When leaders are cowards, people will perish …
Those who love the church work diligently to identify what’s wrong with it in order to fix it. One of the most poignant problems we find in the church today are many leaders who are afraid to offend people with the Gospel.
The problem with that is, when leaders are cowards, people will perish.
When leaders fail to be honest about the fact that, in order to be an authentic follower of Jesus Christ our lives must change, a culture of empty, impotent religion grows like a fungus where a pure faith practiced generously and joyfully should be seen.
Jesus wasn’t afraid of telling people clearly and directly that their lives would have to change. In fact, He was very to-the-point about what kind of change He would require from anyone wanting to be His disciple …
“Then he said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me,'” Luke 9:23.
There’s no ambiguity in that statement!
But the failure of leaders today to teach the same thing Jesus Himself stated clearly results in many who prefer to claim a faith they do not live. John spoke concisely about that issue …
“Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did,” 1 John 2:6.
There’s an old story about the twentieth century violin virtuoso, Fritz Kreisler. Setting out from Hamburg, Germany, one day to give a concert in London. Kreisler found he had an hour to spare before his boat sailed. So he wandered into a music shop where the proprietor asked if he could look at the violin Kreisler was carrying. He then vanished and returned with two policemen, one of whom told the violinist, “You’re under arrest!”
“What for?” asked Kreisler incredulously.
“You have Fritz Kreisler’s violin.”
“I am Fritz Kreisler!” protested the musician.
“No you’re not. Come along!” barked the policeman.
Since Kreisler’s boat would be sailing soon, there was no time for prolonged explanations. Kreisler asked for his violin and played a piece he was well-known for.
“Now are you satisfied?” he asked?
The policemen let the musician go because he had done what only Fritz Kreisler could do.
Many today have replaced the Gospel message with a false gospel of just name your blessing, and then claim it! An authentic faith in Christ is not a matter of “name it and claim it,” it’s a matter of if you’re claiming it, then you need to be living it! What should be demonstrated with our lives should be what only could be seen if Christ were in us.
Again, the words of John challenge us: “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did,” 1 John 2:6.
Is that how you’re living your life?