reasons that Christians are not geared up for understanding the cosmic significance of Christianity is because so many of our churches are focusing on personal happiness, prosperity and contentment. Christian’s are falling asleep believing that as long as they are personally doing well, all is well with the world.
It is time that we get on our knees and ask God for spiritual guidance. It is time that we become serious about opening our Bibles and studying for ourselves. Yes, I said study not just read it. It is time we become discerning about what we are subjecting ourselves to each week in church. Are we hearing the gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection or some dribble about how wonderful we are and how much we deserve for being us?
It’s time we meet with like-minded Christians to fellowship and develop a heart for the lost. It’s time we seek the Holy Spirit to lead and guide in our lives. And it’s time that we put all our trust into the arms of Jesus and become disciples.
There is a lost world outside our door. These are people Jesus loves and died for and He longs to see them enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We are not saved to emulate the world around us. We have been redeemed to be salt and light in the world and bring the good news of the kingdom to the blind, the broken, the discouraged and prisoners of sin. To be a witness of Christ is not an option that we can choose to accept or not. It is the very core of what it means to be a disciple of Christ.
This message of God’s love and redemptive power is never going to be proclaimed though presenting cultural Christianity to people but instead it will be proclaimed through men and women who are so infected with the joy of God in their lives that they cannot help themselves.
Remember, earlier in this post I said it was time we prayed, studied and put ourselves under good teaching and have fellowship with honest believers. That is how we grow as disciples and how we grow in our love of Jesus. And the more we love Jesus the more we desire to share His love with others.
It sounds like commitment doesn’t it? It is. I see it every week at the two Bible study groups I belong to. Some people drive a fair distance to be there and others have to readjust schedules and overcome situations at home to be able to attend, but they do. I have personally gown a great deal as I fellowship and study with these brothers and sisters.
And what have I learned? God’s love is bigger than any of us and all encompassing. And I’ve learned a new passion for the lost and a new desire to share that love with a renewed urgency.
“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; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Matthew 28:19 -20
* I’m sure we’re all aware of the reality of what’s happening in our world but we have posted just a few articles concerning persecution of Christians and people of other faiths. Go to http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ for updates. As always we need to continue praying for these people.