What’s a Win?
What’s a win for Christ followers? What’s the thing that when it happens, we believers jump up, pump our fist and go, “Yes!”?
I try to pay some attention to the happenings of this world and I see a lot of professing Christians pumping their fists and celebrating a lot of things. The other day I was staring at an article in my Twitter feed that Christians seemed to be really excited about. For some reason, I just couldn’t feel the fire and kept wondering why. After some thought, the answer hit me: “Because this isn’t a win.”
I searched the Bible for the Lord’s definition of a win. The answer is clear and consistent.
1 Corinthians 9:19, “…I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more”
1 Corinthians 9:20, “…so that I might win Jews…so that I might win those who are under the Law”
1 Corinthians 9:21, “…so that I might win those who are with law”
1 Corinthians 9:22, “…that I might win the weak”
1 Corinthians 9:22, “…so that I may by all means save some”
Jude 1:23, “…save others, snatching them out of the fire”
1 John 5:5, “Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
So what is the win? LOST PEOPLE BEING SAVED! That’s the win! That’s the “save”! When someone believes in Jesus, evil and sin and condemnation are “overcome”! Over and over that is the drum being pounded. That’s what ought to burn in the believer’s heart. That’s why Jesus came. Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” That’s what we are commanded to labor for. Mark 16:15, “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’” That’s what the angels in Heaven celebrate! Luke 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” THAT’S. THE. WIN.
Yet, it seems many people are far more fired up about a Supreme Court nominee, a religious freedom order or famous politicians showing friendship and favor toward Christian leaders, churches and organizations.
While there may not be anything inherently evil in any of the above mentioned, not a one of those things is a win. Not one. Those things are not the gospel. They are not the mission of Jesus’ life. They are not the mission from Jesus to the Church. Nowhere in the Bible do the angels of Heaven celebrate any of those things.
The Supreme Court will never legislate the heart of man. Only Jesus can do that. When man is exposed to his own depravity by the Spirit of the Living God and then believes in the gospel, he will be “granted repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:8). God does that, not a court in any land.
Disciples of Jesus don’t need a religious freedom order to declare the Truth and behold It’s power. We already have an order…it comes directly from the High King of Heaven. It states that we are to be making disciples through preaching, baptizing and teaching God’s standard of righteousness (Matthew 28:18-20). Come hell or high water, we ought to be found doing just that. Supreme court justices, religious freedom orders, and politicians have and will come and go, while our Lord’s gospel and orders to His church remain. What freedom order did Paul and Silas preach under? Exactly. They preached the Word, then they were arrested, beaten and put in jail. Then they praised the Lord. Then God broke open the prison doors and saved the prison guard and his family! Then they preached some more! They had a gag order from man; God overruled man. Many times the disciples were arrested, threatened, imprisoned, slapped and mocked. They continued to preach, God moved and the Church grew! We don’t proclaim the Truth and live for Jesus because we have man’s permission to do so. We do it because the God of the living and the dead, the Righteous Judge has personally commissioned us!
2 Timothy 2:4 says, “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life…” Many so-called believers here and everywhere seem to be doing this exact thing. I wish we’d stop it…now. Jesus has told us to be about the business of urgently proclaiming the Truth. Christian leaders, churches & organizations can invite whomever they want to give speeches. I’m just saying something feels hollow about being all giddy that a famous politician is willing to publicly rub shoulders with Christians, or deliver “you can do it” speeches to large assemblies of “Christian” people.
Our hearts should beat and our spirits light on fire when we hear a bold message from God’s Word declaring that all men everywhere repent and be saved lest God’s righteous wrath abide eternally on their sinful souls. That’s what cuts way down deep to the core of humanity. That’s what causes men and women everywhere to feel the crushing weight of their wickedness and call out to Jesus for rescue. That’s what transforms those dead in their trespasses and sins into a new creation. We should get wide-eyed and pumped up when someone tells a story of sharing the gospel with a family member or complete stranger and watching them believe in and confess Jesus as their saving Lord. That’s what we ought to burn for! That’s what causes a thunderous, angelic eruption in Heaven!
That’s a win!