We're ALL Created in His Image
- Written by Lon Lorton Lon Lorton
“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.” Acts 8:5
The current rise of racism, bigotry, and hatred in so many hearts around the country and our world is truly a sickening thing - white extremists, Muslim terrorists, gang violence, Black Lives Matter. It’s really easy to jump on the bandwagon and declare all we see on the news as a world full of racism, bigotry, and hatred. Have you considered, though, a different approach - dare I say Christ’s approach? Yes, we should stand up and speak out every chance we get against people who treat others in ungodly ways wherever it occurs. It doesn’t matter if the evil is across the street or across the globe, God’s intention for each of us is to love all the others…period, and to effectively share the gospel with everyone…period. We don’t get to choose who is worthy of being loved or hearing good news specifically because God loved us and shared His Son with us – and who among us deserved that?!
Loving others and effectively sharing the gospel requires a willingness to reach out to people who are different from us. We tend to want to hang out with folks who look like us, who talk like us, and who are just like us. But, how willing are we to leave our comfort zone and go to a person completely different from us with the message of the gospel?
To put it another way, are we willing to acknowledge that all prejudice is wrong? Everyone needs Jesus, and we need to go without reservation and share the gospel with them. We can talk all day about how to do evangelism effectively. We can read the books and go to the classes on how to share our faith. All these things are good. But none of it matters if we don’t care about (dare I say love?) all the others. People can tell whether or not we care. (My dog knows that I care about him.) And a person will know if we are sharing good news out of love or because we feel obligated.
The Bible is clear in the example of Philip, who had a heart for unbelievers. Along with Stephen, he was called to be a deacon in the church. And when Stephen was martyred and Saul of Tarsus began to attack Christians, where did Philip go? He went to Samaria. Philip was a Jew, yet he went to Samaria. This was significant, because Jews hated Samaritans, and Samaritans hated Jews. Yet Philip went to these people, people whom Jews would not speak to much less attempt to reach for Christ, because while people find reason to hate each other…Jesus loved them all.
May God give us His compassion for people who do not yet know Him. Philip had that compassion, and we should too.