I know some pastors who are so insensitive and mean spirited about the hot topics of our society (think gay, abortion, radical-Islam) that they seem to be going out of their way to be hated by the world. While I may agree with them on the basics, love is often missing from their message. The truth of the Bible, when not spoken in love, is in a strange way a lie. Read that last sentence again and let that sink in. And it’s not that they need to sugar coat things. They just need to add love to their message. They need to speak Biblical truth hoping to see the hearers converted. And if the hearers hate you for that, I believe that’s Biblical. I think it was Charles Spurgeon who said, “Preach the truth so that when you are done, the sinner either hates their sin or hates you for pointing it out.” But love must be the motivation. One must not preach the Gospel just to be hated by those who need converted to Jesus. The goal is to have them ask, “What shall we do to be saved?”
Likewise, people must not preach a diluted and deluded Gospel just to be loved by those who need Jesus. I know others who seem to be pushing the social agenda of the progressive part of our society so much that our post-Christian society loves them. (Post-Christian is a term some people have given the times we live in, where Christianity is no longer the predominant religion as it has been in our country for 200 years, but where every religion is now treated as equal). I would argue that most of the progressives that consider themselves Christians share the view that all or most religions are equal and valid. They see no need for a non-radical Muslim to be converted to Christianity, and radical Muslims don’t need to become Christians, but just non-radical Muslims.
And while I’m certainly sure that there are things about which I’m mistaken. I know that we are not all worshipping the same God. I know Muslims desperately need Jesus. I know this because everyone needs Him.
I hope you’re still with me. Every day there are fewer and fewer voices speaking the truth of the Gospel in love. Sometimes I wish God would call me to go to third world places to spread the Gospel to people who are hungry to hear it. But then He reminds me that He also needs messengers in Short Gap. Part of what He calls me to do here as a Christian and as a pastor is to warn you not to be deceived and not to follow the path of destruction. And love is to be my motivation.
As our country turns away from God at a more and more rapid rate, there cannot be a better place to speak the truth of the Gospel in love.
Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it. ~ Matthew 7:13-14