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Greetings, beloved. Joy, peace, and strength be unto you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you ever witnessed to an unbeliever, only to have that person rebuke you for even implying that they are lost, because "Jesus told us" not to judge? For more than a generation, Christians have allowed the heathen to define our faith and practice.
What may be most shocking, though, is our inability to defend the faith against an unbeliever who (ab)uses the Word of God in their efforts to render the Christian impotent. "Your Lord said that you can't judge me," they say. "We're all God's children," they say.
Especially in the last decade, an attempt to redefine the "tolerance" of Christianity has enjoyed great success. God's love has been perverted to mean general acceptance, or indifference. We are told, repeatedly, that we have to accept everyone's religion, often while, at the same time, being denied the freedom to openly worship God as expressed in His Word.
What has been lost on most of us is the true nature of God's tolerance. God is not tolerant of wickedness and unbelief, in terms of being accepting of it. He is tolerant in the sense that He endures it to give the sinner - or the wayward Christian - space to repent. When the lowest sinner was brought before Jesus, He did not stone him or condemn him, He told him, "Arise. Go, and sin no more." Do not confuse Christ's forgiveness for indifference. The sinner does not get a pass from the Lord, he gets a pardon ifhe turns from his way and embraces the truth of God's love.
Paul told the pagans on Mars' hill, "The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent." Likewise, today we must also express the truth of God, that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. We must be salt and light in a dark, unpalatable world.
But be not deceived, as some others have been. We are not called to tolerate sin and idolatry, but neither are we called to change our society into a Christian utopia by the use of politics and force. We are called by our Heavenly Father to be changed, in our own lives, by the power of the blood of the Lamb, and the application of His word to our hearts and minds. If we do so, we will abhor all manner of sins, as our dear Father does. We will also love our neighbor so much, that we will make every effort - take every opportunity - to express the truth of the gospel to him.
"And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:14-17).
David M. McNabb
Editor & Bible Guy