February 16th, 2016
Happy Valentines Day!
Even though I send this greeting to you a little late, would it not be great if the attitude of people towards each other would be kind and generous throughout every day of 2016.
1 John 2:10-11 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
If we name the name of Christ and claim to be His, we also need to treat our fellow man with care and concern for he/she is created in the image of God. We must love our fellow man even if we disagree with him. This does not mean we have to accept or condone what is contrary to the will of God in a person’s life.
Unfortunately, there is a false doctrine of tolerance stating we have to affirm all people’s points of view and lifestyles if we really care or love people. In many cases, true love for our fellow man does just the opposite. If a person is standing on the edge of self-destruction, I do not believe it is love to in any shape or form accept or validate something in the person’s life which will plunge them into the pit of Hell. It is not politically or religiously correct in our current cultural climate to say drunkenness is a sin, or to challenge alternative sexual lifestyles as morally wrong; to do so is to be charged with bigotry or being intolerant.
But then it really does not matter so much what I or you believe about something one way or the other. Rather, if there is a God in heaven who has left a record in His Word. What matters is what He has to say about His purpose and will for His creatures’ lives. As a preacher of the Word of God, I am bound by an obligation to speak and share what the Word of God says rather than what people want it to say to accommodate their habits or lifestyles. The Bible addresses unacceptable behavior and practice as sin and sin always leads to death. Sin is not a popular word. Of course if we are not creatures of God but evolutionary rolls of the cosmic dice, there is no such thing as sin. But if there is a Creator God to whom we answer to and who has clearly spoken, then we have an obligation to and will give an account to the One who gave us the stewardship of life.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
The only reason I can write this to you at all is because by the Grace of God, Jesus interrupted this sinner’s life. Someone loved me enough to confront me with the good news of Jesus who died on a cruel cross for our sins. Jesus did not die for diseases, and alternative lifestyles, but he died for sinners. To candy coat, or explain away, or by human wisdom justify that which is wrong with us is to invite a peril beyond the remedy of God and man. Death is the ultimate arbitrator of the reality of God’s position on sin.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; (Bad news) but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Good news).
As a sinner saved by the Grace of God, I pray God’s love on you. He has taken care of my past and given to me forgiveness and a future.
1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Therefore, I believe it is the greatest love to care enough to confront people when by God’s standards they are wrong and endangering their relationship to their God. Praise God, whether this message is accepted or not, I am not the judge. I can love people where they are at and how I find them. It is not my job to change anybody. All I can do is share the Christ who changed me and who is still molding me into His image.
That said, I wish you a belated Happy Valentine’s Day today and every day,
Only Because of Christ’s Love,
Pastor John Schofield