Why are Christians afraid? We are filled with fear yet the Bible says that "...perfect love casteth out fear..." (I John 4:18).
You say, What do you mean? I'm not afraid.
I answer, Really? That's not what I see. I see Christians that are full of fear, and I ask again: WHY?!
We are afraid of witnessing. We are afraid of being rejected. We are afraid of offending someone if we tell them of Christ. We are afraid of looking, acting, and being different. We are afraid of naming sin for what it really is. We are afraid of what others think of us. We are afraid of being specific. We are afraid of taking a stand. We are afraid of telling someone they are lost and on their way to hell. We are afraid of using biblical words. We are afraid...
Why do Christians look, act, speak, and think just like the world around them? Because they are afraid. Why do Christians have tatoos, peircings, raunchy language, and loud rock and roll music blasting from their cars (Christian lyrics doesn't make it Christian music)? Because they are afraid. They are afraid that if they wear different clothes people will laugh at them. They are afraid that if they dress modestly the guys will never give them a second glance. They are afraid that if they say the words church, God, sin, love, forgiveness, salvation, grace, redemption, prayer, hell, Jesus, cross, resurrection people will mock them. They are afraid that if they listen to something else besides pop/rock music people with think they are weird. Well, they are right people will laugh, mock, and ridicule (read Acts). But we have something that they don't. John 1:12 and Matthew 28:18-20, we have the power of the Holy Spirit.
Christians are afraid to be specific about sin. WHY?! Sin is sin, and it is wrong! Why do so few take a stand against sin and name it for what it is. Drinking alchohol is sin, even if it's just one sip! Missing church is sin. Going to a dance is sin. Dressing in tight, revealing clothes is sin (believe it or not that means girls and guys. I've seen some pretty immodest guys especially in the summer!). Watching violent movies and television is sin. Not tithing is sin. Not reading the Bible regularily is sin. Not pointing out sin and taking a stand against sin is sin!
God wants His children to be holy I Peter 1:13-16. Many Christians have rejected fundamental Bible teaching a preaching because of the hard stand it takes against sin. I've noticed this more and more. Fundamentalists are accused of being judgmental, unloving, unkind, and legalistic. I will agree that there are some fundamentalists who have crossed this line. No one is perfect. Just as it is sinful not to point out sin, it is sinful not to do it in a biblical way. The Bible says to "[speak] the truth in love..." Eph. 4:15. I ask this question then. What is more loving than to tell a person that he is a sinner on his way to hell in need of a Saviour? The greatest thing we can do to show someone we love them is to point them to Jesus Christ. It's not about trying to blend in with them, talk like them, be like them, dress like them, listen to what they listen to, and go where they go. It's not about tearing down walls, building bridges, and adapting to their culture. To do this things is to ignore clear Bible teaching (I Thess 5:22; John 14:15; Eph 4:17-24). It is about the Lord Jesus Christ. The true Bible studying Christian knows that in order to be the person that Jesus wants him to be he needs to take a stand against sin. He needs to be specific in naming sin. He needs to take specific action in his life to remove sin. And most of all, He needs to love his Lord and Saviour first and then be bold (not fearful) and love his fellow man enough to tell him about Christ.
Why are churches closing? Why are congregations shrinking? Why are people becoming more and more hardened to the gospel? Because Christians are afraid. Christians have become so afraid of taking a stand that they try as hard as they can to blend in with the world. I ask this. If the Christian does not offer an alternative to the unbeliever how does he expect to reach the unbeliever? There is no alternative today. Christianity has rock music, worldly looking clothes, piercings, tatoos, drinking, dances, raunchy movies, indecent language, etc. Am I saying all of Christianity is like this? Of course not, but the fact is, is that it is out there, and too few Christians are speaking out against it. It is sad that this style of Christianity is what is getting the attention instead of good, old fashoined Bible preaching and teaching. God's Word has not changed in 2000 years and we as Christians don't need to change to adapt to the world around us. That is a lie of the devil to deceive us.
I too am often afraid. I'm afraid of what people will think of me. I'm afraid of taking a stand. I won't try to say it's easy to live that way because it's not! There are many times when I've considered giving it all up. Why not just forget it? I mean I'm saved and I can't loose that, so why not just quit trying to live like a Christian and give in to the worldy entertainment and pleasures. Why not? Because I love God more than that. I fall short many times, but He forgives. His love is amazing. His grace is never ending. His compassions and mercies fail not. He is with me forever. Romans 12:1-2. It's the least I can attempt to do. By God's grace I will continue to do my best to live for Him. I would encourage you fellow Christian: don't be afraid. Take a stand and dare to be different. Wear different clothes, participate in different activities, listen to different music. We are in this together, and we can do it. If you are not a Christian, Jesus died to save you. Please repent of your sin today and ask His forgiveness. He will give it.