Careless quotes and cliches
"We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it." Madeleine L'Engle
Social media is full to the brim with quotes like the one above. It certainly sounds very pleasant and loving. However, can we actually draw anyone to Christ without telling them why we need Jesus or what Jesus said? If Jesus himself, or His disciples wandered around shining a light without any "negative" words then why on earth did people get so upset with them that they crucified them? All but one of the apostles were killed. Jesus was killed. They were hated by many. The above quote is not Biblical. Anytime we read things like this we should ask ourselves is this what the Bible teaches us? We should be like the Bereans and search the scriptures to see if these things are true, regardless of the speaker.
11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11
If all we have to do is walk around, smile a lot, and do good things then why do we have the Bible? Why did God give us this book if we are not supposed to read it and follow it. Why were the apostles hated and killed? Why was Jesus hated and killed? He actually healed people (multitudes), and yet he was killed by people that hated him deeply and were full of jealousy and anger.
No, people cannot know they need the Savior unless they understand why they need a Savior, and this requires a discussion about what God says is "sin". Yes, the "S" word! A word hardly spoken today. Even if someone dares to say this word today, they will hesitate to mention or list specific sins. Why? People will get angry in a hurry. However, some might believe you...
When the apostles spoke they divided the room. When Jesus spoke he divided the room. Some became believers and loved Jesus, and some were filled with hatred, jealousy, and anger.
We are told to be like Jesus. Being a Christian is not about making everyone around you feel good about themselves. Being a Christian is more than just dreaming up catchy cliches to post on social media. Let me emphasize the word dream because these catchy quotes and cliches are indeed dreams from the imaginations of people, and they are not based in the truth of scripture. Being a Christian means knowing what God says and doing it, which will sometimes cause anger, hatred, and division. Being a Christian means knowing that real love is not only kind words and gestures. We love our kids, but sometimes we must show that love by telling them right and wrong for their own good.
When I was born again by the grace and mercy of Jesus, two things happened to me that were crucial, and I believe that everyone born again must have a deep understanding of these two things:
I was told about hell and I did not want to go there! I was told hell is eternal punishment forever and separation from God forever. There are no second chances once you go there. Hell is eternal agony. We tend not to think about pain when we don't have it, but imagine having pain all the time with no hope of relief. Some folks don't believe in teaching or preaching fear today, however, if you preach or teach from the Bible you will hear that you should fear the Lord and fear eternal punishment.
I read verses in the Bible that told me just how wretched I really am, and I believed it. I believed it deep in my heart. I knew I could not be good enough to get to Heaven. I cannot even keep the ten commandments consistently. I knew I needed a Savior.