THOUGHTS ON THE LORD’S DAY
“Are people confused by your lifestyle that doesn’t line up with your message?”
Asking people to join a church or attend a service in a building we call the church is not the same as introducing people to Jesus Christ and living a life that honors that name. Mahatma Gandhi said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” When people find out you are a Christian, are they confused, disappointed, or affirmed by the life you live publicly and/or privately?
As passionate ambassadors for Christ, (2 Corinthians 5:20), how do we communicate and live truth to a world that is not sure what truth is—or even if truth exists? How do we recommend spiritual absolutes to people who insist there are none?
As Believers in today’s hostile anti-Christian environment we make some staggering claims: We say our Truth is absolute and exclusive. We proclaim the only way to God is through Christ and Him alone. We claim the Bible is the verbally inspired word of God.
However, we live in a culture that not only does not believe in absolute morality, it rejects the idea of any objective Truth. When I was growing up in the 60s a very popular T-shirt slogan was, “If it feels good—do it.” Biblical truth and morality no longer mattered, man is now the determiner of his own truth and moral standard.
It is imperative that the standard of morality we defend and the Truth we proclaim is under girded by agape love and illustrated by the lives we live. It must be more than the strength of our conviction and loudness of the message we preach. If not careful, as possessors of the Truth, we become irritating at best or worse, obnoxious.
Our beliefs, regardless of how passionate we believe them and no matter how fundamentally sound our doctrine, if they are not bathed in the love of Christ, we stand a very good chance of being irrelevant or worse, repulsive. According to Matthew 11:18-19, sinners loved to be with Jesus—do they love to be around you?
The Holy Spirit, Heaven’s Secretary of State, on the Day of Pentecost opened and established our King’s Embassy on earth. Our assignment is clear. We are Christ’s Ambassadors to our generation. The people to whom we are sent have never visited our country. Most do not accept the authority or even the existence of the government we represent. The policies of our government seem to have very little relevance to the lives they live. Most question our ability to express the positions and policies with any degree of conviction and persuasiveness.
Yet when we accepted Christ as Savior, we accepted that assignment, there were no other options. It requires that our motives, lifestyle and message match the demands of the assignment. If we successfully fulfill the assignment, two things are required. We must listen as one under authority. Second, we must speak as one who is given authority by the King we represent.
If people are confused by your lifestyle and/or your message, you may be recalled and must return home. Your articulation as Christ’s Ambassador must line up with your actions. If it does not, you will confuse those to whom you are sent at best or worse, deceive them.
Jesus cursed the fig tree in Mark 11 because it had leaves giving the appearance of fruit, however, upon closer inspection no fruit existed. As Christ’s ambassadors we must produce more than “religious leaves,” we must produce fruit or our role as an ambassador for our King will be of very little value.