By Dave Daubenmire
“I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face.” —Coach Woody Hayes
Christianity is at a crossroads in America. Despite what we have been taught over the last three decades, Almighty God is not some white-bearded Grandpa sitting in an easy chair in a safe place called Heaven.
He is the current reigning King of Kings…The Alpha and Omega…the All-Powerful Everlasting God. He rules and reigns over all the earth and He is returning to earth on a White Stallion, not as a suffering Savior, but as a Conquering King. His job description states that “In righteousness He is going to Judge and make war.”
Why has the modern-day American church sold Him to future converts as a sweater-vested Mister Rogers whose sole aim is to be nothing more than a good neighbor? The death of Jesus on the cross was required for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. Personal salvation is simply the fruit of His sacrifice.
I John 3:8 “For this purpose was the Son of God manifested that He might destroy the works of the Devil.” Jesus died to defeat the Devil and his diabolical works. He did not die to be your best buddy. Sorry if your pastor did not explain the Gospel properly to you. Jesus was the first casualty in what we now call the New Covenant for the advancement of the Lordship of Christ.
A covenant is a deal…a contract if you will. Jesus dies for us and we die for Him. He presented His body as a living sacrifice and we return the favor. The Bible calls it “our reasonable service”…our dying to ourselves. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but if you haven’t died to yourself the contract is not complete. Jesus MIGHT be your Friend, but He is not your Lord. There is only room for one person on the throne of a man’s heart.
Jesus is looking for servants…not friends. He is Lord and Savior…not best bud.
The Bible teaches us that “The FEAR of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” One of the most famous sermons ever delivered was titled “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” Why have we marketed the Man on the White Horse…the guy whose eyes are a “flame of fire” …as simply someone who wants to befriend us?
That is what Friendship Evangelism has given us. That is the milquetoast gospel that is being used to “evangelize” the lost.
“Do you know Jesus?” I often hear Christians ask their lost friends. Wrong question. Do you know Tiger Woods? Everyone knows Tiger Woods…but does Tiger know them? “Does Jesus know YOU?” That is the question we should be asking. “I NEVER knew YOU” Jesus is quoted as having spoken. It seems to me that we have this KNOWING thingee backwards.
Being a Christian has lost most of its true meaning in today’s culture. Jesus is Lord…not best homie.
Lord is defined as “A master; a person possessing supreme power and authority; a ruler; a governor.” Lord does not connote friendship. Lordship demands submission.
How many people do you run into during the day who are actually in submission to the total LORDSHIP of Jesus Christ? My experience teaches me that most claim Jesus as friend, while few bow to Him as Lord. The servant is in total submission to the will of the One who holds Lordship over him. Jesus is a benevolent dictator…but ruler, nonetheless.
Is it any wonder that most of America, and particularly our Government has kicked Jesus to the curb? America has traded Jesus for a new set of friends.
I was struck by a quote I read from Rush Limbaugh this week.
“There’s a good reason for the media hating me. And once I came to grips with that fact, that there’s a reason they should hate me, then it makes sense. One of the toughest things I had to do was learn to psychologically accept the fact that being hated was a sign of success. Most people aren’t raised to be hated. We’re all raised to be loved. We want to be loved. We’re told to do things to be loved and appreciated and liked. We’re raised, don’t offend anybody, be nice. Everybody wants total acceptance. Everybody wants respect. Everybody wants to be loved, and so when you learn that what you do is going to engender hatred you have to learn to accept that as a sign of success. That was a tough psychological thing for me.”
How successful has your Christianity become?
The Bible tells us “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:
…and this “If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”
…and this “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God”.
…and this “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”
I know this rattles your boots, but the “love only” Gospel has been destructive to the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
We are in a war. It is not a new war…but one that is ramping up on both sides. God has enemies and His enemies are my enemies. They should be yours as well.
If the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, then why don’t our churches teach the fear of God to their people? I have many FRIENDS but only one Lord.
Jesus is not looking for more “friends.” He is looking for soldiers.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
Man up. Hate sin. Hate evil. Expose the unfruitful works of darkness. Duty calls.
© 2021 Dave Daubenmire – All Rights Reserved
E-Mail Dave Daubenmire: firstname.lastname@example.org