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How the Baptists Come Across to Others

“I’m not going to church. They’re filled with a bunch of hypocrites, anyway.” This is a common response I get when I invite a friend to church or attempt to share the Gospel with an acquaintance. Unfortunately, it is true. Mark 7:6 says “And He said to them, ‘Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me.” Our churches are filled with people whose lives look very different on Sunday than on Monday through Saturday.

So, we come across to the world we are suppose to be ministering to and sharing the hope of Christ with as ineffective, disempowered, and shallow. Our salvation is eternal . There is nothing we can do to ever lose it (John 10:28; Romans 8:29, 30; Philippians 1:6). “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). However, Freedom in Christ does not mean we have a “free pass” to do, go, say, or believe whatever we choose.

When we look like the world, talk like the world, party like the world, indulge in the temporary pleasures of the world, and make worldly choices, we are blocking the light of Christ out of the lives of others. The world needs us to be the Ambassadors of Christ we are called to be. But, as Vance Havner states, “People get so used to the dark that they think it is growing brighter ... It is possible to fraternize with unbelievers until false doctrine becomes less and less objectionable.”

It is time to start living our lives recognizing that God is watching us (because He is). We need to start making decisions and speaking up for righteousness on our jobs, in our homes, in our school, and in the political arena. Our children need to see us objecting to movies, television programs, music, and other forms of media that contradict a Biblical worldview. We need to spend time in private study of God’s Word and daily prayer for our families, churches, neighborhoods, cities, states, country, and world. It is not enough to just go to church on Sunday or send a check to a missionary project. We must marinate in the presence of God so when He sends us to ungodly places we will be able stand firm for Christ armed with the power of the Holy Spirit.

The world is watching us. They are searching for hope, love, and truth. Let’s show them that the only thing they need is in the eternal hope found in Jesus Christ and not the temporal pleasures of this world. “For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-8).

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