MARK 7:18-2: “So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: What is the answer to the problems of this world? Is it Government of Jesus? This may seem like a contemporary question. Yet, it is as old as man. Man’s tendency has always been to put faith in systems and rules that govern the outward behavior of man. This was the error of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. And, this is the error we continue to labor under today.
The church has traded its call to fulfill the Great Commission to one of trying to get Christians into political office. If only we had a Christian President, Senator, Congressman, or Governor. Then, all of our problems would be solved. We would strengthen the military, refund the police, and establish law and order in our land! Yet, our culture and society continue to move in a downward spiral. It is time for the church to rethink its strategy.
To put our trust in government is much like putting our trust in the institution of the church. It transfers our personal responsibility to an entity where we employ others to do the job that we have been called to do. We simply outsource our call to make disciples, train up our children, and take care of the poor. Then, when things don’t go well we have someone to blame other than ourselves.
The problems we face in our world, our culture, and our society do not flow out of government. Government is merely a reflection of the condition of our hearts. It, much like the entertainment that we choose, reflects what is really in our hearts.
- “And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
Government cannot change our hearts – only Jesus can!
What the world needs now is Jesus! It needs the church living in the power of Christ. It needs Jesus changing us and empowering us to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Governments will never take the Gospel to the multitudes. It is the church that is called to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. And, you and I are the church! There is something mightier than any army, stronger than any government, and more powerful than any weapon.
It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
- “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17 NKJV
Paul goes on to clarify God’s plan to change the hearts of man. It has always been about Jesus. It has always focused on the cross!
- “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” I Corinthians 1:21-25 NKJV
Jesus Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. The cross of Jesus Christ is the answer to all the ills that we face. It is changed men and women who can change the world. We don’t turn the world upside down through our political platforms. We turn the world upside down as we proclaim the cross of Jesus Christ and call men and women to salvation. We don’t need another election or law to be enacted. We need a revival that moves the church out of their seats into the harvest field once again!
Recently, while enjoying an afternoon walking the trails of a nature park near my home, I encountered three Mormon missionaries. They were probably just out of high school and on their two-year mission. Clean cut, wearing white shirts and ties, they approached us and began a conversation. As I simply talked about Jesus with them and challenged the Mormon church’s view of who Jesus is, I could sense that two of the three were listening to what I had to say.
These young men were sincere, yet misguided by the errors of a false faith. Yet, I believe they were truly hungry to hear about Jesus. Normally, it is easier to shy away from such encounters. I have tried to witness to Mormons before with little to no success. However, when we refuse to argue, and when we proclaim the truth about Jesus and the power of His cross, only God knows what the end of the story will be for these three young men.
In these last days, I am praying for boldness. It is not a boldness to simply point out what is wrong with our world. This takes no special courage or wisdom. It is plain for everyone to see each and every day. What I need is boldness to once again become a joyful witness. I need to be as dedicated as the three young men I met – but equipped with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only the power of the cross will make an impact on the challenges we face. Only a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our lives will move us to action!
- “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NKJV
Heavenly Father, precious Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit – baptize me anew in Your power and love. Help me to love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength – and my neighbor as myself. Empower me to be Your witness where I live, work, and to the uttermost parts of this world. Send me on mission in the power of Your love!
In Jesus Name!