Loving the Lost, Both Loveable and Unlovable

March 23, 2015 at 10:40 AM

Mr. Williams is in eternity right now. There is no going back for him.

Mr. Williams is in eternity right now. There is no going back for him.

Last night, we watched the third installment of “Night at the Museum,” starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, and others. It was one of Robin Williams’ last movies. Afterwards, we watched a documentary about Williams, who ultimately killed himself by hanging August of 2014. The documentary contained many clips of Williams performing at various comedy clubs, on location with our troops on foreign soil, and from the TV shows and movies he had done during his time as an actor. Of course, there were plenty of friends who knew him all providing their own narrative about Robin Williams; who he was, how he lived, and how often he simply tried to help people.

According to all reports, Robin Williams was a very caring person. He wanted to ease the pain of others, probably because he had so much pain himself. He spent portions of his life fighting his own issues like alcoholism and depression so he obviously knew what it felt like to be a human being who was in pain.

At one point in the documentary, Williams said that he was always pushing himself to the next level, trying to reach for whatever he could reach for (my paraphrase). Others like Pam Dawber (co-star on “Mork and Mindy”) noted that working with Williams was one of the most wonderful opportunities she was ever privileged to have enjoyed. She remarked about his constant energy, his ability to ad-lib (for hours) and how a typical week would go on the set.

When his good friend John Belushi overdosed, Williams took a serious look at his own life. It was also about this time his first son was born. He swore off alcohol and drugs and straightened his life out. Years later, he would spiral back into alcoholism and depression. My take on this is that what motivated Robin Williams to always be running toward the next thing was that he may have been trying so hard to run away from whatever was chasing him.

When I think of people who have died – without Jesus – my heart aches. It’s easier with some more than others, isn’t it? Robin Williams was a lovable person. He was funny, insightful, and an amazing talent. Certainly, it’s easier for our hearts to sink when we hear of the death of a person like Robin Williams. There have been deaths of many like Williams.

Who knows if they ever heard the gospel but if they did, it seems as though they rejected it. While there are some wonderful people in this world, many of them to be considered moral people (by the world’s definition), according to God, they lack something and worse, they are completely unrighteousness. They lack His righteousness that can only be found in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. All of us. Not some of us. Not most of us. ALL of us. We all have the same problem and there is only one remedy.

From my vantage point, it seems like too many Christians today are too preoccupied with particular pet peeves to bother about people who need the Lord. It is so tragic to watch people – many of whom are extremely difficult for us to love – fall by the wayside. God loves them and He wants no one to perish without Him (cf. 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:3-4).

By the way, I’m not talking about feelings here. I’m talking about a determined outlook that prompts the Christian to become an evangelist for Jesus solely because we do not want them to go to hell. Our attitude should be like Moses who in Deuteronomy 9:13-14/Exodus 32:12-14 begged God to turn from His wrath and spare the Israelites. Moses even went so far as to implore God to blot his name (Moses) out of the book of life (cf. Exodus 32:32)! Moses said this because of his love for the people in spite of their tremendous sin against God.

I have to constantly check my heart and mind. It is so terribly easy some times to “hate” the sinner instead of the sin. I will admit it. I am not Jesus and I know that I do not love as He loved. Yes, He loved with words, but He also loved with actions and the way in which He responded to people after they treated Him like He was a piece of manure on the ground. I have to ask myself, how would I respond in such a situation? Do I love the lost enough to sincerely ask God to blot my name out of the book of life?

We can all think of people that we would love to see gone from this life because they seem to be doing more harm than good. I can rattle off a dozen names right now. These people are truly enemies of the cross and the lives they live, along with the words they speak, prove it.

However, they are still alive, aren’t they? Imagine for a moment God turning some of these people around, saving them, and then using them for His glory. Imagine it. We don’t really have to because we see how God used Paul (and many others who were at first, such enemies of Christ throughout history). Paul was so filled with hatred for anyone who was Jewish and a follower of Jesus that he got permission to chase them down and either bring them in or put them to death by stoning. Paul didn’t care about Gentiles. He was after Jews who had “defected” to Christianity.

Then one day, Paul witnessed Stephen’s martyrdom (Acts 7). Just prior to his death by stoning, Stephen prayed, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them,” (Acts 7:60). He took the time to love these people who were putting him to death! That is an act of love that obviously spoke volumes to Paul, who stood there, approving Stephen’s death.

When Jesus met Paul later on the road to Damascus, Jesus turned on the light of understanding, literally (Acts 9). Paul saw the truth and embraced it. He likely remembered Stephen’s death, with forgiveness on his lips and love mixed with terrible sadness for his killers, in his heart.

In today’s world, people – even those who call themselves Christians – love to hate. The most recent target is Islam. We want them destroyed. People clamor for Muslims to be sent to hell all the while claiming they know God. Sadly, I have entertained these thoughts, but they cannot be allowed to remain.

As difficult as it is for us to comprehend, God loves every Muslim we wish to go to hell. He loves people like Dan Savage, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and a host of other liberals, race-baiters, and Marxists who are too busy fulfilling Satan’s will (while monetarily gaining for themselves) to notice or care that God loves them.

Yes, God has severe warnings about dire consequences that will befall individuals who continue to reject Him. But you know what? That is on God. Only He has the ability to take that position perfectly, righteously, and without sinning. Those who think it is our job to yell, “YES! Way to go, God!” are 100% wrong. God will judge and condemn those who have never received His salvation. Our job is to let them know that salvation is there for them, if they want it.

Our job is to intercede as Moses interceded for the Israelites. Our job is to fall on our knees and face, begging God to save people for the sake of His holy Name! Our job is to reflect His righteousness and love into a world containing billions of unsaved people. God will take care to balance His scales of justice because that’s His job and He has not called us to do that. He has called us to make disciples of all nations.

If you are a Christian and hate someone – or a specific group of someones – you have an obligation to get on your knees until you God can remove that hate from you. Our job is to love and again, I’m not talking about feelings. I’m talking about living in such a way that people will see our “light” and glorify our Father in heaven.

Entry filed under: new age movement, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation.

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