This post is a follow-up to my last post, “Firm in the Faith.”
We live in a world where wickedness confronts us often and unexpectedly. We all have learned that media, in general, and entertainment, specifically, is in lockstep in its effort to normalize wickedness and demonize objective truth – objective truth is the opposite of opinion.
If we read a new novel, watch a new show, listen to an interview with an athlete or hear a new song, we are sure to find some new subjective morality that we would never voluntarily allow to enter our ears or eyes.
However, I am not writing this to vent or moan about our conditions. Paul wrote that we can’t hold the unsaved to the moral standard of Christians. (1 Corinthians 5:12)
What has me concerned is this worldly agenda being embraced by people convinced they are saved and doing God’s work. Paul gave the church at Corinth a stern warning about this kind of sin (1 Corinthians 5:6–12). This concern brings me to an unexpected verse in the Bible.
“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”1 Corinthians 13:13
Notice the word “forever.” This word is why we can trust in the objective truth of faith, hope, and love. If something is an objective truth, it always has been true, and it always will be true.
If we had said that the landline telephone was the best communication method, we would now be wrong. That wasn’t an objective truth. But if we say that theft is a sin, that is an objective truth that always has been true and always will be.
No matter what happens, faith, hope, and love will continue; they will never be taken from God’s children. Sure, we have to continually “clean our feet1,” but what is happening to many American and European Christians is the same as what happened to the church at Corinth; the creation of local beliefs, based on human wisdom, that supersedes and displaces the Gospel.
18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men.1 Corinthians 3:18–20a
This problem of wickedness within the Church has been a problem since Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit2. The world has been carnal since Adam and Eve and will continue to be carnal until God’s final judgment.
Our need is the same as the early church. We should pray that the Holy Spirit will direct all of us to reform our local churches so that they embrace being a Christian community that continually encourages, teaches, and assists each other, healing the wounds their members suffer as they go into the world and share the Gospel of Jesus. The Bible should be our standard, with nothing added and nothing removed. There are some churches that do this, but many more have wandered into worldly wisdom.
We “must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God 3.” We must go out even though unsaved people hate us4. We must go out because this is a command Jesus gave us5. If we love Jesus, we must obey His commands6. We can’t go out unless the body of Christ receives us back and heals us.
Our local churches are the people that possess faith, hope, and love. We must not try to make it on our own. It won’t work because it violates God’s command: “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)
I pray that each of us walks daily in faith, hope, and love.
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