One example of His revealed truth to me is when He showed me the hypocrisy of some people in our charismatic church in Iraq.  These people were giving the impression by their exuberant displays in Sunday services that the Holy Spirit was working in them, but as they say, it is too easy to “put on a front” when you want to fool people into believing that you are a certain way.  God would point out to me the farce of certain people's supposedly genuine Christian walk when I would encounter them out in daily life during the week, as they were unfriendly or even rude to me, showing me that there was no real work of the Holy Spirit going on in their hearts.  I write this because I know that a heart truly touched by God would be filled with His Compassion and Love for all others that they may encounter.  Jesus taught that love would be the defining characteristic of His Disciples.   This is why I am skeptical of whether the Westboro Baptist legalists are real Christians because I see absolutely none of God’s compassion in them, nor do I see anything except pride in their judgmental attitudes toward everyone else and their cruelty in trying to bring more pain on families whose sons and daughters have given the "last full measure of devotion" to their country, to quote Abraham Lincoln.  Those men and women that give their lives in service to their country are certainly much closer to the sacrificial love of our Savior than the judgmental legalists of Westboro Baptist.   Moreover, the primary characteristics that the Westboro people display, pride and judgment,  are defining marks of children of Satan, not children of Jesus. 

Of course, God did also reveal to me that many in my charismatic congregation in Iraq were also genuine children of God.  Certain other people I observed would also express themselves exuberantly in service, giving themselves over to the complete worship of God down to every bone and muscle in their body.  But, they would also reveal a kind and loving Christian character when I would encounter them at various places on the base during the rest of the week.  Moreover, I could just sense the sweetness of their spirits when I talked to them one-on-one in church or when we did our weekly hug-athon during a certain point of the service.  So, when it comes to those in charismatic churches, although their experience is not the same one that I have in my daily fellowship with God, I would never judge anything spiritual that I simply don’t understand so long as I see the markings of Christian love in that person.  My primary litmus test in understanding whether God is at work in someone else is the unmistakable marker of Abundant Love and Compassion for God and all those around them.   The real genuine Christians always exude love for others in everything that they do.

Getting back to the subject of our Christian response to those in sin, I want to be clear about sinful lifestyle choices.  As I have noted in previous posts, God’s law is stamped on or woven into all of nature.  Consequently, anytime we willfully choose a life of sin or live in open rebellion to God, we unleash spiritual forces that will bring about our own destruction.   The Bible is very clear in saying that whatever we sow, THAT will we reap.  If we sow to our sinful lusts, we will reap the destruction or corruption that we have sown.  If we sow foolishly to the wind, we will reap the whirlwind, the chaotic cyclone of spiritual and natural consequences that will rip us down to our very soul.  You cannot escape the consequences of your own actions either here or in the afterlife.  Anyone living sinfully will experience their own destruction here on earth;  they will feel and understand the corruption of their own sinful choices even before they die and meet their Creator Who Will Righteously Judge them for their sin as well.  The destruction of the homosexual lifestyle, the catalog of miseries that homosexuals experience, has been well documented as they reap in their flesh from their spiritual rebellion.  The evidence is available for all to read if their minds are open to the truth

So, make no mistake about it.  Homosexuality is wrong and is an insult to God Who made us to live within the normal healthy boundaries of a wholesome lifestyle.  Sin WILL destroy us if we give ourselves over to it.  It doesn’t matter what the sin is, if we willfully abandon ourselves to any path of sin, we will reap the consequences, just as homosexuals reap the miserable consequences of what they do.  Nonetheless, our job as Christians, if we ever get opportunity to witness to such people in willful, open sin, is to share whatever the Holy Spirit prompts us to share with such people.  We should always do so in a compassionate and humble manner.  To use the common paraphrase that is attributed to English Reformer John Bradford, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”  We are no better than these people in sin that we are trying to witness to, so we have no cause to feel any pride or judgment toward them.  The good in us is not because we are “special” or better than these people.   The good in us is because of the Work of our Loving God Who Reveals Truth to us and then Teaches us how to walk in that Truth while He Builds His Spirit and His Wisdom within us, to give us the Power to do His Will.  Everything good in us has been given to us, so we have no need to feel any pride in ourselves

So, as we get opportunity to witness to people in sin, we should be as humble, compassionate, and understanding as possible, listening for God’s still small voice which will tell us how to respond to this person.  Reading the person’s heart and mind, the Holy Spirit, therefore, will know exactly what that person needs, something which we probably cannot determine by surface observation.  Believe me, you and I are not smart enough to know exactly what this person needs unless God’s Holy Spirit tells us.  There is no “one size fits all” approach to them or any other sinner.  But the only difference between you and that sinner is the work of God in you.  You were no better than them when God began His Work of Sanctification in you, and you would be no better than them if God pulled His Holy Spirit from you.

I pray that you will yield to God’s Infinite Wisdom and His Guidance in reaching out to those around you now and in the future and that you will be filled with His Boundless Compassion and the Power of His Spirit in reaching out to these poor lost souls that desperately need His Love and His Power to repair their broken lives.

 


Comments

01/09/2017 6:22am

We reap what we sow is among my favorite verses. There was a research writing service which helped me realize the actual meaning behind it which is much deeper than it seems.

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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