We are living in perilous times. Outside the church we are being attacked by infidels who want to infringe upon our liberty to worship and practice Christianity. Satan has always used sinners to thwart Christianity. Within the church we are being influenced by a movement from biblically old paths towards a new postmodern liberalism. So called progressives are escalating a movement to denominate churches of Christ. We are losing our identity. There are practices being introduced against our tradition and against the biblical positive laws regarding how to properly worship God.
While we are faced with a negative world, we must continuously proclaim the truth in love. Positive preaching regards lost people as souls in need of Jesus. While God does use punitive measures in his love for people, he also is forbearing with those who need time to develop sufficient spiritual maturity, so as to change their life. At the same time we positively proclaim the Gospel, we must present the rebuttal for false doctrine. Liberal theologians who bring unscriptural change into a congregation of Christ must be faced with a stern rebuke. We must tell the truth like it is. Sometimes this calls for what may be termed tough love. We can discern whom God condemns without being judgment. Judgment involves condemnation; discernment is the ability to see who is following a destructive path to being condemned by God, not us.
We also need to let the world know what we are.We are the true believers. Those outside the household of God do not understand the reality that is exclusively in the body of Christ. The Gospel remains a mystery to those who are blinded by their lust and deceived as was the first people, Adam and Eve. We are a people who love God foremost. We are willing to lay our lives down for the Master, Jesus Christ. We are the people who know what it means to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are also the type of people who love every other soul we come into contact with, including our enemies.
We belong to God. As such, we are the Almighty’s prized possession having been bought by the blood of Christ Jesus. The power of sin and death has been defeated by the Lord. Therefore, we consider ourselves dead to Satan’s lasciviousness and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Marked by the Holy Spirit, we wait for the redemption of our bodies. Because we belong to God, we have absolute expectation of Paradise. We have hope, which the world does not comprehend. That is our joy.
We must let people know where we are. I do not mean the sign on the front of the building. What I intend to say is people need to understand we are in Christ and that we are the resource where a lost or suffering person may come for spiritual help. Christians are the living correspondence of the glory of God. We are in Christ. Therefore, we let the good news of the death, burial and resurrection be known as the beacon of life. Dominated by the Holy Spirit through the teaching of the Scripture, we are in the only place where people trapped by transgression can comprehend the truth spoken in love.
While we live in difficult times, we still have the liberty to worship and live as God want us to. While false doctrine is rampant in the church, we may continuously confront it by teaching the truth positively and lovingly.
Let me ask you now my friend, what, who, whose, where are you?