Where Were You When They Took Our Freedom?

Where were you

Are you a Christian?  I don’t mean the “Ya, I believe in God” or the “Ya, I go to church” Christian.  I mean a true, Bible believing, I live my life for Christ and I stand on His promises-type Christian.  I want to know…where are the Christians?  If you are a true Christian, do you feel it?  Do you feel the shift in the atmosphere?   Do you feel the shift in society, our state, our nation and our world?  Do you feel the great divide that is happening?  I do!  With all of my being I feel it!  And as I talk to other true believers, they feel it too.  It’s scary and it’s invigorating.  Some days it’s downright discouraging and other days it fills me with hope and expectation.

In Matthew 25:31-46, it talks about the final judgment when the Son of Man comes to judge the inhabitants of this world.

Verses 32 and 33 say, “Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on his left.”

I know these verses are talking about the end of times, but I’m seeing evidence of this happening right now.  All you have to do is look around, pay attention and you can see that our world is spinning out of control.  The news is filled with stories of wars both abroad and at home.  Some of those wars are taking place right in our homes.  Especially here in America, this once great nation, founded on the principles of the Bible, is crumbling at the foundation.  Where once the Bible was the ultimate authority on everything; laws, rulings, marriage, and life; now it’s the voice that screams the loudest, no matter how wrong they are.  It is these things that are being debated that are now separating the sheep from the goats.

It is not my place to judge how you stand on the issue of religious freedom, marriage, abortion, refugees, war, education, taxes, and the list goes on.  It is God’s place to judge where you stand on them.  His Word is very clear.  There are no mistakes, it is infallible.  There is no room for new translations that skew the Truth to be what you want it to be.  Personally, this is where I base my judgment.  It’s not my opinion, it’s God’s Truth, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s the final Word.  There’s no room for compromise.  And here is where we separate the sheep from the goats.

Again, I ask…where are the Christians?  There is a remnant.  I talk to some of them almost daily.  There are still those who see the crisis of this world and are willing to stand against the tide and not just apathetically sit in the church pews on Sunday.  I think people have the wrong view of Christ in the Bible.  I think they see Him as passive and weak.  He was anything but!  If you look real closely, Jesus picked His battles.  The only battles He backed away from were personal attacks.  He did not feel the need to defend Who He was, but what He did defend was His Father, the principles for which the Father sent Him to earth and the people who could not defend themselves.  Therefore, I believe we must do the same.  We must fight for the things of the Father, which are written in His Word and for those who can’t defend themselves.  It’s not a fight of hate.  Jesus offended a lot of people, not out of hate, but out of love.

My daughter asked me the other day, “My friend wants to know, if we are Christians, aren’t we supposed to love everyone.  And if so, what’s the big deal about baking a cake?”  I love that she is asking that question.  Jesus often answered questions with a question, so I did the same.  “If you were doing something that was wrong, bad for you, or was causing you injury, would you want me to support you in doing that and or help you stop?  For instance, if I knew you were having sex with your boyfriend (which we do not support, based on our Biblical beliefs), would it be right for me to invite him over and send you both to your bedroom?”  Of course her answer was, “NO!”  This is my point exactly.  We continued to talk about how I give her limits and step in and say “no” when she is doing things she shouldn’t because I love her.

We love people, therefore we don’t participate in things that support or condone destructive, sinful behavior.  It’s really that simple.

A time has come where the sheep and goats are being separated.  There’s no longer time for lukewarm Christianity.  There’s no longer time for pew sitting when the doors are open at the church and living as the world the rest of the week.  There used to be a saying, “Get off the porch or stay home.”  My sentiment is “get out of the pew or stay home!”  I’m not saying that going to church is bad, please hear me.  We need to continue to gather together for love and support and to hear the Word of God.  What I’m saying is… if that is all you are doing, what good are you for the Kingdom?  Maybe that sounds harsh, but the lost are not coming into the church buildings.  The battles for the foundations of our nation, built on the Word of God are not being fought in the pews.  The battle for the lives of the unborn and now the incapacitated won’t be won by sitting in the four walls of a church.

It’s time for Christians to go to the battle front.  The time for apathy and ignorance is over.  It is far too costly.  It’s cost us prayer in schools, it’s cost the lives of millions of unborn babies, it has cost the sanctity of marriage, it has cost the Word of God being taken from the halls of government.  Should I go on?  Right now, it’s costing us religious freedom.  What does that look like?  It means that Christian business owners lose their businesses, our daughters are subjected to boys in their locker room showers and bathrooms, Christians in political offices are removed from their positions or arrested, Christian agencies are forced to go against their Christian beliefs or close, and again, the list goes on.  We can’t fight these battles from the pews.

