By Michael Sherrard
Will you go? Will you do more than just learn? Will you act upon your desire to persuade others that Jesus is the messiah? You need to wrestle with this. You need to decide if you are going to be one that takes our Lord’s mercy and grace to others or be one that hoards it for yourself. I am going to plead here for an active style of evangelism. Christianity is a going religion, not a sitting one. We don’t wait for the world to come to us. We go.
We don’t rest upon the grace of Jesus and use it as a cushion for our pews. We don’t cherish the love of God wrapping ourselves in it while we look out our window and watch people freeze to death. We are not the ones who gather on Sunday to have our church leaders stick pacifiers in our mouth and rock us to sleep singing soft easy words into our ear.
Or are we?
It seems some troubling trends exist in the West and weak brand of Christianity has arisen. Is it merely enough to sing about the wonderful cross rather than pick it up? Is it right to jump from church to church seeking one to “feed you” as we neglect those truly hungry? The luxury of prosperity and freedom has made us soft and selfish, I think. We view our religion as an end to itself. Church programs seek to build more church programs as we hire more staff to support them. “Bring the world to us,” we think. And as churches grow in size, the Christian voice becomes fainter and fainter in the West. Our impact is greatly disproportionate to our size. It seems that our religion is for us and our good alone. The rest can go to hell.
But let this not be so any longer. Sin is ruining lives. It is causing much great pain. The world is seeking peace and rest, and they are not finding it. For true rest and peace come from Jesus and Him alone. It is only the forgiveness of sins that brings rest. We know this.
We have witnessed sin tear families apart. We have seen sin hurt our children. We have experienced the deceitful nature of sin. We all have at one time taken sin’s yoke thinking that it brings a light load filled with peace and joy. We all once learned from another master, one who is not gentle or humble and found his yoke very heavy. We have seen firsthand the folly of sin. We have run from Jesus thinking that we would find freedom. We took what we thought to be an easy road only to find that it was filled with step hills, and mud, and hidden roots, and slippery rocks, and a perilous cliff that beckoned us to our death.
Though we have witnessed sin’s power, many have become desensitized to sin’s ruination. Christians can get locked in their own subculture and forget the devastating nature of sin. Those that have faithfully abided in Christ and obeyed his teaching have been blessed and protected from much of the hurt that is out there. It is hard to remember the depth of pain from a previous life when filled with joy and peace. And this is good. I am glad that faithfully following Jesus results in a wellness. I am grateful for joy and peace in Christ and the freedom found therein. Further, I am glad knowing that my holiness protects my children from gratuitous pain. Surely it does not preclude all pain. But following the Lord avoids the worst kind of pain, pain brought forth by your own stupid, foolish sin. In my blessed state, I cannot forget the land from where I was delivered nor those that still remain.
I must go.
Michael C. Sherrard