After the sermon I preached last night a thought kept coming back to my mind over and over again. Our world has clearly changed in the last twenty years. The environment that I was raised in is vastly different from the one that my girls are experiencing. When I was a kid, everyone called sin, sin. We had little question about what was right and what was wrong. There were those that ascribed to a wild and loose life, but they understood that they had made a choice to live in sin. These days, we scarcely hear the word sin anywhere but church, and that word is absent from the vocabulary of most churches.
I could go on about the condition of our world, but look around. Everyone can see what it has become. The thing that kept going through my mind was the question, “How should we respond?” In Acts 21:37-22:29, Paul had an opportunity to address the crowd at Jerusalem after they had beaten him and called for his death. He was being led away to the barracks by the commander of the Roman cohort at Jerusalem. This crowd had been vicious to him, and yet Paul did not respond with hatred! He did not respond with a shrug of the shoulders and indifference. He did not find ways to lash out at his accusers. After all, they were his own people, the Jews, and he loved them. He desired for them to be saved. When he has given permission to address his accusers atop the steps of the barracks, instead of a verbal beatdown and a scolding, he gave them the gospel. Instead of a tongue lashing, he gave them a testimony. He had a right to be angry. He had a right to want justice, for they tried to kill him. But he was more concerned about their souls. I am convinced that many in the church are more concerned with our rights than they are with the souls of the lost. I am the first to say that we as a church have dropped the ball and have laid down while the world has gone to pot around us. I also believe that we should use every resource we can to see laws changed so that they favor life and morality. But I also believe that we do more harm than good when we angrily demand our rights.
Our commission has never changed since Jesus gave it. We are called to change lives. We are called to win souls to Christ and disciple them to be obedience. We are called to be salt and light in the world, and the way we do it is one soul at a time. We will never see revival in the land until we see more and more people saved. It’s time that the church understood that our mission is the gospel, not social reform or national patriotism. (And I am a patriot!) Share your faith! Tell someone what Christ has done in your life! And invite someone to church this Sunday! That is our mission! That is our goal! And that is our response!