Friday, July 20, 2012

Just As I Am?


Sometimes it is good to keep not only a biblical perspective on things but also a historical one as well.  In the early church under the Roman Empire all Christians understood that one of their primary missions was evangelization.  This meant they were to go to their neighbor and the entire world and tell them that unless they repent of their sin and trust wholly on Christ they would parish in their sins, period; no other options were available.

The first half of this has been forgotten by many professing to be the church today in America.  We love to tell people to “add” Christ to their life so that they can be everything God wants them to be; kind of like the U. S. Army adds, “Be all you can be”.  But we are failing to make it clear to them that Christ doesn’t just “accept them as they are”.  Perhaps we sang “Just As I Am” too many times growing up so that we have come to think that Christ is offering to save us regardless of how we are living.  He just wants us to include him in our life so we can find fulfillment.  But I doubt the writer of that song meant it that way.  I would suppose she meant that we can offer nothing of our own works when we come to Christ.  It is his work alone that saves; like another song says, “Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to thy cross I cling”. 

The fact of the matter is that it is precisely because we are filthy sinners that God will not accept us but, instead, will cast us from his presence forever unless our sins are forgiven in Christ.  The early Christians understood this and so they called on the ancient pagans to turn from their wickedness, to repent, to turn away from it and follow after Christ.  In case we have forgotten, this didn’t go over too well.  For their willingness to point out that people were ruined sinners who were offensive to God and must turn from those sins they were slaughtered by the millions.  But the flip side was that people were saved by the millions.  This came by repentance and faith, not just faith.  Their converts likewise turned from lives given over to doing their will and started to live for their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

My point is then that we need to understand that nothing has changed for us today.  But Satan has learned a thing or two over the years and so he has gotten our culture to start redefining our sin as sickness, disorders, phobias and the such.  But just as evil he is getting some to say that certain activities the Bible defines as sin are not really sinful at all but to be celebrated.  And so one of the agendas of the homosexuals is to say that there is nothing wrong with being a homosexual and they would like it to be unlawful to even suggest it is sinful. 

What bothers me the most though is that many in the church are falling prey to this mindset and are welcoming those who are living in open sin into the churches as if God loves them and will accept them for who they are (read: how he has made them).  But we need to be very careful here.  If we start redefining sin we lose any reason to call on people to repent which in turn relinquishes any need for a cross to trust in. 

I think we have too many running around today trying to cuddle up to the world instead of standing apart from them calling them to leave one kingdom and enter another kingdom.  What the homosexual and all sinners need to hear is that unless they repent of all they are and trust in Christ as both their Lord and Savior God will not accept them as they are but, in fact, his wrath rests on them at this very moment.  This is how each one of us was converted if, in fact, we are converted.  We are all equally born ruined sinners who must be saved the same way.

This will bring their wrath and persecution but God never said to expect anything else.  But let us be encouraged it will also bring about converts and I don’t read of any other way to make this happen.

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