Friday, 20 July 2012

Who has believed?

After nearly five years in Kenya, I ask myself many questions. One is, what are the characteristic sins of the people I work with? What is really preventing them from submitting to Christ?

The answer that comes back to me from the Scriptures is again and again from Isaiah 53:1 - "Lord, who has believed our report?"

There are many obvious sins of the people. Theft, lying and adultery are the most stark. Yet beyond these, the great and root sin that I see amongst the great bulk of the people I preach to is the same as it was in England. They don't believe the words that the word of God is telling them. As far as I can tell, they think they might be true, but not quite true enough to act upon. The implications of their being true worry them; but they do not move beyond worry to repentance or faith. The implications of discipleship are startling; too startling. The demands of Christ are large; too large.

The Old Testament prophets wept, as did the apostles (Romans 9:2). They wept because they saw multitudes of people queuing up for their own destruction, and refusing to listen to the warnings of the Word of God. As then, so today, they do it.

Except that, I really wonder if we weep today. After all, if the reality of the world's unbelief is too much, then there's always Twitter or the cinema or whatever to distract our minds from it. We can retreat into our favourite websites, or sport, etcetera. But that only means that we don't believe either. We also think that life should be much more comfortable than the gospel way promises us, and we want to have our cake later when Christ returns whilst also eating it now in the meantime. Where are today's weeping prophets? Who is there who actually believes the Bible and its implications for the unbelieving world of today?

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