Called to The Struggle.

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Hi Frank,

I know of some professing believers who have demonstrated a genuine walk with the Lord, and yet are choosing an “alternative life style”. They say it’s okay because the church they are attending says it’s okay and that they still love Jesus etc. etc etc. 

What would your rebuttal be to the young adult who says that his or her choice is okay because they are okay in their relationship with the Lord? Curious to know your thoughts.

Thank you, Frank!

What a difficult question you ask...

I find it very interesting that Jesus said salvation is a narrow road (Matthew 7:13). He also told us that we will know someone who's saved by their fruits (Matthew 7:16). He also said that there will be many who claimed to love and follow Him, but He says He NEVER knew them (Matthew 7:23). It seems that it's so difficult to be saved!

Yet I marvel at how easy He made it in John 3, when He says "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life."

The account of the bronze serpent is found in the book of Numbers. The children of Israel had been attacked by poisonous snakes. God directed the leaders to create a bronze serpent and put it high above the camp. All it took to be healed of the serpent bites was for people to look on the snake. I call that the "glance of faith".

It figures to me, that if God wants to save His people, and He does, that He would not make it difficult. 

There are those who claim to love Jesus, yet continue in an unbiblical lifestyle. I point those individuals to Jesus' words in John 12-14, "If you love me, keep my commandments." So, assuming they've genuinely received Christ, they are firm in their standing as children of God. However, if they pursue a sinful lifestyle they are not ok in their relationship with Jesus - in that they are failing to love Him and "grieving" the Holy Spirit.

Bottom line, they are still caught in the great plague of a man-centered Gospel, rather than a Jesus Gospel. The focus is on themselves, what they want, how they want to live.

Even as I write this now, I can hear the rebuttal: "No, they aren't actually saved!" Really?

What's fascinating to me is how Jesus promised He'd never leave us - and He meant it. Regardless of the behaviors we are engaging in or the sins we are committing, we take Christ with us into them. I think of 1 Corinthians 6, where Paul says that a believer who goes to a prostitute not only joins himself to her, but joins Jesus to her as well!

You would think that if ever there was a time that Jesus would say, "I am not going with you into this", sleeping with a prostitute would be such a time. Engaging in homosexuality would be such a time, but as He promised, "I will never leave you."

So what am I saying?

Of course we cannot ultimately know if the individuals you're referring to are saved or not. They very well could be. For me, 1 Corinthians 6 raises an interesting and challenging hurdle. In it, Paul makes a list of people who do not inherit the Kingdom. Of course, there is the murderer and the adulterer and the homosexual in that list. He also includes the angry and the selfish and the one who covets. I daresay that every human on earth gets caught somewhere on that list.

The key though, is verse 11:

"Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."

NO ONE would ever ask Christians to celebrate the sin of murder or adultery, but the LGBTQ community is not only asking us to accept their behavior, but CELEBRATE IT! That to me indicates a conscience that was either never redeemed or has been cauterized by sin so badly that such a one does not hear the convicting work of the Holy Spirit anymore (Hebrews 2). 

Here at Grace Life, we affirm our love for such individuals. In the same way that some individuals are born with an extra propensity for lying, or an extra propensity for anger, some are born with a propensity for same sex attraction. We call them to "the struggle": the challenge to live according to how they have been re-born and made new.  They are to walk new instead of according to the propensity they were born into in Adam.

You are Loved,

Frank

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