“Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before…”
I’m thinking this morning of the “war” American Christians are fighting today. And I’m thinking that perhaps we are a bit misguided as to how this “war” should be fought, and for that matter, with whom we should be fighting in the first place. Do we really believe that legislation is the cure for what ails the land? Do we really think that the kingdom of God is furthered by amendments and laws? Can we genuinely extend God’s love, grace, and mercy to people that for all intents and purposes we are at war with?
We love to throw out scriptural lists of the kinds of people that will not inherit the kingdom of God. We are quick to take up arms, march out of classes, gather for public demonstrations and get riled up when a TV show gets cancelled because the stars were Christians. Could it be that it’s so much easier to do those things than it is to get on our faces before God and repent of our ‘own’ sins? Maybe the answer to what ails the land is congruent with what ails the church. Perhaps we in the church should repent of murdering our babies, cheating on our wives, spending hours looking at porn on the internet, getting high, etc… Maybe then, after ‘we’ return to the Lord with all our hearts allowing him to cleanse us and continuously fill us with his Spirit, our lives will be a living gospel, transforming those around us. Could it be that what the world needs to see is a church arrayed in the beauty of holiness, a church consumed with love for her Lord, a church meting out agape instead of amendments?
Why are we surprised that the world is behaving immorally? Have we forgotten that we once lived our lives the same way? That’s what sinners do-sin. Let me ask you, did some law get passed that forbade your besetting sin, and then you miraculously turned to Jesus? Of course not. Then why do we think that we can ‘legislate’ a new heart for the world now? Or is that really our goal? Could it be that we are so in love with this world’s system, having confused the American Dream with the blessings of God, that we fear that the nation’s sin will bring God’s judgment on the land, and we might lose all of our stuff? Spirit of God, search our hearts.
Let’s come together in prayer and repentance, asking God to give us a hatred for the sin resident in our own lives. It is time for us to repent of our sin, turn away from our dead religion, quit running to “Egypt” for help and wash our garments. Let us who are called by his name run to the cross, weep and pray between the porch and the altar, turn from our own wickedness, and return to the Lord in truth. For if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the wicked. Do I hate sin because I am in love with a holy God, or because I am in love with a self-righteous me? Yes friend, there ‘is’ a war, and judgment ‘is’ coming. But it begins with God’s house. So, onward Christian soldier, just make sure you’re fighting the right battle.