What do you communicate to others about the type of person you are, who do those that know you see you as. If your spouse or closest, dearest friend were asked to write a short letter explaining who you are, could both letters be compared and found to be in complete agreement. The people that you surround yourself with each day, would their detailed explanation of you coincide with what others wrote about you, or would there be glaring discrepancies. Kind, nice, polite, angry, disgruntled, hypocritical. How about if you then wrote a short letter about who you are, not your accomplishments or how you face challenges, but of your nature, would all these letters show the same person. Now comes the big question, would any of them reflect Christ, not some of His attributes, but small specks of every part of who our Lord is.
It is impossible to love someone unless you are willing to help them, it is just as impossible to try to lead a double life, for “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8) Who we pretend to be in the presence of others is not always who we truly are, and the root cause for this is our fear of how we will be perceived by others. I echo within myself what I have heard other God-fearing men say, “If you knew me, you would not like me,” but there is an enormous difference between keeping my body under subjection (1 Cor. 9:27) and pretending to be something we are not. My friends, not everyone who profess’ Christ as Lord is saved, not everyone that attends your church is going to be in heaven. There are pretenders everywhere, and they are stable and deceiving, even unto the point of fooling themselves, what has changed is just as subtle in these days, the inability to recognize these pretenders.
One of the main hindrances is this notion that if we ask someone to speak of their faith, of how God has been using them to glorify His name and build up the kingdom, is that we are seen as being judgmental, that no one should have to give a reason for their actions. Along with this has come the subtle inclusion of never offending, and when the two are combined, you have a group of Christians who believe it is wrong to question anyone about almost anything. “The truth is what we make it, just because my truth doesn’t match yours does not make it less of a truth.”
We are to judge with righteous judgement, (John 7:24) we will be known by our works, (Matt. 7:16) and only those who can show no works of the Holy Spirit in their lives fear to be judged by this righteous judgement, and the inclusion of the possibility of offending needed to be added to the equation. It is a perfect plan, and our adversary has accomplished what he set out to do, make the answer to any and all questions of this sort admissible to all, “That’s between God and me.” Get them to fear to ask the relevant, eternal questions, and they will ask no questions at all, in fact they will feel ashamed to do so, thinking it is not their place to question the faith of Christ in another.
And so we move on, the wicked mixed in with the saved, and the saved unwilling to ask the important questions, unwilling to question even the most basic tenets of another man’s life, unwilling to offer the “Faithful wounds of a friend.” (Prov. 27:6) Did you think the account of the good Samaritan given by our Lord held only reference to the physical. What are you planning on doing when in heaven you find out that part of the congregation that you attended church with for so many years are not there, rejoice? If you will not speak a word to them now for fear of offending, for fear of seeming judgmental, for fear of seeming to be pious, you are most definitely not going to be able to make up for that in heaven.
When we leave here, the work that has been set before us to do will be over, but I fear that little of these tasks that were set before us will have been accomplished. And for what reason, were we concerned about how others would see us, that not all the letters would match? Not enough people give enough thought to that day of accounting before the Lord, far too many are overly concerned about how they are viewed here by people, whether they be lost or saved. They view that day as some far-off event, something they do not need to be concerned with today, and even so, is He not a kind and forgiving God, am I still not assured of entrance into His kingdom. “Those people were not my responsibility, I am not my brother’s keeper, I went to church, they went to church, what difference beyond that does anything matter, besides, how was I supposed to know they weren’t really saved.”
Oh, we make such a lite thing of our salvation, the price that was paid for us, the commandments we are to adhere to, our responsibility to Him who saved us. If we truly had a heart for them we would question, we would test the spirits, and some would be more than willing and happy, overjoyed in fact to tell you of all His wonderous deeds in their life, the joy it is to serve Him, the opportunities they have missed, and the forgiveness He has blessed them with. But instead we fear, fear to offend, fear to seem judgmental, continue to tell ourselves that it is none of our business. It is a perfect trap, one without flaw, and it is sad to see so many falling into it each and every day.