FAITH: We need to stand up for Jesus

Published 10:35 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2015

By SCOTT DONALDSON

With Valentine’s Day in the rearview mirror, I find myself reflecting upon the situation of the world; more close to home, the situation in our state, “Alabama the Beautiful.”

As most are aware, there is an ongoing conflict within our state over same-sex marriage.

Being an evangelical, Southern Baptist minister of God’s word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is no question or conflict as to what is right or wrong. It is clear in God’s word that marriage is a holy covenant between a man and a woman only (Genesis 2:24; Leviticus 18:22). Anyone who believes differently is ignorant of God’s written word. Same sex marriage or any sexual relationship between two people of the same gender is a sin.

However, we should not be all-consumed by this one particular sin. While the very idea of a same-sex relationship is unimaginable to some, the same people may have no problem with heterosexual relations outside marriage, which according to God’s word, (1 Corinthians 7:2) is as equally sinful.

It is very easy for people to take up arms over an issue that directly affects them or one that has no effect at all. The problem we have is not a conflict over a particular issue, but rather a conflict over, or lack of understanding about, sin.

Sin is anything that is displeasing to God and is the sole product of the “adversary” (1Peter 5:8), the “accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10) or my favorite, the “devil” (Matt. 4:1; Luke 4:2, 6; Rev. 20:2) or satan.” (1Chron. 21:1; Job 1:6; John 13:27; Acts 5:3, 26:18; Rom. 16:20; Rev. 20:2). By any name, he is the root of all sin. His greatest accomplishment was the deception of Eve in the Garden of Eden and the propagation of the lie that he (Satan) does not exist.

The world today is blind to the work of Satan because Christ’s church is asleep at the helm of God’s primary mission for believers.

As Matthew 28: 19 and 20 states, “Go therefore [a] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The Great Commission plainly tells all believers to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations and Jesus will help in the work. I believe this is a literal call to action, a call that many who profess Christ have chosen to ignore.

The masses need, now more than ever, to hear the gospel of Jesus; not from a TV preacher, not from a bestselling author, and surely not from someone who doesn’t live a life that is pleasing to the Lord.

Lost people need to hear the gospel from friends, family and neighbors that truly love the Lord and have a desire to live a life that differs from the sinful norms of today’s society.

Believers are to be different, set apart (Hebrews 10:10-12). We are to be an example of Godly living to a lost world. Therein lies the problem, in many cases it is hard to distinguish a “Christian” from anyone else in the world, in Matthew 7:16 (NKJV), “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?”

Consequently, if a believer’s fruit (action’s in daily life) are not in line with the teachings of Christ then his or her fruit is considered rotten and of no value to the kingdom.

If you are a born-again believer in Christ and the hair on the back of your neck is standing on end or you find yourself angered, ask yourself these questions. Where were you last Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night? If you were anywhere other than God’s house at the appointed time without regret for your absence or conviction in your heart for your decision to commit the sin of apathy, then you are part of the problem.

While the world may seem to be going in the wrong direction really fast (it is, by the way), this is nothing new. One of the reasons Jesus established His church was to lead the world in the right direction, toward salvation, but it’s hard to lead from behind.

The Bible tells us that the fields are ready for harvest, (John 4:35) because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23).

Romans 13:11 says it is time to wake up. Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have a job to do. Jesus is truly coming back to take His church home to be with the Father. That is when we will receive rest. But until then, we are to be about the work of leading the wandering ones to Jesus; (borrowed from the song.) We need to stand up for Jesus, (also borrowed) not just for an hour on Sunday morning or at some protest rally, but every minute of every day of every week. Being a true follower of Christ is the only real full-time job!

For me, it is a labor of love. Afterall, we are to love God first and then others. In Matthew 22:36-39 (NKJV), “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Are you where God wants you to be? Only you and God know the true answer to that question.

Search your heart and answer the question truthfully. Only when you know your situation with Lord can there be reconciliation of your life and priorities.

Most know the ABC’s of salvation: Admitting that one is a sinner, (Romans 3:23). ; Believing that Jesus is God’s son and that he died on a cross to pay the debt for the sin of the world (John 3:16); and then Confessing by faith our acceptance of that payment to cover our own sin (Romans 10: 9-10).

Recently, I introduced a “D” into the mix. Diversion (to change directions or repent)

Mark 6:12 (NLT) states, “So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God.”

A true believer in right fellowship with God will turn away from the old sinful way of thinking and living. The ABC’s of salvation seem to be easy for some to claim, but I believe without “D” (the turning away) one’s salvation is, at best, suspect.

If you claim Christ, then start living your claim! If you have yet to claim Christ as your Lord and savior then today is the day of salvation, (2 Corinthians 6:2) tomorrow may never come.

Either way, lost or saved, we will someday stand before God and give an account for ALL deeds accomplished in the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:10).

That, my friends, is a sobering reality. When the time comes, and it will come, how will you answer the Lord?

If you have questions or comments feel free to call me and share (334-464-6936), you may also visit our church website (http://worknotes.com/AL/Brantley/Friendship/index.aspx) or like us on Facebook at Friendship Baptist Church in Brantley, God loves you and so do we!

Scott Donaldson is pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in the Bullock community, just south of Brantley.