Don't Abandon Outrageous Yet Important Truths
- Wednesday, September 21, 2005
In the break room at work or at the neighborhood park, certain statements might sound outrageous. And people who dare to make these politically incorrect comments can be accused of being arrogant, bigoted, or even worse. But as controversial as they are, there are also important biblical truths that apply to life today just as much as they did in generations past.
Faithful Christians need to answer Jesus' call to stand up for these truths and make a positive impact on the fallen world in which we live. Here's how you can proclaim important truths that sound outrageous to some in our secular culture:
"Every other religion is wrong." Help people who object understand that their argument is with the Bible rather than you personally. Let them know about Scripture verses such as John 14:6. Emphasize that the exclusivity of Christianity is not the claim of Christians; it's God's decision. Explain that truth is exclusive by its very nature, and that everyone accepts the notion of absolute truth at some level. Just as mathematics, geography, physics, and many other realms have exact facts, so does the realm of spirituality. Encourage people that God wants to save as many people as possible - not as few as possible. Let them know that God loves all people and point them to Scripture such as 1 Timothy 2:4, which affirms God's desire for all people to be saved. Help them understand the Bible teaches that God will reveal Himself to those who sincerely want to know Him. Do all you can to get the Gospel message out to people.
"God is ultimately responsible for suffering." Assure people that God is in control of every circumstance in our lives. Explain that God assumes responsibility for suffering and evil in the world because He knows what's going to happen before it does and sometimes even plans to allow suffering in order to accomplish good purposes through it. Encourage them that God fully understands our suffering (when He came to Earth as Jesus, He suffered all kinds of pain). Affirm that God cares about what happens to us and will walk through any kind of suffering with us. Remind them that God has not yet revealed the final chapters in their stories, and that He promises to work all things together for good for those who love Him.
"God sends good people to hell." Point people to Scriptures such as Romans 3:23, which affirm that all human beings have sinned and fall short of God's glory. Help them understand the size and seriousness of the moral gulf between God and us. Explain that everyone deserves hell, but God offers the gift of salvation to everyone. Help them realize that people who reject or even neglect the Gospel are, in effect, rendering Christ's death on the cross (God's ultimate sacrifice because of His great love for all people) meaningless. Help them recognize that people who are in hell are their because of their own decisions to rebel against God; it's their choice, not God's choice. Assure them people will judged only according to their response to the knowledge they've received, so people who haven't heard the Gospel will be judged less severely than those who have heard it and not embraced its message. Help them understand that God is completely just and can always be trusted to do what is right. Assure them that nothing in heaven - not even the knowledge of loved ones from Earth in hell - will be able to extinguish our joy, because every believer in heaven will fully comprehend and agree with God's verdict against unbelievers.
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