I want to start this blog series by saying that I take no delight in conflict. Truly, I hate it when anyone is upset with me for any reason and I generally want to be well liked. However, I do like to make people think. For those of you who read my blog post on humanism, this series may come as no surprise. Because as much as I crave harmony, I desire truth all the more. It is my aim to approach these topics with both love and boldness as I write these unpopular words.
So let’s begin with this: Our ultimate mission as Christians is not to change the culture or to make the world a “better place.” As followers of Christ we are commissioned to make disciples by proclaiming the gospel. We are to be builders of the kingdom of God. Jesus himself gave us this great commission in Matthew 28:18-20 when he said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
It’s easy to lose sight of the great commission when we live in a world that loudly emphasizes cultural virtue. T-shirts and social media posts abound telling us to “be a good human,” and to “be the change you want to see in the world.” Now. Please hear me loud and clear: of course the love we show through our words and deeds matter, for they should be a reflection of our love for and from our Savior! But we must remember the reason for this love is not to just “make someone’s day,” or to be a virtuous person for the sake of virtue only- but to ultimately point others to their Creator and His redemptive plan of salvation. We show love for the purpose of evangelism, not to make the world “a nicer place to be.”
One of my favorite verses in all of Scripture, 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” This verse is a true encouragement because it reminds us who we truly are in Christ. But it also reminds us of the purpose we have been given- to proclaim the excellencies of the saving grace of God. A few verses later God through Peter wrote, “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” We live obediently to the Word and with much love so that others will know and glorify our heavenly Father.
In a world preaching that love means complete acceptance of someone’s choices, we cannot lose sight of the fact that it is loving to share with someone that they are sinners in need of grace. And praise God that He has given us this grace through Christ Jesus our Lord! We have such a glorious hope to share with the world; for through the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior we are forgiven of our sins and redeemed as children of God. As followers of Christ, the sharing of this hope is our mission. In 1 Peter 3:15 we see again this command and how to carry it out: “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
As I conclude this post I want to challenge you- as well as myself- to continuously be mindful of the commission to which we have been called. To give thought to our words and actions as they are the vehicle through which we share the gospel with those whom God has placed in our paths. And to be full of grace seasoned with salt so that we can be ready to answer anyone who asks about the reason for the hope that is in us. May we live our lives fully and wholly for this mission and to the glory of God alone.