The Evangelical Bible Bookstore
For many years I traveled to the quaint urban hamlet of North Park just on the edge of San Diego’s beautiful downtown. It was here that the Evangelical Bible Book Store once offered a great collection of both contemporary and classic christian books. Unfortunately, a few years ago the bookstore closed its doors.
In memory of the bookstore I once again ventured to North Park. This time not to browse for books but to fish for souls. As always, my son Jacob prayed that the Lord would lead me to that specific person who needed to hear the sweet words of God’s amazing grace.
Let The Ministry Begin
As soon as I stepped onto the sidewalk I met Katharine, a sweet elderly lady who lived in the neighborhood. She asked me if I was on my way to a bible study so I explained to her that I was in her neighborhood to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then I asked if she needed prayer. She replied certainly, and asked me to pray for the health and financial security of her family.
Wow, doesn’t her request resonate in your heart considering the stressed condition of our health industry and economy. So many people are hurting in these two areas and they need our prayers as well as our benevolence.
Needless to say that after such a sweet beginning to my journey I was overcome with the peace and joy of God. I continued sharing the gospel on the streets of North Park but unfortunately I was met with rejection more times than I can count.
Loving Two of My Fellow Human Beings
Then I approached two young men. We struck up a conversation and I soon discovered that we had a few things in common. Namely that I am from south east Wisconsin and they are from the north east suburbs of Chicago. But when I began to share the gospel with them they asked me if I believed that homosexuality was a sin and I replied, yes. At that point, as practicing homosexuals, they said they no longer wanted to speak with me.
It was then that I told these two young men that I loved them and that God loved them. And yes they needed to repent of their sin just like a drunkard, adulterer, lier, idolater or fornicator must repent of their sin. For it is only when we repent of our sin by faith that we are forgiven by God’s grace (unmerited favor).
Sin is Sin
I wanted these two young men to know that homosexuality is a sin but it is not the grandaddy of all sins. Unfortunately my words fell on deaf ears. And though homosexuality is not the worst sin (sin is sin) in the eyes of God it is true that when homosexuality is accepted by a culture it is a sign of that cultures moral decline.
Paul underscores this point in Romans 1:26-27, “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”
Turning The Tide
Unfortunately America has lost its biblical values as pop culture has won the battle for the mind.
A July 10-14, 2013 poll by Gallup found support for gay marriage at 54%, a record high, and double the support of 27% Gallup first measured when the question was asked in 1996.
Today more than ever we need compassionate conservative christians to take a stand against the lies of pop culture and the liberal media. We must engage practicing homosexuals in their heart and not the ballot box. For only the message of Jesus has the power to change a person from the inside out.
Jesus once said, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
I think many christians today believe that Jesus words are also true of homosexuals. But that’s only half of what Jesus said. When his disciples were overwhelmed with such a grim outlook they asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Engage All in Sin With Love and Compassion
Engaging the culture with the gospel is much more difficult than with platitudes. As christians it should not be our aim to shift the culture toward our convictions but toward our Saviour. For when a person is saved they are a new creation and they will now base their values and morals on the Bible and not MTV or the liberal media.
If you Christian, yes you, don’t align your heart with Christ and share the good news then you’re not obeying the great commission. Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”
Are you personally responsible for gathering christians into the Kingdom of God through evangelism and outreach among your family, friends and with those in your community and world?
If not, Jesus says you are scattering by default. As a follower of Christ you don’t want to scatter people from the Kingdom but you want to gather them for the Kingdom. So get out there and share your faith!