30 09 2014

I always worry when I hear overconfident individuals proudly say that humanity is advancing morally these days to a whole new level of tolerance and acceptance of one another. These misguided pseudo-intellectuals who refer to themselves as atheists spout that mankind is far too educated to ever allow the horrors of the past to reoccur again! They point to the illusion that as society frees itself from the religious strongholds of the archaic past, utopia may actually be well within its grasp! I couldn’t disagree more.

Man without God is in a dangerous and hopeless state. We are not innately good but at our inner core selfish and depraved. We are all men and women in the desperate need of salvation from our own broken and busted souls which without a miraculous heart change can only begat a legacy of more death and destruction.

Now more than ever, if the U.S. is to survive the future without bankrupting its very soul, this country needs to get back to its moral base which is only found in its willingness to identify with a living faith. I am not talking about a weak cultural ceremonially assent to God. I am talking about citizens becoming people willing to follow God no matter what the cost. This means doing life the way the Lord would do it if he was still here walking through these neighborhoods with us. And at the core of this lifestyle is to become those who are willing to adhere to the two greatest commandments, loving God and loving one another.

Life isn’t worth the energy it takes unless you are willing to give it away. He who wants to gain it all for himself will eventually forfeit the true treasure. Eternal paradise is promised only when one humbly lays his very being down at the throne of the King of Creation.

As we watch the news of what is becoming a regular occurrence, terrorist groups beheading men and women because their hatred dictates such behavior, I can only wonder if we are going backwards rather than forwards in our ways of dealing with those who are different than us. True faith stands up against murder and fights for those who are being unnecessarily and unjustly bullied. Faith that matters moves positively in the midst of the negative mess that man makes! God wants us to care for our neighbors and do something constructively for those that are being ripped apart by a deadly new world order that is only chaos carefully disguised to lead people astray.

Do something now! Allow your love for the Lord to spread beyond the church building. Get proactive. Be relevant. Look to make a difference. Take care of the widows. Look out for the fatherless. Be willing to open up an educated dialogue with someone who is now faithless and has lost their way. Bind up the broken and give hope to the deflated. While we have life and breath, let us not waste an opportunity to glorify God here below by going the distance and participating in positive practices that would make heaven smile.

This is no time to be hiding behind our stained glass windows observing only a façade of faith that denies its real power. God longs to give us the drive to passionately take and sincerely share our good news out in the highways and the byways. If the church refuses to be the living and loyal body of Christ during such a time as this, well then get ready for history to repeat itself.
Pastor Erwin Lutzer of the Moody Bible Church in Chicago, Ill. tells this sobering and haunting story recorded from an eyewitness who lived in Germany during the time of the Holocaust. The repentant gentleman shared the following: “I lived in Germany during the Nazi Holocaust. I considered myself a Christian. We heard stories of what was happening to Jews, but we tried to distance ourselves from it because what could we do to stop it.

“A railroad track ran behind our small church and each Sunday morning we could hear the whistle in the distance, and then the wheels coming over the tracks. We became disturbed when we heard the cries coming from the train as it passed by. We realized that it was carrying Jews like cattle in the cars.

“Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew that we would hear the cries of the Jews in route to a death camp. Their screams tormented us. We knew the time the train was coming, and when we heard the whistle blow, we began singing hymns. By the time the train came past our church, we were singing at the top of our voices. If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more.”

And then the eyewitness shared with Pastor Lutzer, “Although years have passed, I still hear the train whistle in my sleep. God forgive me, forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians and yet did nothing to intervene.”

Every one of us who say with our lips that we long to follow in our Lord’s footsteps will sooner or later come to the crossroads where we will be asked to prove that we have each taken up our cross for the road we have been called to walk. This step in our relationship with God can often be intimidating and cause us to chicken out rather than soar majestically like the eagle God promises us that we can be!

The Western (or American) church needs to get over itself and begin to focus on being salt and light to the perishing world and compromising culture outside the walls of the fortress. Our greatest challenge is to shine our light right smack dab in the darkness. Who will speak up for those that have no voice? Who will be ready to stand for those that have no choice? And will we be willing to lay our life on the line so that others might learn how to live?

Yes friends, it can and will happen again but it doesn’t have to go ignored on our watch! Let’s become recklessly abandoned to the God we say we serve and keep our eyes wide open and look for ways that we can snatch a fellow sojourner from falling into a pit.

As Esther so eloquently said when she was challenged to risk her own skin to save the likes of those around her, “If I perish, I perish!” If I live only as a coward, it will be an empty existence to say the least! And if I have the audacity to sing praise songs at an increased volume just to buffer the shrieking cries of my fellow kin drowning in the seas all around me, shame on me!

One thing is for sure – we would not warrant the privilege of calling ourselves The Lighthouse Church anymore! We would have to change our name to the Blind and Deaf Club! God wants to sing over us the music that matters most. Oh Lord, save us from being that callous and that cautious. When that train of lives being trashed approaches us, dear God, help us to be willing to do all that we can to change the course of history!



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