God has given us the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions(Luke 10:19), not hide in the pews.  Why are we not using it???

“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” -Romans 8:31

Please Christians…wake up!  Stand up!  Suit up with the armor of God!  The battle is raging on all fronts.  The battle cry has been sounded!  Where are the Christian soldiers?  Where are the prayer warriors?  Where are the children of God who are willing to stand on the Word of God and not back down?  We need YOU!  I need YOU!  There is power in unity of the body.  This battle is not about you and me.  It’s about the generation we are raising and the generations to come.  If we lose these battles, these children will grow up in a very different world than we did.  They will not be able to live out their faith in the public square, they will not be able to stand up for their faith without persecution, and their rights will be stripped before they ever even had them.

When they ask, “Where were you when they took our freedom?” what will you say?

I see evidence daily that Christ is coming soon.  My very being longs for His return, but if He should tarry, my heart breaks for the world that will be left, if we don’t act now.  Souls are at stake.  Our time is short; we must be living out our faith in real practical ways, not cowering in the pews until His return.  How will He find you?  If you say you are a Christian, yet you don’t see the urgency, might I suggest you may be a sheep following the wrong shepherd?  If that’s not the case…you may just be a goat!

Following His Lead,

“No, Because I Love You.”

NO.  It’s one of the shortest words in the English language.  It can be one of the hardest words to say and it can be one of the hardest words to hear.  As a parent of a toddler, this can be one of the most used words in your vocabulary.  It can also be one of the most frustrating words to hear as your child learns to say it back to you as a response to almost EVERYTHING!  As the parent of a teenager, the word “No” can make you one of the most disliked people on the planet.  There is just something about that small, two letter word that stirs up some strong emotions in a person.

As I’ve told you in a previous post, in parenting my own children, I’ve come to learn a lot about God and why He does some of the things that He does.  You see, as a parent there are times when it is absolutely necessary to say, “No.”  For instance, I will tell my children, “No,” when whatever they are wanting or attempting to do will cause them or someone else harm.  If I can see something they are going to do will cause imminent danger, then as a parent it is my duty to tell them, “No.”  There are other times I tell my children, “No,” because what they want is not the best choice and I know there is a better option.  Like when my child wants to sit down with a bag of chips five minutes before supper is ready, I know she will ruin her appetite with junk and not eat the healthier choice of a home cooked meal.  Other times I have to say, “No,” because they have broken a rule and I have to follow through on a consequence.  (That’s a tough one and makes me very unpopular.)  And finally, there’s other times I say, “No,” because I know something that they don’t know and by saying, “No,” I am setting them up for something way better.  One time my daughter wanted to have a friend spend the night.  I said, “No,” because I knew that the following day we were having a surprise birthday party for her.  If I would have said, “Yes,” it would have messed up the plans we had for her prior to the party, which was a special daddy/daughter date where my husband presented her with her purity ring. She was quite upset when I told her, “No,” but said, “It was so worth it,” when she found out the reason why.

On the flip side, hearing the word “No” is pretty hard to swallow sometimes too.  My husband tends to be very frugal with our money.  I, on the other hand, tend to be a free spender.  Over the last several years, I’ve become a little more respectful of his wishes on how we spend our money.  I will ask him before making larger purchases and I must say,  I still get a little miffed when he tells me, “No.”  And don’t even get me started when I tell one of my children to do something and she tells me, “No.”  Even if she doesn’t verbalize the word, but in action says it loud and clear, this momma gets mad!  Then there’s times when someone else tells me, “No,” and it just causes disappointment, like when I ask a friend to do something and they can’t.  It may be for a good reason, but it’s disappointing just the same.  “No” is just not a fun word!

So where am I going with this?  Well, when I think about God and His Word, there are many times He tells us, “No.”  And as I listed above, there are so many different reasons for saying, “No.”  The difference between me as a parent and God, besides the obvious, is that God is always good and He’s always just.  There are times I will simply say, “No,” because I’m in a bad mood.  It may have nothing to do with what I’m being asked, but in my selfishness I will say, “No.”  God is not like that.  In every situation and in every response, He is totally good and totally righteous.  His response is always for our good and His glory.  It’s never just because that’s what He feels like at that moment.  In my good moments, even when it’s hard, I will say, “No,” because I love my children and I know that it is best for them.  God’s response is always because He loves us and wants the best for us.  Many times I think we forget that.  We start to think that God just doesn’t want us to have any fun or that He’s punishing us, but that’s just not the case.

