31 January 2010

Sunday Night Musings

Did you ever have one of those days when you just were really ready for Jesus to come back? That's me tonight, right now! Oh yes, a lot of it is my human weakness and my frustration with the world and with the church. Heaven knows (no pun intended) that it would be much easier to be with Christ right now than to be down here dealing with all of this mess! But aside from that, above that, is a true longing to be with Christ for the sake of being with Him. After all, this is not my home! My home is in Heaven and so yes, I have to say that tonight I am terribly homesick. Perhaps it is spurred on by the constant decline of the churches and the blindness of Christians to see it. Perhaps it is the gross depravity of the world around me. But I think, more than anything, it goes back to my "homesickness" and the true realization that I do not belong here. None of us Christians do! Do you not feel out of place amidst the sin and the blatant displays of hatred for God? Not that we are without sin ourselves but doesn't watching sin swirling around you make you absolutely sick and grieved? It does me. And then there is the persecution. Oh no, not physical persecution. But there is a  persecution that occurs the closer one walks with the Lord and some days it wearies me. And then tonight, by His grace, I was reminded of the two verses that first inspired this blog:
"Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you." 1 John 3:13
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:12-13
 So I had to ask myself, why am I unusually surprised tonight? Because the persecution, the attacks are no longer limited to the secular world. No, they are coming from within the church. They are coming from those who follow Christ, yet are offended when someone else steps up to tell the Truth. "Let's all get along and build one another up" but how can I build someone up who is helplessly leading the flock of Christ astray? And if that person is unapproachable due to his "fame" and ego, then perhaps should I not in the meantime simply speak to those being misled so that they may see the error and seek to be more discerning? My approach or delivery may not always be the most gracious-sounding (let's face it, I'm not one for soft, flowery words!), but I always strive to deliver the truth in love.

Let me tell you a secret: discernment ministry has its earthly costs, namely friends. Unbelievers want nothing to do with you because you're always talking about Jesus. That's okay, I can live with that. "What accord has Christ with Belial" anyway? But losing Christian friends is more difficult, because they are your fellowship and your encouragement in this world. Not that I would drive someone away for believing differently than me, but when others permanently separate from you with no explanation other than they do not like your approach to speaking the Truth well, I have to admit that the loss is difficult. I've lost several Christian friends in the last year or so, especially since starting this blog. If someone doesn't like the truth you speak, it's easier to just ignore you, I guess! And so I am down to a very small number of true friends who, despite all my faults, still love me and pray with me and for me.

Undoubtedly you have noticed that being a Christian in this world--a bold, unashamed, firm Christian--is not an easy task. And perhaps, like me, you've come to realize that it can result in a lonely life here on Earth. While it may not always be easy to feel alone down here, we must always remember and rejoice in the knowledge that we are not alone, but we have the greatest Comforter and the greatest Friend ever given in Christ Jesus and He will never forsake us.
"The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:9-10
Amen, thank you, God. And come quickly, Lord Jesus!

2 comments:

  1. What I have found is that as long as you are just talking about the cults, everyone wants your help to deal with the door-knockers, but the moment you point out problems with their favorite false teacher, they don't want anything more to do with you. Then you become known as "divisive," or "troublemaker," or "nit-picker," or the like.

    Truth is a very difficult thing to accept for some people.

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  2. Unfortunately, the 'world' increasingly includes the church and they won't listen to you because they love the pastor more than the Word, they want their ears tickled more than the Truth, and they put more importance on their life here than the life to come. They see the temporary as permanent; and, when you challenge that perception, it is you who must be wrong. To not tell the truth, however, is to be part of the lie. I know you would never do that. There's always snail mail to get the truth to the pastor.

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