It was a perfect day, the sun was out warming my back and there was just an ever-so-slight breeze in the air. I was on a walk with my friend and we were enjoying the perfection of that Tuesday afternoon. That’s when I heard the yelling.
As our path crossed in front of the Ole Miss Student Union, into what is known as the “free speech zone”, my view was obstructed by a syndicate of angry students circled around a man with a Bible in his hands. Over the roar of the crowd there were certain words that echoed over the chaos, “sin” and “hell” were two words that could be heard over it all.
This man, who claims to know and understand the teachings of Jesus had come to our campus to “enlighten” us on the “truth”.
I have bad news for you, sir.
What you’re telling us is not the truth.
The things that you’re teaching are not the things of Jesus.
Even more bad news for you. Not only do I already KNOW that I am a sinner, but I CELEBRATE my brokenness. Think that sounds a little nuts? Let’s see what my friend Paul says about this… “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the UNGODLY… But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet SINNERS, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been JUSTIFIED by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him” Romans 5:6-8.
I hate to keep bursting your bubble, but “Therefore there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus… For what the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, GOD DID: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.” (Romans 8:1-3) “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again but you have received a spirit of ADOPTION as sons by which we cry out, ABBA FATHER!” (8:15).
So here’s the deal. You don’t get to convict me of my sin- or shame me for the things I’ve done- because the GOD of the universe has seen my sin, my shame, and all the filth in my life and he has COVERED me with the blood of Jesus for “I have been CRUCIFIED with Christ and it is no longer I who live but CHRIST WHO LIVES IN ME” (Galatians 2:20).
Mister, you are missing the best part of the gospel. Your heart has been hardened to the truth. Sin was a paralyzing, deadly problem but it has been DEFEATED and I am no longer enslaved to it.
For I was once DEAD in my sin and SEPARATED from God and ASHAMED of my sin but now Jesus has given me life and now I am ALIVE with CHRIST who loves me and knows me and I am FREE from this thing that you’re so desperately trying to convict me of.
Friends: what this man is teaching you, is NOT the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am begging you not to be blinded to the truth by the lies he wants you to believe about yourself.
A wise woman once told me, “Satan has a very useful tool in his arsenal: it’s called a Christian.” Too often, people who claim to know the truth are still blind to the light and the Enemy uses them to lead God’s children away from Him.
Don’t let him win.
Don’t let this one man with his tainted truth and bold tactics lead you away from the glorious light to which Christ is calling you.
To those who don’t know Jesus, those who let this man get into your head this week, hear this: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).
And to those who know Jesus and who were hurt, angered, or saddened by this man just know that NOTHING he says can change who God is. God doesn’t need a PR manager, hello! He’s the Creator of the universe!
And finally to you, sir. I don’t appreciate your tactics. Yelling at students, calling them names, pointing out their sin is not true salvation. That is NOT how Jesus teaches. And “anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” 1 John 4:8.
BUT, I do not hate you. That would make me like you, and I am nothing like you. I do not and will not hate you because I see your brokenness. And… I hate to break it to you, but I love you and I’m going to pray for you and THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP ME. Proverbs 10:12 says, “Hatred stirs up strife but LOVE covers all offenses”.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily want to love you, and you’re not making it easy but hey, that’s the POWER of the Spirit of God within me.