Madmen and Evil
I awoke this morning to news of a tragedy that had occurred overnight. A madman had gone on a rampage that only could be carried out at the hands of unthinkable evil, and forty-nine people besides himself suddenly went out into eternity. Fifty souls for which Jesus died. Fifty heartbroken families. And I cry with them and for them.
Now before anyone goes off on me, saying that Mrs. Olszewski has gone soft on sin, let me assure you right now that this is surely not the case. I believe the Bible with all of my heart and soul. I stand against sin more now than ever before in my life, because I deal with folks every day trying to recover from the great cost of sin in their lives. The Bible teaches one man, one woman, and the purity of that relationship in marriage. That's it, sexually. Everything outside of those boundaries is sin. We could make a list. Everything else sexually. This relationship has a tremendous spiritual meaning that we cannot wrap our minds around, because marriage is our earthly illustration of a heavenly truth. Christ is the bridegroom, and we, the redeemed by the precious Blood of Jesus, are His bride. The Bible calls us the Lamb's wife. I can't even imagine what that is going to mean, but I know one thing. The sanctity of marriage by God's standards is very important to Him. You might not like that, and I pray you'll not shoot the messenger. I'm just telling you what God says. People want to pick and choose and grade the sins of others. And God has a few things to say about that, too. See this post on BIG sin. But that is not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about how we, as Christians, conduct ourselves in this very sinful world in which we live. In this nearly Godless society. Where we have removed God from almost everything, and we are experiencing the result. People living without God and His moral compass. But what strikes me today and hurts my heart more than words can say is the hatefulness and meanness that comes from some who name the name of Christ. People who count themselves to be Christians. A person identifying with Christ should emulate the One in whom he trusts, wouldn't you say? Wouldn't you think? Isn't that what it means to be a Christian? To be like Christ? Jesus told people of their sin. Plainly and without compromise. But never, ever with a mean spirit! He was never unkind. He was filled with compassion and tenderness. When Jesus confronted a person with their sin, His motive could never be in question. There was concern, mercy and charity. Jesus loved people, and they knew it. He wanted to draw all men to Himself and His wonderful gift of salvation. Matthew 7:3-5: "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." Jesus said that. Now, there's not much in life that would upset me more than having Jesus Himself calling me a hypocrite! And He clearly tells us if we are going to point out the sinfulness of another, we'd better make sure we have no sin in our own lives. Now maybe you can say that you are pure in this area, so you are good to go. Me, too. In all of my life, I have not even so much as shared an intimate kiss with anyone other than the one man with whom I've shared my life. But, wait! There is more. That would be any sin. Free from any sin? Who among us can say that? Especially in light of this: "These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood; an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19) Are you kidding me? A proud look? Listed as one of the six things that the Lord hates and are an abomination to Him? We are all guilty! We are all sinners with a big old beam in our eye! That doesn't mean that we don't tell the truth about sin. But we are to be like Christ. To tell the truth from God's Word with love and compassion. To show others the love of Christ through us. With kindness and great concern. Showing the mercy of Jesus. And pointing them to the same Saviour that we all so desperately needed. Only God's love can overcome the sinfulness of this world. Only the love of Christ can pierce the darkness. Not your mean and harsh words. The only real love that the lost will ever know is the love of Christ shown through His people. We will not win them with hatefulness. Only with love and compassion. And that not of ourselves. Only through the amazing love and compassion of our sweet Saviour. So be kind!