“Prove yourselves to be doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves.” (James 1:22)
God made us for Himself and gave us the ability to know, love, and please Him. As we seek to serve Him, we will encounter a wide variety of people who are still in the process of spiritually searching. Among that number, some will have “…a form of godliness, while denying it’s power…” (2 Timothy 3:5) This group may even include church attenders who superficially wear the name Christian. However, they will still be producing the wrong kind of fruit. While being religious and self-described as spiritual, they will sadly be like empty clouds having no rain! Like Nicodemus, they still need to be “…born again…” (John 3:3) Only God knows the number of those who are religious but still lost.
When you talk with your searching friends, they may still be struggling with the “thou shalt nots” in Scripture. Often, they may be relying on their own reasoning to imagine a deity who accepts a wide range of beliefs and is tolerant toward their favorite sins. In essence, they are still living in denial and willing to “…deceive themselves.” (James 1:22)
Those who simply hear the Scriptures but do not accept them often develop theological idols of their own imagination. This leads to the rejection of all that Jesus warned us to avoid. True Christians cannot personally approve of moral, ethical, or doctrinal positions that directly conflict with God’s instruction to His church. We are to publicly live obedient, faithful, and upstanding lives. The Bible says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)
Your witness to religious, non-Christian friends, who worship within the walls of their own special places – will necessarily require different types of conversations. In that spirit, the apostle Paul said, “…I have become all things to all people, so that I may by all means save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22)
Mankind has never been given the right to manipulate God’s truth to accommodate the sins of any era. Humanity cannot “twist” or “ignore” Scripture to fit its ever-changing secular objectives. Jesus did not come to merely express an opinion or be one way to heaven among many – He is the only way! He explained, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Our Savior did not offer mankind forgiveness apart from accepting His righteous exchange which was enacted for our benefit. The Bible says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Being His disciples requires sincere faith coupled with a lifestyle of active obedience. Always remember that it was the Lord Jesus who said, “…go and sin no more.” (John 8:11b) We are therefore called to “be doers of the word…” (James 1:22) This requires having a strong culture impacting lifestyle wherever we live in the world!
By Billie Hanks Jr.