Over the past weeks, in light of some very interesting things going on within the “Christian community,” I’ve been reminiscing on two events that occurred in my life some years back. During the first instance, I was around 15 years old, and my sisters and I were taken out for the evening by our then pastor (a friendly gesture, as our dad had died some time before).
During the trip, which was maybe about 45 minutes away from our house, we were riding and listening to Gospel music… and I was content with that, as it was the music I grew up on and liked (although by then I had incorporated “other music”), and it was the music I expected a pastor to play. Well, a little while into the trip, the pastor asked us, “What kind of music do y’all like to listen to?” and he named a popular radio station in our area. Following that, he proceeded to put it on that station.
Now, as I stated, I had (sneakily) incorporated other music into my lifestyle by that time, but I would have never expected a pastor to condone that music. But when he did, by, first of all, asking what we’d like to listen to, and then by proceeding to put in on (in spite of our protesting against it, because I mean, who wants to sing or bob their head or even listen to a love or rap song with their pastor in the car?), I was appalled. I really couldn’t believe it. Why would the pastor, I wondered, even ask about our kind of music? Regardless to whether we may have wanted to hear “our kind” of music or not, I would have never expected him to compromise (though he probably didn’t view it that way), but instead to uphold the standard of God. Our kind of music then, and the kind of music that’s out now, was far from glorifying God, and I would not have expected anyone who boldly proclaimed Jesus to even think about giving it a listen.
… And remember, these were my thoughts as a 15 year old, eager to explore the world.
The second instance I thought back to was a time when I was a bit older (about nine years after the first instance), old enough to hit the club scene (which was never “fun” for me by the way… I actually hated it). That night, I’d walked into the party of a football player at a popular club, and was surprised to be greeted by a “Gospel” song. The artists’ words were blaring through the speakers… and, my first thought on hearing them wasn’t, “Let me hurry out of here and return wholeheartedly to Christ,” but instead, “What in the world…? Why are they playing Gospel music in the club? Why would *the artists* want their song played in a club [or any secular avenue]? What does Jesus think?” (…although the song’s lyrics could be more for the club, because there is no Gospel in it.) I was, again, appalled.
Yet, this is how Christians are saying they want to “reach the world.”
In the Christian community today, I see a lot of those who boldly proclaim to be followers of Christ compromising. In their sense of thinking, the church must become like the world in order to reach the world, so they’re collaborating with the unsaved, hanging out with the unsaved, watering down God’s words to please the unsaved, allowing all kinds of foolery to take place in the house of God… all due to a warped sense of thinking. Contrary to popular belief, however, we will never win the world by trying to “become like them.” Why is that so? It’s so because 1) that isn’t what God has commanded us to do, and 2) the world doesn’t take us seriously when we do so (even if they pretend to).
In 2 Corinthians 6:17, we are told, “Therefore, come out from them and be separate,” says the Lord. “Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” In this Scripture, we see God calling His people from the world, not telling us to become one with the world in order to “reach” it, and to do so in His name.
Now, does this mean that we are to totally isolate ourselves from those who are not yet saved? No; if it did, we could not share the Gospel of Christ with them as we’ve been commanded to (cf. Matthew 28:19-20). What this is telling us, however, is that we are to leave the ways and company of the world (as in hanging out with them regularly as we did when we were like them), that we are to forsake it all and follow Christ.
Sisters, to reach the world for Christ, there’s only one thing that’s needed; and that one thing isn’t compromise; it’s the truth of God’s Word (not a watered down version of the truth, either).
In John 12:32, Jesus says, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself.” Note carefully here that Jesus says He will draw all (of God’s chosen ones) to Himself. The only part that we have been commissioned to play is the part of clearly sharing the Gospel message. Through our sharing of the Gospel, He will save (Romans 1:16; Romans 10:17).
There’s no other “formula.”
We plant the seeds, God makes them grow.
When we do what God has commanded, sisters, we will get God results. When we do what our flesh “would like,” we will get fleshly results. And fleshly results, if you don’t know it yet, never equate to anything good; all the more when it comes to reaching the lost. The only thing we’ll end up with in the long run, when we operate according to our flesh, is a whole lot of false converts (if they “convert” at all) serving a false christ. And, sisters, we don’t want that.
Therefore, to keep such a grave phenomenon from occurring, let us always seek to follow God’s order of things, and not try to “outsmart” Him somehow (which is totally impossible!) with our own man-made methods of “saving.” Everything God has commanded us to do has a purpose, and those whom He’s elected to come will come.
You can count on it.