As I approach this blog & topic today, it is a difficult one to write because I fear that I am probably going to offend some of my friends. I do not want to do that, but because of some recent incidences, it is one that I feel like I must share.. Therefore, I am approaching this blog after much prayer and meditation. I know what I will be telling you here is true. It is my prayer that you will accept my witness here also with prayer and meditation.
Over the past several months, I have had three distinct opportunities to witness to people who call themselves “not a Christian.” In all three of those instances, I have not been able to talk about Jesus with them because of the reflection they are seeing in the lives and attitudes of the majority of Christians in the United States at this time. I will come out and say it plainly, because so many Christians in the United States have excused or condoned the behavior of our previous President, they have no desire to even consider following Jesus Christ.
I have tried to get them to focus on Jesus and not men, but at this point, they are unwilling or unable to do it. And so I am writing down my thoughts here today.
- We Christians are told to seek God’s Kingdom first of all (Matthew 6:33), and that our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20) It is true that we are told to pray for the country and leaders where we are, (1 Timothy 2:1-2), and we are to obey the laws of that land (Romans 13:1-2), but one of the things that got the Pharisees in deep trouble was that they expected the Messiah to be a political ruler, and that he would overthrow the Roman government that was oppressing them. This led them to reject Jesus as the Messiah. I think we as Christians need to be very careful about looking to any political leader to be our “savior” or the one who will make us great. In fact, I cannot find any Biblical teaching that tells us to be “great” as it has been used recently in the United States.
- Over and over again, God’s Word teaches us that God’s kingdom is a kingdom of nations. (Isa. 66:19, Matt. 28: 19, Rev. 5:9, Psa 96:3) We need to be careful if we are seeking to exalt ourselves over any other people. In Proverb 6:16, we are told of the things that God hates. I hope you will read the article linked below written by Billy Graham about this passage. https://decisionmagazine.com/things-god-hates/. We need to be careful that pride does not cause us to we begin to think of ourselves as greater or better than any other nation. During my time in Taiwan and China, I found that our pride as Americans was often a stumbling block to others even being willing to consider the claims of Jesus.
And so my dear friends, I’m just asking you to think carefully about what you are reflecting to others. I know you’ve all heard the quote, “You may be the only Bible that some people read.” If your words, attitude, and behavior are building a wall so that nonbelievers will not even consider the claims of Jesus, then something is wrong. We need to be extremely careful about who or what we are trying to exalt or make great.
Jesus said, “If I am lifted up, I will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32) He was speaking of the manner of his death, but I believe he was also speaking to who we are “lifting up” in our lives. If we are lifting up ourselves, our country, our party, etc., then in pride we are causing others to stumble and turn away. However, if we lift up Jesus and His kingdom, ALL people will be drawn to their Savior.
Let us all think carefully about what we are reflecting to those who do not know Jesus.