Sunday, July 19, 2015

Calling sinners to repentance

Photo courtesy of Thomas roberts

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32 N.K.J.V 

Recently I was on a facebook page in support of some Christian bakers who have run afoul of the politically correct ideology that now seems to control America. 

As I was scrolling through the comments I came across one that ran something to the effect that Jesus would accept-and possibly even embrace- homosexuality. This person went on to chide the folks involved for not being loving and accepting like Jesus was.

I was a bit dumbfounded. I find it hard to believe Jesus would condone something that the Hebrew scripture-our Old Testament-explicitly condemned.

In Leviticus 18:22-26 the Bible calls the practice of homosexuality an "abomination" and goes so far as to say the inhabitants of a land that practices such things will be punished. Furthermore Jesus said that He had come to fulfill this very law and not to destroy it.

In fact He said that not one word,or smallest bit of punctuation, would pass from the law. Indeed Jesus went so far as to say anyone who taught other people to disobey God's laws would be called "least" in the Kingdom of heaven!

So where do people get this idea that somehow Jesus would approve of or accept the homosexual lifestyle? I think they confuse Jesus love for sinners-all sinners-for acceptance and maybe even approval. To say the least these things are controversial.

Jesus was no stranger to controversy. In the passage I opened this article with Jesus faced criticism for dining with "tax collectors and sinners". 

The Pharisees,who considered themselves quite righteous in their own eyes, could not understand how a person professing to be a teacher of God's Word could stoop so low as to hob knob with such riffraff.

However Jesus associating and visiting the tax collectors and sinners did not mean He approved of what they were doing. On the contrary Jesus pointed out that healthy people didn't need doctors sick people do. 

Jesus obviously considered sin to be a spiritual sickness and He-as the great physician-had come to heal them. He was spending time with these folks not because he approved of what they were doing, but because he knew they needed to be saved from what they were doing.

I argued that Jesus had  spent time with tax collectors and sinners in order to confront them with their sin and to tell them that there was,and still is, a better way. 

You see Jesus loved-not only homosexuals but all who sin-so much that he died on a cross, bearing their punishment, taking their shame, so that they could, through believing in Him,be set free from the bondage of sin in general and homosexuality in particular. 

You see Jesus loves sinners but he hates sin. He hates the destruction, and confusion that sin wrecks upon peoples lives. Jesus doesn't just hate the sin of homosexuality but the sin of lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, fornication etc etc .

So are Christian bakers or florists or anyone who refuses to take part in a "Gay" wedding showing hate and intolerance? No! they obviously feel strongly that -for them- it would be wrong to participate in the celebration of  something that is -by Biblical standards-wrong.

The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That the wages of sin is death, but, that the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He came to call sinners to repentance. 

Today Jesus is calling homosexuals to repent-turn away from -their sin and come to Him. In return He will heal them and free them from the bondage their sin keeps them in. And not only homosexuals but heterosexuals who have problems with adultery 

Jesus is calling liars and thieves and drunkards to cry out to Him for salvation. Jesus is calling people who are righteous in their own eyes to realize their sinfulness and turn to Him and be saved. 

In short Jesus is calling to all mankind to turn to Him and be saved. Saved from sin ,saved from their own self delusion, but most importantly, to be saved from the wrath and anger of a righteous and Holy God against such sins.

So you may ask what must I do to be saved? If you will confess that you are a sinner, be sorry for your sin and turn from sin to Jesus Christ,accept Jesus as Lord of your life,and believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead, then the Bible says you will be saved. It is simple as that.

Jesus did not come to pat us on the back and approve of our sins. He came to make us conscious of our sins and to provide the way for us to be saved from them, and He did it out of love. What we do with this knowledge is up to us. 

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