The problem is, we are human and we are sinful-each and every one of us.  There are no exceptions.  In the beginning when God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, He only had one “No.” “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:17.  Now God was doing this not because He was holding out on them, but because He was looking out for them.  It was not only for their safety, but because He wanted something better for them.  He loved them.  They were His children and He wanted the best for them.  But, because they sinned and chose to disobey, we too are now sinful and often choose to disobey.  His love for them did not change in their disobedience, but with their disobedience came consequence.  Their consequence was removal from the garden and their ability to walk daily in His presence without shame and ultimately death.

God has not changed.  His love for us has not changed.  He is still the same God that walked with Adam and Eve in the garden.  The difference is the sin in us.  In the garden there was only need for one “No,” but once sin entered in, there was need for more “No’s.”  Once the untainted bond between God and man was broken, the Bible became the most effective way for God to communicate His love to all the generations that have followed.  It isn’t merely a history book or a book of rules, but a comprehensive way for us to learn how God loves us and how we should love Him. 

There are people who claim that “their God” is a god of love and acceptance, and that we must be reading the Bible wrong if we disagree with their interpretation of what is right or wrong.  They can’t comprehend that a “good and loving” God would tell them, “No.”  They can’t believe that a “good and loving” God would have consequences for behaviors that He says are not acceptable.  And don’t even mention that this same God will send people to Hell for not accepting His Son.  Its seems inconceivable to them that a God that says, “No,” could possibly be loving, so they choose to omit the “No’s” they don’t agree with and only focus on the parts of the Bible that fit with what they consider loving.  This is what I must challenge, because I am a flawed human being and I love my children.  I absolutely want the best for them in their lives and because of that, I must at times tell them, “No,” set boundaries, and give consequences.  If I chose to be completely tolerant of any and all behaviors that they chose to participate in, I would be neglectful.  It is not loving to allow my children to play with a loaded gun just because they want to.  It is not loving for me to say, “Yes,” to every request they make just because I don’t want them to get angry with me.  And it is not loving of me to not have consequences for breaking rules, therefore teaching them that they are the most important thing in the universe and they don’t have to respect authority.  So why do we believe the only way that God could be loving and good is by never telling us, “No,” and never having consequences when we disobey His rules?

So when the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” God is still loving.  Just because we don’t like the message, does not make it less true.  Because God loves us, He says, “No.”  He accepts us right where we are, but loves us enough to not let us stay there.  Verse 11 goes on to say, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  Romans 5:8 also says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  He loves us so much that He sent His only Son to pay the price that we deserve to pay for our disobedience.  His only requirement is that we turn from disobedience and accept His free gift of forgiveness.  It’s like He’s saying, “I love you enough to say, ‘No.’  I have something so much better for you, if you will just trust me.  Do you trust me enough to obey?”

As Christians, it’s sometimes hard to address sin in those around us, be it in other Christians or non-Christians.  We can come off as judgmental and intolerant, but I don’t think that is the case with most Christians.  Maybe we just need to change our approach.  Most of us know first hand what it’s like to disobey God’s “No’s” and then experience the freedom of living in obedience.  I used to be some of those things mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6, but thank God for verse 11. Now I know first hand that what God had to offer was so much better.  It wasn’t about Him telling me, “No.”  It was about Him telling me, “Yes.”  “Yes, I love you.  Yes, I accept you.  Yes, I forgive you and yes, now you are free.”  If you are a Christian, you should have had a similar experience.  So maybe we need to talk more about that.  I think it’s ok to say, “No, I don’t condone what you are doing, but I love you.  No, God doesn’t condone what you are doing, but He loves you.  Let me tell you what He offered me in place of those things and how it changed my life.  He is offering it to you too.”  On the flip side, if we choose not to address these things, is it possible that we will “love” people straight into hell in the name of acceptance and tolerance?

There are still times in my life when God tells me, “No.” I still don’t like it, but because I know He is faithful, He is good, and He is just, I will trust Him.  I will trust that His “No” is what’s best for me.  It will keep me safe or it will give me the opportunity to experience something even better.  Do you trust His “No’s?”  If so, share your story.  You never know who may end up saying, “Yes!” to Christ.

Because I’m Forgiven,
Lorissa