Pastor’s Pen: Playing in the road
By Layton Dutton
Associate Pastor of Youth
Calvary Baptist Church
You decide one day to go for a bike ride. Your journey takes you along U.S. 10 outside of Evart. You notice something in the middle of the road. What is that? As you come closer you recognize that it is a small child playing with his toy truck in the middle of the road. What do you do?
You could say, “That child is having fun. There aren’t any cars right now. I’ll let him be.” You may then decide to play with him in the road, watch him from the side or ride off and leave him alone.
Hopefully none of us would do those things. More than likely you would rush into the road, retrieve the child and return him to his yard and his mother. Why would you do that? Do you hate the child? No. Are you mad that he was having fun? No. Most of us enjoy seeing children have fun. It’s definitely better than seeing them cry. However, we also desire to see them safe.
But when it comes to helping those in sin, we don’t always think that way. They are enjoying their sin. There’s no apparent danger coming soon. So we decide to either: A) Join them because it looks like fun, B) Watch them and talk about it with others, or C) Leave them and do nothing. But what does the Bible say?
In 2 Corinthians 5 Paul has been talking about the future. He mentions how our earthly body will be destroyed and we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. That fact alone, if we realize how sinful we truly are, ought to cause us to fear the Lord who will judge us.
So in verse 11 Paul says this, “Since then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men.” Persuading them to do what? Verse 20 tells us: “We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” Paul wanted people to return to Christ. Here he is talking to Christians who were in sin. Essentially he is saying, “We will be judged so I plead with you; stop sinning and come back to God.” Paul didn’t hate the people. He loved them and he loved God. He wanted to see their slate wiped clean and the wall tore down between them and God.
What do you do when someone is in sin? Do you join them in sin? Do you talk about them to others? Do you avoid them altogether? Instead, why don’t you pray for them, encourage them to follow Christ and help them through it. Some day they may be able to return the favor.