Luke #62 – Too Close for Comfort
“And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, ‘Thou art Christ the Son of God.’ And He rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that He was Christ” (Luke 4:41 – King James Version).
Relay For Life is a wonderful fundraising organization that helps the American Cancer Society help raise funds to fight cancer. Individuals form teams and do various fundraisers; then, the teams get together for an all night, non-stop relay in which team members take turns walking to symbolize the twenty-four hour struggle that cancer is for those stricken with any form of the disease. I wholeheartedly support what they do and have helped them raise money for several years.
I say all that to let you know that I support them; these next comments will not be flattering, but will serve as a perfect illustration for today’s devotion. Recently a team from our church participated in the all night relay event. We were given shirts to wear. On the back of the shirts were the names of corporate sponsors. One was a tavern; I blacked it off my shirt. I won’t endorse drinking in any way. The Bible never says “Thou shalt not drink!”, but I have seen too much damage done by alcohol (Scripture does say “Don’t get drunk” but I haven’t found many folks that drink without wanting to be drunk!). Another sponsor that sickened me was a company called PHE. I have no idea what the p, h, and e stand for, but that company sells pornography. I blacked that out too (FERVENTLY!).
One person saw me marking it off with my paint marker and asked me why I was doing it. I simply told them that I refused to walk around with that trash on my back. They didn’t know what the company sold. When I told them they said, “Well, at least they are giving money to a good cause.” To which I replied, “If it were up to me, Relay for Life wouldn’t take a red dime from them. Dirty money, earned by immorality and sin is still dirty!” Needless to say, I feel pretty strongly about this. The person then said, “Well, I didn’t know what it was and most other people won’t either.” I said, “I don’t care what other people know; I know and God knows the filth they peddle.” The person then said, “Well, people can look at other shirts and know what it was that you crossed out.” I replied, “They sure can…and I hope someone asks me why I crossed it out. I will be pleased to tell them.”
We live in a world that compromises too much! We have church buildings full of people who compromise too much! We have too much to do with too many things that God would call evil and hellish! Sure, we are to be IN the world, but not OF the world. Christians live by a different rule (or at least they should) than that of the world.
Some of you may think I am going a bit far with this, but I don’t. We are to be different than this world. The Living God abides in believers and He did not tolerate evil in any form. Don’t forget this; He loved sinners and hated sin. I don’t hate the people that produce pornography; I love them. Their sin is no worse than mine. I don’t go around wearing advertisements for my sin on my shirts and I’ll not wear theirs either! I am not having a part of it! I do hate pornography and will stand against it any chance I get. (For the record, I stand against gossips, murderers, drug dealers, grudge holders, pride, and the entire host of sin that Jesus stood against too!)
That day, as Jesus walked around Capernaum healing people, He casts demons out of some of the people. When the demons came out they identified Jesus as the Christ. Jesus told them to hush! He did not want to be identified with these fallen, evil creatures so even their accolades were unwanted. Those demons were telling the truth; Jesus was and is the Christ, but Jesus did not want any part of their rebellious endorsements…even if it was the truth. Jesus was not denying the truth, but He was refusing association with those evil ones who were saying it.
I’ll you as plain as I can do it…we need some of this in the church today! We need to disassociate ourselves from a bunch of this mess! Too many people are endorsing things that God would hate! I don’t care how much money some company or person gives to a church or good cause, evil is evil and sin is sin and we should have no part with any mess like that!
Listen, I could write a list that would take days to read noting the things I have seen Christians consciously and unconsciously endorse, but I want to make a simple point. It’s up to each of us as individuals to let God deal with us on the trash in our lives. My point is this: Christ wouldn’t let a demon speak a truth…a good truth, that He is the Christ…because He didn’t want any association with them, yet we have part with trashy things that are just plain trashy with no kind of goodness or truth about them at all! It’s wrong and ridiculous! It’s time to get right and live holy! It’s time to cast away the altars to this world and live solely for God! We are sojourners, foreigners in this land that is not our home…it’s time for us to realize that too much evil is too close for comfort! It’s time to get uneasy about the junk we endorse and allow. It’s time to live Godly! It’s not time to be politically correct; it’s not time to be tolerant to a fault. Love the sinners, hate sin. Rebuke evil by the power and in the name of Jesus; let’s clean up and live wholly for Him!
Remember this too…it’s not our actions that most concern God, but the heart attitudes that cause the actions. If we get our hearts right…get the demons and sin out of our lives…our actions will get right.