Jesus’ Intolerance

“Not all tolerance is godly, and it is Christ-like to be intolerant of certain things. Not taking a side on this issue is to take a side. To decide it is a matter of indifference is to risk having Jesus against you.”

Same Sex Relationships: Should We Just Agree to Disagree? (by Sam Allberry) speaks clearly and succinctly… especially to the churches that have gone astray, are indecisive, or just want to be tolerant (whatever the motives or rationale may be).

Same sex behavior is irrefutably sinful and in conflict with marriage as designed and intended by God. This is no mere secondary doctrinal issue…rather, those who practice such behavior and are unrepentant will not inherit eternal life in the kingdom of God. Furthermore, Jesus explicitly condemns and is against those whose teaching leads into sexual sin.

When Good is the Very Worst

It’s not at all uncommon to hear, “but she is such a good person” or “he was always so kind to everyone”. These and similar statements are made questioning, and often sincerely so, God’s justice in the exclusivity of salvation through Jesus alone. Although there’s much to unpack in that discussion, in Luke 18 we find a response directly from Jesus addressing this topic.
18 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
There’s that word — “good” — Jesus knew what was coming.
20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’ ” 21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
Note here that the commandments Jesus lists first for this seeker are those that have to do with decent, moral living — the common law foundational equivalent of what makes any society function. Then Jesus goes much deeper — beyond that which is socially acceptable and right to the very crux of the matter. You see, it’s not just the rich young ruler who comes into the scope of this conversation — riches just happened to be his one thing.

There are many good people in the world for whom one thing stands between them and following Jesus. Good behavior alone is not the same as following Jesus. Indeed, good behavior does not inherit eternal life. Here, the good is truly the enemy of the best — so much so that it will only result in the worst.
In contrast, when the lawyer came to test Jesus in Luke 10, Jesus affirmed that he knew and declared the sum of it all.
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
Our love for Jesus will show forth as the love of Jesus and that fruit won’t just be good fruit — it will be eternal.

THE Focus of Lent

As I began reading from Soundtrack (JD Walt) this morning, this reminder and emphasis directly precedes the first chapter … and it couldn’t be more beautiful!

The big idea of the forty days of Lent is not first and foremost about fasting. It’s about focus. We must covenant not to talk about our fasting, but about our focus. Focus on what? Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Savior, the Lord. Why? Because He is:
  • the Word made flesh (John 1:14)
  • the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15)
  • the exact representation of God’s being (Heb. 1:3)
  • the One Who created all things and for Whom all things were created (Col. 1:16 and Rev. 4:11)
  • He Who is before all things and in Whom all things hold together (Col. 1:17)
  • the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2 NASB)
  • He Who was, and is, and is to come (Rev. 1:4, 8; 4:8)
  • He Who reconciled all things to Himself by making peace through His blood shed on the cross (Col. 1:20)
  • the light of the world (John 8:12)
  • the bread of life (John 6:35)
  • the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6)
  • the gate (John 10:7, 9)
  • the door (John 10:9 NASB)
  • the resurrection and the life (John 11:25)
  • the true vine (John 15:1)
  • the One Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage, but made Himself nothing (Phil. 2:6–7)
  • the King Who humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross (Phil. 2:8)
  • He Whom God highly exalted and gave the name that is above every name (Phil. 2:9)
  • the One before Whom every knee will bow and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:10–11)
  • the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Rev. 22:13)
  • He Who is making all things new (Rev. 21:5 NASB)