This week the Virginia Tech called a convocation in the aftermath of the massacre in which 32 were killed. Four speakers represented the religious community. The first was a Muslim, the second a Buddhist, the third a Jewess and the third a Lutheran. (I refer to him as a Lutheran and not a Christian on purpose). The selection of the speakers must have taken considerable thought in the light of the fact that their messages could make a huge difference to still the anger, sorrow and confusion of those assembled, but also because the convocation would be broadcast across the world and be seen by millions.
For any true Christian this was a wonderful opportunity to minister hope to those who were despairing and to tell the world that we have a living Savior who promised eternal life to those who would put their trust in Him. And, that this promise was guaranteed because Jesus rose from the dead.
I find it interesting that the Muslim was selected to speak first and the “christian” last when the official statistics claim that 76.5% of Americans are “christian”, 1.3% follow Judaism, .87% are Buddhist and .5% are Muslim. So we have become so politically correct that the majority have to yield to the minority. In dictatorships, it is common for the minority to dictate to the majority but in a democracy one would expect the opposite to prevail.
The Muslim Quoted from the Quran, the Buddhist spoke about the good of mankind and the Jewish woman spoke about “God” and referred to Ecclesiastes. Then the “christian” spoke. He referred to the New Testament and to Jesus as the resurrection and the life and the fact that Christianity is the only faith that can offer real hope – right? Wrong! He never mentioned the name of Jesus or Christ. He did not quote one verse from the Bible or even mention the Bible. Worst of all, he said nothing about our hope, the resurrection, eternal life or any other part of the Christian message. If it were not for his “back-to-front” collar you may have thought he was a politician, plumber or psychologist! To crown it all, his denomination is very proud of him and features the story on the homepage of their website, complete with a transcript and audio recording of the message. (http://www.thelutheran.org/news/ )
Then off course, there are the many “christian ministers” who open city council and other public meetings in prayer to “the generic, one-size-fits-all god”. The only difference between these and the speaker at Virginia Tech is the size of the audience. They all have been cowered into a position of compromise and denial. That is, if they ever had believed or known the glorious name of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are more concerned about being accepted by their Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish and Pagan brothers than being accepted by the Son of God. They have all forgotten that it was He who said: “whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33). They all follow in the footsteps of the Peter who denied the Lord. They all deserve to hear the crow of the rooster and the look of hurt and disappointment of the very One they choose to disassociate with. One can only pray that they will, like Peter, have a change of heart.
If the “leaders” fail to lead in the stand for the Gospel, then what can we expect from the followers. Allow me to plead with you, never to be intimidated into denying the Lord who bought us. The last 2,000 years has produced a long line of men and women who have chosen death rather than denying the Lord. In fact, no true believer could ever deny Him, no matter how great the threat of being shunned, tortured or killed. And what should we say about those who deny Him, not to escape martyrdom, but to curry favor with those who hate our Lord? But worse of all, how can a .5% minority intimidate a 76.5% majority?
Christian, we have the most wonderful faith of all. Christianity is the only religion that is a relationship and not a religion. Jesus is the only leader who died for His followers. We are the only ‘religion” whose Leader rose from the dead. We are the only ones that have a guarantee of sins forgiven, resurrection and eternal life. We are the only ones whose scriptures can be proven to be the inspired Word of God (Jews deny the best part of the Bible). No other religion can offer any of these things. Their leaders all remain dead, their scriptures are man-written, contradictory and contain no proof of divine inspiration. They cannot promise eternal life and have no assurance of a resurrection. Why should we be ashamed of the only living and true faith? Yes, it does exclude those who do not believe on the Lord Jesus, but it is not we who restricted membership. Jesus made it exclusive when He said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. “ (John 14:6). But then, only One who rose from the dead has the right to make such a claim.
Don’t be brow-beaten into feeling ashamed of our Hope, faith and wonderful Lord. If Muslims can boldly speak and die for a book of contradictions and a leader who was a crook, robber, adulterer and murderer, then we can speak with more boldness of the Glorious Son of God who laid down His life for us and who rose on the third day with healing in His wings and Who is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High. But maybe many of us do not really believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be and so we are hesitant to defend something we are not sure about. Maybe some of us have been conditioned by the world’s propaganda to doubt the One and Only True God and the infallible Word of God. Maybe the lies of antichrist has convinced some of us that there are other ways to god and that we all worship the same god and we are all his children anyway.
It’s time for you to decide what you believe and to nail your colors to the mast. Quit trying to sit on the fence. We once again need an Elijah who will cry: “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” (1Kings 18:21); or a Moses who called “who is on the LORD’S side?” (Exodus 32:26). We need the power of the Holy Spirit that transformed Peter to empower and transform us. We need a church that will boldly stand and declare the truth.
“I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us–eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.” (1John 2:21-26)