Luke 5:31-32: 31 Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
As I write this weeks post, I am apprehensive and cautious. I pray that my words and thoughts do not come across as merely opinion. The purpose of this publication is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, a purpose I am called to and therefore take seriously. As I watch the state of the world via the news media, I am noticing an alarming trend on the part of the church. As a body, the church is stepping further and further away from the world at large. Like a flashlight with dying batteries, I fear that the light of Christ is growing dim, flickering, and will finally go out, leaving the world in the darkness of sin and hopelessness.
The world is a hard place to exist. I grant that. For a Christian to live and work in a world where everything is upside down and counter to the teachings of Christ; that is impossible – without a trust in Jesus that is total. I will also grant that as flawed human beings, total trust in Jesus is hard to say the least. Our flesh, it seems, gets in the way at every turn.
So, many Christians retreat. They step away from the world at large and step into the culture of Christianity The culture of Christianity? What is that? It is our own counter-culture. We have our own tee-shirts, our own music, art books, television shows, and even our own hangouts. Outside of going to work everyday, it is entirely possible for Christians to minimize to almost nil their involvement with the world.
The state of the world today makes this option attractive. With the persecution of Christians on the rise around the world and secularism the, “religion.” of choice in America today; the instinct is to run and hide. Putting on out tee-shirts, tuning in Christian radio or the latest podcast (always with our ear buds in) we pick up our bible and head to church; creating our own Christian cocoon, salvation, sanctuary, or, if you prefer, holy huddle. From here, we can view the world at large from a distance. We can pray with great piety for the lost and broken, for the state of our nation, its leaders and the world in general – and never get our hands dirty! Sound familiar? It should. It is the same thing the Pharisees, who were highly religious, were guilty of. In Luke 5:30, they ask. “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
In Jesus’ day tax collectors were considered the lowest of the low. They were Jews who collected taxes from their own people for the occupying Roman Empire. They were considered traitors, not only to the Jewish people but to God himself. Matthew, a disciple of Jesus, was a tax collector who, in one moment heard the call of the Lord to, “Follow me,” left his tax collection table (a picture of repentance) and did as he was commanded.
Luke 5:27: 27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28 So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.
Matthew was so excited he threw a dinner party and who did he invite? The people he knew of course; other tax collectors – other sinners. So, there is Jesus, in midst of he broken and hurting. Lives are being changed, hearts are being won for the Lord, how glorious! Then, the buzz kill. the religious leaders say, “Hey, those people are dirty sinners they are uneducated in the law, why do you fellowship with them?”
The question is, are Christians today guilty of the same thing? Do we pop our ear buds off pausing the final stanza of Amazing Grace, just long enough to go out of our way to avoid interaction with the, unclean? Instead of sharing the love of Jesus, too many times we become part of the division and very Godlessness that is destroying the world.
The pharisees of today don’t even ask the question, Why. They jump immediately to the statement, “I won’t.” I won’t – do business with this company because they support gay rights. I won’t – have a conversation with this person because they live an immoral lifestyle. The division goes even deeper. It exists within Christianity itself.There are sects of the faith that will not even interact with one another. The grips are often not deal breakers but there is still a division.
No matter the source of the division, Jesus wants us out there in the midst of it, not in our little holy huddle preaching to the choir. When Jesus ascended into heaven, he sent us a helper.
Acts 1:8: 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus knows we can not do as he commands in our own strength. The Holy Spirit dwells inside every believer. He knows our needs before we do. If we walk with Jesus and view the world through spiritual eyes, He will show us what we need to do and be with us as we do His will.
So rather than stay where it is “safe” step out into the world, on to the waves. That’s where Jesus is. We are at war. It is a war for souls. Jesus said in Matthew 9:37: Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Will you leave you isolation and become a laborer for Christ? It won’t be easy. it might even be dangerous. Jesus died for you. Are you prepared to give it all for Him?
Grace and Peace,
*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*