I believe that one day, my preaching of God’s Word will be called a hate crime. That day may come sooner than later. Look around. The way the U.S. is going the things we teach and will be called hate speech. We may not be able to speak at all.
We had communist revolutions in China and Russia. The political leaders wanted to kill the church. Everything was built around the Orthodox Church in Russia. Once the government took away the buildings and the priests in Russia, the people didn’t know where to go. Most lost their spiritual moorings. In China the same thing happened. Under Mao Tse Tung, the Chinese government took away the churches, but there was a different result. In China there was a difference.
Chinese churches had empowered ordinary Christians to survive and thrive. When the churches closed, the Chinese people continued to share their faith and the church grew from about two million to approximately eighty million. Which camp would you fall into?
Could be God preparing us for the future, so that we are ready to share our faith in a post-Christian culture, under persecution?
Or are we so complacent that we are consumer Christians, spoon-fed by our favorite preachers, paying someone else to lead others to Christ and disciple them?
Whenever you are confused, and are seeking direction, just go back to the basics.
When the church has made mistakes in the past, it’s where the church has failed to elevate the core issues. Jesus made it simple. In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus was asked which was the great commandment. He replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind…and a second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and all of the Prophets.”
Don’t let anything become more important to you. If your family were to say to you, “We will never pray again, we will never read the Bible again,” where would you stand? I love Jesus so much. I know I will stand before God alone. I couldn’t bear to hear Him say, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
Did you know that my Dad was a pastor? I didn’t want to tell anyone. I didn’t want to tell anyone because I didn’t want them to think my faith was inherited. My faith is so personal to me.
We gather together to spur one another on to love and good works. Give courage to other people. One of the guys, a theologian who loved me, saw me and he’s decided to tell me his story.
He was a long-haired hippie in the sixties smoking a joint and someone cared enough to look beyond his exterior and share Christ with him. The older saint, the famous theologian, began to weep. His salvation experience was so real to him, even after all these years, he still wept at God’s grace. I want to be that person. Gracious, loving, when people see me, they see Jesus.
That’s what God does for us. We are never to become callous to the Holy Spirit. Remembering God’s grace to save us should make us weep.
I am on an adventure. I have faith that God will use my life. I want to be a lover of God.
Taken from a sermon by Francis Chan, www.crazylove.org. Used by permission.