Our Christian Duty Today
It is a dark time in America today. The Islamic State is beheading people, and is burning people alive in the Middle East. Here in America, cops and innocent people are being shot, and the government consents to organizations to organizations murdering children in the womb. For those of us who love Jesus as our personal Lord and savior it is now more important than ever to do our christian duty. So here are four aspects of our Christian duty that are especially important today: love God, love our neighbors, spread the gospel and stand against evil.
Our First Christian Duty is to Love God
When Moses received the Ten Commandments, the first commandment was, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2, NIV) Jesus affirmed this in the book of Matthew, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.‘” (Matthew 22:36-38, NASB)
People have always been tempted to love other things before and above God, but it is worse today. The culture today is not just at odds with our faith, but in direct opposition to it. If you are a Christian you will face backlash. The prevailing culture in America is anti-faith and anti-God. The time will come where you must chose between following God while facing potentially dire consequences or taking the easy way out:
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15, NIV)
Our Second Duty is to Love Others
Next, we must ask what our second Christian duty is. Jesus answered this after he told what the greatest commandment was, “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:39-40, NASB) It is easy to say we are loving our neighbor, but we must be careful. What we consider to loving our neighbor, may not be what God considers loving our neighbor:
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'” Isaiah 55:8-9
So we must look at what the Bible defines as love. Paul answers this question in his first letter to the Corinthians:
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
This is what love looks like; though I fail at it miserably, and I do not pretend otherwise.
Our morality must inform our love. Look at what one of the characteristics of love is from the passage in Corinthians, “does not rejoice in unrighteousness.” He reiterates this message in his letter to Romans, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)
Our Christian Duty is to Spread the Gospel
Jesus is clear that we are not just to live our lives following Jesus, but ignoring those who have not yet come to faith:
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'” Matthew 28:18-20
While it is our Christian duty to share our faith with unbelievers, it should also be a joy to do so. I have heard it compared to knowing the cure for cancer, “if you knew the cure for cancer, would you share it or keep it to yourself?” Jesus is the cure for the spiritual cancer of sin in our life.
One of the pastor’s at my church did a sermon on the Parable of the Sower (found in Mark 4). The sermon titled “Hope in the Seeds,” explains how it is our responsibility, or christian duty to sow the seeds of faith in others. The pastor explains that it is not up to us to convert them, because it is up to them and God whether they accept it, but it is up to us to plant the seeds. As he explained, it should give us hope that it is not up to us, therefore it is not dependent on how good or bad of and evangelist we are.
Our Christian Duty is to Stand Against Evil
Lastly, our Christian duty is to stand against evil. We saw in First Corinthians that love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness,” and in Romans we learned that true Godly love “abhors evil.”
“Hate evil, you who love the Lord,
Who preserves the souls of His godly ones;
He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 97:10
Therefore, our Christian duty is clearly to stand against evil, and we will be held to account for whether we did our christian duty:
“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments…I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.” Deuteronomy 30:15-16, 19
How will we feel when God shows us the opportunities we had to stand for good and against evil, but we did nothing? In these dark times, it is more important than ever to mind our Christian duty.