A Relevant Gospel
God's word is life, truth...absolute. We live in a world full of debate and argument; full of theology and exegesis. We live in a world that is constantly changing and constantly in motion.
God does not change.
I know this in the deepest part of my soul. You cannot convince me otherwise. This God I serve is absolute, right, just, good, perfect...and unchanging. It is us that constantly changes and shifts like shadows.
This truth should flow over us like a river and bring refreshing. Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever! What seems to happen a lot though, is that this truth causes a nagging feeling of discomfort and uncertainty.
How can God not change with the times?
Be careful friends, this is a dangerous lie of the enemy. The enemy is screaming throughout the Earth that God is outdated, out of touch...old. This lie can be disguised as many things. He crafts this lie by telling us that we must become more relevant to reach the world, that our message is uninviting; to hard to hear, to hard to follow. The result of believing this lie is compromise. When we become more concerned with people's reaction to the truth than the truth we are presenting, compromise starts to worm its way into our message.
Compromise never changes God but it changes us.
We need to meet people where they are. We need to love them no matter what. Cast off your judgement and condemnation! Pour love out of your life to others, even when it's hard; but don't compromise the message...don't ever compromise the message. God will not be shaken or moved by man's attempts to make him more appealing. This is not because he is angry or because he does not understand. It is because He never changes.
We become relevant to this world when we choose to serve them. If relevance is all about attracting people to Jesus, then let's do just that. Let's attract them to Him by living like him. If we really seek to follow Jesus, we need not worry, people will be drawn. They will be drawn to Him because it is Him that draws...not us. Oh yes, we can draw the masses with a murky message and a glittery display, but we aren't making disciples when we do that. We are creating fans instead of followers.
Peter sums this up for us in his writing...
"Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives." (1 Peter 2:11 MSG)
People need truth. Jesus never wavered from the message. He never watered it down and he was not glittery in his presentation. He drew people with his overwhelming compassion, love, grace, mercy, kindness, gentleness...with just being himself. He drew people and yet he was hated by many. It will never be easy to live for Jesus without excuse. There will always be those who hate the message we carry. There will always be those who want to debate the message. There will always be those who want to shave off the inconvenient parts for a better looking presentation. But the truth remains.
God never changes.
God's word never changes. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever...
...always the same.