“If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.” Isa. 7:9
Our youth Pastor, Brad Hackett preached the service last Sunday. His was a hard message about repentance and the hardest verse to read in the Bible.
At the beginning of his pastoral chat he made a prediction. 2016 will be a year when many people will have to make a decision to truly make Jesus Lord and begin obeying Him or forsake Him altogether.
He’s not wrong. There was a time when Christians could just sort of blend in. Our culture and our faith were close enough in appearance that being a Christian and being a non-Christian were not that different in terms of behavior. Most people, Christian and non-Christian thought things like abortion, sex before marriage, living together, homosexuality, rebellion in teenagers were bad things, problems for society. Most people, Christian and non-Christian thought sexual purity was a thing to be honored, life was a thing to be valued and marriage was a valuable and essential aspect of society.
Have you noticed Christians don’t blend so well anymore? When you say something like “Living together before marriage is an ungodly choice.” or “Homosexuality is listed as a sin in the Bible.” You might as well say,”I would really like it if you would just hate me and ostracize me from polite society.”
Listen, I am not much for focusing on people’s sins. I believe we ought to focus more on bringing them to Jesus, but the truth of the matter is the latter leads to the former every time and folks are coming to the place where they are not just down on our moral choices they are down on the God we serve. Jesus is OK as long as He is just a friend, buddy or acquaintance, but when He starts asking to be Lord, well that’s where many in our society are starting to get off the band wagon.
In such an atmosphere Christians are learning that if we are to stand at all we must stand firm or we won’t stand at all. We are given less and less wiggle room in this world where license is lauded and Christianity is considered more of a scandal than a faith. The world may hate us for it but they need to see a faith that will do two things: Stand firm and Stand firm lovingly.
So as 2016 approaches let me encourage you to first stay sweet. Don’t let the morality slide of our culture turn you into a hate mongerer BUT stand firm. Don’t let anyone shame you for taking a stand for holiness. Be kind in your convictions. Be loving in your convictions. Be biblical in your convictions. In doing those things you will stand firm.