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When are we going to stand up?

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The truth spoken in love!

Where are we at as christians today? When are we going to stand up and declare the truth?
You know it amazing how many christians and churches have no real love for the truth today! Its seems that compromises are made everywhere, "left and right"!!
From saying that "unhealthy" lifestyles are okay, to even denying the Lord who bought them!
Of course if we know scripture, we know this is nothing new. Peter warned us about these things:
 "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed."
                                             (2 Peter 2:1-2 NKJV) 
Its heart breaking to think that these things are going on today! Churches and believers buying into the idea that they can ignore, or change scripture just to "suit" others! And those teaching such things have much to answer for! All the damage they have done:
 "For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage."
                                             (2 Peter 2:18-19 NKJV)
Why does this happen? well for some its because they would rather not hurt someones feelings than share the truth! Then there are other reasons. Pastors worrying about losing money. To many not wanting to offend others. But what happens when we do not share the truth with someone? It would be much like watching a car run at someone and saying nothing! Would'nt this be awful? Of course it would! But when we are speaking about someone's eternity, this is much more important! There is much more at "stake" (not to degrade of course the severity of someone getting hurt)!!
It seems that society's "values" change like the weather. One day one thing is okay, the next its not, the next it is again! Society is just too "fickle" (so to speak). They call anyone who does not agree with them "intolerant", and if you are labeled "intolerant", than you are "the problem" (in their eyes). Its interesting though, how those who call us (who stand up for God's truth) "intolerant" are intolerant that we do not share the same values! Ironic is it not?
Many christians and churches (because of this "negative" atmosphere that society is placing upon christians) "knuckle under" and deny what they know to be true. Then there are those who profess Christ, who "buy into" societies ways and do not know what the truth really is! It's "heart shattering" to think of all the damage they are doing to themselves and to others!!
Where do we fall in all of this? Are we believers who stand up for the truth? Or are we those who "knuckle under"?
You see God has His standards. If He did not, Jesus would have never had to die for sin! Afterall, if God was not righteous and "overlooked" sin, than He would not have required a sacrifice! But He does take sin seriously!! And serious enough that a payment HAS to be made!!! And that payment comes in the form of His beloved Son Jesus, so we have a way to be forgiven!!!!
And it is our job as christians to share the truth of the gospel message (Matthew 28:19-20)!! But these days it is being compromised. There are christians and churches who are actually preaching that there are other ways to God!
But we know as believers that Jesus is the ONLY way:
 "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
                                                         (John 14:6 NKJV)
You see many, in the name of "tolerance", do not want to offend others. But what they do not understand is that when they withold the truth they are doing others an even greater misfortune! Much worse than being "offensive"!! Afterall, if we know Jesus is the only way and we do not acknowledge this, we are lying to them!!! And lying is sin! And worse than this we are DENYING them the truth of salvation (the ONLY way for them to be saved)!!
We also have to understand is that just be cause something may not "feel good", like speaking the truth, does not mean that the truth is wrong! Our own human nature can deceive us:
The heart is deceitful above all things,
      And desperately wicked;
      Who can know it?
                          (Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV)
And the gospel is OFFENSIVE! people do not understand this!! The very thought of being "called out" on our sin is offensive. For those who do not want to acknowledge they have sin and need the Lord, it is offensive.
They do not want to hear the gospel message:
 "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed."
                                                       (John 3:19-20 NKJV)
Their sin is "brought to light" and they are offended! But if we truly love and care for them we have to understand that we have to stand up for God's truth! We have to share it!! Its only a "lack" of love that keeps it from those who need it so much!!!
Now with this, WE MUST also understand that we have to do this in the right way. In the past, and at times now, the truth has been shared without love. And love has been shared without the truth. But what we must do is SHARE THE TRUTH IN LOVE (in fact we are commanded to do this, all things (Ephesians 4:15)!!
This means that we must share with others the truth, but do it in a loving and compassionate way!! This isnt always an easy thing to do, but it can and must be done! We must do it in a way that the person (or persons) perceive that we really do love and care for their well being. Here's an example. There was someone I was sharing about Jesus with once. This person told me that I was "just trying to convert them to Christ", and "I didnt really care about them", that I had "alterior motives". That I was just trying to get them to, ..."accept this Jesus".
Now, this was of course true, I wanted to see them accept Jesus! But I explained it this way; 'If I believed and knew, in my heart of hearts, that Jesus Christ was only way you could be saved, and shared it with you, would that be an alterior motive, or would that be love?' The person was speechless.
You see we can share the truth with others, and do it in love! The message we may give may not always be popular, but we will be fullfilling what God has called us to do. Love our neighbors:
 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
                                                   (Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV)
Afterall, if we really love our neighbor, we will share the truth with them! Will we not? Im sure if we saw a car running at our neighbor we would help them!? How much more when it comes to salvation!! Afterall, this is concerning someone's eternity!!!
But what often happens is that we make mistakes so we give up, or we buy into the "lie" that we must compromise the truth in order to really "care" for others. The truth is, no matter what happens, how many times we make mistakes, no matter how many times we are slandered, or ridiculed for telling the truth, we must stand up for it!
Jesus never said this would be easy:
 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also."
                                                             (John 15:18-20 NKHV)
But we also know that we are not alone:
 "So we may boldly say:

