Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by the faith in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. - Galatians 2:16 (NKJV)
Christians have been generalized as "church people" for many different reasons; some based on personal experience in church, some because of what they have heard, and others just because they are ungodly and don't see the need for a Savior. Even Christians have referred to each other as "church people."
I am not bothered when people generalize us Christians with the "church people" label. We have heard it all; "church people" are ____________ (you can fill in the blank). The natural eyes cannot discern the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14), therefore it would be foolish for us as true believers to think that an unbeliever can discern the "sheep" from the "goats" or the "wheat" from the "tares" both of which Jesus said let them dwell together until the day of harvest (Matthew 13:30).
My concern is not about the label or the criticism but more about the person, for he himself is in need of a Savior. So throw us all in a "church people" box and rightly so because we are all of the same body
(1 Corinthians 12:27); but don't think for a minute that you will be saved because you are different or doing better than the "church people." In retrospect you are just as hypocritical as the "church people" pointing at the speck in another man's eye and can't see the beam in yours. The Scripture declares; every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Romans 14:11). So whether you confess now and become one of the "church people" which is far better for you or before the throne of judgment, you will.
It is my prayer for you to come to the realization that while you are making labels and is still disconnected from the true and living God, the "church people" are God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). They are clay in the Potter's hand being molded to perfection. Therefore, stop for a minute and ask yourself: what is worse being called "church people" or spending eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14)?
Choose today whom you will serve!Revelation 20:14-15 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Further Read...The Great White Throne Judgment
I wrote this article over five years ago and I believe revisiting it is appropriate in light of what we are facing these days. When we think about the condition of our communities; we need to understand we are not just fighting against guns and gang violence, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. In order to reclaim our community we must first recognize the source of the problem, confront the problem, and then conquer the problem.
The War Against Violence
This war against violence is not just a physical one; it is also a spiritual war. In the physical realm we need to bond together and say no longer will we allow the violence to take over our community. It will take everyone corporation. On the spiritual aspect of the war we need to understand that our fight is not against the gang members but against the spirit of murder that is driving our young people (friends & family) to violence.
The only way to fight against the spirit of murder is through prayer and education. We must pray for our community and educate our young people about morality, their value in God’s eyes, their personal destiny, and the hope and future with God at the center of their life.
EDUCATION AND CHANGE
Education is key because unless we give young people a new hope and a
new meaning to life, we will not be effective in our efforts to bring change. In order to bring change in our community we need to effect change in the minds of our community members. We need to give the people in the community a reason to live, a reason to be a part of the family. Without change, all efforts to unite and build a better community are useless. We cannot build a better community if everyone is not on the same page. We cannot build a better community if we don’t have the same vision and purpose for our community. If we don’t have a common goal unity will not be among us. To create unity we must all agree on the big picture, which is to create a peaceful community. Bear in mind that we will not all agree on every issue that arise, but we must respect each other opinion, and agree to disagree in order to accomplish our major goal: PEACE AND UNITY WITHIN OUR COMMUNITIES.
FORGIVENESS AND CHALLENGE
No one is perfect, we have all made our share of mistakes, yet God has not condemned us, He is always willing to forgive when we ask for His forgiveness. Let us take those mistakes, learn from them and allow God to use us in spite of our faults. There is a great challenge that lies ahead of us and it will not be easy to accomplish it. One thing we can be confident of is this “God who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it to the end. It is up to us not to grow weary in welling doing. With every obstacle that comes our way let us lean on Jesus for His supernatural strength to carry us through. This work will take commitment and dedication. There will be times when you will feel like giving up, that is quite ok. It is in those times of weakness that God will show Himself strong.
So how are we going to rebuild our community? The restoration of this community can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. God promises to rebuild and restore. Isaiah 61:1-4 declares “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me (Jesus). Because He has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor, He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations.
God promises to do His part in restoring our community, now let us come together and do our part in bringing restoration to our community for generations to come.
Natalee Henry- Minister, Motivational Speaker, Publisher, Author, Founder and C.E.O. of Season Destiny, a ministry designed to "empower you to make right decisions in life." Her goal is to “empower you to make the right decisions in life” through the teaching of the Word of God. Her mission is to Educate, Motivate, and Transform lives for the Kingdom of God.