This is a message exclusively directed at my fellow Christ-followers. If you’re not quite there yet, just look over to the right-hand column where it says “How You Can Know Jesus,” and tune back in next time.
Now for those of you who remain, let’s have a family chat.
As long as I can remember, Christians have been fighting what they have thought was the good fight. We sign petitions. We protest. We campaign. We vote. We confront. We vent on social media.
Despite all our so-called best efforts, our nation is becoming increasingly secular and increasingly amoral. We have lost battle after battle because we have failed to recognize the true war before us: the war for the souls of men.
How can someone who doesn’t have the mind of Christ understand the importance of prayer in schools? How can an unsaved person comprehend the value of sexual purity? On what basis can we persuade a lost girl that her baby is created by God in His own image? How can someone who doesn’t believe in the God of the Bible believe in the biblical foundation of marriage? Our arguments are like senseless babbling to the unsaved.
It is little wonder the world hates us, and it’s not because they hated Jesus first. (See John 15:18.) It’s because we are lousy ambassadors of Christ. We have replaced grace with scorn. We have elevated behavior over belief.
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”—2 Timothy 2:24-26
Let’s break this down a little. First, this requires being filled with the fruit of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”—Galatians 5:22-23
It also requires a second mark of maturity—an ability to teach, which requires more than a passing familiarity with Scripture. It requires study and even memorization.
“I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”—Psalm 119:11
It requires humility and selflessness. Pride and arrogance need not apply.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing . . . “—Philippians 2:5-7a
It requires an understanding of order. You cannot change a mind without changing a heart.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”—2 Corinthians 5:17
“For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”—1 Corinthians 2:16
And it requires a willingness to get dirty. It’s high time we live like Jesus, who touched the untouchable, and who ate among sinners yet remained without sin. It means living deliberately every day for the sole cause of knowing Christ and making Him known.
Let’s stop quarreling, and let’s begin striving for souls. That’s a war we can win. Just remember:
“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”—1 John 4:4
Live as if you believe it.