What do we do in times like this? The world seems to be out of control – its fragile balance being overturned by the actions of a few dozen people right here in Gainesville. How do we as Christians respond? This matters a great deal to me: not only because I am a Christian, but because I hate to see Jesus misrepresented to the nations when he loves the nations! Also, September 11 is my birthday. After praying and searching the scriptures and talking to other believers, I think our reaction should have 3 elements:
- Realize that provoking people is not the answer: Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matt 5:44) ” NOT “hate other people so that they notice you and then believe in me.” We should love our enemies – this applies even to the people who flew the planes into the towers in 2001. How much more people who just have the same religion!
- Do not be ashamed of the gospel: the answer is not to repudiate Christ in order to distance yourself from the extreme and provocative position of Dove World Outreach. Christians believe that “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his son” (Romans 5:10). Jesus claimed “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Just because Jesus is being misrepresented doesn’t mean He isn’t the only way to be reconciled to God.
- Pray that God would be glorified: Ezekiel 38:23 says, “And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.” He has already garnered the attention of many nations and He is sovereign. He is absolutely in control of the situation. Pray that He would use it to proclaim the true message of the gospel: that He loved so much that he gave his only Son to die that anyone who believes might have life. Pray that the nations would know that He is the Lord.
To anyone, whether Christian or non-Christian, this is what God says to you:
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David. (Isaiah 55:1-3)
28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30)
God longs for you to come to Him. He loves you. He is on your side. He sent Jesus to die for you. All he asks is that you believe. Don’t forget the truth.
“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”