Have you been watching the news this week? If you have, like the rest of us, you are probably aghast at the sight of American embassies in the Middle East overrun by Muslims and our ambassadors being hurt or killed. And, like the rest of us, you may be wondering why on Earth our government isn’t doing something about it. You might be wondering how our government, or the media, or people in general, can be so blind to the fact that Islam is in fact a religion of subjugation and violence, and how they can pretend it is not what we see being played out in front of the cameras on the evening news. You might just see this as the reason you need to get far more politically involved than ever before, because, after all, if this administration cannot see the threat, then it is time for someone else to take the reigns, right? Yeah, I imagine a lot of people are thinking that right now.
But, if you are a Christian, I have to ask you a serious question, one that might make you a little uncomfortable. If you see Islam as a threat, if you see the danger that a satanic religion represents, if you see the harm it has caused to so many people, what are you doing about it? I’m not talking about taking up arms here. I’m not talking about some sort of militant activism either. And yes, I recognize there are hundreds, and thousands of muslims who have never so much as looked cross eyed at another person. I recognize there are many who would never even dream of committing acts of physical violence, so please do not misconstrue what I am saying here. I’m talking about what are you doing about the lost souls who bow to Mecca five times a day trying with all their might to please Allah. What are you doing to break them out of the works based, man centered religion that drives them to these acts. If you recognize that this religion, which is at the heart of so many problems in the Middle East, is truly a false and dangerous religion, what are you doing to change it?
Let me put it another way. When you go to church this week, why will you go? To be built up and strengthened so you may go forth and preach the gospel? Or will you go to be entertained and have your self esteem boosted? Will you walk out of church so in love with the Savior that you cannot help but to preach the gospel? Or will you walk out happy that God has made your life so comfortable? See, the point of church is not to make us feel better about ourselves and our lives. It is to make us love Jesus all the more and to drive us into the world, into spiritual battle, so that we might take the gospel to the ends of the earth. However, I fear that a great many people who attend church this Sunday might go there shaking their heads about the terrible things that have happened this week, but will come out feeling so nice and comfy about how much God has a wonderful plan for their lives. It will not even cross their minds that God has commanded them to preach the gospel, and that the answer to the violence in the Middle East is not in governments, political sanctions or military actions, it is in that very gospel they are commanded to preach!
The violence and tragedy in the Middle East this week needs to be a wake up call, not so much for the government, but for the church. For far too long, we have sat by and watched as church growth programs, self esteem seminars and entertainment industries have corrupted the church. We have been too satisfied to see the undershepherds who have been called to equip us for battle lay down that duty to entertain and amuse us. Yes, numbers in the churches grew, but those numbers represented nothing more than false converts because they never once heard the call to repent of their self centered sinfulness and cling to the cross seeking the mercy of the Savior. Church, we must repent of this! We have been commanded by our Savior to preach His gospel unto every nation! And can there be any further evidence that this world needs the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ than what we are seeing happen right now?
Those in the Middle East who have perpetrated these atrocities are sinners like you and me! They need Jesus Christ to wash away their sinfulness through His shed blood alone! They are trapped in a works righteous religion that calls them to appease their “god” through works, through man centered efforts, which will never atone for their sin. If we want see change in the Middle East, it can ONLY come through the gospel! It is the only thing which can change the heart of wicked and sinful man. No government plan, no sanction, no political overhaul can change man’s heart, only the power of the Holy Spirit can accomplish that. And God has ordained that it is through His gospel message that it will be accomplished.
Christians, wake up! When you go to church this Sunday, don’t be satisfied to sit back and be entertained. Weep over sin, starting first with your own. Glorify God that He sent His Son to die for sinners and to save them from the fires of Hell. And then be moved to preach the gospel in every way possible. Obviously, not all of us are called to be foreign missionaries, but maybe God has equipped you to support them. Maybe you can even start your own ministry here in America that will send missionaries over seas. You can even be a missionary here in your own hometown. Start preaching the gospel now, where you live. Share it with someone today. Let the turmoil in our world be the wake up call that makes you realize that God has called you to share the only thing that can change the hearts of men. The only thing that can bring them out of the treadmill of work righteousness. The only thing that can bring them from death to life. Preach the gospel today!