Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'm Not on the Wrong Side of History, History is on the Wrong Side of God

There are many voices out there saying that people like me are on the wrong side of history.  In way, they are correct.  Sadly, many are succumbing to the relentless rhetoric and marketing of the homosexual movement.  Many others try to make a stand but are eventually bullied into submission.  To make matters worse, just about every television and radio personality make it seem as though everyone is for gay marriage.  Despite polls and voting showing that to be completely untrue, they continue to speak of it as though it is.  Sometimes it seems almost inevitable that society will turn and homosexual marriage will become the norm.  Sometimes its gets rather discouraging and we feel alone in our position.  Then something happens where God shows you that not only are you not alone, but many others stand with you.  Yesterday was one of those times. 
And he said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life."  1 Kings 19:14 NKJV
Elijah felt like many of us do at times.  He was standing for God, but standing very alone.  He was, as they say today, on the wrong side of history.  The people wanted to seek after other gods who better suited their lifestyles.  The people did not care about the covenant and the blessings that nation received because of His love of Israel and His promise to them.  As for prophets, they were hunted down and killed.  That is, at least those who were still true prophets who have bowed to false gods.  I can see many parallels to the events of today.  Businesses that stand for God are being threatened, cursed, insulted, boycotted, and made to feel terribly unwelcome wherever they go.  It would seem as though a company that stands for God stands alone.  By extension, it seems as though many of who also stand for God also stand alone.  We live in a nation who have forgotten just how much God has blessed America.  We live in a nation where society is struggling to either change the church or ostracize whatever churches fail to change.  The prophets of today are not literally killed, but their message is.  Those who speak of repentance and judgment are mocked into obscurity.   But as we will see, though, it is not Elijah (or us in our day) who are on the wrong side of history, it is history that is on the wrong side of God. It is society that stands in arrogance shouting to God that they know better.  This is even true for some in the church. 

Sometimes it is scary to stand for God.  Even Elijah felt that way.  He was in hiding in fear for his life when God found him.  He was feeling rejected, depressed, scared, and alone.  He was having the same struggle in faith that many of us have had.  Then, something happened.  It is rather peculiar the way God works sometimes.  Sometimes He speaks through angels.  Sometimes He speaks through burning bushes.  Sometimes He speaks to our hearts in that still-small voice.  Sometimes He speaks though chicken sandwiches.  As silly as it sounds, it really is the message behind the events of yesterday at Chick-Fil-A appreciation day.  
Then the LORD said to him: "Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael [as] king over Syria. Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi [as] king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint [as] prophet in your place.  It shall be [that] whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him." 1 Kings 19:15-18 NKJV
There are several lessons in God's response to Elijah's despair. The first and obvious message is that no matter how he felt, Elijah was never alone.  Think about it for a moment.  He was having a conversation with God telling God that he was alone.  What I mean is that you can not be alone while having a conversation.  Elijah was never alone because God was always there with him.  The same promise applies to us.  Jesus promises to never leave us or forsake us.  The Father promises that we can come boldly to the throne of grace at any time.  The Holy Spirit resides in our hearts.  Not only are we never alone, but God is always with us in all His Persons.  Now matter how lonely things may seem, you are never really alone. 

We also learn that Elijah was not the only one who stood for God.  God had reserved seven thousand others who were still standing with Him.  That was the message of yesterday.  We went to Chick-Fil-A in droves to show their president that he was not alone and in so doing we learned that we are not alone either.  No matter what lies may come at us, we are not some marginal group of Americans ready for the dustbin of history.  We are a numerous, we are motivated, and we stand for God even when the world stands against us.  I encourage you, if you were unable to attend yesterday, to look at the pictures that people posted on their trips to the restaurant.  Every story I heard (and even in my own experience) is that they were all overflowing with people taking a stand for traditional marriage.  Remember yesterday and remember all the others who were there with you.  Elijah did much with his thousands, just think of what God can do with our millions. 

We also learn that Elijah still had a job to do.  We have a job to do as well.  Yesterday was a great day of encouragement, but tomorrow is when we put that encouragement to use.  Tomorrow, the homosexual activists are staging a kiss-in protest at Chick-Fil-A locations.  They are planning on taking pictures and exchanging kisses with their lovers.  We need to be there, too.  We need to be there to share the Gospel.  I am not talking about holding up sings saying that homosexual are going to Hell.  To be blunt, such activities are stupid, ignorant, and have nothing to do with Jesus.  Those are messages of hate.  The fact is that without Jesus, we would be going to Hell as well.  We were not saved from Hell just because we are not homosexual.  We are saved from Hell because we put our faith in Jesus Christ.  Our message should not be one of condemning them to eternal judgement, but sharing with them how to avoid that judgement.  We are ambassadors of the cross called to share the love of Jesus with all who need Him.  Tomorrow is a great chance to do that.

I believe that God is calling us to come in as large numbers on Friday as we did on Wednesday.  Surely it will not be easy.  We will be called names.  We will be called haters.  We will be pelted with profanity and vulgarity.  Some will even try to kiss each other right in your face.  You will want to be angry, but resist that temptation. Their goal is to make you angry.  Their goal is to instigate.  Do not fall into their trap.  What we should do is first understand that you were once where they are.  Just as they are enemies of God, so were you an enemy of God.  However, just as Jesus died for you while you were still His enemy, Jesus died for them while they are still His enemy as well.  Next we should pray for them.  Pray that God soften those hard hearts so that they just might receive the Gospel.  Pray that God uses you to share the Gospel in a way that will reach them.  Pray that God will cause whatever seeds are planted to grow.  And, finally, do not be discouraged.  Do not expect them them to repent and come to Jesus right there in the parking lot of Chick-Fil-A.  Sure some may, but that is the exception not the rule.  Your job is to plant seeds.  Your job is to show the love of Jesus to those who are convinced that He only represents hate.  Your job is to be the salt and light in a world that clings to darkness.  Your job is to preach the Gospel.  Jesus loves them as much as He loved you while He was trying to reach your heart.  Share with them that love.  

Do not lose heart, though this world may love darkness, we are ambassadors of light sharing the truth of the gospel to many so that some may be saved.  Every soul is worth everything you have and everything you may have to endure to save that soul.  Our reward is in heaven and our earnest desire should be to be present with our Lord when He calls us home.  It may seem easy to stand with the world, but it will not end easy.  We know what happens to the world when God's patience runs out and the arrogance of unrepentant rebellious man is humbled in ways we can not even understand.  Some may say we are on the wrong side of history.  I say that is a good thing because the end of the history of this world is a path I do not want to be on.  But for now, it is our place to take others from the path of judgement and share with them the way to eternal life. 
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, [even] to the end of the age." Amen. Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV

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