Monday, July 6, 2015

A Voice In The Wilderness

There is quite a stir happening in the United States right now. We are a very unsettled nation. We are experiencing a moral revolution unlike any other in our nation's history. Whether you like it or not, it is happening. 

Many are cheering the revolution on; others are pumping the brakes, but discovering the brake line got cut somewhere along the way. 

It is possible to both oppose this shift and to see the potential benefits. The Church of Jesus, committed to the authority of Scripture, on a mission to reach people with the gospel, must continue to declare the will of God for all of mankind. We do not bow to public pressure or rejection. We keep proclaiming the truth. We do so with mournful hearts and lamenting over the devastation sin causes in people's lives.

The question the Church is going to have to answer is this: are we willing to stand as a voice of truth in a world that rejects it AND us? 

When John the Baptist stepped onto the scene, he came preaching for people to repent and turn from their sins - which is never a popular message, for those wondering. Many began questioning him, "Who are you?" They kept pressing him for an answer to the question. In frustration, they finally told him they had to give an answer to those who sent them and they demanded for him to say something about himself. John's answer then should be the answer of the Church now. He said, 

"I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord.'"

John's statement deserves several points of emphasis and highlighting. 

First, he is a voice. John is not going to try and accomplish his mission through his actions alone. His mission involves being a voice. The Church's mission, and the Christian's life, must involve our voice. It is a vocal mission.

Second, he is crying out in the wilderness. He is standing alone. He is swimming against the stream. He is going against the culture. The Church in America today must learn to be a wilderness people. This does not mean we load up on canned goods and ammo and build underground houses in Montana. It does mean we are prepared to stand alone if necessary. 

Third, he is proclaiming a message of Christ's coming. John was preparing the way of Jesus' coming. He was calling people to repent of their sins and prepare for the coming of the Lord. Church, this is still our mission. We are making straight the way of the Lord. We are crying to people: "Jesus is coming, repent of your sins, and put your faith in Christ."

As Christians will soon learn, if you have not already, it is not always fun being on the opposite end of popular opinion. Being a voice in the wilderness and proclaiming God's message eventually cost John the Baptist his life. His head was put on a platter at a party for entertainment. Sometimes that is the cost of being voice in the wilderness in a culture that hates dissenting voices.

May the Church stand boldly in our culture, proclaiming with confidence the truths of God, no matter the cost. May we stand firm as we become the entertainment for the culture's party raging around us, even when it means being the hors d'oeuvres.

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