Sunday, May 13, 2012

Compassion for the Lost?

Compassion for the Lost?

Lk.13:34 - O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

Lk.19:41 - And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

Jerusalem was the city of peace. It was the place of the Temple where Jesus had been circumcised. It had a long and glorious heritage before God, and was included in many, many prophecies. But when Jesus saw Jerusalem, he saw a city given over to idols and traditions and a self serving lifestyle that ignored God. In fact, they had killed God’s prophets and now enjoyed a religious construct that grieved the heart of God.

Jesus laments over their condition, and in fact weeps over their sin and their hard heartedness.

In this day of rebellion and sin, I have often suggested that our hearts be broken before God concerning the sin of the people around us. And when the blind sinners endorse that which is at odds with God’s will, we should feel some compassion for their hard hearts. We as believers, must share the gospel of the Lord Jesus through tear stained cheeks. If indeed they do not repent and believe on Christ, they will be lost eternally.

But I have had to begin to moderate the comments here on my blog because of the many nasty comments about sinners. Some who profess to know Christ blast all sorts of sinners, and berate me for even suggesting we view sinners with compassion. Some say that since God chooses who He will save, to feel sympathy for sinners is not God’s will. Some suggest that these sinners deserve what they will get. Some call down the wrath of God upon those who do not know Christ and who embrace that which God has called sin.

Abomination, condemnation, and destruction are but a few of the words some use concerning lost souls. Their words contain no mercy or grace, and surely no authentic concern for the plight of the lost. They even present spurious Biblical arguments against any feelings of compassion for the lost. It is most disturbing and as you can see from the example of our Savior, it goes against the heart of God.

Where have we gone astray and where is the ax head of His heart? Why have we become so familiar with condemnation and we treat compassion as a stranger? We embrace the phrase “Some save with fear” and reject the phrase “and some with compassion”. Our hearts have become like stone with a cold and lifeless theology etched upon its surface. The world lies in the wicked one and yet we stand along side he who condemns.

We wait for the next demonstration of a fallen heart and when it appears we pounce upon it like a lioness upon a wildebeest. We climb the pedestal of moral self righteousness and only make a hollow genuflect toward the gospel. We who stand and live only by His grace, preach Moses to a generation who need Jesus. There is no excuse for doctrinal hubris and for mouths that condemn rather than share the message of redemption. If we cannot give our lips for the lost, we surely will not give our lives. This entire culture has come to believe the church is a collection of moral policemen who not only run to and fro with moral judgment, but who also enjoy the fruits of a capitalist and hedonist society. In essence, they see us as hypocrites.

Where are our tears? Do we weep over our own powerless exhibition of Christ? Do we ever weep at all over the plight of the lost and their carefree spirit while on their way to eternal doom? We weep when our beloved dogs die, but our eyes are dry when lost sinners perish? How can that even be called Christianity? Oh dear God, we slumber while proclaiming we are awake.

Every year brings new revelations of just how far the western church has strayed. But this year the church has taken a giant step of self righteousness. There is no pathos, and doctrine has become an ecclesiastical Dagon. Our exhibition of Christ is written in statements of faith, but our lives are loyal to economics, politics, and well orchestrated bouts of moral outrage. Redemption is a doctrine. Humility is a doctrine. Mercy is a doctrine. Grace is a doctrine. Prayer is a doctrine. These are dead, lifeless doctrines that soothe the conscience and live in theologies but are dead in practice.

And now the devil has hoodwinked the church into chasing after political footballs rather than praying for God’s power in us. The same sex marriage question has quickly become the outrage du jour in the church. Yesterday millions of gay people were living together and having unbiblical relations with each other. But now, since the kingdom of darkness desires to call that relationship a “marriage”, the church runs to the front with self righteous indignation. And it is no secret how the church has “honored” the sanctity of marriage.

But the kingdom of darkness needs light. They are already condemned, not because some are gay, but because they have not believed upon the only begotten Son of God. This is not a moral tug of war or a struggle for the preservation of a nation. This is a battle for the souls of men and the war is in the spirit not the flesh. And if we can watch sinners with disgust and without a glimpse of emotional concern for their eternal souls, then we are arbiters of the ministry of death and not living epistles of the ministry of Christ.

The world needs Living Water but the church continues to hit them over the head with empty buckets. Put down these carnal weapons of death, and pick up the banner of Christ. Be clothed with humility, and speak words seasoned with salt. Have redemptive patience with those who are dead in trespasses and sins, and remember from whence you have come. There is coming a day of damnation that is beyond our ability to even comprehend. It will be a day of eternal horror as the wrath of God is poured out upon all who are still in their sins. It is coming.

But we have been called to work in the field and to help pluck many from destruction. We are mouthpieces of His wonderful grace and witnesses of His death and resurrection. The time for damnation is in God’s hands, but the time to go into all the world and preach the gospel is our commission. Do we desire to gather the sinners as a loving hen gathers her chicks? Cast your eyes upon the most demonstrative and repulsive gay person. Do you love that person with the love inherent in the cross of Christ? Can you find any tears for their soul? Or do your heart and lips ascribe judgment, condemnation, and a visceral hatred toward him and his sin? In a courtroom, the prosecutor and the defense attorney can never be the same person. It is impossible to accuse and intercede simultaneously.

