Friday, March 18, 2011
Do You Love Lost People?
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
There are many people I do care about and love who are NOT Christians. Praying for them is something that I am led to do. It is something that sometimes can be a burden to a Christian who wants to see a loved friend, family member or other person with them in heaven. Realizing even my young nieces and nephews who live long distance from me are being brought up in the false teachings of Roman Catholicism is difficult.
I try to preach what I can to people and to show them care and love, but one thing, be careful of not expecting of the lost the same of what would come from a regenerated born again Christian, they do not have the Holy Spirit within them convicting them of their sins. That said, do not make excuses or water down sin, but understand for the lost person, they are lost in darkness and its via the Holy Spirit they will see the truth. I look back and know in my pre-Christian days, I was basically stumbling around in the dark, letting others, the media, the UU pagan church, societal expectations direct my steps instead of God. So one thing to realize is where people are at. Once upon a time, all of us were dead in our sins too before we came to Jesus Christ!
Eph 2:1 ¶ And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:
When I see Christians who get angry and say to someone online or off something along the lines of "You horrible sinner" and making Christianity appear as nothing but a long list of rules and as a cold condemning enterprise instead of preaching it as a loving relationship with God, where the Holy Spirit will make them a "new creature" in Jesus Christ and convicting them of their sins, I cringe. This doesn't mean I've never sinned or gotten frustrated or angry myself especially at someone who is very belligerent towards the Christian faith but overall the Christian heart should be breaking for the lost, they should desire that no matter the circumstances a person is in, be they the worse sinner on the earth, with the longest rap sheet, that they too will come to salvation and know the love of Jesus Christ.
One reason I know the Phelps crowd are phonies, is they show nothing but hate and disdain for those they see as unbelievers. Those folks show absolutely no concern for those they preach too. Ask yourself as a Christian, DO YOU LOVE THE LOST? Do you want them to be saved? Yes there are reprobates and wicked people in the world Christians must not interact with. We are told to avoid keeping company with idolaters, extortioners, the covetous, fornicators, railers, and drunkards. [1 Cr 5:10,11] That said, while Christians must follow these directions, sometimes I see total disdain for lost people even in Christian places, its one reason I learned to limit my time on Christian message boards. I think to myself, where is the grief over where these lost people may be headed should they never repent and accept Jesus Christ as their savior? Where are the tears?
Arguing with people is a waste of time, don't do it. It will not work. You cannot reason someone into being a Christian, based on your human intellect. "Winning" arguments too, forget it. You can be the most intellectual erudite person on the planet but unless the Holy Spirit is turning that person to conversion, it will be a dead end. Present the gospel sharing tracts, books, using the Bible, the Romans Road, and talk about godly and biblical things introducing them into conversation to get the other person thinking but their conversion is not your doing, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself told us, we must be born of the Spirit:
Jhn 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
While we need to avoid the folks who preach that witnessing is of offense, on the other side, arguments with people is not the way to go. Sometimes you can wait for a time and see where they stand later but this is a lesson I had to learn myself especially as a new Christian. I've had people directly reject the gospel to me, they have said: "I do not want a tract, I will never leave the Catholic church". There is a point where you must leave the dust of your sandals acknowledging who is open and willing to learn and those who have slammed the door for good. Having blogged on Christian message boards before, there I mention that many seem to have become nothing but twisted debate societies where the Christians argue sometimes for years. Whatever happened to this biblical edict?
Matt 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Even with stuff I warn about on this blog, people being misled by bad churches, and fooled by bad leaders, I know many are people who are do not know any better, some are saved but not obeying the Holy Spirit while others are in the place of a false conversion. There too, I do not disdain them, I want them to wake up to the truth. I was no better, earlier in life, deceived by the harlot and one of the harlot's most new world order daughters.
If anything a Christian should be aggrieved over watching so many be led to false places and beliefs. This does not mean expecting perfection or that everyone agrees 100% like you, but when thinking of a church like Saddleback, full of those being deceived, feelings of sadness is what comes to me. I pray all will come to see the truth and their minds freed from the seduction of a false pastor.
One thing concerns me is the "chosen frozen" stuff, I see cropping up. I had a recent discussion with someone unhappy with my article on the Duggars, Quiverful and Vision Forum, and I pointed out one thing, this is not a "lifestyle" available to millions out there. When Christianity gets consigned to those who were literally "born into" it, that is a problem and forsakes the Great Commission. One thing, if someone comes along and is covered in tattoos and used to be a biker or something, someone like that via true salvation can become one of those most on fire people for the Lord there is. This is where human judgement needs to be set aside for God's way of seeing things. In that world, it seems only having the "perfect family and lifestyle TM" seems to allow you to even BE a Christian and that is wrong! The assumption of the Quiverful/Vision Forum/Patriarchy world that all Christians will be born into a Christian family breaks down, it is simply not true. In other words how many future born again Christians are there, who had non-Christian fathers? Plenty. Of course they are not the only ones guilty of this. For instance I love the Amish people, I think some of their old fashioned ways are better, they do share a strong community and other positive attributes, but how many Amish converts do you know of? Try waking up tommorow sans farm and family, and saying "I want to be Amish". That is one thing, any Christian group that becomes "closed' as it were, where there is no preaching of the gospel to the lost, has lost its way. We are to seperate from this world but also seek to witness the gospel, not do one with out the other. Any religious system that does not bring Christians out to witness to the lost or set up parameters that lost people cannot meet even post-conversion, is a false one.
One of the Christians biggest endeavors and focuses should be witnessing to the lost. Do you want them in heaven with you? If you truly believe, then you know the end result for those who knowingly reject the gospel, and that alone should bring you to tears and constant prayers. Do you love the lost? Something to think about, and something for all of us to examine ourselves in.
And when he cometh home, he calleth together [his] friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.