American Christians Seem to be Missing the Point, Part 3
The missionary from Frontline Missions laid it out for us this past Sunday. He indicated that throughout the world, the need is great to introduce the lost in this world to the only Person who can save them from themselves and hell. Yet, too many Christians here in America have other things on their minds. For them, the goal is to salvage what they can of America, to bring it back to God, to work hard to faithfully deliver American society back to the hands of God Himself as our gift to Him.
The problem with this is that it is not Scriptural. Our gift to God should be seen in how well we obey His instructions found in the commission He gave us (Matthew 28). This Great Commission is what the Church rests upon. It is her purpose, her raison d’être (most important purpose).
Jesus said that He (and He alone) would build His Church (Matthew 16:18), and He confidently stated that the gates of hell itself would not prevail against it. This means that not even all the power of Satan and hell would be able to stop or even slow the process of Jesus building His Church. This is a truly fascinating statement, but what does Jesus mean when He said He is building His Church? Is He talking about a physical structure? Is He referring to Christians who are supposed to “take back America” for God? Is that what He means by building His Church? Not if we compare Scripture to Scripture.
Paul answers the question nicely for us.
…from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love (Ephesians 4:16).
Jesus referred to His Church and we learn it is His Body. In other words, this “building” is a spiritual one, of which each Christian takes his/her place and God Himself places them in a specific position within His Body. As each new lost person embraces salvation, they take up their position within the Body of Christ and are meant to perform the job/services/functions predetermined by Jesus. All of the jobs and functions of each new Christian has to do with fulfilling the Great Commission.
But some might say, “But I feel called to go into politics?” Another might say, “I believe God is leading me to become a police officer.” Great! If that’s where the Lord is leading you, wonderful. However, it must be clear in your own mind that He is not leading you there so you can become self-indulgent to live for yourself. He is leading you there because there are people he wants to reach through you and you will be His witness, His testimony. That is the primary purpose.
The missionary I’ve been referring to pointed out some interesting facts, facts, that most American Christians are simply not aware of because most have their minds totally focused on changing society as opposed to introducing lost people to Jesus. There is the 10/40 Window in which a huge percentage of countries within or just adjacent to that ‘window’ have Christians that are under severe persecution. It means not knowing if you will survive that day.
He spoke of one missionary woman who was called of God to minister to Muslim women in Afghanistan. In that country, as in other Islamic countries, it is against Sharia law for a man to speak with a woman stranger. There is no chance that male Christians can go to that country and witness to women. That job must be handled by other women. To go to that country means adopting some of the customs of that country. Women Christian missionaries must wear head coverings, cannot be seen in the company of strange men, etc. It is highly precarious. The missionary spoke of one woman who had an effective ministry there with Muslim women and one morning, two members of the Taliban rode up on motorcycles and shot her to death. Many missionaries to these countries face the threat of death daily, yet they continue to go as the Lord calls them. They do not consider their physical lives to be something to be protected. Their fate is fully in the Lord’s sovereign hands.
Here in America, Christians come together and stage a protest at a Target because the giant retailer has created genderless bathrooms. To watch these Christians and to hear them, they come across not as loving, but as filled with hatred and bigotry. Would Jesus do what they do? Many argue He would, but really? There is no evidence of that in Scripture. This is the age of grace, but surely, judgment is coming.
As the slide notes, half of the world’s Christian population lives under some form of actual persecution. Here in America, we see persecution as genderless bathrooms. What is our response? Anger. Indignation. Judgment. We fail to recognize that though we are in America, it is still part of Satan’s created system of Babylon.
On average, 1,200 Christians are martyred each year for simply being Christians. Does that happen in America? Not to my knowledge. We have not yet reached the point in America where it is a crime to simply be a Christian, though that time is most likely on the horizon.
There have been more martyrs in the 20th century than all previous centuries combined. That tells you something. Outside of America, it is extremely difficult to live as a Christian openly. It means there are many countries in this world where being a Christian could mean a death sentence, where Christians have no rights.
There are plenty of examples of Christians in other parts of the world being burned out of their homes while the police there did nothing. They were warned if they come back to rebuild, it would be worse for them, so many have been “relocated” to camps. This is the state of Christianity in other parts of the world, yet in spite of this level of persecution, the Church, Christ’s Bride and Body continues to be built. It would seem that wherever persecution is high, more people embrace salvation, to God’s glory.
Is this possibly why the community of Christianity within America is often so weak? We really don’t know what true persecution is and I’m not inviting it either. However, it may well be that in order for God to separate sheep from goats, He may well have to send some honest-to-goodness persecution to Christians in America. Then, we will learn where our loyalties lie and what it actually means to be a Christian. As it is, we are too preoccupied with our rights, our privileges, and the rebuilding of this nation.
If persecution comes to America (and it will), it will not be because God hates America or Americans. The Bible tells us He wants no one to perish (2 Peter 3:9), and that He wants all to come to knowledge of salvation. He also understands though that when the heat is turned up in the lives of Christians, it has a cauterizing and cleansing effect. It does four things.
- causes Christians to take their walk with Him seriously
- separate true Christians from professing Christians
- causes true Christians to become living testimonies to the lost
- brings more lost people into the spiritual Church, His Bride
Unlike what many Christian leaders tell us today, I cannot see one bad thing in that list, can you?
The Christians who live in exceedingly dark countries, where evil reigns seemingly unchecked, understand how to let go of the things of this world. They allow God to slough off the things that keep them connected to the system of Babylon. You can move out of America and go to another country, but you can still be connected to the system of Babylon spiritually. God wants us to come out of her so that we are dedicated to Him and His purposes, so that we will stop thinking about our “rights” and “privileges” and focus on His will.
Can someone show me please where the Great Commission has been rescinded or replaced with trying to save a nation? It hasn’t. God is not about saving nations. He is about saving individual souls. It is our job to tell other beggars where the bread is to be found. If God needs to ramp up the persecution to separate us emotionally from the system of Babylon so that we can be used by Him for His glory, He will do that.
Persecution never means God hates us or that He is judging us. Persecution has always been used by God for our growth and His glory.
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:6-9).
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