This is such a massive topic to discuss and it could go in a thousand different directions and address many different issues in our current culture and society. Rather than trying to follow one of these bunny trails, let me just be honest as to what the Lord is personally speaking to me about. God has been really opening my heart to His mercy as I acknowledge my great dependence on Him. We live in a culture who regularly celebrates a person who "comes out of the closet" to admit their personal sexual preference, gender, race, even humanity, yet attempts to silence and muffle the Follower of Christ Jesus and keeper of His Word as a true standard for living. This is an unfortunate practice and reality in America as we have stood as a nation and people who has fought, bled, and even died to defend this freedom of self-expression and religious celebration. The same freedoms and liberties that have made America unique are now being argued over and dismissed as a sacred gift from God to all our neighbors.
While we are living in this culturally toxic and violent time, we must regularly wrestle with the fear of man, the desire to be liked and accepted and received by others. This is my personal wrestle. Honestly, I don't like to be misunderstood. I regularly run from suffering and attempt to minimize it as often as possible. As a result, I am constantly filtering what I will say publicly. If our words and deeds have consequences, then my words and deeds will have consequences. Surely the absence of words and deeds in certain situations will have consequences as well. The greater question that I am being challenged to ask is whose consequences am I most considerate of and concerned with? Am I concerned with not speaking up and out because of the consequences from the culture around me or because of the consequences God has declared by His Word, the Bible? Most of the time, I keep silent because of the fear of man rather than the fear of God. Though I don't believe I am required to speak into every situation all of the time, I do believe if we don't speak up and out in certain occasions, people will go on living their lives without a loving warning from God.
Think about this massive point! Our words and our deeds are a collection and expression of our love back to Christ and will also serve as our eternal testimony. How I live in this life, will greatly shape and impact how I live in the life to come. How I choose to respond to and obey and declare God's standards in my life will be the measure for my usefulness for God in eternity.
I love Christ with much of my heart, though I want the testimony of loving Him with all of my heart. I also love others with portions of my heart, but I want the testimony of loving others fully as Christ loves them. This is my prayer and pursuit in this life. If this is true, then I am required to believe all that Christ has taught me and then teach and tell everyone He leads me to of His truths. These are the words and deeds that I will be accountable for into eternity. What are some of the things that my generation and many of my neighbors and friends need to hear me say? Here are a few of truths from Christ:
Sin (rejection of God's Words & Truth) really has separated us for eternity from Christ and His Heavenly Kingdom. (Romans 3:23 & 6:23)
Sex outside of a marriage covenant and commitment as God defines and has designed will bring regret, brokenness, confusion, and ultimately keep us from experiencing God's highest reward of friendship with Him and human relationships. This includes hetero, homo, virtual and pornographic, and every other sexual expression that is pursued outside of the marriage covenant. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 & Revelation 21:8)
Heaven is real! Hell is real! Each one of us are given the freedom and opportunity to choose where and how we will spend eternity after this life. (John 14:6 & Revelation 20:10 & 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 & Revelation 14:11)
Lying is not just a little white lie but is just as much a sin as murder. All sin separates us from God face and requires us to admit and repent of our wrong (sin). (1 Timothy 1:9-11)
My money and resources are not mine but are simply loans from God to be used for building and establishing God’s ways and will according to His eternal Kingdom. I will give an account for all of these resources on the moment I stand before Him in eternity. So will you. (Matthew 6:19-21 & 1 Corinthians 3:12-15)
Etc. Etc. ETC!!!
There seems to have been a generation of false messaging and preaching of the Gospel communicated (Good News of God's Kingdom), mostly in western culture, including America that God loves all, blesses all, and spares all from difficulty if we truly walk in faith. This incomplete and shallow picture of God’s Kingdom message is proving to reproduce people who are not equipped for the increasing persecution that is to come. Many are abandoning the faith in Christ and His Church Family. We are living in a time in America when true Christian Discipleship and biblical lifestyles are being persecuted and censored. We are being silenced, turned off, and censored by tech and social media platforms, government officials, and even the public educational system of our children. As the majority is becoming the minority, those who have come out of the closet, so to speak, are attempting to push people of faith into the closet to be silent if we disagree with their lifestyles.
I want to release a fresh call to those listening and reading in the same way Christ is recalling me in this season. Our standard and model is Christ, Himself. Think about Christ as the "Faithful Witness" of His Father (Revelation 1:5 & John 17:25-26 ). The greatest stumbling block of God's people at Christ's first coming was whether He would be a Suffering Servant or a Conquering King. He proved to fulfill both. Wow! How many will be discouraged, confused, and deceived in the final days prior to Christ's 2nd coming and return? It is interesting when we think about how Christ obeyed and overcame sin and death for us all through the path of suffering. Christ’ greatest conflict during His 30 plus years on the earth was from telling the truth to His generation. Wow!!! That gives perspective to us if we agree to obey His Word and speak His Words. In the midst of it all, many are waiting to hear us speak the truth. Their freedom and eternal salvation will be discovered as we stand in courage and boldness and speak the truth of God’s Word. May we all experience another great outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit to prepare us as bold witnesses of His Kingdom coming soon. Amen!
Acts 2:17-18 “‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike— and they will prophesy.”