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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Historical Disaster
But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance [appropriate to repentance]. (Acts 26:20)
After two thousand years of Christianity the sin in the world is unbelievable. If the purpose of the Gospel of Christ is to turn the nations to righteousness it certainly has had limited success.
The Christian religion from the beginning has been practiced in Europe and since then has spread to many parts of the world. Yet today in many nations boys and girls are sold into sexual slavery to satisfy the lusts of adults. Pornography is widespread.
In the United States of America, a nominally Christian nation, abominations abound. Some public schools at every grade level are seeking to create a favorable attitude toward homosexual behavior, a practice condemned by both the Old and New Testaments. Innocent people are shot dead in the streets. Children are mutilated. Christian values increasingly are despised. Sorcery is accepted in place of the Scriptures. Christians are near to social ostracism and penalties.
The Muslims, who constitute a large fraction of the world's population, hate the United States of America. Why? Because the moral practices of the United States are an abomination to Islam.
Why are the moral practices of the United States an abomination to Islam? Because the Christian influence in the United States has not resulted in a nation of people who live in righteousness, holiness, and the fear of God.
The Muslims have not rejected Christ, they have rejected us!
Why has the Christian influence in the United States of America not resulted in a nation of people who live in righteousness, holiness, and the fear of God? Why do the Muslims and Buddhists emphasize and strive for principles of morality and American Christians often do not? Why do Muslims fall on their face and pray publicly several times a day, seeking the approval of Allah, while in the United States such behavior would be a cause for mockery or considered illegal? It is because of the teaching of lawless grace, of forgiveness apart from righteous behavior, that has dominated Christian thinking throughout the centuries.
If The Christian churches taught and practiced the laws of the Kingdom of God as presented in the Judaic and Christian Scriptures, if the light of "good works" were shining, it is possible that some of the members of Islam and other major religions of the world would be favorably impressed. They then might take a different attitude toward the Lord Jesus.
The Christian religion—at least in our day—often does not insist on righteous behavior as essential to salvation. We may stress the provisions and truths of the Divine redemption, such as belief in the Lord Jesus, the blood atonement, the bodily resurrection of the Lord, forgiveness of sin, but we often do not present righteous behavior as an important aspect of redemption, protesting that righteous works are "legalism."
It appears that the Catholic Church emphasizes its rites, including confession of sins, and the Protestant churches stress the grace of forgiveness and God's love and mercy. Residence in Heaven is shown to be the purpose of the Divine redemption rather than a transformed moral personality.
To be continued.