Jesus was pretty clear when He said what would cause the world to know His followers and it wasn’t….
…are you ready for this?
It was NOT their moral lives.
It was NOT their Bible reading.
It didn’t include them witnessing.
It wasn’t the way they dressed.
It had nothing to do with the way they talked.
It had nothing to do with how they served those outside the community of believers.
It didn’t even include their church attendance.
The way those who don’t know Jesus would recognize those who were followers of Jesus was the way they loved EACH OTHER.
Friends, we who are believers are supposed to be treating one another like royalty. Now, I’m not saying we’re to tolerate ungodly behavior. Paul covers that very well in 1 Corinthians 5. What Jesus was talking about is how well we treat other believers day in and day out.
If we see a fellow believer struggling to provide for their family, we’re to help. If we see a fellow believer struggling with their faithwalk, we’re to help. If we see a fellow believer celebrating a milestone, we’re supposed to celebrate. If we see a fellow believer grieving, we’re supposed to grieve. We’re supposed to be like Jesus was — closer than a brother.
What the world sees now, however, is a bunch of folks who say they are followers of Jesus as they condemn others who say they follow Jesus. I saw someone just the other day say that a certain translation of scripture is “of the devil” inferring that anyone who used it was as well. I’ve seen vicious public attacks leveled at those who are speaking the truth of the Bible – not from the world, but from church leaders.
This should not be.
As I said, the Church has a responsibility to handle when a believer in their community continues to live in an ungodly, unbiblical way. But we are to do so with the aim of restoring that person to God and His Church, not to break them.
We’ve seemingly become very possessive of the Church, as though it’s ours and not the body of Jesus. We take it on ourselves to decide and declare what God would and would not do. Woe to those of us who do this!
We need to stop looking at them and saying they aren’t believers because they don’t dunk or they do. They can’t be believers because they don’t speak in tongues or those over there do. They can’t be believers because they take communion every week and those only do it once a quarter or whenever they feel like it.
In short, we who are believers MUST stop judging other believers based on church doctrine and only do so based on what the Book says.
If a person declares their belief in Jesus as the crucified, resurrected Lord, we should accept that and strive to join with that one to grow together into maturity, becoming more like the Savior.
THAT is when our faith becomes real to the watching world. That is when those who are facing eternal death will begin to see that Jesus is real and wonderful.
It’s time to examine ourselves. Ask yourself, “Am I loving other believers – those in my church AND in other churches or in no churches? Can the world see how well I treat other believers? Do they know I’m a real, honest-to-goodness follower of Jesus?” If you can’t answer each with a resounding “YES!” then it’s time to make some changes.
Let God’s truth permeate your heart today and bring you into complete alignment with Him.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
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