Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Is telling the truth unloving?

Here I would like to take the awesome opportunity and introduce you to someone you probably don't know... Emily Satterfield. (Who recently just got married as in now, Mrs. Emily Thomes. :)) Her testimony for Christ has been a huge blessing to me personally, and I know that it will be to you as well. This is a very important and controversial subject. These words are written from the experience of a young woman that used to claim to be Christian but was also proud to be a part of the LGBT community. Please take the time to hear her story and how she found forgiveness in the loving truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Is telling the truth unloving?

"Is Christianity an easy path to walk? Is following Christ a journey that’s supposed to make us popular with the world or enemies of it? Did Jesus promise that we would be loved or hated for His name? Contrary to what so many evangelicals believe, both pastors and laypeople, Christianity is by nature divisive and does not mesh with the lost world. Initially submitting our lives to the lordship of Christ is a necessary and difficult thing that all sincere
believers must and will do, but I don’t think it’s the hardest thing we have to do. A true believer is one who doesn’t pick and choose which portions of the Bible to adhere to, and, while that seems commonsense, that principle often doesn’t carry over into our relationships with the unbelieving world around us. Yet somehow, either due to lack of discipleship or courage, frankly, we are much quicker to cherry-pick which parts of the Bible we follow when it comes to the lives of those around us. It’s scary when the truth forces us to go beyond ourselves, and as a result, many of us wrestle with obedience and
often fall painfully short. We cower back and reject the conviction He brings us, even when there are souls at stake. It is not an overstatement to say that most people are under the misconception that discussing the sins of others is unloving. “Judge not” is a phrase I’ve heard used out of context more times than I could count, and that’s just from within the church. Yet in John 7:24, Jesus tells us “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” Perhaps we have to dig beyond the first verse in Matthew 7 to understand what Jesus meant in regards to judging.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5

Upon further examination of the text, we can see plainly that Jesus is referring to judging hypocritically. To go to a brother living in blatant sin while you yourself are living in blatant sin is hypocritical and isn’t going to hold any weight with your brother and could cause him to doubt the authenticity of your walk. We must first repent (remove the log out of our eye) then go to our brother that he may also repent (help him remove the speck from his eye). Here we see not a warning to keep our mouths shut, but rather a charge to repent and help your brother to do the same. Obedience to God is the most loving thing we can do for both Jesus and those who must repent. We know
that those who walk in darkness do not know God (1 John 1:6). We know that Jesus’ call to all His followers was to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). We also read in John 14:23 that those who love Him will obey Him. So what is it that keeps believers from faithful obedience when it involves others outside of themselves? That answer is found in Proverbs 29:25: “The fear of man lays a snare…” It’s scary to tell lost people that they’re lost. It’s frightening, particularly with loved ones, to tell them that their lifestyles are incompatible with the faith and that they must repent. It no longer looks pious and prestigious when we go from living holy lives that look different but don’t directly affect others to engaging with a culture that hates the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus promised us that believers would suffer in this world. Paul told us that “all who desire to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”
(2 Timothy 3:12).

As believers, we have to be honest with this dying world, despite the costs we’ll surely face. We’ve been granted salvation from hell and an abundant life in the present while the lost are condemned and headed for hell apart from Him granting them repentance and faith. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18). At this very moment, our neighbors and loved ones are at enmity with God because they have not repented and believed. Christians have been given a commission; a parting command from our Savior:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20a

