The need of the hour can color the approach a teacher takes to the runway of eternal salvation. Jude changed his writing topic, so urgent was the topic he was required to address. In Galatians, Paul charges quickly into his subject, skipping over his usual introductory thanksgiving for the readers.
Some might believe that in many places in the world today the church of God needs to hear a special message. Some are already speaking it, so these words join themselves to a growing chorus of speeches and words on the theme.
The church needs to return to its one subject matter: salvation from sin and eternal life in Jesus Christ.
Christians appear to think that, outside their isolated walls where they speak spiritually, they are free to speak in a worldly manner. However, it is exactly before the world that our speech must be seasoned with salt and concentrated on the ways of the Lord Jesus. The mission is engaged every moment in the streets and byways, in the social media and the private conversations.
Every minute spent speaking of politics or the dreary ways of the world is a minute lost to the Good News of Christ.
The consuming thought of the Christian ought to be: How can I lead this conversation to the redeeming grace of God and the need to obey the commandments of the Lord?
If you want to be a leader, lead in this way, turning conversations to Christ.
If you want to be a servant, serve up the message of eternal worth.
The world is full of darkness and fear. The Christian is light and joy and peace, Matthew 5.15-16; Philippians 4.4-9, for the God of peace is with him.
The world is full of idols and vain pursuits. The Christian serves one God and one goal. May it be said of us all: “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation” Acts 16.17.
The world is full of doubt and questions. The Christian possesses full knowledge and enjoys the certainty of truth and hope. Like the Thessalonians, the Good News we received “came [to us] not only with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit, and with complete certainty” 1 Thessalonians 1.5 GW.
The world is full of fighting and conflict. The Christian enjoys “wonderful and pleasant” harmony with his God and his brethren in Christ, Psalm 133.1 NLT. This is what the world needs to see and hear.
Brethren, bellyache in your bathroom with the door closed. Complain in your closet out of range of the world’s hearing. Raise your laments to the Lord with your face in your pillow.
To the world, show the powerful truth of the Word of God. To the lost, show the way. To the weary, show the water of life.
This is no suggestion of hypocrisy, but an appeal to return to the work — the only work — we have been given to do in this world.
Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul, and maintain good conduct among the non-Christians, so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds [and these include the words of truth, v. 9] and glorify God when he appears. 1 Peter 2.11-12.
The editor has lived and proclaimed Christ in Brazil since 1984. He is the author of books and co-owner of Forthright Press.