“Why are we helping people who are living in blatant sin?” I asked my husband. He had received a call from a young man who needed help. As my husband spoke with him, he discovered that he had a live in girlfriend. I believe in helping. There are those who are trying to live good lives and struggling in this world. Sometimes a helping hand can make a world of difference. I know we have been there in the past and God has used others to come along side and bless our family. But this was different. Wasn’t it?
“Go get some food out of the freezer, a loaf of bread, and a gallon of milk and we’ll add it to the box of food from the church.” He said. “I still don’t think we should help people who are fornicating.” I replied. He told me that we needed to. This would be an opportunity to talk to this man and woman about the Lord and their need of repentance. So I reluctantly went along.
It took us some time to find the place. We were looking for a house. What we found was some type of business which looked more like a junk yard. In the midst of the junk was a small trailer like you would hook up to a truck. It was a little smaller than my bathroom and it had an extension cord run through the window for electricity. My husband spent quite a bit of time talking with this young man and woman. He wanted to find out about their life. They were without a home, without a car, without a job, living in a borrowed trailer in exchanged for a little side work. They had no family, no way to get married, and no hope.
As my husband spoke to them, he told them about the Lord. He explained that God cannot bless them while they are living in sin. He tried to shed the love of God upon their lives and give them hope. He gave them the food. Then he prayed with them, got in the car, and drove away.
As we drove home and talked, God taught me a lesson that I pray I will never forget. You see, I live a very sheltered life. Sure, I know there are those who have it hard but this was not about “having it hard”. They were not struggling to make their car payment; they didn’t have one. They were not struggling to pay the cable bill; they didn’t have a TV. They were not facing foreclosure; they didn’t have a home. They were not having trouble at work; they didn’t have a job or a way to even find one. And even if they could find work they would have no way to get there. Even if they wanted to repent and live pure before the Lord where would they go? If this young man left this woman to make it right, where would he leave her? She had no family, no job, no home, nothing.
I had no answers for them. I could give them a few groceries but it seemed in vain. All the worldly wisdom that could be offered seemed futile. (“This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work,” James 3:15-16). Only God has the answers. It is His wisdom that this young couple needs. (“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace,” James 3:17-18). I pray that as we strove to point them towards God that we did it in a pure, peaceable, gentle way that was full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
This world desperately needs the Lord but sadly, many of God’s people have lost their influence. There are a number of reasons for this. The first is that we have stopped living a separated life style. We do not live holy lives; therefore, the church has been relegated to the corner of society. The second reason is because we have refused reach out. We are content to focus inwardly. Evangelism has ceased. As one old preacher use to say, “We have become fish tank keepers instead of fishers of men.” I believe that most pastors have a heart for evangelism. The problem is that they are so busy dealing with the woes of the congregation, the sins of the people, and irrelevant issues within the church that they simply do not have any time left for those outside. But evangelism does not fall to just the pastors. The Great Commission was given to the church (the people). So that falls to me and every other true believer. Sure I have a high calling of focusing on my home, my husband, and my children. But I am to also be light to a darkened world and salt to a wounded people.
Our Lord said, “Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest,” John 4:35. My problem is that I haven’t been lifting up my eyes. I haven’t been looking. Let me take that back. I have been looking but perhaps I need to stop looking in such a judgmental way and begin to look with compassion and love. Not with worldly compassion and false love that ignores sin but with godly compassion and true love that confronts sin and points sinners to their only hope – Jesus Christ.