Are You an Aaron or a Paul?
Twenty or so years ago, we didn't have to worry about the influence we portray on social media. At least not like we do today. Our social networking consisted of picking up the phone, emailing a note, or going "old school" by writing (gasp!) a letter.
Moreover, we didn't have to think of hundreds or even thousands of people seeing what we wrote or hearing that phone call! Today, though, things are different, very different! Today, anything has a chance of going viral on the world wide web's social platforms!
Before the social media explosion, people on the phone or typing an email, or writing a letter understood (for the most part) that they were still amenable to God's laws. Then technology advanced, the social media craze took over, and anonymity exploded on the scene like never before (and Satan loved to have it so). This newfound anonymity gave rise to a mindset of no consequences. Hatred, malice, contempt, spitefulness, loathing, etc., seemed to become the norm of the day when typing on a keyboard. Sadly, God's laws on love, unity, and how to treat your neighbor are ignored on a whole new level. It seems that obedience to God is ignored or altogether forgotten as one engages on Social Media platforms.
There's something we all need to keep in mind: technology may have changed, but God hasn't! His laws are still binding and are given for the benefit of mankind. Now, I have no doubt many didn't think twice about being disobedient to God back then (Just like many today), many who felt like they didn't have to play by God's rules. (Just like many today). And likewise, I have no doubt that many are mindful of God's laws and who seek to do His will as they engage on Social Media Platforms.
What about you and me? Do we think there are different rules for us when it comes to being obedient to God? That we are going to Heaven no matter what, therefore we can do and say what we want?
Tell me, do we proudly proclaim that we are involved in sin by the things we say or do when engaged on Social Media?
Will we sit in the movie theatre watching a rated R movie – a movie that people wouldn't have even considered producing or watching when I was a kid? Do we miss service because we have company and then flat out tell others why we have missed? I often wonder if "company" is more important than God to some. Do we post that we are involved in sin or sinful activities on Social Media? Do we think of how people of the world see those posts and think it's ok?
Do we think about our example when posting on Social Media? Now that we have access to Social Media, it is easier than ever to advertise the sins we are involved in. Easier than ever to support evil by clicking that "like" button. With no regard to the example, we are setting with no regard to God.
We, as Christians, aren't set apart when this happens. I cringe to think that we are looked at like everyone else—just another person involved in things of the world.
I especially cringe when I think of how this must hurt Christ. How it hurts Him to see a child of His proudly proclaiming they are engaged in the sins that nailed Him to the cross.
This is something we should never want to do or be engaged in. Tell me, do we realize that anything and everything we post on the web stays on the web? It is there for the long haul. Your example, like Aaron's, can live on – whether you like it or not.
Don't be an Aaron (Exodus 32)
Let us first read Exodus 20:1-5 so we have the full context.
Exodus 20:1-5: And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
God made Himself very clear in these verses. From what I read, He didn't beat around the bush. But what did the people do when Moses was gone on the Mount longer than they thought he should be? Let's see in Exodus 32:1-4.
Exodus 32:1-4: And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the Mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
Anyone reading the passage knows Aaron wasn't the leader God needed him to be! Instead, he listened to the people and lent his example and influence to the evil they wanted to engage in!
Think about it, are we acting like Aaron once did? Are we lending our influence to evil?
Have we caved into what the world thinks is right? Do we watch the same shows? Listen to the same music? Frequent the same places?
There's no better time than the present to repent of sin if you are a Christian and realize your behavior has been more like the world. Maybe you've brought shame and reproach on the church. You can repent and be forgiven. So why not do it now?
You may be thinking that what you've done throughout your life is too terrible. Maybe you think you don't deserve forgiveness. Or perhaps you're ashamed of something you've done or involved yourself in that's public. Maybe your pride is getting in the way, and you haven't repented. Do you not know that Christ paid the price for you? That He humbled Himself and went to the cross. For you. That He died in your stead?
Do you not realize that Christ paid the price for every single person who has ever lived and whoever will live? The price has been paid, but there's an expectation that we must meet if we want to accept that payment – the payment made on our behalf. Do you want to be closer to God? Do you want to be obedient? Allow yourself to be open to the gospel. Allow the love of God to flow through your heart. Allow yourself to be an obedient child of God. Allow yourself to be like the Paul (Saul) we read about in Acts 9.
Do be a Paul (Acts 9)
Acts 9:1-18: And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from Heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
Are you like Paul? Have you been obedient to Christ? Have you walked away from every sin and bad influence in your life? Have you devoted your life to Christ? If not, why would you not? Why would you not turn away from sin? Are your filthy tv shows and filthy songs more important than Christ? You may say no, but you have given your answer if you still watch and listen to them.
Let's make this personal. Really personal. Ask yourself these questions
Am I hurting Christ and bringing shame upon Him by the things I engage in?
Do I think of my example before I act in ways unbecoming of a Christian?
Does Social Media tempt me to sin?
Do I want to be part of the "crowd" so badly that I do and say things I shouldn't?
If I had lived when Christ walked the earth, would my actions have nailed Him to the cross?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then I would implore you to repent. Repent and take comfort in the fact that you are a child of God and have access to the blood of Christ. You CAN go to Heaven!
Don't let the treasure at your fingertips be lost because you refuse to be obedient to Christ. Don't let your home in Heaven be stolen from you because you're too scared to leave the crowd.
There's no better time to obey the gospel if you aren't a Christian. There's no better time to repent if you need to. The choice is yours. Just know your very life hangs in the balance. Your decision right now will make an everlasting difference. To you. To your family. And who knows who else! Your influence could cause others to turn to Christ. Wouldn't that be something!
How does one become a Christian? Please take the time to study the verse references I have listed here. Don't take my word for it. Study it out for yourself.
1. Hear the Gospel. (Romans 10:17, John 8:32)
2. Believe the Gospel (Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31)
3. Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30)
4. Confess faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10, Matthew 10:32)
5. Be Baptized (Galatians 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38)
6. Be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10)
As always, I am here to study any time. Day or night!
In Christian Love,