For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. – Romans 9:15
My goal in this blog aims not to rant but to express a concern. I cannot promise that a rant won’t come out, however. This issue circulates at high momentum right now, and I find it very troubling. The issue? Compassion for lost souls.
I hear some saying right now, “I am compassionate about lost souls. I want to see people saved!” Some of you do, I agree. Nevertheless, I wonder about those that go out and shout at lost sinners, creating anger and chaos. They claim they are trying to deliver the gospel, but my question is when did the gospel become a message of hatred?
It is hard to endure the backlash received by some of the lost world; there is no doubt about that. Jesus warned us, however, that this would happen. Did He say retaliate? No. Did He say protest and cause a scene? No. He said that we were to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-44).
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. – Matthew 24:9
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. – Mark 13:13
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. – John 15:18
You know that Muslim family that lives at the end of your block? They are not your enemy. They are lost souls controlled by the enemy – the devil. They also are not the same ones who crashed into the twin towers, so we need to stop treating them that way. As in every culture, there are terrorists and radicals, and there are people just trying to get through life.
Do you realize that even though many rejoiced at Osama Bin Laden’s death, God was saddened that His soul was never saved? It broke His heart that he never came to repentance! Some may not believe that, but I do. It says in 1 Peter 3:9, The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The verse doesn’t tell us that the Lord wants all to come to repentance except for Osama Bin Laden. It says all! Some of you that have been reading my blog from the beginning may remember that I wrote about the power in the word “all.” All is not bias or partial: it is an entirety or complete whole! This is hard, I know. I struggle sometimes with the flesh regarding the prayers for evil men. But think about it, where did you come from? I may not have been a terrorist, or close to it, but I sure practiced some wicked things in my lost state! I did not deserve salvation anymore than a terrorist does!
There is a difference between praying accompanied with compassion and condoning sin. We are not supposed to conform or agree with sin. It is even okay to hate the sin. We should not hate the sinner, however. The devil is powerful and ruthless; he never grows weary. When a person does not have the Holy Ghost indwelling, they are not strong enough to fight him off. He gains control. If any of us were honest, we would realize that even Christians struggle with the devil dropping bombs and grenades in our lives.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. – Ephesians 6:12
Jesus Christ is the most compassionate and loving being that ever set foot on the planet. Although in our sin we will never reach this height (until heaven), we should never stop striving for it. We are told to become Christ-like in our ways, but we must be open and willing for His direction in order to get there.
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. – Colossians 3:10-11
We are all familiar with the verse Mark 16:15, which tells us to go and preach the gospel to all creatures in this world (I have cited it many times). The problem I have is the world stopped preaching and started criticizing instead. Let’s face it: we have egos, especially Americans. We think we deserve things. We think we are better than the rest of the world. We believe we deserve respect from everyone. I learned an important lesson at a young age, before I was even saved: life is not fair. We have to suck it up and go on.
I say this in love, of course. I do not wish to convey anger in my concerns. I am concerned, however, how many souls will not have the chance at salvation because of the lack of love and compassion. I direct that at myself too. I know I do not witness enough! I know I don’t reach out enough. I am praying for boldness to change that. Nevertheless, the real concern I have is that when people DO reach out, nobody will listen because of the connotation of hatred being slapped on to Christianity.
This may hurt but there are many people in this world that label themselves a Christian that aren’t. You can’t just place that label on yourself and think you are okay. If you have never truly repented and accepted Christ into your heart, you are not a Christian. If you never changed your lifestyle and started walking with the Lord, you are not a Christian. If you do not stand upon the truths of God’s Word, you are not a Christian.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. – John 15:8
As mentioned before, the Bible tells us that when we truly are saved by grace, a change will take place. You don’t become a perfect Christian overnight (or ever really, until heaven), but a change is inevitable (2 Cor 5:17). Our attitudes and perceptions change with the Holy Ghost’s leading. If absolutely nothing changes, I admit I would question it. I know when I was saved, my life changed considerably!
I may have gotten away from God for a while, but He was still there. I still felt conviction and had a different perception than my lost friends. When I was backsliden, however, I was not living as a Christian should. I had no right to use the label Christian even though I was saved. Christian means to be Christlike, so even those born-again have no right to us that term if they have moved away from God. That is an entirely new post though! I will leave it at that.
One of the biggest things that has been changed in my life (especially since I repented two years ago) is my attitude towards souls in this world. Do I claim to be perfect? Not even close! Do I claim that my flesh never kicks in? No, It definitely does!! I am more conscious of it now, though. Now that I am more conscious, I must work to do better!! It is time to move to the next level!
I am not accusing those causing a ruckus as being lost, that is between them and the Lord if they are, but I believe that they are not on God’s path. Anything that hurts the work of God is not of the Lord. By starting fights and chaos, we are only hindering the work of the Holy Spirit.
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. – 2 Timothy 2:24-26
I’ll leave you with a statement by the Reformer’s Unanimous program:
Meekness: living my life in such a way that I reduce conflicts between others!
If you are not truly saved, or have doubts in your salvation due to your lifestyle and beliefs up to this point, IT IS NOT TOO LATE! It is never too late until you pass from this world. Don’t wait, get it settled today! If you have questions, I would be more than happy to help you figure that out! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.