THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAGEDY OF 2016 MAY NOT BE OUR RAGING RACIAL DIVISION, CONTINUED ECONOMIC DECLINE, MORAL MALAISE OR EVEN THE BATTLE OVER THE REDEFINITION OF GENDER (who among us ever thought we’d see that debated?). The greatest tragedy of 2016 may not even be the political circus we’re all witnessing. (Any day now, I’m convinced that one of the candidates is going to produce three rubber balls and start juggling). When the smoke of 2016 clears and all the dust settles, it may be said that the greatest tragedy of 2016 was that all the while that God was speaking, His people weren’t listening.
The National Week Of Repentance is underway. It’s not too late to participate in this historic, simultaneous movement of God and people throughout the america. Click here to jump in.
We American Christians are confused. We want the world to follow a Jesus we’re not following. We’re not reading our Bibles, spending much time in prayer or prioritizing forgiveness and reconciliation. No wonder no one is interested in following us. We believers seem to have a serious case of “spiritual amnesia.” We’ve lost our story. We seem to have forgotten the very core of the gospel: forgiveness and reconciliation. As a pastor, the number one problem I continually see in the Church is the disinterest, inability and outright refusal to forgive and reconcile – by people who claim to know, follow and love Jesus Christ. This is not merely a problem. It’s a self-inflicted, mortal gunshot wound to our witness. It’s also robbed God of His glory, since there is no gospel without forgiveness and reconciliation.
Listening precedes following. Following demonstrates obedience. Obedience reflects love. The truth may very well be that many of us – perhaps the overwhelming majority – have fallen out of love with the God we want others to follow. The Bible has a word for this, and it stings. It’s called hypocrisy. Here is how Merriam Webster defines this word:
No one wakes up in the morning looking for ways to be a hypocrite. But hypocrisy will become the default of life if we don’t intentionally pursue the Jesus we want everyone else to follow. Jesus says, “Beware the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1).
Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15, NIV). He also says, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me . . .” (John 14:21, NIV)
ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN LEADER? Have you forgotten that in order to effectively lead others, you must really be following your LORD?
ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN PARENT OR GUARDIAN? Do you realize that the greatest need for the children under your care is to know that you are someone who truly walks with God?
WHAT IF EVERY CHRIST-FOLLOWER FOLLOWED CHRIST THE WAY YOU DO? Would that be a good thing, or would life go on, business as usual?
WHY POSTPONE YOUR GREATEST POTENTIAL FOR JESUS CHRIST? Get your ACTION GUIDE for this week’s National Week of Repentance. It will help you put aside unintentional hypocrisy and get back on track with Jesus Christ. You can download it by clicking here.