Thursday, May 24, 2012

Two Demographics

Two Demographics

If you follow this political season, even as a spectator with no real interest other than its entertainment value, you will hear about demographics. How is this particular candidate doing among the blacks or the Latinos or among white women. And when the candidate sees that he is trailing among a certain demographic, he attempts to massage his message in order to appeal to that particular group and take the rough edges over any issue they would find objectionable. You might call it the Osteen way!

But to us who believe God’s Word and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, there are only two demographics - lost and saved. Before 1975 I had never heard the terms “lost or saved” in a religious context. I had never heard the term “born again” either. Of course those terms are becoming more and more out of vogue and antiquated within the hip evangelical community. The material universe is now more important than the afterlife, and many dinosaurs like me are criticized for emphasizing the eternal.

And when we point out the hollowness of politics or the idolatry of nationalism, we are accused of practicing a form of piety. I must plead to a level of guilt if piety means an elevation of the cross and resurrection and the redemption of Christ over all else. But I am sort of a paradox. I believe in abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, and yet I do not make those moral laws. I believe that homosexual behavior is a sin, and yet I believe gays can be redeemed with less than a perfect moral exhibition. I believe that the Scriptures are God’s infallible Word, and yet I do not embrace the vicious battles over inerrancy. I believe Christ created everything, but I cannot be imprisoned by the 24 hour creation day.

So in essence, I believe Christ and His gospel are over all other issues and that the exclusive gospel message must have its rightful place and passion. Christ will not share His glory with any moral issue, and denomination, any nation, or any famous preacher. And in that vein there are only two kingdoms - the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. I believe there are only two places in eternity for every soul, and where that souls spends eternity is solely based upon his relationship or lack thereof with Christ.

Please do not take your eyes off of Christ in this political season. The pottage of fallen politics will seek to rob you of the glory of your spiritual birthright. It is full of sound and fury but signifying nothing. It only mentions Christ to gain votes. Its lips sometimes draw near but its heart is far from Christ. It seeks to classify people according to voting blocks, and it tailors its message according to its audience. It gobbles up and spends obscene amounts of money in an unvarnished attempt to bend people’s minds and leverage their allegiance.

II Cor.5:14-20 - For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ…

The world knows each other in the flesh and according to its designs. But we know each other in the Spirit, and we look upon the whited fields with spiritual eyes of redemption. We have been made new and we are supposed to be continually becoming new. There is no time to walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the company of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful. The entire world lies in the wicked one and we have been called to the ministry of reconciliation. The nations will one day be burned away, but only that which is in Christ will live in eternity under His glory.

Only Christ can reconcile a lost soul unto God, and only through faith in His redemptive work can a soul be saved. We are not liberals or conservatives, and we are not Republicans or Democrats, and we are not black, white or Latino. We are ambassadors for Christ and for Him alone we live. Have we so quickly forgotten His pain and suffering? Have we lost sight of the blood and gore He endured? Are we now too sophisticated to preach the cross? Do we now operate by our own intellect and not by His Word?

Resist being swept in by the undertow of the carnal carnival. Surrender your whole heart and do daily sentry duty to resist the clever attacks of the enemy and the machinations of our own wandering minds.

Ti.2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

In the end, and for all eternity, there will be only two demographics. A redeemed people with Christ, and a lost people in hell. Those are the facts. I do not delight in the plight of the lost, and I will not have deserved or earned my place with Him.

Halleluiah to the Lamb of Glory!

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