Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In a desperate world, people need hope.

Romans 8:24
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

Colossians 1:27
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Jude 1:22-24

King James Version (KJV)
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

We live in a society gone crazy. To quote one preacher I heard a long time ago, "Right is wrong. Wrong is right. And whatever's grey? Have a happy day!"

Our world doesn't want Jesus. They don't want his word in school, at work, or in our courts. They don't want him mentioned in public, much less prayed to. Most folks don't want to "retain God in their knowledge." (Romans 1:28)

But, ignoring God doesn't change the fact that he is God. Nor does it change the consequences of disobeying him. The word says that we reap what we sew. (Galatians 6:7) So, we naturally, as his word says, begin to reap corruption when we sew to the flesh. (Galatians 6:8)

Amazingly, however, rather than repenting, people begin to look to other sources to solve their problems. They look to harder work. They trade spouses. They get heavily involved in politics.

In fact, I believe the reason folks are offended at the word of God in public places is that it reminds them that all their efforts to solve their own problems are in vain. Without Jesus, there is no hope.

And that is what every law, every new drug, every self help book, every new government program is trying to give people- hope.

Because of our sins, we find ourselves living in hell on earth. Our homes are in shambles. Our government is corrupt. The entertainment that is lifted up is twisted and evil. People are looking for real hope. But where can they find it?

The worlds hope is fleeting and comes with costs that no one wants to pay. What the celebrities push, and the politicians use to gain votes, and the drug dealers and alcohol merchants say will fix what ails us? It's all castles built on sinking sand.

I know and agree that we are to preach and teach against sin. I have no problem with standing against sin. Absolutely, we are to fight against the evils of our day with all our might. But, in our righteous stands, let's not forget one thing:

Those that we are trying to help are living in a hell- right now- on earth.

Deep down, where they really live, they know they're not right with God. They don't have to be told continuously. What they desperately need to know is that there is hope. They need to know the way out of their hog pin. They want out of the sinful seas that are dragging them under and are drowning them.

They need a lifeline. That lifeline of hope is Jesus.

Rather than beat them down all the time, can we not show the love and compassion of God to them? Can we not allow God to use us to reach into their situations and help them? Can we not be the arms of Jesus that reach out to tell them, "I see your sin, but I love you anyway?"

Lord, please give us your eyes, so we can see them the way you do.
                  give us your mind, so we can think of them like you do.
                  give us your strength, to help to lift them out.
                  give us your heart, to love them like you do.
                  give us your feet and hands, to go to them and help.

The only hope that this world has is Jesus. We, his church, are supposed to be Jesus to the world. Yes. Jesus sometimes showed anger and spoke harshly, when the hearer needed it. And we should too when God leads us that way- for he knows the hearts of the hearers.

But, more often than not, he showed them love and compassion and offered them the way of hope to escape the hell of this life. Should we not do the same?