Right after the election, things were a little crazy. I wrote this in response, to all of my fellow Christians. Please, don't be silent.
We live in a horrible world. A world where good is called evil and evil is called good. A broken, sinful, depraved world that does not deserve redemption. Though it was not created that way, we as human beings decided to play God and so we fell from God’s grace. And the consequence of our disobedience, of our willing participation in our forefather Adam’s sin, is this: the world. We are all sinful to the core, unwilling to give God glory and praise for His goodness and instead blaming him for all of the things we’ve caused.
Bad things don’t happen in the world because God is immoral. Bad things happen because God is moral. God is just. And there are consequences for breaking His commands. The broken world we live in is our birthright, the world we have shaped with our depravity and the world that we deserve in our wickedness.
That is the beginning of the Gospel. And yeah, that sounds pretty bad. But it makes the next part all the sweeter.
You see God did not leave us in this hopeless cycle of sin and death. God had a plan. A promise. Even before we fell, He had planned how He would catch us. And so He sent His son, Jesus Christ, fully God and yet fully man in a wonderfully divine yet humbly human representation and example of what it meant to follow the Father’s will.
First, He lived. Christ lived on the Earth as a man, yet He did not sin. He gave us an example to follow and showed us that though we, on our own, can never measure up to perfection, God can. And He did. For us.
He showed us how to live, not only by giving us a new definition of the word love, but exemplifying it for us in everything that he did. Love was not a feeling. Love was not a mere acceptance, or tolerance, or agreement with someone. Love was a constant war, waged for the good of your neighbor and your brother. Love was a fight for their salvation, a fight for their life, and a laying down of your own, if that was what it took. Love was discipleship and accountability, a genuine concern and the action that derives from that overwhelming concern to save a person from themselves and show them the way to go. Love hurt. Love bled. But love, Jesus showed us, could not be given, unless it was God who loved first.
And so he did. Christ showed us that unless a love for God the Father that overwhelmed everything else—that took our body, mind, heart, soul, and strength—was the foundation of our very being…then love was false. A mere shadow. Worse, a deepening blackness that pretended at concern while remaining ultimately selfish. Love was given by God. And no other.
And then, in the ultimate act of love and the focal point of the story of redemption, Christ died. He traded his perfection, his righteousness, his sinlessness for us. He bore the wrath that we deserved, and in the process, secured for us definite and amazing salvation from our wicked desires and the consequences of chasing after them. All of our sin was placed in Him. And in that moment, Christ felt the pain and the wickedness and the horrible reality of every bit of human history that had ever been or ever would be. And he took his last breath, with the joy set before him, the redemption of His people, reverberating through every part of Him.
And then, Christ lived again. And this, this wonderful and amazing glory, that sin and death had been conquered, was made manifest. The power of sin had been broken. The consequence of sin, death, had been removed. And all those who called on the name of the Lord would be saved.
Israel was reborn. But not as a physical nation. As a spiritual one. A people of fire and holiness. A people bought with the blood of Jesus and kept in righteousness by that same, beautiful sacrifice. A people that would bring glory to God throughout the ages, that would make the world echo with his praises. Christian, you are a chosen son or daughter of the living God. And the world desperately needs to hear the message of salvation. We are a nation of individuals. But we are not an earthly nation. We do not fight with swords. We fight with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We do not war with flesh and blood, but against the power of sin and death, tools the enemy holds so cleverly in his hand. But remember, we do not rule this kingdom. Though we belong to it, and we can call it our own, we do not get to decide what its agenda is. Our kingdom has a king. And that king is wonderful and perfect and righteous. That king calls us to join His work of redemption and to go out into the world and make disciples of all earthly nations, bringing them into the glorious kingdom of Christ.
We live in this broken world. But we are not alone. And we have a mission. Our mission is to share the Gospel. Our mission is to preach God’s Word. Our mission is to love each other and unite with one mind as we press onward. To desire that all people come to Christ, and to diligently act on that desire.
In this broken world, we need to preach the Gospel. Preach it with fire and purity of heart. We need self-sacrificial love. We need Christ’s love, not our own.
We don’t need more fingers pointed. We don’t need more people blamed. Unless we point to our sin, and blame our lack of repentance.
We don’t need more laws drafted. We don’t need more policies changed. Unless we first change our hearts, and fall in love with God’s law.
We don’t need more white guilt. We don’t need self-deprecating shame. Unless it points us to the core of our problem, that all of us are fallen and sinful.
We don’t need more doom-saying. We don’t need more “kingdom came, then it went.” What we need is to worry less about our safety, less about our neighbor’s privilege. Less about hate-filled tolerance, less about nominal Christianity.
We need to worry more about the Gospel, and why we’re not preaching it.
With words, not just with actions. Actions speak louder than words but actions speak loudest when the message is clear, and words are necessary for that.
Those words are important. And those words should be spoken.
But we should speak softly.