I've begun to realize how laid back most of us are about Christianity and evangelism. How many times have I heard someone say "You shouldn't force your beliefs down someone else's throat." It's a common phrase and, up til now, I believed it.
Okay. So I haven't completely decided that the time has come to shove God's message down people's throats... but in a sense, we should be doing just that.
Think of school. Science. Social. Math. When the teacher tells you, "2 + 2 = 4," he's telling you. He's not sharing his personal opinion. He's stating a fact. I've never heard another student contradict the instructor with his/her own thoughts such as, "Well, actually, I've come to the conclusion that sometimes, 2+2 can equal 5. I don't agree with what you said." Yeah, we know better. Math is logical. It's constant. It's obvious that 2+2 cannot equal 5.
When the teacher corrects the student, he'll try to convince them that they are wrong. They may simply state, "No, 2+2=4 and that's final." Or, they may give examples and come up with solid proof. Never will you hear a legitimate math teacher say, "Well, that's what you believe and I'll respect that point of view." Nu-uh, no way. They would be fired if they let each student believe what he or she wanted to. It's not the way mathematics works.
Nor is it the way religion works. You've heard the saying, "All roads lead to Rome." For starters, that saying is a lie. All roads do not lead to Rome, because they actually lead somewhere else. It's the same with religion, with one variable. All roads lead to hell, except for one. The narrow path.
That may have sounded harsh, but it's the truth. Let's look back to that math teacher. If he is doing his job correctly, he will tell the student why he/she is wrong, and will mark that question wrong on their test if they continue to put '5' as the sum of 2+2. Wouldn't you say that's a little pushy? Why should he have the right to force what he believes down that student's throat? They should have the right to choose what they believe, and be respected, not criticized.
Do you see how foolish that is? I'm beginning to realize how much I've been thinking of religion in that way. I know that Jesus is the only way to God, but I've been allowing for others to speak of their beliefs as if it's true. I have fallen to agreeing with the lie that says, "Let people believe whatever they want to. Don't judge." Okay... but that isn't what we're here on earth for.
Jesus knew the Truth. He was the Truth. He didn't go around teaching for nothing! He rebuked those who were incorrect! He corrected those who had the wrong idea. He taught the TRUTH. He didn't say, "This is what I know, but you don't have to believe it. No pressure. Do what you want and we'll leave you alone, it's your life." What would be the point of His mission to earth if that's what He did? No.
We, as Christians, are starting to treat religion as an English assignment. (Yes, this came to mind today due to the vast amount of English homework I have....) In Language Arts, you can earn full marks for your answers as long as you defend them with why you said what you said. Did you like the book? Why, or why not? As long as you have good reason, any answer is correct. An English teacher cannot force you to love a certain book just because they love it.
I have been stuck in the mindset that religion is just like that when, in reality, it's math class. It doesn't matter if you believe that you will come back as a cow in the next life. It doesn't matter if you believe that your good works will get you to heaven. It doesn't matter if you believe that your ancestors will answer your prayers. It doesn't matter if you believe that rubbing Buddha's belly will give you good luck. It doesn't matter if you think that 2+2=5. It doesn't matter, because it's wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I can imagine the initial reaction to that statement I just made. *Gasp!* "Who does she think she is? She can't force her beliefs down other people's throats!" No. I can't. Neither can I sit back and allow you to think that without trying to show the world the truth.
Do you see? We are Christ's ambassadors. His representatives. His children. We aren't simply His fan club that sticks together and stays away from anyone who doesn't like Him. Where did He go? Into the houses of the nonbelievers. What did He tell them? The truth. And it made them uncomfortable. Imagine that. Why did He do what He did? Because it was the only way to save them from eternal suffering.
We need to start realizing how important this mission of ours is. We can't be silent about what we know is true. Look at people worshipping other gods in other parts of the world. They don't even know the truth, but they're still following what they believe more than we are! There are stories of Islamic or Muslim people who kill their own family members because they turn away from what their family said was true. These are people who take what they believe in seriously. Very seriously. And the sad thing is, it's all for naught!
We are the ones who actually have the Truth and, yet, we are the ones sitting on our behinds, watching the world fall to the Father of Lies. We are the ones who are supposed to be sharing the key to eternal life, but we are the ones waiting around, too shy to speak up about it. We are the ones who have the One True King living inside of us, but we are the ones who've decided that it's okay for others to believe whatever they want to, even if it's not true. It's not okay!
Yeah, people won't appreciate us standing up for our faith and telling the world that they're wrong and we're right. They'll hate us for it. But they hated Jesus, too. People will think we are being rude and imposing. But what's the reward? The ones that listen. The ones that accept Christ. If I can at least share salvation with one single soul, then listening to the rest of the world's hatred will definitely be worth it.
Matthew 10:22 ~
You will be hated by everyone because of me,
but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
John 15:18-19 ~
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is,
you do NOT belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world!
That is why the world hates you.
What do you value more? Being God's chosen messenger, or being loved by the world? You can only do one at a time. If the world loves you and appreciates you, you're probably not doing the most important job you'll ever have. You're not imitating Christ. Jesus did what was right and perfect every moment of His life, and it got him killed. That's called radical living.
The truth will make people uncomfortable. Deal with it. It's better than burning in hell for eternity. We are not of this world, so stop pretending to be! Stand up! Make a change! Be the change! Follow Christ. Don't make Christ only visible to the believers. Make others notice Him too! Through words, through example, through actions.
Through love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There's no law against it! That's how Jesus spread the message. And even though those are all perfect things, the world still hated Him for it. So if it hates you for those reasons, take heart. You're storing up your treasure in heaven, and following Christ's example even when it hurts.
2+2=4. There's no way around it. It's time we start finding the lost and teaching them the only true answer. It's a ONE WAY sign.
Live it LOUD!