Focus Pocus

America…  Land of the free.  The land supposedly founded on religious freedom from England’s tyranny.  But what is the real truth?

The truth is that religious freedom is being stomped on in an effort for America to accept all things and be all things to all people.  So if your faith teaches that homosexuality is wrong, you are out of luck as an American.  If your faith teaches that it is wrong to abort a baby, you are out of luck as an American.  From a faith standpoint, America is a wicked nation.  No doubt about it.

I was discussing this with Pastor Don yesterday.  It is interesting how Christianity seems to be the religion most ‘persecuted’ by American laws.  It is easy to see that in the not so distant future, American Christians will be prosecuted for things that violate American law but are in keeping with their faith.  How long before Christian churches are required to marry same sex couples despite their convictions?

America is all about tolerance nowadays.  That is, unless you are of the Christian faith.  Christians are close minded bigots with old ideas.  That’s what the American message is right now.  It’s easy to get caught up in this fight.  But not me.

Long ago I realized something very important.  I do not love America.  America is my temporary place of residence.  The kingdom I care about is the kingdom of God.  Christians get too caught up in fighting for a declining, dying kingdom.  America is dying.  Like every other kingdom on this planet throughout history, she will perish.  But the Kingdom of God is eternal.  So why do so many Christians lose their focus on this?

History is filled with Believers who lived in wicked kingdoms.  They had it much harder than we currently do.  Some were slaves, some were underground and others were killed.  Imagine being a Christian in a Muslim country right now?  But all of that is not relevant when our focus is on God’s Kingdom.

The Bible outlines morals… or rather fruits of those who follow Christ.  The world does not like these morals.  America does not like them.  We are closed minded right?  A long time ago I learned that I don’t have the right to apologize for God’s Word.  Sorry if you don’t like it or you can’t accept it.  But in the end, He wins.  Yet He has gone out of His way to offer us redemption even while we shake our fist at Him and scoff at His Word.

Christians must not get caught up in the ‘moral’ fight with America.  Our job is simple.  We are to love one another and love the Lord our God.  Love changes hearts more than laws.  Making abortion illegal does not change the hearts of those who wish to have one.  Divorce was not allowed by God because of adultery.  No, that was the “out clause”, but God said it was because of the hardness of Man’s hearts.

The average American doesn’t understand the ‘morals’ of God.  The key is that we Believers don’t need to make out lists of rules to follow and then try as hard as we can to follow them.  To do that insinuates that we can earn salvation or the favor of God.  No, the true Believer must focus on his relationship with God and learn what it is to please God.  All the ‘moral’ things will come naturally.  The Believer will bear the Biblical fruit (the morals) when they focus on loving God and loving others.

For this reason, Believers should not be marching around with signs that say ‘God Hates Fags’.  Instead, Believers should love people and accept them.  We all have sin in our lives and Christ died for every single one of us and every single sin has been nailed to that cross.  It’s by HIS grace so that none of us can boast.  We have no moral high ground.  We must share that love and that grace with everyone.  It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict the heart, not ours.  But it is through loving people and introducing them to the love and grace of God that the Holy Spirit can begin working in people’s hearts.

There is a cliché that says “If Jesus was here today, they would crucify Him again”.  I think there is a lot of truth to that.  Although, we are far too sophisticated now for crucifixion.  America hates you because it really hates Jesus first.

Believers need to remember that we are not of the world, just as He is not of the world.  I truly believe that the enemy is using America to destroy the faith of many Believers.  We are so distracted by politics and the negative changes happening to this country.  We have lost our focus on what is really important.  That’s right, America is NOT important in the grand scheme of things.  The Kingdom of God should be our focus.  Winning souls through love and grace should be our focus.

We know how it all ends.  America doesn’t win.  Sin doesn’t win.  The devil doesn’t win.  So why are we so worried about these things?  Let’s recapture our focus and remind ourselves that we are all here for a specific calling to advance the Kingdom of God.  We don’t do that through laws and politics.  We do that through love and grace even while the country we happen to reside in makes life more and more difficult for us.  Let us honor God with our lives, but let us accept, love and help people.  Remember it is by grace that we are saved, not by America or laws.  So let’s share that grace.

I leave you with these words of Jesus from John chapter 15:

[17] “This I command you, that you love one another. [18] “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. [19] “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. [20] “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. [21] “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. [22] “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. [23] “He who hates Me hates My Father also. [24] “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. [25] “But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’ [26] “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, [27] and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning. – Jhn 15:17-27 NASB