Do you ever feel like you’ve said too much? Boy, I feel that way a lot! I’m a preacher after all. 🙂 Yet, I know lives are at stake. What do I mean?
Imagine you are driving down the road and you see someone’s car on fire…
As you get closer you realize that someone is hanging out of the driver’s side window, struggling to get out. What would you do? What would I do? I hope I would stop and pull them out. I believe I would. But, would we make excuses? Well, I better not try to help, because if they die, their family might blame me and sue me. Or, I better not help them because I could possibly get burned or even die myself (no need for two deaths) right? Certainly there could be many other excuses offered. But, the fact remains, someone is dying and I’m capable of helping. Oh, I know what we can do…we can call 9-1-1 and hope the fire department makes it on time to save the struggling human…or maybe…eventually, they’ll make it out on their own. That’s the “pc” way. What’s “pc?” Why, being “politically correct,” or course.
We live in an increasingly “politically correct” society. We don’t want to make waves or offend or hurt people’s feelings. Even if someone believes something totally contrary to Scripture, we don’t want to make them mad, so we’ll let them go on believing the lies and move forward. We hope deep down that somebody else may be bold enough to tell them the truth. I guess this is why less than 5% of all Christians have ever led a single person to Christ (and most of that 5% are clergy).
We know Jesus is the only way to heaven, yet we don’t want to offend or come across as smug, so we’ll just hope our friends that are of another “religion” will get it right in the end. Oh…you do believe Jesus is the only way don’t you? All roads don’t lead to heaven. That’s the most “politically correct-religious” statement on the market today. What do you believe? Do you believe all Muslim’s, Jews, Buddhist’s, Hindu’s, Jehovah’s Witnesses’, Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Church of God, etc, etc are going to heaven? Surely we can just call God by a different name and we’ll be good to go. So, let’s just call God, “Allah.” Or let’s call God, the “force within you-the true you.” Let’s call God, the “Great Krishna.” That’s politically correct isn’t it? We’ll just go along to get along and it will all work out.
Yet, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Jesus said, “I’m it!” He said that nobody gets to the Father (to heaven) except through Him. He said I am THE way. But, wait a minute…that’s so offensive to all the other world religions. We don’t want to be divisive do we? No! We don’t want to be divisive in spirit. We must tell the truth in love. The old song says: “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love…yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
Paul said to the church at Colossae: “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:5-6). Our speech must be gracious when we answer people for why we believe Scripture. So, it’s not a question if we are to speak up or not. It’s not a question if we are supposed to rescue those who are in trouble or not. The Bible says that we ought to answer each person. Peter tells us so in this wonderful passage:
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:14-17
Isn’t that great advice from Scripture? We should always be ready to make a defense for our faith, but…and this is crucial…we should do so with gentleness and respect. This is huge! If we come across as arrogant, pompous, “know-it-all,” we will never win them. They will turn away. Does this mean that we don’t stand for truth? No, of course not. Paul stood for truth at Mars Hill in Athens with a bunch of pagans, yet he did so respectfully. (See Acts 17). He reasoned with them. Shouldn’t we do the same?
Ok…I know what some of you may thinking… You say, “I got it Kevin, I need to witness more about my faith in Jesus. I need to lead somebody to Christ.” That very well may be true, but should we say anything about what we believe the Bible says about:
Living in adultery (You have a family member or friend living with someone out-of-wedlock and you haven’t said anything…you are letting it go because you don’t want to offend. Yet, the Bible is clear…this is sin!)
Cursing in your presence (You work with someone or go to school with someone who curses in front of you and you say nothing. They’ve done it so much in your presence that you don’t even think about it anymore. Would you consider saying, “Excuse me…could you tone that down please, that’s offensive to me. I appreciate that.” Then smile kindly.)
Child going down the wrong path (You have a friend or family member that has a child going down the wrong road and they can’t see it. You are not being a busy-body. You sincerely know facts about a teenager, for instance, that is promiscuous or involved in drinking alcohol or taking drugs, etc. If you don’t say something respectfully and lovingly to the parent/friend or family member, you could be watching that child’s life go up in smoke.)
I could list many more examples…but, I’ve learned people don’t like reading posts that are much longer that 1000 words and I’m over that now…so, I’ll stop. But, you get the point. We must give a reason for the hope that is in us. We must defend the Scriptures and what they teach. We can stand on the authority of the Word of God unashamed.
We live in a modern-day Athens with every possible form of rebellion and idolatry freely offered and freely accepted/tolerated. The one cry that unifies them all is that there is no absolute truth and there are many ways to God. Dear reader…that’s simply not true and you and I know it. So, the next time the Holy Spirit pricks your heart or jerks your spirit…obey. Defend the Word of God and the principles of Scripture in love.
By the way, I’m glad my preacher told me about hell when I was a ten-year-old boy. It scared me, but he told me in love. He told me about the God-man Jesus and to him, I’m forever grateful. He was indeed my firefighter…
what about these things