Valentine’s Day Is A Fortnight Away….. So What Is Love Any How?

I believe one’s love revolves around whatever a person is most committed to. An example of the world’s love will be displayed next Sunday. Next Sunday features the Superbowl, and the national devotion given to this game perhaps reveals what many people seem to love. This event is certainly what the mainstream media enjoys labeling “iconic.” Why it is so important that many churches pipe it into their facility. (Hey! If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em). The half time shows are becoming more lewd by the year, recently featuring a “wardrobe malfunction,” and always prevailing now is an atmosphere of licentiousness. This year promises more of the same. Interestingly, the date of this game is the leading time of domestic batterings and abuse in our God fearing nation. Bumper stickers reveal a love for a hobby, a vehicle, a pet, a team, a sport, a school or college, a politician and the list continues without end. Well how about God’s love? We know it is found in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…….” God indeed loves fallen man and we should be glad and thankful. But even the church seems to miss what love is really all about. I use to believe that I should burp, appease, placate and coddle my friends! The Bible says quite the opposite for “better are the wounds from a friend than the kisses of an enemy.” Jesus encourages us to warn our friends/relatives about hell, a Christless eternity and the wrath of God. We are remiss when we accept people into our church “like members” when they show no evidence of salvation whatsoever. Here is where a great majority of Christians fall way short in my opinion: We fail to warn them about the wrath of God and their need for repentance. If one does not repent, they cannot be saved. Jesus Himself said: “Repent or perish.” (Luke 13:3,5). All of the prophets and all of the apostles preached repentance. Repentance is all that John the Baptist spoke of, as he paved the way for the Messiah. Today’s gospel minimizes the need to repent, and tells us to accept people where they are at and not to damage their self esteem. The problem? If they stay where they are at, they are headed for hell. Do you want to show love for your fellow man? Then share the whole gospel, and not the abbreviated feel good watered down version. The world tries to intimidate Christians today by encouraging them to be tolerant and accepting. Why, if I were to tell a drunkard, fornicator or sodomite that “if they do not repent of their sins they will face the wrath of God,” they may be offended. My Bible still says that “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” PEOPLE HAVE NO DESIRE OR UNDERSTANDING OF A SAVIOR UNTIL THEY KNOW THAT THEY ARE A SINNER. An abbreviated plan of salvation is no plan at all. If one is truly saved and has received a new heart and the Holy Spirit through the new birth (John 3:3), then by default they have repented. Read Luke 13:3,5; II Corinthians 5:17; and Ezekiel 36:26. When one truly is saved, they see themselves as God sees them and they receive a new heart. They turn away from sin and towards Jesus Christ. A partial gospel will only confuse people and give them a false sense of security. Do you want to display Christian love this Valentine’s Day and throughout the year? Then warn people to turn away from their sin, trust in Christ’s shed blood on Calvary, and receive a new heart by faith. Only God can perform this mighty miracle but we can point the way. (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; John 3:36). “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing of the Word of God.”
Because of Him, Pastor Steve

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