A Waste of Time
I wasn’t doing anything anyway…
June 2nd, 2019
I remember my parents telling me years ago that you can never help someone out of the gutter by crawling down in it with them.
At the age I was when I was told this I was matured enough to be doing some reasoning on my own, and the thing that struck me was that Jesus often took up with sinners in discourse, meals, and social interactions. Clearly the Lord wasn’t avoiding sinners.
It really shouldn’t surprise us at all, because Jesus said this about himself.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 19:10 (NET)
Jesus’ entire mission was to redeem his lost possession; it was all about his lost sheep! Being the Good Shepherd, he was willing and did lay down his life for us.
But we are faced with the challenge of leveling this with the instructions provided to be separate from the world.
Therefore “come out from their midst, and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the All-Powerful Lord.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 (NET)
It’s not such as a grey of a line as it may seem. We are to engage a lost world as we are the light of that world as our savior told us. Hiding away our light doesn’t service to protect us from sin, but it isolates us, which is exactly what our enemy the devil would love more than anything else.
If Satan can succeed, he can then begin to sow seeds of doubt to distress us. So, the isolation route is not what God intended for us.
Instead, he provided us a means of protection from the onslaughts of the devil and the world that has become his domain. The Armor of God fully equips us for spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-18), clearly God’s intent was us to be in the world but not of the world.
“come out from their midst, and be separate”, isn’t a call to isolate and place ourselves in a state of hermitage. Jesus who said…
Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26 (NET)
If we are in the service of the Lord and doing the Lord’s business, then absolutely nothing in the world should we fear. Because…
You are from God, little children, and have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
1 John 4:4 (NET)
There are situations where we should remove ourselves from a setting. God doesn’t care to see his resources squandered in situations where there isn’t a hope that the engagement will be fruitful at all.
The first situation is when parties are more engaged in the opportunity to debate the Gospel. We have a responsibility to defend what we believe
But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.
1 Peter 3:15 (NET)
We aren’t to shy away when challenged. The scripture makes it fairly clear.
Reject a divisive person after one or two warnings. You know that such a person is twisted by sin and is conscious of it himself.
Titus 3:10-11 (NET)
Other places Jesus conveys to his disciples to brush the dust off their sandals as they leave towns where the Gospel has been rejected.
We aren’t to be wasting our time sheltering in place, nor are we to persist in situations where the lost clearly isn’t willing to hear. This doesn’t mean that we don’t try our best to bring the Gospel to those who are outside of grace. However, there comes a time when the Gospel is simply “pearls before swine” just as Jesus told us. Other situations, when the lost, become nothing more than debate combatants. We must walk away from these and focus our energies on others who are willing to hear God’s message of Good News.
This saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on such truths, so that those who have placed their faith in God may be intent on engaging in good works. These things are good and beneficial for all people.
Titus 3:8 (NET)
We are the keepers of the Light in a dark world. Our mission is to do as our redeemer did; seek and save the lost. We are to be more than just people who believe in the saving grace of Jesus. We are to be his disciples. Furthermore, we are to be in busy making other disciples and training them up in the things Jesus has taught us.
Not wasting our time on fruitless efforts, or even worse yet, making no effort whatsoever. Both are “A Waste of Time”, not our time God’s time.
In the Grace of Jesus!