Let me begin with this Facebook post (I would file this under the “The world will hate you. The world loves its own.”) from a friend of mine, Rev. Dr. S Michael Worley:
Christianity today is so entangled with this present world that millions never guess how radically they have missed the New Testament pattern. Compromise is everywhere-but actually no real union between the world and the Church is possible. When the Church joins up with the world it is the true Church no longer but only a pitiful hybrid thing, an object of smiling contempt to the world, and an abomination to the Lord!
I watched a Matt Chandler clip last night in which he asked where in the Bible that a pastor/leader had a huge following? The message of the Gospel was so contrary to society that the society hated those speaking it because it pointed out their need for a Savior. Today, we (the church) live in a society in which we want to be liked. We want to be loved by the world, who is lost. And we should not desire to be loved, but to love. Desiring to be loved by the lost world lends to a dilution of the truth of the need to repent and change.
So how do we love? Is it love to see someone headed to danger and to not tell them? I’ve been in the parking lot at Walmart and I’ve see a person starting to walk behind a car and I see the car backing up. What do I do? STOP!!!!!!!!! WHOA!!!!!!!!!! LOOK OUT!!!!!!!!!!!! What kind of person would I be if I let the person keep walking and let the car back into and over that person? I would be showing love to neither person. So what do we do when we know that people don’t follow Jesus? Do we just let them go on about their lives?
Every person in the world is a follower of the enemy (satan) if they are not a follower of Christ. You’re one or the other whether you know it or not. So when we point out that Jesus is the only way to be reconciled to God and that every other religion is of the devil, it is because we love, not because we hate. Yet the majority of the world will see it as hate.
We have to love them enough to allow them to hate us if they choose. But we have to let them choose. I love them enough to give them the information to make the choice. I can live with having people walk away (and even hate me) if they choose not to be saved and follow Jesus. In a sentence, we show the love of Christ by being willing to say in love, “You need Jesus”. And if you’re/I’m not willing to say that to anyone and everyone, you/I don’t have enough love….. and I certainly would not want to be a pastor.