Oh, they love the Lord. Can remember the circumstances of His rescue of them. Worship regularly in the Sunday hour. Share the peace. Shake hands and smile.
But what’s distinctive? Do they bake a pie, offer a ride, deliver a meal, baby-sit, lend some money? Well, the world, the unchurched, do all such things in the spirit of generosity without any reference to Christ.
Somewhere a sermon has been preached that “only what’s done for Christ will last. That Romans 8 proclaims things done in the flesh cannot please God.” They hear such and cannot discern the meaning. I am reminded of Jesus’ parable about the wheat and the tares (weeds). Both were allowed to grow full term without visible distinction, and only at the harvest would their destiny of favour or flames be determined.
So back to the distinction. Believers will never allow the demeaning of His name or message; will never stand idly by in the face of oppression or struggle of one of His little ones; will forgive; will pray fervently; will think the best possible report on a set of circumstances; will “salt” their speech; will resist the lust to retaliate or self-vindicate; will name His name unashamedly in public; will affim that He is God as well as man; will affirm that He is coming again in triumph. Now we’re getting somewhere!
And all this will be done in the face of a world which is enslaved by political correctness and the advertised standard; which will pay lip-service to a God of some sort but not acknowledge the “Name above all names”. That Name has been called a sword of division. There is a price to be paid for such audacity. It will be more than settled “by and by”.
Churches must spend time giving out this fair warning to the flock. The flock must spend more time occupied in these distinctives.
See also the poem “Disciples” at the following: