We live in a day and age where reality is considered subjective.
As Timothy Keller puts it:
“No longer do we think we have the power merely to discover moral reality and truth—we think we have the power to actually create it... We now believe that there is no ‘external cosmic order…to which we must conform’ but that truth can be ‘constructed according to the individual’s will.’”
Now more than ever, our country needs men and women of faith who will boldly oppose the cultural norm and stand up for the truth.
But we're afraid to.
It’s easy to be a Christian in private, among other Christians. Is it not? It’s harder to be a Christian in public, when the world is watching and judging.
We're so concerned about offending and being "politically correct" even if something goes against God's word.
Why is it that we so often allow fear to undermine our faith?
I can tell you ‘sex outside of marriage is a sin, and sex is only meant for a man and a woman in marriage.’ But I’d be hard pressed to have that conversation with a friend or family member who is sleeping with someone they're not married to (because I've committed that sin), or with a person who's in a same sex relationship.
I can pray all day at church and Bible College, but when I sit down to eat lunch with my unsaved family members suddenly I’m ashamed to.
I know the truth, but I don’t have the courage to share it. Are you anything like me?
What is it that we’re afraid of? Shame? Persecution?
Did not Christ suffer these things for us? Are we not willing to suffer them for Him?
We need to be more like Paul who was all in for Jesus:
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." Galatians 2:20-21
Charles Spurgeon says:
“Nothing puts life into men like a dying Savior. Get close to Christ, and carry the remembrance of Him about you from day to day, and you will do right royal deeds. Come, let us slay sin, for Christ was slain. Come, let us bury all our pride, for Christ was buried. Come, let us rise to newness of life, for Christ has risen. Let us be united with our crucified Lord in His one great object—let us live and die with Him, and then every action of our lives will be very beautiful."
Truly, there is nothing more serious, more pressing, more needed than the undiluted gospel message. If only the church today had more men and women who were willing to boldly and unashamedly share it.
Will you? I am by God's grace more than ever dedicating my life to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ even when it offends.
"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." 2 Timothy 1:8-9
This message is taken from a devotional exposition on Galatians 2:11-21 written by my son, Zach Owens. Posted with permission. Words in italics are mine. As I related to the message, I shared some of my own insight.
The Timothy Keller quote is from the book, Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism