By exalting the name of the Lord our God above the heavens, (Psalm 57:5) we demean other individuals. Most Christians that spend any amount of time witnessing to the lost have not given this statement much thought. In essence, what we are saying to them, at least in part, is that all they have ever done in their lives, no matter how valiant a deed, no matter the amount of compassion it was done with or the love that they showed in it, they are not good enough, not one single thing they ever accomplished is seen by Almighty God as worthy enough to grant them entrance into His kingdom. My friends, they do not like learning that all their works are as filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6)
Pride will not allow their ears or hearts to be opened, this statement, these truths go against every fiber of their being, as it did yours and mine. A man must be willing to see himself as he truly is, and he will never be able to do that without the Lord God. It is, I believe, one of the main reasons that many Christians no longer witness to the lost these days, they have been taught, and now believe, that it is more important to not offend than it is to speak the truth in love, that it is best to attempt to make the lost sinner their friend first, and then gradually lead them to the cross. I do not believe that you are going to find many of the great evangelists of days long gone nor any Scripture references that will abide by this “Friendship first, Christ second” statement.
We, in the first place, are not to be unequally yoked with the lost, (2 Cor. 6:14) “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.” (1 Cor. 6:16) Second, and most importantly, your responsibility for God is to bring people to the saving grace of God through Christ, not go out and make friends with the lost. This is not our home, these are not our family, and although we are to continually attempt to bring our neighbor to the cross of Christ, for we are to love our neighbor, (Mark 12:31) we are not to love the world nor the things of it, (1 John 2:15) we are to be set apart.
Ambassadors learn the language of the country they are assigned to, they learn the nuances of the culture, the way they think and their traditions, but they do not put on the attire of that country and pretend to be one of them. They are sent on a mission, and what our mission does to most is make them see that their country, their nations and its cultures, their very lives, are being completely wasted and are of absolutely no value to the only true kingdom, the eternal kingdom of God. If you cannot see this, they you have forgotten what it was like to be a lost sinner, you have forgotten the loyalty that you once paid to the nation you live in, the pride that you felt in being a part of such a wonderfully incomparable place. Each culture sees themselves as better than the one next to them, each nation believes themselves in one way or another as superior to their neighbors, their loyalty lies in men and the system that has been set up, ours does not.
I am afraid that far too many Christians will disagree with me here, and that is alright, they have the right to be wrong, but if you need even just the smallest of proof, look in your church, does the flag of your country rest in there somewhere, do the colors of your nation or even some symbols of it reside in the place that is to be specifically reserved for the worship of the Most High God, can you find even one individual in your church that does not still hold some form of national pride, even if it is in the smallest way of comparing your nation with another? If it is not such a simple task for born-again believers to lay aside these worldly loyalties, what do you think the lost will do when you tell them their nation is going to crumble, their lives without Christ have been completely useless, that not one thing they have ever done has ever been of any value.
Unless they are called by the Lord, this is how the entirety of their lives will be lived, in sinful pride, in rebellion, in false allegiance to a losing cause. Go ahead and take the time to attempt to become their friend, maybe they will be alive tomorrow, don’t worry about that flag up there behind the podium, God loves your country also, there is no reason to believe that the church can’t be used for other purposes than worshipping the Most Holy One, why not rent it out during the week, it’s just sitting empty most of the time anyway.
Do you suppose Moses ever gave any thought to that notion, the holy of holy places in the Tabernacle of the Almighty only gets visited by the priest once a year, we could at least use it for storage the rest of the time, couldn’t we.
None of the statements or truths in this letter are going to be understood or accepted by anyone other than those who understand the word Sovereign, you might as well try to tell the lost that their works are a complete waste of time.