Dear Abundant Life Family,

For believers in Jesus Christ and members of Bible-teaching churches and organizations, this last couple of years seems to have been very frustrating. It appears that our own government is actively working against us, what we believe and against God himself.

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Don’t be surprised, afraid or dismayed. Jesus told us this would be the case: “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19 (NKJV))

We have two choices in our response: behave like true disciples of Jesus Christ or behave like those who oppose Christ and the Bible.

The second option is to get angry. It involves angry posts and blogs, fortress mentality, vocal complaints about political leaders and insulting “our enemies”. But this reaction is sinful: “for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:20 (NKJV))”

The first option, behaving like a true Christian, looks totally different.

First, we pray:

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NKJV))

Remember, in Paul’s time, most kings and leaders were megalomaniacs who actively persecuted anyone who they believed was a threat, especially the followers of Jesus.

Second, we show true Christ-like love:

“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39 (NKJV)

True love does not harm, rather God’s love blesses those to whom it is demonstrated.

Third, prepare ourselves with the answers that we need:

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.” (1 Peter 3:15-16 (NKJV))

The answer we give is about the everlasting hope we have in Christ. Remember, the world and those who live in it have no hope at all. This is why they seek their hope in laws and lifestyles that attempt to fill the empty space.

Another important note: avoid the evil temptation to think that WE are “BETTER” than THEY. Soberly reflect on Paul’s words in Titus 3:3, “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.”

Our salvation, hope, wisdom and any goodness does not come from ourselves: “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (Titus 3:4-6 (NKJV))

Yes, speak the truth concerning the Bible’s sacred definitions of gender, sexuality, marriage and life. Voice your opinion to elected leaders clearly and with respect. But remember that God doesn’t need us to defend Him and He is not threatened at all by any of these events or people. God loves the world and he sent his son Jesus to die for sins. If we believe in the person and work of Jesus, we will be saved. Those who do not believe in Jesus are already condemned. But condemnation and judgment belong to Christ. We must proclaim His salvation.

Proclaim this message to all. Pray. Love your neighbour. Live holy lives. Trust in God alone. Encourage one another in Christ.

God bless

Pastor Brad