The Time HAS Come (Part 3)

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

–2 Timothy 4:1-5, NASB (emphasis added)

(Continued – Part 3 of 3)

When folks say the things I am saying, others call it hate. I challenge anyone to look at anything I have written and point out where I have expressed hatred toward anyone. I harbor no hatred toward any person or group of people. We have come to the place in our society where disagreement with someone’s viewpoint is tantamount to hatred. That is just plain wrongheaded.

We need to understand a very simple truth. The time has come. The time when Paul predicted folks will no longer listen to sound doctrine and will seek to gather teachings and teachers they find more palatable — that time has come! Even people who claim to be Christians will read Scripture and only utilize the parts that make them feel good. They will trumpet the fact that God is love, but forget the part where He is a Righteous Judge. They cling to the fact that Jesus is the Light of the world, but not that He is Truth. The Timothy passage I have shared is one of the marching orders given to preachers of the Gospel. I cannot preach only half the Gospel!

Make no mistake. Jesus Christ loves you. If you are struggling with gluttony, homosexuality, lust, lying, adultery or [enter your sin here] – The fact is JESUS IS LOVE and HE DIED FOR YOU. However, another thing that some people like to avoid is the very thing that helps form the gateway to salvation in Jesus Christ. It is called REPENTANCE. To repent means to turn around and turn away from your sin. Whatever your sin is, you are required to lay it down, turn away, denounce it. Stop! Does this mean you never sin again? No. We all still struggle with sin, but the big difference is it becomes the exception rather than the rule.

As far as I am concerned, the doors of my church are open wide to ANY AND ALL who are seeking answers to life’s problems. You may not even know that Christ is the missing puzzle piece that fits that emptiness in your life. You are welcome in my church. Know this though, as long as you embrace your sin, you will not serve in any leadership capacity. You cannot expect to keep one arm around Jesus and one arm around your sin of choice. Case in point, when the scribes and pharisees brought the adulterous woman before Jesus (John 8). After confounding the men by asking “he that is without sin cast the first stone,” Jesus then turned to the woman and said, Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” Go and sin no more! That is the thing. Jesus longs for you to be free from the bondage of sin and that is only available in Him. When we repent and confess Jesus Christ as Lord we can experience that freedom.

This manifesto, if you will, will not sit well with some folks. I will no doubt receive nasty comments and I will be accused of being hateful, but I am anything but hateful. I will endure the bad vibes and nasty comments because I love you enough to share the truth. I want folks to be free in Christ. I don’t make a habit of wielding the Bible violently like an axe seeing whom I might strike down. Yet, the Bible describes itself as a two-edged sword and to those in sin it cuts pretty deep and makes folks uncomfortable. Loved or hated, a pastor must preach the Word! I will make no apologies for that.

THE END

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The Time HAS Come (Part 1)

[What follows is the first of a 3 part series from my heart. It will upset some folks. Others will feel as though I read their mind. I would ask that both camps reserve their comments and final analysis until you have had a chance to read the series in its entirety.]

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

–2 Timothy 4:1-5, NASB (emphasis added)

There I was, minding my own business, spending my Thanksgiving morning pretty much like every other Thanksgiving morning in recent memory. My family got up early and I was enjoying the rare occasion of nothing pressing or vying for my time and attention. I took my place in my chair and flipped on NBC for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the traditional Brooks family practice. We were in filler time when some of the Broadway shows perform before the parade reaches Herald Square. I remember the Motown performance and thinking how awesome it was and that I would very much like to see that on Broadway.

I don’t recall the time exactly, but suffice it to say it was between 9 and 10 o’clock in the morning, when the broadcasters announced a performance with which I was unfamiliar. It was a show called Kinky Boots. The next 3 or 4 minutes were filled with men and women parading around in knee-high boots along with men dressed up like women. I later learned that to try to describe that with the traditional phrases such as “dressed in drag” or “transvestite” is demeaning, mean-spirited and hate-filled language. At least one friend suggested I instead use “transgender.” As an aside, I always thought someone who was going through the process of being surgically altered to go from being a man to a woman or vice versa was known as transgender. I could be wrong.

At any rate, I was a bit aghast at the idea that at 10 o’clock on Thanksgiving morning a traditional family oriented program was broadcasting anything “kinky” with cross-dressing people. As a father, I prefer to choose the time and place to explain things to my daughter. That decision and those conversations happen when her mother and I feel she is mature enough and there is reason for her to know certain things. That’s why we are careful about the things to which she is exposed. To see that on my TV knowing not only my child, but children all over the United States were seeing that, took me aback. So what did I do? I did what many folks do. I expressed my amazement at what I had seen on social media to see what my friends thought of said event. Here is what I posted:

“And then the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade got weird… Transvestites singing on my TV! What? So much for family programming.”

This set off a litany of posts expressing their displeasure with my statement. Apparently, I was being “negative” and “hurtful” with my comments. In actuality, I was merely being factual with what I had witnessed on the screen. There was not one shred of hate in my heart, nor was their any hint of negativity. It was Thanksgiving for crying out loud! However, I learned long ago that there is absolutely no win whatsoever in arguing and badgering one another on Facebook or any other online venue – especially if you are a pastor or an otherwise reasonably intelligent person.

It’s not the first time. In the past, I’ve been accused of being hateful, mean, small-minded, a racist, a homophobe, and generally out-of-touch along with many other things. All of the above have stemmed from my taking a stand on things that are in opposition to God’s Word. I hope and pray that those who truly know me know that I am none of the aforementioned. I have dedicated my life to being faithful to the Truth. The fact is, just as the verses which opened this post stated, those who disagree with the Truth will find me disagreeable.

(To be continued…)