I don’t know why I have taken so long to write about the happenings recently in Orlando, as it’s right in my own backyard. It’s been a rough week for this city and who would have ever thought that City Beautiful would be home to the largest mass shooting in United States history.
It’s been amazing to see everyone pulling together and church leaders uniting. There’s been a lot of focus on Christians watching their words closely and making sure to show love. Is this because it happened at a gay nightclub? Aren’t we supposed to already be acting this way? This is the example that Jesus has already showed us through His life.
I believe what the Bible says… exactly what the Bible says. Sin is sin no matter what it is… And, you, me and everyone else sins, just in different ways and variations. No one wants to hear the cliché anymore… hate the sin and love the sinner. That’s not enough, those are just idle words spoken. The truth must be told so that the sinner can know God’s Word and make a choice, an informed decision. If we don’t tell the truth then we’re not giving anyone a chance at life. It’s what God requires of us. However, it’s more that just words as well. Jesus showed unconditional love and compassion. He showed it, He lived it… it’s our words combined with our actions that will jump out and make a difference in someone’s life.
We are all the same… sinners. The difference then is the acceptance of Christ’s gift of the cross. His death, a gift freely given even though we are not deserving. It’s accepting and understanding that we are all sinners, saved by His Grace once we accept His precious gift. The key then becomes the transformation. We must transform from who we were. We must choose the life Jesus has set before us and follow Him. He said to go and sin no more. Each of us… the murderer, the adulterer, the addict, the angry, the defiant, the slanderer, the liar, the homosexual, the prideful, the thief and the list is endless. Each one of these, each sin, carries the same penalty, not one is less of a sin than another. Not one of us can ever cast the first stone condemning someone else. So why do we judge before we even know someone? Why do we say to ourselves, at least I’m not like that? Those thoughts are sins as well. There is no one who can escape the penalty of sin, not one. It’s only by the grace of God and the acceptance of Jesus Christ that one can be made whole. Jesus came into this world to seek and save the lost, and He did that by having compassion and showing love. We are to follow His example everyday. We are to live out our faith and trust by sharing and loving, not just today, but each day.
Showing love is not condoning sin. We still have an obligation to share the gospel as Jesus did. To accept sin without repentance is harmful as it leads to death. You cannot be a disciple of Christ and continue in your sinful ways on purpose. Can you make mistakes? Absolutely, no one is perfect, however, God knows your heart. God knows if you purpose to sin and are just living your life with no change. This is why Jesus has said that you must hate even your own life in order to be His disciple. You have to despise your sin so that you won’t desire to do it any longer. If you cry out with a sincere heart, He knows this too and will forgive you.
God’s message can’t be altered or sugar-coated, everyone needs to know the truth so they can make their choice based on complete knowledge. Jesus is the only way and repentance shows love.