By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35, and then John continues his theme.....Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13 NKJV
I am puzzled, and not for the first time. Maybe you can help me to understand, so here is my confusion: The overriding theme of the New Testament of the Christian Gospel is love. Love for God, and the supreme love of dying for a friend. Occasionally, the news media carries the story of the extremes of the Christian faith, and the result is that we wring our hands, confess our sins and repent. We usually try to put our failings right, and we use the example of Christ to make ourselves better Christians. the problem is that church attendance in the UK is falling, and people are less likely to believe in God, as they once did. We have sad and unacceptable extremes in the Christian religion, but these are usually well reported and repentance offered.
Then the news media is also filled almost daily on Islamic extremists, or jihadists who have no scruples in taking hostages and life: that is any life (usually ‘western’) who can be used to further their cause. The ongoing situation in Africa where Muslim Islamists openly attack Christian churches, and then say that the loss of any infidel's life is worth it, and within their religious rights. All in the quest for a perfect Islamic state like Iran. You may also be familiar with the recent atrocities in Mali and Algeria where Muslim Islamist jihadists took hostages and their lives to further their aim. These people are truly terrorists in every sense of the word.
Now here is my puzzle. Why is it that the Christian faith of love, repentance and forgiveness is failing, with church numbers in decline, but the active and involved Muslim Mosque population is on the increase? I would have thought that the good base of that religion would desert in droves, so as not to be associated with terrorist activities. After all, these extremists are a very significant part of the Muslim faith group. This much I know (as far as anything can be known) if anything even close to the level of murderous activity was levelled at the door of the Christian Church, there would be very few Christians left to attend any church of any denomination.
So in a nutshell: Why does a barbaric religion grow, but a loving religion fail?
Well, I thnk first and formost we can look at Satan. At the fall, man chose himself and his own desires over the desires of God. We are the seed of that first man and woman so we have the sin seed. If we as people are left to our own devices we almost always use those devoces for evil. Many people, becasue of humanism will tell you that man is inherently good. Man is not inherently good we are inherently evil.
Christians underestimate the power of Satan. Satan and his minions will stop at nothing to destroy us all. He still thinks that he can ascend to the throne and us being human ususally submit to his lies becasue they are so, so attractive.
The world has always persecuted the church of Christ. SInce the beginning and usually during times of persecution it grew and people came to the faith. Now, with 24/7/365 news and a concerted effort by non-Christian children of Satan we are starting to push God out of everywhere.
As a result we forget, our charge: 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.19Go thereforeand make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.[
Matt 28:18-20 (NKJV) We forget to do this becauuse it is hard and we will be made fun of. My post today is about the foolishness of the cross to the world. We live in an ever increasing society that is all about me. If it feels good do it. Kind of like teh 60's and 70's but today we must add, do it if you can.
There are not enough of us, and up till now myself included, to stand up for our faith and do it in a way that is both strong and loving because we look like freaks and zealots. There a lot of reasons to fear that but in the end they are all excuses and we just need to share as best we can and then let Jesus do the rest.
We as a church have forgotten sin. We do not preach sin. Oh for one preacher to have a crusade and preach Jonathan Edwards "Sinners in the hands of an Angry God" just once. We as Christians do not take hell seriously enough that we become so concerned about the urgency of peoples salvation and put it off.
All that said, it isn't going to matter anyway. Just as God told Noah to build and ark and no one else listened, or God had to destroy Sodom and Gommorah and how God hardened Pharoah's heart, etc.etc. we will see that the same things will happen again. In Revelation 9:20-21: 20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
Rev 9:20-21 (NKJV) That is it in a nutshell
As far as Islam goes, it is a religion of works and of person and it appeals to people who can glorify themsleves through their works. It lacks the person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and focuses attention on themselves. In other words they say they believe in God and act like they believe in themselves.
This world is quickly losing any love that it had.