I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Pastor David’s sermon from a few weeks ago. Towards the beginning of the message he preached about letting your yes mean yes and your no mean no. We’re a culture of people who won’t commit to things in case something better comes along. In my past I’ve been guilty of this. I’ve been invited to things and put off committing until the last possible second, just in case I could do something more fun, more lucrative, more enjoyable. We’re all guilty of this.
What does that say about us as a people? It means that we don’t really value our integrity, nor do we truly value the people who we are putting off as much as we might claim. We only value our integrity enough to have the appearance of being honest, and we only value people enough to give an appearance of caring, but in the end, those appearances only serve the narcissistic, selfish desires that we harbor. If door number one doesn’t help me, serve me, help me enjoy, help me have fun, as much as door number two, then I’ll put off opening door number one as long as I can to see of door number two opens up. All the while, leaving the people of door number one hanging, waiting in limbo, unable to make preparations.
Rude. Insensitive. Ungodly.
But let’s take this a little deeper.
This principle has deep roots that touch areas you might not consider. Think about your reasons for believing what you believe. What are your reasons? Are they rooted in truth or something else? Are you a Christian because it’s what you grew up with or are you a Christian because you’re convinced that it is true and everything else is a lie? I have a feeling that there are many people in the first camp; the camp of familiarity. Familiarity won’t sustain you in the midst of persecution. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. If you don’t believe in Jesus Christ because you’re convinced everything else is a lie, then you’ve believed for the wrong reason. If everything else isn’t a lie, then something else can become an option if Jesus becomes too burdensome. But if Jesus is the only way, then no matter how burdensome it might become to follow Him, you’ll keep following Him.
Friends, I bring this up to shed some light on our current state of affairs. The time for American Christians having a moral monopoly was over long ago, but recent days have shifted Christian morality into a category of societal hatred. Only the strong will endure. Only the ones whose faith is deeply secured in Christ alone will persevere. If you waver, if you are weak in your belief, if you tend to flip-flop on issues, you will find yourself eventually caving in to societal pressures. There’s a danger in that. The Apostle John, in speaking of people who departed from the faith, wrote in his letter the following warning.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19)
An exodus is coming. And it is not the kind of exodus where we all get delivered. This exodus will be the separation of the wheat and the weeds. Jesus said that one day he would do this.
Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13:30)
For a time, God has allowed that wheat (believers) and the weeds (unbelievers) to exist together within his field (the Church). But a time is coming, and is at hand today, where first He will gather out the weeds from his people. The pressures of culture, the weakness of belief, the desire to be comfortable, all of these will gather the weeds out of the church as it becomes more costly to identify with Jesus Christ. And the weeds are gathered together, separated from the wheat, for burning. What might feel like freedom to the weeds, as they leave the church, is only a death march toward their ultimate destruction.
Then second He will gather the wheat into his barn. The Church, once purged, will be gathered and protected from the destruction of the weeds. I’m not going to get all prophetic about how that’s going to happen, but let’s just all agree that the Church is going to be protected, harvested into the arms of her Savior. But first, the weeds will be separated, removed from her midst, so that none of the wheat will be harmed.
Know whom you have believed in, and why you believe in him. Don’t be a weed. Don’t be caught off guard by the pressures of an increasingly hostile culture toward the Church. If your yes isn’t a firm yes for Jesus, you won’t endure. Make your life for Christ a firm, sure yes and your no to the things that God hates, a firm no. This is what it will take to endure the days that are ahead.