Monday, September 29, 2014

Patience in a Direct Message

I think there's something a lot of people spreading the Gospel are forgetting:

2 Timothy 4:2
Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.
We are not called to be in-your-face about our message. We're not called to be forceful in our message.

Now, be careful here: we are NOT told to be soft in the word, compromising God's clearly-stated messages for what people want to hear. We're not here to desperately beg people to accept some being called "God" into their life, we are here to beg people to accept the TRUE God, Father of our savior and sole mediator Jesus Christ, into their life. Not the "god" which speaks things contrary to the Bible, not the "god" which says, "the Bible says this, but it sounds unappealing to this age and science even suggests otherwise, so it should be changed", we are to look to God, whose word stands regardless of how popular it is amongst human beings or their superficial "logic".

But at the same time, we are not to be like some people are, some who are called to go out and spread the word. These people spoken of here are forceful in their words, copping an attitude about them and making the word truly unappealing to people who may otherwise have wanted to hear it.

Let me give you a crude example here. You have a friend who is curious about Christianity, but is also into pornography. You inform the friend that God does not want us to look at things like that, or engage in such activities. The friend says to you, "But I'm only human! How can the Lord expect me not to enjoy something so appealing to me?"

Some among us would say, "God does not want to hear your excuses, that's not good enough. God wants you to repent of your sins and sin no more. Stop looking at that right now, or you will be thrown into Hell for all of eternity." 

On one hand, the message there is mostly true. God doesn't want to hear our excuses, it's not good enough, God does want us to repent and sin no more, and those lost in lust are in danger of Hell. The problem is, the message there is being told in a way that prevents it from really getting through, which is where patience comes in.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Back when I was in some bad stuff, an in-your-face attitude would never have gotten me here, even though I already did believe in God. I didn't want to hear stuff from the "crazy angry preachers". The message got through patiently. It started with not getting into physical fights (as often), and not listening to (directly) satanic music anymore, which in itself took awhile. Along the way, I stopped listening to pagan music too, my attitude changed, everything happened with patience from the Lord, and over a period of 5 years, starting somewhere in 2009, I'm finally away from all that stuff, as of August 2014. That's how long it took me.

I stress again that we are not to be soft in our message, we are to be patient in our teaching. Rebuke people, show them the message of the Lord, do not ever compromise it, but don't be forceful in it. We want the message to get through to others who need to hear it. We care about these people, no? That's why, secularists and pagans, some of us Christians are so in-your-face about the word, because we're that desperate to get you to see the truth - we want you to know its joy, to feel God's perfect love and mercy, we want to see you in Heaven, in eternal peace and joy with God, and it bothers us to see you stubborn about accepting it when your own soul is on the line. But to the other Christians, don't be so forceful in it when speaking to them. God is patient with us, let yourself be patient with them.

I always keep in mind my past whenever I speak to an unbeliever or a misguided believer in the basics of Christianity - how would I have taken the words I speak now, back when I was lost? Would I have taken it into consideration, or would I have just walked away and went home to listen to some satanic music again? Again: God is patient with us, let yourself be patient with them. Pray to God to guide you.

And may God the Heavenly Father bless you all and guide you according to His perfect will. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment