Recently my best friend and I were talking about a mutual friend of ours. She is one of those people who just 100% gets grace. She never compromises though she tows her own line in this world. She is kind to all yet Gospel driven. She ensures that every person she meets knows that she is a Christian and why her hope is in Christ alone. Yet, she walks beside many who are unconverted. She told us a story once of mentors of hers who had told her she shouldn’t hang out with certain people because they were not saved. She was so perplexed at this, as was I.
We are in this world, not of this world. Are we to run from the world? Surely not! If we do how will we tell the whole world about Jesus?
Some are weak conscienced. They cannot see how to walk in the world pure. At the same time, others walk in the world and let it tarnish grace. They apply grace to the unconverted because they have some understanding of the Gospel. That is not conversion. That is not salvation. That is just knowledge.
Rewind what feels like many years to a conversation with a girl about grace. We were discussing her agnostic friend. She said “I love her so much. She is so sweet and kind. My god will not send a person like that to hell.” I sat stunned. This girl grew up in a Christian home with solid doctrine. This girl was homeschooled. This girl was at church every time the doors were opened. Yet she missed something huge. The authority of the One who gives Grace. She shouldn’t have thought this! She was taught better, yet her love for a person was out of her heart and not out of the heart of God. She created her own god that didn’t send “good people” to Hell. She worshiped a god that she named “Jesus” yet that “Jesus” didn’t exist. This is an issue that far too many in the Church have.
So why do we struggle? How is it that my one friend talks about her sweet Muslim, Buddhist, new age and agnostic friends with such kind words and sadness that they have rejected Christ and yet the other wants to believe that God will save those who reject Him? The answer is obvious. Understanding of what it is to be an ambassador of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5: 16-21
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[c] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
One of these women is an ambassador of Christ. An amazing woman, not dodging the Gospel but instead living among those who are unconverted bringing them the Good News of the One who died for all. The other, not being an ambassador, but instead quietly sitting back, holding back the Gospel which she does not understand and allowing people to believe they are okay apart from Christ. Both act in love but only one acts with the love of Jesus. She grieves the unsaved she loves and prays for them as she walks the Gospel out before them. Loving them where they are and desiring better for them. The church can learn so much from her. The other models what many churches do. Coddle the sinner, handing them a ‘Jesus’ card to apply to their life and let them walk in sin telling them they are on their way to Heaven and Jesus loves them. They are loving them straight to Hell.
So how are we more like my amazing friend? We do not walk in fear. We must realize many have been wounded by the church. We must realize many have been judged harshly by Christians. We must see that there is a way to walk among the unsaved as an ambassador to Christ. Be in the world, not of the world. Do not put on the world to be accepted. Do not act like the world so they will want to be near you. Instead act in love. They will know us by our love. I know my friend by her love. Her unsaved friends know her by her love. She grieves their fate if they do not convert while loving and praying for them along the way. The other woman misapplies grace where there is none so she doesn’t have to grieve. It is too big of a thought to think that people will be in Hell. Do not fear weeping for the lost. It will drive you to love them deeper. It will drive you to love God more. It will drive you to a deeper understanding of Gods justice. He is faithful.
As time has passed, the woman who misapplies grace has shown to be a false convert. Never has she gained understanding of the power of the Gospel to save. She walks a path apart from Jesus while holding on to a few scriptures. Her path is rebellion. It makes me sad to see how far she has gone is such a short time though the reality is just that the outside of her life just reflects what her heart has been all along, lost. Yet my sweet friend has grown so much deeper that she now reaches all around the world with the Gospel with her children at her side. They walk a life being the hands and feet of Christ. She does not merely use words. Instead she uses her while life to be an ambassador of Christ.
So the question is this- Which are you? Are you extending false grace because you are saddened people you love many not go to heaven if they reject Christ or are you an ambassador of Christ reaching out with the Gospel that saves people from Hell? Choose this day whom you shall serve.