It only takes a few minutes online to see enough pride, arrogance, and debauchery flowing through Facebook, Pinterest, and other sites to make my blood boil. There is a sense of indignation that springs up in my heart, especially when the things of God are debased. The longer I live, the clearer I can see the depravity of man. Of course, times are no different today than when Jesus walked upon this earth. Sin still reigns in the hearts of men. Men still love darkness rather than light. Men’s eyes are still blinded by the god of this world. Man is man – nothing more. But lest we forget, God is God and nothing less.
In 2 Corinthians 5:18 we are told, “all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” Have you ever thought about the ministry of reconciliation that the child of God has been given? Our ministry is to help reconcile sinful man to a holy, perfect, and just God. Sometimes this ministry is frustrating. We know “the terror of the Lord” and therefore we persuade men (2 Corinthians 5:11), but “the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God,” 1 Corinthians 1:18.
Sometimes I struggle with how I am to communicate this with those who are blind. This is why I love the Way of the Master evangelism course. I’ve been through it several times and my husband is currently teaching it in our home each Monday night. The point of the course is to evangelize the way Christ did. His method was law to the proud and grace to the humble. When the rich young ruler came to Christ seeking how to inherit eternal life, the Lord did not give him the “plan of salvation”. Nor did He lead him in a “sinner’s prayer”. Nor did Christ tell this man that he had a “God shaped hole in his heart” and if he would just believe that he would receive. Instead, Christ pointed him to the law of God.
“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.” (Mar 10:18-19)
When this man insisted that he had kept all of these from his youth (obviously bearing false witness) then Jesus, “beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” Mark 10:21
Because of this man’s pride, Jesus kept pointing him to the law. Giving away everything to the poor will not save anyone. Jesus was showing him the essence of the 1st Commandment.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” Exodus 20:3.
But what happens? The man walks away sad. He refuses to follow Christ, because he had another god. “And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions,” Mark 10:22.
Other times in Scripture, like the woman at the well in John 4, we see Christ giving the gospel to those who are humble. Law to the proud and grace to the humble.
But what really caught my attention while reading this passage yesterday during our small group study was one simple phrase in Mark 10:21. “Then Jesus beholding him loved him…” Here was an unsaved man who came to Christ, was pointed to the law, and still walked away unregenerate. Yet, Jesus loved him. I’ve missed it in the past. Jesus loved him! Of course He did. He desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. And in His love for the man, the most loving thing that Christ could do for him was to point him to the law of God.
Christian, Do you love the sinner? Do you love them like Christ loved them?
Do I love the sinner like Christ loves them? If I did I would tell them that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,” Hebrews 9:27. If I loved them I would tell them about their sins and how “sin is the transgression of the law,” 1 John 3:4. I would tell them that “the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23a. And I would point them to the law of God so that they would see their need for a Savior. This is the most loving thing we can do.
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God,” Romans 3:19.