Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
1st Corr 1:18 says - “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are being saved it is the power of God.” We Christians run around telling folks (with the very best of intention) that Jesus came to save them from their sin. But what they hear is condemnation. “SAVE ME FROM WHAT? YOU MEAN I’M GOING TO HELL? WHO ARE YOU TO SAY THAT? I DON’T KNOW ANY BIBLE, BUT I KNOW YOU ARE NOT TO JUDGE ME!”
This is predominantly true in the life of all Christians, but is especially true for Pastors, and was made crystal clear to me as I listened to a message by Ryan Whitley. My ears perked right up when he quoted his dad who said: “I know what a preachers job is. A preacher is like a referee. He goes around looking for people that commit an infraction, then he whips out his flag and throws it at them.” This is great stuff, and unfortunately, more true than not. If you find one of our football players, he will no doubt tell you that some refs like to throw their flag on every play. That’s what they think they are there for. They have a beautiful flag, and they are going to by-golly throw it. Others, won’t throw theirs till there is blood on the field. So where is the truth? Some believe, or rather hope, that God is supreme love, and would never condemn anyone, because He loves them. He would never throw a flag. Others picture Him as a Giant on a marble throne, holding a cocked lightning bolt, like Warren Wallace’s nephew – ready to strike!
Here is a Nugget for you. When we are told in the Bible not to judge, it is referring to -- us determining what sin is. It is the Holy Spirits’ job to “convict and convince with regard to sin”. This is liberating to me. God determined long ago what sin is, and is not. If I shrink from telling you this, I don’t love you. If I do tell you, I’m not judging, I’m warning.
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:17-18. If you are a Christian, are you beating the stuffing out of people with your flag? If you are a player, do you want a referee to never throw a flag, and give you a false sense of security? Or would you want an honest one, not interpreting the rules to the game of life, but “rightly dividing the word of truth”.-2nd Tim. 2:15.
Is the Preaching of the Cross foolishness to you? Or is it the very Power of God in delivering you from a life of, and the consequence of sin?