Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tolerance!


 11And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
 12And when ye come into an house, salute it.
 13And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
 14And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
 15Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. 

Tolerance

As a Christian teen, how are you to view the attitudes of those around you? Is it true that we all worship the same God and that we really all have the same life-goal in mind? No! Believe it or not, there are really only two views: people either believe in the God of the Bible, or they do not! That is it!

Tolerance! The word has a nice, satisfactory ring to it, does it not? We live in an "I'm OK, you're OK" world where what you do is good for you and what I do is good for me. However, is that truly the attitude that Jesus was promoting to His disciples? Is that the attitude that Christ desires to see in His church today? Is His chief concern that we do not offend one another in our zeal for being faithful to the Lord?

These are serious questions that every Christian teen needs to ponder. As we look at Matthew 10, we see that Jesus' words were not words encouraging compromise. He commanded His disciples to faithfully proclaim the message of salvation as they traveled from village to village, with a stern warning in verse 15:
Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Not only was Jesus not promoting tolerance of other views, He was warning that God, Himself would administer swift justice upon any city that rejected Him! We need to be careful that in our zeal to not offend others we do not find ourselves in the position of offending God! It is God we serve, and it is His will we must obey.

This is not a popular attitude in the world in which we live. As the world continually moves to a one-world church (and, yes, it is moving in that direction), it is not the God of the Bible who will be worshiped. It will be a god of man's invention!

These words of Christ are especially pertinent in our 21st century world. In the last decade we saw modernism creep into the church. Denominations which had faithfully proclaimed God's Word since the time of the reformation were suddenly waffling on such tenants of the faith as the virgin birth, the miracles of Christ, the atonement, and even questioning whether Jesus was any more than just a good man. 

These "new" ideas did not come in overnight, so to speak. They were brewing in these churches for decades before denominations actually split. So, we must be careful in this, the 21st century, that in our desire to be casual and to present God as the tender loving Father who is most loving and kind, we do not forget also His hatred of sin, and judgment against evil doers. Let us not redefine sin! Let us remember that it is God, and not man who defines the true meaning of sin.

God is tender, loving, and kind. However, His loving kindness is manifested in the salvation He has provided through the Lord Jesus Christ. He will not simply, "Understand and say, 'Well done!'" to those who hold other views than those presented in His Holy Word, the Bible. What, then, is sin?

Any lack of conformity against God and His laws is sin! Even one, what we may view as tiny, sin is enough to keep us from God for all eternity! God is perfect, righteous, and holy. It is not our goodness or even our earnest desire to please Christ that makes us believers. It is the shed blood of Christ, shed on our behalf that saves us. It is our going to Christ and pleading His forgiveness that brings us into a righteous state before God.

Let us not, then, in our desire to be tolerant of our culture find ourselves at odds with God, Himself. Read and study His Word; spend time in prayer and fellowship with Him. It is through the guidance of the Holy Spirit who dwells within every true believer that the truths of God's Word are revealed and understood. 

Let us, as Christian teens, be the light that shines in a sin-darkened world. By the grace of God, may our lights so shine before men that they may see the righteousness of Christ, and be moved to come to Him for salvation. There is salvation in none other than in Christ! That is the Gospel we must send to this 21st century world! Not a Gospel of tolerance, but a Gospel of God's love and holiness given to us through the death of His only Son!

God Bless You,
Linda

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