Believers have been given an obligation and a responsibility to proclaim the truth to this world even when in an age of ‘tolerance’ that’s the most unpopular thing we can do. The modern understanding of ‘tolerance’ is directly contrary to what the Bible teaches, as it demands that we not only accept but
celebrate various forms of sin in the lives of those around us. Not only can we not condone the sins of this world, but we must go to those who are practicing it and share both the gospel and what He’s commanded them to do. As scary as that seems, I assure you that the original disciples faced far greater risks for their obedience as we do today in America. The task is made to appear harder when one considers how groups like the Westboro Baptist Church have done more than put a bad taste in the mouths of many Americans, both the lost and the saved. They picket funerals in protest of sins like homosexuality and they do so in the name of Christ but demonstrate no discernible fruit by which one might reasonably consider them to be sincerely Christian. Not everyone who says to Him “Lord, Lord” will actually inherit the Kingdom of God (Matthew 7:21-23). In light of this baggage, how should the believer go about speaking the truth to the lost about their sin? Paul gives us the answer in Ephesians 4:15 with the phrase “speaking the truth in love”. In that verse we see that there’s a message (the truth) and a manner that conveys that message (love). Though many will still lump true Christians who display this character with those of Westboro Baptist Church, the difference is known at least to God and those sheep who will hear His voice and repent by His grace. Figuring out how to communicate the content of the message of truth is perhaps the most difficult part. The believer first has to give that person a context for what sin is and what its effects are. This is where the gospel comes in. We have to tell the lost, whether they are deceived ‘cultural christians’ or adamantly atheistic, about their sin nature and enmity with God, their need for reconciliation with Him, and the atonement He made at the cross for those who will repent and believe. In Romans 7, Paul tells us “if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.” The law shows us that we’ve fallen short. The law brings us, by the Holy Spirit, conviction for our sin. The remedy for that sin is the gospel, the power of God for salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16). This means that people have to understand that they are sinners and are guilty before a holy God. We have to be faithful to speak the truth to them, in love, that they may repent. If we’re affirming sinners in their sin, we’re aiding them into condemnation. That is not love but hate.

I became a believer in April of 2014 at 22 years old. Up until that point, since age 15, I was dating girls in serial monogamous relationships. I esteemed myself to be a ‘good person’ and had many ‘believers’ in my life affirming me in my sin. I was kind to my family, was a loyal friend, and was bold for the LGBT cause. I enjoyed my sins of course (drunkenness, drugs, sexual immorality, etc.) but called myself a Christian and boldly proclaimed “Love is love, and God is love.” I had formed a god in my head to suit my sin and my
desires that resembled nothing of the God of the Bible. I had a few people reach out to me to show me my error and my need for a Savior but I had “already done that” (prayed a sinner’s prayer and been baptized) and was content. I was condemned where I stood and was storing up wrath by the minute. Fortunately the Lord showed me mercy and opened my eyes, through His law, to see my sin and my depravity and He granted me forgiveness and a new life no longer enslaved to sin. I did not enjoy the few times that believers came to me and pleaded with me to repent. I so much more liked those who shrugged and either said “God will save her when she’s ready” or worse, “She’s a good person. Surely God wouldn’t send her to hell for acting on those feelings.” Who loved me rightly? Who was obeying our Lord and caring for my soul? It’s easy to overlook those who are in sin either because it’s scary to talk to them about it or because we can’t fathom that they’re condemned already apart from Him. If we believe the Bible is the word of God, and all sincere believers do, we have no choice but to go to those who are in sin and plead with them that they repent and believe. If we believe that hell is what’s
awaiting them, how can we not do all in our power to stop them? How selfish could we be to withhold the keys to eternal life from others just as guilty as ourselves for fear of rolled eyes or at worst, an argument? Do we value our egos so much that we can’t be obedient to Jesus and give them the truth they must hear to be saved (Romans 10:17)?

It was Spurgeon who said “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”

Because we love Jesus and because we love our neighbors, we have to be radically obedient. We have to endure what comes anytime truth is proclaimed in a sin filled world and trust the results to God. It’s easy to let culture and fear trap us and keep us quiet and ineffective. We must repent of our apathy for the
lost, and we must obey. He can save and He will save; we need only be submissive to Him and rejoice that He allows us to take part in the unfolding of His plan. If we believe the Bible, we cannot and we will not be silent.

 “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” – 1 Corinthians 9 "


  1. Wow,what a amazing testimony! I had just recently heard of Emily Satterfield and was wanting to read a bit more about her,this was amazing Nay. Thanks for sharing this.


    1. Aw, thanks Tasha! I have really appreciated her testimony too. Thanks for commenting. Love you dear. :)