The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissentions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. – Galatians 5:19-21
I have felt for years now that the divide between Christians and non-Christians has been widening. Respect for Jesus, His church, and the Bible is deteriorating at a rapid rate among people who care nothing about Him and those who have walked away from the faith for whatever reason. You don’t have to look very far into most political threads to find that, if God is mentioned, there is at least one person boldly denouncing Him with a fairly large count of likes. To be fair, there are also usually some “bold” Christians who “tell it like it is” and promptly blow any chance of being a true light to anyone in that thread.
I want to zero in on the word “faction” in Galatians 5:20. A faction is a small dissenting group within a larger one, especially in politics. Before the internet, if you wanted to be a part of a group like this, you would physically have to go and be present. Now, social media has made it possible for you to be a part of literally any group your heart desires and literally hundreds, if not thousands of other people can make you feel safe and welcome.
In the last days scoffers will come, scoffing, and following their own evil desire. – 2 Peter 3:3
I just took a scroll on my Facebook newsfeed, and within two clicks on two different pages, I was in a large group who only posted things dedicated to mocking all things Christianity. A scoffer is a person who mocks or makes fun of something, often a religion or moral values. I’m sure scoffers have always existed, but now there are entire social media platforms dedicated to it. They are easily accessed. You can quickly feel a sense of acceptance online that you could never feel before because it was hard to find someone who would blatantly and publicly scoff. Literally, whatever you want to believe, and whatever immorality you want to engage in, there is a group that will make you feel safe and secure in doing so.
I’ve learned that the Christian walk, at least my Christian walk, is a difficult one. It is so hard to keep my heart and mind pure. Sinners who hate God mock me, people who have walked away from God think I should join them, and religious people who claim to follow God don’t even take the time to converse with me before slandering me and judging my family members. Don’t get me wrong, I do have solid Christian friends, but even on my own Christian page, there is no safety in numbers. I’ve probably done as much arguing and defending as I have writing WMD’s. In the end, all I can do is learn to hear the voice of God, trust Him, and obey Him. My hope is in Him. My hope is that He will bring me safely to my eternal home.
Lord, help me stay focused on You. I want to turn my eyes upon You. I want to look full into Your wonderful face. I want the things of Earth to grow strangely dim in the light of Your glory and grace. Will You please reveal Yourself to those who scoff and mock You and Your Word? Don’t hold the sin against them. If they only knew You, they’d never do it. Help them, Lord. And help every person reading this that call themselves “Christian.” Help them learn to hear and discern Your voice. Help them to truly follow You. You are and always will be the best things this life offers. Amen.