Of Tolerance and Love

John 4:9   (KJV)   9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

We have our own uniqueness as believers. There are things we do very differently: unexpected actions; uncommon ways. We love everyone, care for everyone, and desire John 4.9 - Of Tolerance and Loveeveryone to be saved. We’re not called to just tolerate; we’re called to love everyone.

A discriminating Christian is a contradiction. Looking down on others for so many reasons is the way of the world—even of the most ardent activists against discrimination. It seems like the prevalent attitude is: “Don’t discriminate against us, but we’ll discriminate against anyone who disagrees with us.” Not so with believers.

We love everyone: men, women, young, old, brown, yellow, black, white, rich, poor, theists, atheists, Republicans, Democrats, believers, unbelievers, and the differences go on—ad infinitum. Not everyone shares the same conviction. There are those who overtly and proudly wear their badge of discrimination. Then there are those who zealously march for tolerance while having no problem zealously silencing and violently attacking those who share a different view.

As God’s very own unique people, we are hated, but even then, our call doesn’t change: we love everyone—even those who hate us, even our enemies. We are surprising to many people. It doesn’t matter how much others try to paint a very dark picture of us, we just keep on shining. And the darker things get, our lights just shine more brightly.

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Cleansed and One

Acts 10:15   (KJV)   15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

We can absolutely trust in God because He is dependable; He doesn’t gravitate between two opposing opinions; He knows exactly what’s true and right; He knows exactly what to do. He doesn’t violate His Words; He always does what He says He will do. He doesn’t acts-10-15-cleansed-and-onebreak His promises; all His promises, in Jesus, are “yes” and “amen.” Our God is immutable; He never changes. What may seem as changes are part of His grand design.

God has absolute, irrevocable, and unchangeable commands; He also has dispensational dealings. Although there are myriad discussions regarding this issue, God’s different dealings with His people throughout history is obvious. There’s definitely a big difference between the age of innocence during the time of our very first parents—Adam and Eve, and our present dispensation of grace.

One of the “revealed-as-needed” truths in God’s plan is the oneness of the Jews and Gentiles. The wall of separation has been torn down through our Lord Jesus Christ. God has created ONE new “man.” All of us in Christ are cleansed, and all are one. Jew and Gentile, man and woman, young and old, rich and poor; democrats, independents, libertarians, green party, republicans, etc.; Americans, Europeans, Asians, etc.—all of us who have placed our full dependence on Jesus for our salvation and have bowed our hearts before Him in surrender—with all our differences—are forgiven, cleansed, accepted, and we belong to one spiritual family.

 

All the Gospel to All People

Acts 20:21  (KJV)   21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul was a non-discriminatory preacher. He himself was a Jew, but he preached to Jews and non-Jews alike – that covers all races. He was also a non-selective preacher. Known to be the apostle of grace, he preached repentance, and he also preached faith – both are essential to salvation.

We were commissioned by the Lord Jesus to preach the Good News of the Kingdom – the Good News of Jesus Christ – the Good News of salvation. Truth: we’ve all decided to turn our own way and we separated ourselves from God. Don’t read that last statement lightly. That’s a really heavy stuff, dreadfully serious. In turning to our own ways, we were all lost. And we would have been lost if our gracious Lord didn’t step in, and became the way to get us back on track and got us reconnected with God. Since all of us got lost, all of us needed to be found. This necessitates that the message we proclaim be for everyone. We don’t pick and choose, prefer or favor a specific race and exclude others. God loves everyone. He died for everyone: red, brown, yellow, black, white, polka-dots, striped, etc..

Another truth of importance: we need to share the full essentials for salvation – even the parts that may hurt. We don’t just preach repentance without faith; this will be showing people to turn away from something without showing them where to turn. We don’t just preach faith without repentance. This will be showing people to turn to something without showing them where to turn from. We cover the sins we need to leave behind and the Jesus we need to follow. It’s not “either-or,” it’s “both.”

Dear God, Lord of all, we pray that we will represent you faithfully. Take away any kind of ungodly discrimination and selectivity away from us. Help us that we may lovingly and boldly share the full message of the Gospel of your salvation. Yes, it may not be comfortable; it may hurt; it may cause others to dislike us or even hate us, but their salvation is worth all of those probable risks – even when risk becomes reality. Thank you Lord because we know you’ll be with us all the way, in Jesus’ Name, amen.