      The LORD is my helper;
      I will not fear.
      What can man do to me?”
                           (Hebrews 13:6 NKJV)
You see we as people "change like the wind", but God NEVER changes:
  “ For I am the LORD, I do not change;
       Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob."
                                               (Malachi 3:6 NKJV)
And His standards NEVER change! He is always righteous:
  "His work is honorable and glorious,
         And His righteousness endures forever."
                                                         (Psalm 11:3 NKJV)
But we are the ones who do change! Its the "human nature" in us. Now its good to change and be More "comformed" to the image of Christ as we should be, but its never good to surrender God's word to what we know to be wrong to satisfy the world!
You see society has this idea that to truly love others we must compromise to go along with whatever they feel is true. And what society defines of truth is this; truth ="relativity" (to what a person "feels" is "true"). You see to society, "truth" is in the "eye of the beholder". But we know as believers in Jesus that real truth is only found in God and His word! We cannot simply change, or make it up as we wish! This is what it means to be a believer. To recognize that you are a sinner, in needs of God's grace and forgiveness. And repenting from your sin, asking for forgiveness and giving your heart to Christ. And following Him (He is the Lord of your life)! It means that your life now belongs to God and that He loves you and wants the  best for you. It takes submission to Him and His word!! So you have to ask yourself this, "where is my heart in Christ?" Do I really love Him:
 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
                                                     (John 14:21 NKJV)
And, am I sharing His truth?

You see we are to be the "light of the world":
 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
                                            (Matthew 5:14-15 NKJV)
 But what kind of light gives off light that is not consistent? It does no good to those around it, does it?
Now to some this may sound harsh, but its really not meant to be and it needs to be said. As believers we have a responsiblity to share the gospel. And to share it in ALL truth. Its very important!
You see if we really love God and have accepted His Son Jesus as our Lord and Savior we must stand on God's truth!!
Everyday that we keep silent to those around us, is one more day each and every person is CLOSER to judgment! So the question is this, where is your heart in all this? what are you going to do?
For far too long many of God's people have been too silent about the truth! Its time we all spoke up!! And did it in a way that Jesus Himself would do it in!!! ...In LOVE!!!!
Do you really love your neighbor? Are you speaking up? Sharing God's "un-alterable" (Matthew 24:35) truth? And if so, are you doing it in the best possible way? In love?
You see there's the old saying "you get more bees with honey". And there is much truth to this! For those who know me personaly, know I was in my 20's when I came to Christ. I had experienced those who spoke to me about the gospel who did it without love. And those who shared love, but without the truth. Neither way does anyone any good! It only leads to harm!! And its not being faithful to God's call!!!
So think and pray on these things and ask God what He would have you do!
And heres some food for thought:
 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?"
                                                 (Luke 6:46 NKJV)

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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