Therefore, you must decide who you will be and what you will do. Will you contend for their souls, or will you condemn their sin? Will you fight for their salvation, or fight for the culture? Will you be Moses to them, or will you be Jesus? You only have one mouth and one heart.

13 comments:

Lori Alexander said...

Don't you think we should speak out against sin, however, in all forms? Yes, marriage among Christians is pathetic. I speak about that all the time encouraging women to really love their husbands. I have seen many arriages improve and become solid. I sense a need to speak out against gay marriage because it is against what God wants. I try to speak out against all evil while reminding believers to love the homosexual.

Rick Frueh said...

Yes, Lori, we should speak and teach about sin within the church. How can the blind see? The epistles were written to the church, and all the references about sin were to teach and perfect the church.

I contend that our tongues should share the gospel to the lost. Our calling is not to confront the kingdom of darkness and their warped sense of mraolity. Our calling is to preach Christ crucifed and resurrected.

Full Gospel Now said...

Those doing the judging and condemning may find themselves on the receiving end of the Lord's judgement they so wish for the sinner. The Pharisees thought they had it all wrapped up too. We won't be seeing any of them in the Kingdom either.

Anonymous said...

Amen and Amen. Thank you Jesus for this good word.

Lori Alexander said...

My concern is that so many Christians think gay marriage is okay. We are called to rebuke, encourage and exhort each other with Truth so I guess that is my target audience...Christians who need to understand God's ways and walk in obedience to them. I was getting my hair cut the other and got into a discussion about health care with my very leftist learning hair stylist. It could have easily turned into an argument but I realized I wanted her to see Jesus in me,not whether socialized health care was a good thing or not!

Rick Frueh said...

Yes. We need to correct believers. But also remind ourselves that regardless of what the kingdom of darkness does, they need Jesus.

shannon said...

"And when the blind sinners endorse that which is at odds with God’s will, we should feel some compassion for their hard hearts. We as believers, must share the gospel of the Lord Jesus through tear stained cheeks. If indeed they do not repent and believe on Christ, they will be lost eternally."

Rick, you say, "when" the blind sinners endorse that which is at odds with God's will......

Because they are "blind", blind sinners will always endorse that which is at odds with God's will. The flesh cannot do God's will. The flesh is contrary to anything holy.
Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

shannon

Rick Frueh said...

That is a valid point, Shannon. However there are unbelievers who are against same sex marriages and also believe that homosexual behavior is wrong. Some “conservatives” agree with some Biblical morals, however some of them do not know Christ. (I.e. Romney)

Sometimes the flesh can masquerade as the Spirit, but as you correctly pointed out, the flesh cannot do God's will.

shannon said...

Rick said:

"However there are unbelievers who are against same sex marriages and also believe that homosexual behavior is wrong. Some “conservatives” agree with some Biblical morals, however some of them do not know Christ. (I.e. Romney)
Sometimes the flesh can masquerade as the Spirit, but as you correctly pointed out, the flesh cannot do God's will."

I was thinking of murder, as an example. Do you know of ANY nation/or person on earth that are for murder and do not know that this behavior is wrong? I'm not speaking of 'killing', but murder. Doesn't everyone being born into the world know that murder, homosexuality, gossip etc etc are 'wrong'? They know it's wrong, although may not label it "sin". Thinking of Cain.....he knew it was wrong to murder Abel. This conviction was exhibited by his anger, correct?
I believe 2Corinthians 11:14 is clear....."And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light."

Rick Frueh said...

"Do you know of ANY nation/or person on earth that are for murder and do not know that this behavior is wrong?"

There are many. America has legalized abortion for example. nazi Germany thought killing Jews was OK. In fact, many Muslim extremists believe murdering infidels is divinely approved.

The fallen man often accuses and excuses contrary to God's will.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lord; make us willing to be willing

Anonymous said...

Moses vs. Jesus: that is a vital distinction! Much of the culture-warrior and dominionist streams of the American church do not understand that they are preaching Moses--which ministers the curse.

The root of it all, in my opinion, is sacralism, which started with constantine. The magisterial reformation and everything from that is still sacralist.

The people of God are sojourners and strangers in this world. We are to create our--actually the Lord's-- own "culture" and community, which is a stark contrast to the institutions and systems of this world, and a witness to it.

Victoria

Anonymous said...

Amen Victoria!

Most are not grieving over their sin so that we might, by His Spirit, be prompted to offer them what we have....Hope.
They don't want to be saved from the condemnation of their sin. They don't want relief from the guilt. They don't have guilt. They love their sin.
John 3:19
We note also in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Luke 16:19-31,The rich man only sought comfort in hell. He didn't seek to be with Jesus.

Believe you are correct in your assessment. In the book of Hebrews, we note that many of the Hebrews believed Christ Jesus was indeed their long-awaited Messiah. This doesn't mean they were saved. Because they saw the persecution of the the Hebrew Christians, they feared and made decision to not follow Christ, instead preferring the religious sacrificial system they had been used to. Doing 'works' of religion we don't suffer persecution. Following Christ Jesus brings persecution. John 15:18-21

Those who are saved are enduring until the end.
shannon