Do you expect avocados to grow from apple trees? What about coconuts from a banana farm? If you have your head on straight, you would know that it would be absurd to expect such things.
In the same way, it is downright illogical to force unbelievers to live Christian lives. You simply cannot and should not impose a God-centered morality to your friends and family who have yet to bend their knees to King Jesus. You only need to look at history to see how foolish and messy it is to do so. More importantly, it is not the way of the Cross.
Here’s the point: the recent landmark decision of the US Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage should not be surprising to those who follow Christ. Saddening, yes, but definitely not unexpected. It was bound to happen. A casual survey of the Old Testament would reveal how even the chosen people of God, the Israelites, were not exempt from going astray. God has repeatedly shown them what is right and good, yet time and again they insisted on doing what was right in their own eyes. And God? In His wisdom, He let them have their way, mistake after mistake after mistake. God is no tyrant who forces His will upon His creations. People always choose their own way, but remember that the freedom to define what is good and desirable and right belongs to Him alone. Anyone is free to defy Him. In fact, left to himself—devoid of God’s grace—each person would choose to rebel against God.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way…” (Isaiah 53:6)
There are consequences to your choices, and you cannot pick and choose which consequences will happen to you.
The future was very dark for all mankind. But God’s grace came like a life-giving stream in a barren desert. Through Christ, God has not only allowed you to see what is true and desirable and good, He has also given you access to what is most important: Himself.
Through Christ, your heart started delighting and yearning for the very Person you would normally reject. This is a freedom you previously did not have—the freedom to choose Him, to follow Him, to please Him.
One of the most striking pictures in the Bible is Jesus standing at the door, knocking (Revelations 3:20). Does He not have the right to enter? Is He unable to open any room He likes? Even a whisper from His all-powerful mouth would be more than enough to swing open the strongest door there is. But He has chosen to give you the prerogative to let Him in or keep Him out.
He will not force Himself to a person. Love does not force. The Cross does not force. He knocks, and waits for you to open the door.
But as believers, it is our duty to make a good case for the Christian worldview—why it is superior to all other alternatives. We can do this by letting the world observe our Jesus-centered lives, allowing them to see the qualities and merits of Christ’s character as we live them out with passion and intention. When we do this, when we embrace who Christ is and who we are in Him, we demonstrate how God’s way is the only reasonable way to live. We demonstrate that His banner is the only one worth raising.
It is God’s holy purpose for His children that their lives be showcases of His glorious goodness and wisdom, of which only fools would argue against. As we live out the Gospel we prove a very deep truth—that God is no enemy to our search for a good life. He gives the invitation to anyone who is tired and weary to come to Him. He promises rest. Rest from your most exhausting pursuit of happiness. Rest from your never-ending quest for true freedom and lasting peace. Rest from your shame, your selfishness, your sin.
Open the door. Raise His banner.
Writer’s Bio: Jeremiah Capule is student of philosophy, theology, missiology, and marine biology. He teaches scuba diving in Palawan, Philippines.