By Patrick Allen
20 May 2016
Christian, are you confidently saved? I ask this question because there are many professing Christians here in the U.S. that are responding to the ever changing culture in ways that seem out of the scope of God’s love. The Apostle John wrote that “God is Love” in his epistle to believers that were struggling with the Gnostics. What’s important with this short sentence is not so much who he wrote that statement to, but the context in which he wrote it. You see John wrote this because he wanted these believers who were combating culture, to understand the evidence or fruit of a true believer. Additionally, he wanted to make sure that they knew they were securely and confidently saved.
Like Mike? Nope, like Jesus!
It was such a popular song back in the 90’s: “If I could be like Mike.” It wasn’t even a pop sensation, but merely a jingle for a commercial to a product endorsed by basketball legend Michael Jordan. Oh but the little boys had that song in their hearts and it worked too! Those same boys have grown into men and will spend their hard earned greenbacks on clothing that bear the image of Jordan. People know you’re a Jordan junkie by the shoes or clothing or his that you wear. But with Jesus, how would someone know you are sold-out for Him? Again it’s John who gives us the proof of purchase: “Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.” So God is Love, and if He lives in us, then we become like Jesus in this life by exhibiting this divine love to those around us. WOW!
Back to the Culture
So what is happening or has happened that is causing the western church to implode? The same thing that happened to ancient Israel: Compromise. We are allowing cultural changes to affect the church to the point that whole denominations are splitting. Additionally, these cultural changes have exposed a vast number of professing Christians that are no more Christian than Hitler was. The same-sex marriage issue, and the gender-identity debacle currently unfolding are hot enough to scorch these fruitless seedlings that were trying to grow on the rocky path.
Exhibit Alpha and Omega
If Jesus is in you, then you would sit at the table with the married lesbian couple or the transgendered prostitute. Did not the Pharisees complain that Jesus ate with sinners? Did not Jesus defend and forgive the prostitute in Luke 7:36-50? Jesus even stated about this prostitute to the Pharisee, “her many sins are forgiven- as evident by her great love.” Where is this “great love” that should be shining from all those who profess Christ? Instead all I see is Christians on social media ranting about how “if a man goes into the women’s bathroom while my daughter is in there I am going to kill him.” There is NO love in that, and I can correctly deduce based off the lack of love in the statement of this professing Christian that God does not dwell within them. A better statement would be: “I am sorry, but my child is in there can you wait a moment until she comes out? I appreciate it. Hey, do you know the Lord? Do you have a church? Let’s get together for coffee and I can try to answer any questions you may have about the Bible, my treat.”
“People are angry” says one presidential candidate. I think it’s more like “terrified.” People respond with anger when they get scared. Case in point, when I tried to put my terrified daughter on a roller coaster she punched me in the face. It’s a lack of self-control. Hey, that’s one of the fruit of the Spirit! Anger, unfortunately is not one of the fruit of the Spirit. It actually exposes that person. You see, Jesus commanded us to “love our enemies” to “pray for those who persecute us.” We can’t do that unless the One who is Love is in us.
Order in the Court
So what now? Why is this culture tornado blowing the roof off the church building? I believe we are being judged. Not America, but the church in America. American Christians need to stop pointing our dirty finger at the transgendered person or the homosexual or lesbian. Instead we need to be like Jesus. We need to let the love of God shine from us so bright that it cannot be ignored. After all, John reminds us that on the Day of Judgment our only hope, the only evidence that we can present on our behalf is this, “In this world we are like Jesus,” meaning that He lives in us. Only then can we love them. After all we didn’t choose to love God, He chose to love us. “This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Friends, if we find ourselves acting out of the character of Christ, then we need to repent. Not them, US! God reminds us in 2 Chronicles 7:14, it is His people that need to repent, then and only then will He heal us.
Lord, help us to repent of this lack of love. Help us to be more and more like your Son Jesus. In this exhibition of Your Love will we only be able to affect change in our culture. In Jesus Name, we pray Amen
 1 John 4:16a
 1 John 4: 16b-17
 Matthew 5:44-45
Patrick R Allen is married to his best friend Amy for over 12 years and they have three beautiful daughters Madelyn, Ainslie and Teagan. He is a Louisiana native but currently resides in Fredericksburg, VA. He has served as the Youth Pastor for Spotsylvania Baptist Church for the past two years and is currently building a team to plant a church in the downtown Fredericksburg area called Courageous Faith that ministers to the local motels. He is a Veteran of the US Army, having served over 17 years. He is currently a student at Liberty University Online in the Religion and Christian ministries program and is also undergoing church planter training through the New Breed Church Planting Network.