Jesus Cares Inside and Outside The Church (11.14.13)
"The wicked, arrogant as he is, in all his scheming [thinks] 'He [God] does not call to account; God does not care." Psalm10,4 Jewish Study Bible, Oxford 1999
"He who fashions their hearts to be human; he who takes note of all their works." Psalm 33,15 Revised Berkely Version, Psalms copyright 1959 by Zondervan.
"Then a certain Samaritan came there as he travelled, saw him, and took pity on him. Going to him, he bandaged his wounds, poured oil and wine into them, set him on his own donkey, took him to an inn and looked after him." Berkely Version, Luke 10,33-34.
I was standing out with my "Jesus Cares" sign in Southington CT and a gal in a newish car rolled down her window as she inched forward to the light.
"It's the first time I read your sign."
"Thanks be to God for that" I thought to myself.
"Jesus Cares" I said.
And she looked doubtfully and asks
As she sped away, after our 20 second fellowship, waving her back I said
"Let's talk about that."
About the gospel. Not just behind closed church doors. Not just with the rich and prosperous, but with ordinary work-a-day folks.
Out in public- imagine that!
Come on fellow soul winners- how about it?
When the bible was written there were no atheists- so the idea that God might not exist never entered anyone's mind. You could think he didn't care, like he wound up the clock and then had other things to do, but not that he didn't exist.
The problem today as well isn't atheism (13% worldwide, about half that in USA), but more like the false thinking that Jesus doesn't care.
This is an injustice against the the goodness and greatness of our God, and the blood of Calvary.
Jesus cares, and we faithers do too.
That's the first and last of it.
He willingly shed his blood and then died on a filthy pagan cross caring for us.
He proved Himself in the caring department, and still has the marks of it in heaven too.
My twenty second friend in traffic needs an introduction to this, a demonstration of it, and I'm confident Jesus will provide her that- if she allows him, or perhaps even me, to get a word in edgewise.
Some other time perhaps.
That's the "Jesus Cares" issue on the personal soul winning front.
But there's also a larger "Jesus Cares" issue (that also effects soul winning) whereby our culture and our governments at all levels seem out to convince us that they care more than Jesus, than Allah, than Buddha, than Mohamed, than the prophet Amos, and your block watcher with the highest patrol attendance.
That they care more than them and all of us lowly religious folks, combined!
Our government cares so much it seeks out and bails out Wall Street's every need.
It cares so much it changes the whole health care system for the 5% that have no insurance (why not just provide them free care?)
So much that it subsidizes 18% of Texas farmers.
So much that it has three hundred military bases around the world to keep everybody safe?
So much that we are 16 trillion in debt as a nation, like parents going credit wild to impress their children.
So much that senatorial widows, and widowers one hopes, get a year's salary after a spouse passes- it's tradition.
So much it's about to build a busway! from New Britain to Hartford.
So much so that our privacy is now metadata in some sort of war without end?
I'm not against governments caring.
We all want them to care, but perhaps respond fairly and justly would be a better governmental standard than "caring."
But with all its ways and means government at all levels today seems bent on being the only "caring" game in town.
While we Christians are expected to retreat into the silence of our private faith (there's no such biblical as a private faith).
This makes me, as a gung ho Christian, heebie jeebies uncomfortable.
Today a good Samaritan might walk by his fellow human and be tempted to merely say "don't sweat it the government will be coming along any time now."
Mayby this a sign of progress, but then again mayby not.
Mayby all this caring by governments is lulling Christians to sleep in the caring department.
The risk for us Christians is not that governments and some of their programs succeed or fail. It's that our God and faith-formed human hearts- that have learned to care for others- get so changed that we too primarily depend on governments, and someone else besides Jesus.
So yes I'm all for governments that actually care and actually make the lives of God's people better, but amidst all this loud governmental caring, I still think our culture firstly needs to hear
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...