Dear HTC family and friends,
Today’s desperate and confused world needs authentic Christians to stand up. By ‘authentic’ I mean Christians who are real and genuine. Christians who are the real deal – what you see is what you get. ‘Real Christians for a real world’ was a slogan that was pinned many years ago. This slogan can stilled be pinned in today’s reality.
Why are ‘authentic’ Christians in such demand today? Firstly, many unbelievers have been wounded and put off Christianity by Christians who do not live out what they profess and who’s lifestyle, attitudes, and activities (especially on social media) are inconsistent with the lifestyle, attitudes, and actions of our Master, Jesus Christ. Secondly, the end of the age is close at hand and the unbelieving world needs to see Jesus in the lives of real believers whose lives point an unbelieving world to the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.
The apostle John puts this challenge to all believers: ‘this is how we know we are in Him (Jesus). Whoever claims to live in Him, must live as Jesus did’ (1 John 2:5-6). The test for all believers in Christ is very clear and very simple: if you claim to belong to Jesus and to follow Him then you must walk and live as Jesus did. It is a high standard, and it is critical that believers in Jesus Christ commit themselves to honor that standard, for the sake of Jesus Christ and for the sake of the world that so desperately needs to meet Jesus in the lives of authentic Christians.
It is believed that Mahatma Ghandi said this in response to his very sad encounter with Christians in South Africa who refused to allow him entry to a place of worship: ‘I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ’. Mahatma Ghandi had an incredible impact on the world – sadly not as Christian! How different it could have been had he met Jesus in authentic believers whose lifestyle and actions mirrored the lifestyle and actions of their Master, Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ own words echo in my ears, ‘I have set you an example, that you should do as I have done for you’ (John 13:15). Sadly Christians, and I include myself, so often fall short of this impassioned plea of Jesus. Jesus did not condemn people (John 3:17) yet how often do we Christians condemn, despise and judge people. Jesus welcomed ‘sinners’ (Mark 2:17) and yet Christians so often exclude and marginalize people whom we deem to be outside of His grace. Jesus loved the world unconditionally (John 3:16) and yet Christians love to create so many hoops for people to jump through before we accept them, or ‘allow’ them to be part of the Body of Christ. Jesus demonstrated amazing grace to a world that was less than deserving of Him (Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:8-9) yet Christians often convey a message of ungrace through our actions, attitudes, and lifestyles.
Christians, let us humble ourselves before our Lord and the world and let’s repent for where our lifestyles, attitudes, and actions have been so unlike Jesus. Let’s recommit ourselves in these last days to embrace a lifestyle, attitudes and actions that are consistent with that of Jesus Christ. Let’s answer the call to be real Christians for a real world.
Bless you all