Tom sat with his head in his open, sweaty hands. How could he have done this? What prevailed inside his mind that would allow him to do such a heinous act? He decided to pour a drink to calm his nerves. He got up and opened the oldest bottle of scotch he could find. As he poured himself a double shot, the bottle chattered against the glass. His hands could not stay still. His mind raced with thoughts of anger toward himself. “How could you have done this”, he thought. “What was it that brought you this far away from reality?”
In the other room, a young lady walked in with a smile on her face and his shirt on her torso. She graced herself over, grabbed the glass from his hand and took a sip of the scotch. A kiss from her was placed on his cheek with these words, “That was really special”. He tried to muster a smile, but could not as he knew he betrayed his love, his wife and the woman before him wasn’t her.
Every decision we make, every word we speak and every thought we think, has a consequence. Whether good or bad, every action, work or thought has a reaction, a consequence. We may not see it at the time, but be rest assured, a consequence is there, ready to peak it’s head, like a viper when it is about to strike.
Recently, I have been an observer of social media and news agencies. I have cautiously not opened myself to a specific political view, social movement or radical divide. Day by day, I have seen many people, good people, begin the process of drawing a hypothetical line in the sand declaring where they stand and what they believe. Whether it is about which political candidate you like or whomever lives matter, many of us are going out of our way to declare what we believe to be the truth. We have been convinced of our reality no matter how disillusioned we are.
This disillusionment has caused us to become a divided nation. A nation where all conflicting testimonies are correct, truth has become irrelevant and division among people groups are growing at a rapid pace. Conflict is on the rise while love is declining into extinction. All over the news and social media we see the results of this lack of love and increase of hatred and rebellion. Many have taken to the street to protest in ways that breaks out in violence, fist shaking and gnashing of our teeth. So how did we get here? What caused us to be in this global predicament? Was it a specific people group, ideology or is it human nature to destroy oneself?
Both Christian and Atheist, Buddhist and Islamic, Jew and Greek, have bought into this disillusionment, making each other vulnerable to prejudice and exposure. We all have allowed our society to fall into an illness that can be likened to terminal cancer. If we do not turn away from what we have become, we will ultimately bring ourselves into the chasm of death and be buried in the annals of history lost.
Unfortunately, most will exclude this writing as nothing more than someone who is disgruntled or upset with others behaviors without looking at themselves. Let me make this disclaimer. What I am bringing up has nothing to do with you or someone else. It has to do with us. We are the problem. All of us are feeding the beast of this culture. We all are to blame. No matter our background, no matter our skin color, no matter who we think we are, we are all to blame, including me.
History has shown that when a nation is divided, then that same nation falls at the hands of others not of the same mindset. Our own history shows how divided we were but the declaration of United We Stand was the war cry for change. Today that war cry has gone unheard and ignored. We have become the nightmare of countries and the falsehood of hatred. Change is inevitable but it doesn’t have to be negative. A positive change can happen, but it cannot start with us. It cannot start with any other person from any other nation. It can only happen when we reserve ourselves to allow the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transform our lives.
“…we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit,[b] as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth…” – Colossians 1:4-6 (NKJV)
It is the Gospel that changes lives. It is the Gospel that bears fruit in our lives. Only the Gospel can change our hearts and minds to unity and progress. Because we have forsaken the Gospel, we have forsaken our Creator. Because we have forsaken the Gospel, our lives are deteriorating into the very pit of Hell. We have allowed sin to overtake our lives and become our slave master. We have forsaken the freedom of loving others the way Jesus Christ loves us. So what is sin compared to salvation in Jesus Christ?
Sin is the chain maker. Salvation is the chain breaker. Sin binds us to things. Salvation frees us. Sin tells us we are worthless. Salvation tells us we are worth more than we realize. Sin leads to death. Salvation leads to life eternal.
No matter how you feel about society, no matter how you feel about the current social, economic or political environment, sin is the reason we are where we are today. It has been used by Satan to ensure that our lives are chained to the slavery and division. Sin has placed in our hearts that some lives matter while others do not. Sin has told us that one person is a liar and the other is a scam artist. Sin informed us that one group of people are to blame for the ills of our society. Let me make sure I am very clear. Satan is using our sinful lives to bind us, destroy us and ultimately convince us to reject our Creator.
In the words of the famous theologian Francis Schaeffer “How then shall we live?”
“…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, 12 so that you will [i]behave properly toward outsiders and [j]not be in any need.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
“19 [a]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…” – Matthew 28:19-20
These two passages show us what our lives are really about. These passages show us that our goal is to live a quiet life, mind our own business and work with our hands. We are to be productive, kind, loving and ready to serve others. We are to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ by our testimony. We are to make disciples, not division. We are to do the work that has been commanded to us. Did you notice that? Both of these were commanded. They were not suggestions. These are things we are to do.
What I will say next is for those who claim to the servants of Jesus Christ….
WAKE UP CHURCH! We are not doing what God has commanded us to do. We do not love others when we bash our government leaders and others via social media. We are not living how God commanded us to live when we shout from the mountain top about our rights and forget to love those who are lost. We are living in sin if we do not do the things commanded us.
Our goal in this life is to spread the love of Jesus Christ and make disciples. That’s it! We may have the “American right” to speak our peace, but is that the way Jesus handled it? He didn’t go after the political leaders, he went after those who claimed to be His. He toppled the tables and drove the money changers away because they had no respect for where God’s people gathered. He didn’t go after the Roman government or voice his discontent with Caesar. He simply served others, drew people to Himself, showed them compassion and reprimanded the religious leaders who were enslaving their own people with rules and regulations.
The good news about all of this, is we still have time to turn to God. We NEED to turn back to God and repent of our lack of love. We NEED to repent of our sin of division and disrespect. This country CANNOT change unless Jesus Christ is involved and this country CANNOT change unless WE (the Church) repent of our sin and change how we do things.
If we (the Church) do not change, our country will run the high risk of extinction. The United States is not mentioned in Scripture nor is it implied. The United States is not the center of this world but God has used us to further His Gospel all over the world. His Gospel is the center of all creation, not us.
I hope you understand the tears I shed for us. I pray that we all change our current travels on the wide path (which leads to destruction) and turn toward the narrow path (which leads to life eternal). Only Jesus Christ and His Gospel will change us. Please join me in repenting of our sin and making a positive difference by refraining from passionate division and disrespect.
May God have mercy and grace on us as we all seek to change the direction of this country toward Him. God bless and encourage someone today.