Takin' it to the Streets
September 15, 2020, 5:00 AM

If you happened to have read the blog entry from 2 weeks ago titled "The Times...They are a Changin", you may remember what we said was wrong about Bob Dylan's approach to affecting change.  We said that, in effect, he was promoting a lack of respect for the order of authority that God has established. Today, in our American streets, we are witnessing Bob Dylan's philosophy play out to its inevitable conclusion.  When you reject authority, anarchy (a state of society without government or law) will take its place.

In Romans 13:1-7, we see that the "long arm of the law" is indeed God's established means of keeping peace by way of defending the innocent and enacting justice upon the rebellious.  Why did God determine that it was necessary to do this?  We find the answer to this question in Romans 1:18-32.  It is because when restraints are removed, people are ready and willing to go outside the bounds of righteousness into godlessness.  Godlessness is what we are witnessing in our streets today.  These people are truly "Takin' it to the Streets" (another song...this time, from The Doobie Brothers). cheeky

If you are wondering, "How could these people do such things?  How can they have no higher regard for human life or well-being than this?", you must read Romans 1 in order to understand them.  The people who are participating in these acts of lawlessness did not come to this place in their thinking overnight.  It has been a steady decline, one generation, then another, then another,  becoming a little more godless than the last, which has led to this moment in our city streets.

They came to these positions because they have rejected, even suppressed, the truth that God has shone into their lives.  As each generation rebels a little more against God's Word, the eventual product is a people who are insatiable and have no misgivings whatsoever about trying to satisfy themselves "by any means necessary".  The sad reality that they do not comprehend is that, no matter what they do, they will never be satisfied until they turn to the only One who is able to satisfy (Psalm 145:14-16).

You see, man's pride is what destroys him.  A refusal to bend the knee to a superior authority will eventually result in a standoff.  Who will win this standoff?  Well, that's easy.  The one who wins the standoff is always either the one with the most determined will or the one with the most power.  Man's problem in his standoff against God is this...man has neither the superior will nor the superior power.  God's will to have things His way and His power to accomplish His will are so far superior to man's that there is no discussion that can even be had.

So us, as little ol' Christians, what can we do about this?  Can we help these people out of the hopeless state they are in?  Can we help them to see that their thinking is faulty and that their approach to life will destroy them?  Possibly.  But first, we must love them enough to want them to see it.  Paul expresses the proper heart posture to his protege in I Timothy 1:15.  Paul recognizes the depths that Christ has rescued him out of.  You and I MUST recognize the depths of sin and utter hopelessness that Jesus has delivered us from.  If we do not, we will never see others as "worthy" of His salvation, when the actual truth is, we aren't worthy of it, either.

Second, we return to Paul's words in Romans 1:16-17.  The Gospel.  You and I MUST share it, unashamedly, because the power of God to save wretched people like us is contained within it!  Like them, we must be willing to be "Takin' it to the Streets".  Taking Jesus' message of the Gospel as opposed to their message of anarchy. 

The Gospel, lived and shared, is God's means of offering salvation to these, and any, people.  The Gospel reveals 1) man's need for righteousness, 2) God's possession of righteousness, and 3) God's willingness to give access to His righteousness to all who believe in Him through Jesus.  This message can pierce man's hard head and at the same time soften his hard heart.  Nothing else is capable of doing this.  The Gospel is their only hope.  It is ours, too.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Pastor Jeremy