There isn't anything new in what I have to say, but I do see life from an unique perspective. As my body is shutting down, my soul is opening up to a greater and greater relationship with Christ. I am sharing the things I learn as I go through my trials so that those who read what I write will be encouraged in their own walks by how gracious God has been to me in mine. Ask me questiions, dispute my views and most of all pray for me.
Those who sow in seeds of tears will reap with songs of joy. (Psalm 126:5)
This is more than preaching in joy. This is more than preaching with zeal. This is more than emotion or passion in the crowd. This is the divine edict of God. We are called to reap the seeds of the Gospel with a passion born of our grief for those who do not yet know their redeemer or have not found the hope of their salvation. This is not scholarly exposition or exegetical exactness or homiletically perfect pronouncements.
The writer of this psalm understood that the authority of the temple (Church) was waning in a cruelty filled and apathy drenched world. He cringes with sorrow that men turn a deaf ear to the truth of God’s word just as they listen not to the Gospel of the living Christ today. They selfishly risk eternal damnation in the process of glorifying themselves. The speaker grieves and his broken hearted tears pour forth at the lack of hope for those who reject the truth.. His broken heart cannot be hid as he grieves at the worldliness of the church, its toleration of sin and acceptance of the world’s values over Christ’s. He is embarrassed that the corporate prayer of the church no longer pulls down the strong holds of the devil and grieves that we longer cry out in our despair before this devil made crime arid sin mad society, “Why can we not cast out these demons as of old?” “And the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have the faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible or you.” Matthew 17:19-20
Many of us have no memory for the great revivals of the church, because we have never seen what true revival is. We walk calmly with the status quo as our generation marches inexorably toward hell. We sleep peacefully at night because our church is saved and those outside have to face the problem for themselves. It’s not our responsibility after all. Jesus whipped the money changers out of the temple, but first He wept over them. He grieved for their souls. Shame on us. Everlasting Shame on us for we do not weep a single tear for those misguided souls.
The Apostle Paul sent a tear stained letter to the Philippians saying, I have told you often and now tell you even weeping that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.” (Philippians 3:18). Notice that he does not say that they are the enemies of Christ, but that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. They are the enemies of the salvation that comes with the sacrifices of Christ Jesus. They deny or diminish the redemptive values of the cross. Many are those today who do the same. They polish their thirty inch section of pew, but leave just as dumb or worse than they did before, The Church of Rome does not stand against the Holy Name of Christ, but by saying that Mary is a co-absolver with Christ, they deny the cross by saying she is co-redemptive and she did not suffer crucifixion. The Mormons use the name of Christ but they stray from the atonement and make Him brother of Satan! The Jehovah Witnesses deny the physical resurrection and thus the proof of His Godhead. Have we no tears for them?. Shall we face their accusations without a blush when they accuse us of standing by when they were our neighbors and yet insufficient of a burden to cause us to act? Did we decide their fate in advance and so make them unworthy of any effort to save them?
The evangelicals can scarcely read their history of revivals and mass salvations without tears. Has the glory of the evangelical revival under Wesley ever gripped the hearts of the Methodists today or have they become so enraptured with the social issues and political standards that they have forgotten the fire baptized men like Walsh and Nelson and the host of others who were beaten in the streets for the glory of the Gospel? Yet as their blood flowed from their wounds, their tears flowed from their eyes. Tears for the ones who had beaten them. Have the Holiness people set a guard at the door of the beauty parlors lest any sister should enter to get her hair curled, while a block away there is a string of prostitutes trying to sell their sin-wracked bodies with none to tell them of eternal love? Do the Pentecostals look back with shame as they remember when they dwelt across the theological tracks, but with the glory of the Lord in their midst? When they had a normal church life, which meant nights of prayers, followed by signs and wonders, and diverse miracles, and genuine gifts of the Holy Ghost? When they were not clock watchers, and their meetings lasted for hours, saturated with holy power? Have we no tears for these memories, or shame that our children know nothing of such power? Other denominations had their Glory Days of revival. Think of the mighty visitations to the Presbyterians in Korea. Remember the earth-shaking revival in Shantung. Are those days gone forever? Have we no tears for revival? Jesus wept for He new how near their judgment was and He loved them still. Where is our love? Where is our grief? Where is our shame?
I used to dream of the evangelists of the past. Now I dream of Christians hidden inside their private communities unwilling to invite others in or to go where others are that they might share the glory of Christ with them. Christ still weeps for the souls of the lost as well as the souls of the saved who won’t make time for the seekers of hope. I know I have been guilty of this sin and cannot describe the shame I feel for my failure to serve my Lord and my King. Would this sin were the exception rather than the rule in this country, but sadly it is not. Somehow we have confused liberal and conservative Christianity with liberal and conservative politics. Neither their goals nor their hopes nor their means are the same. When we confuse the world with the spirit and the spirit with the world, the world will win and division will reign.
What are your thoughts on this dillema?