What would the story of the compassionate Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37 be without the compassionate Samaritan? It would be a story with a pitiful ending!
In the lesson that Jesus taught, the traveling Samaritan went beyond the borders of race, beyond the borders of wealth and beyond the borders of public opinion to help someone who, in all honesty, might have walked right by him if he had been lying there in the ditch beaten, bloodied and robbed. Because of a lack of love, humanity can sink to its lowest when we can turn a conscience-free eye away from a soul possessing human-being that is in true agony.
Jesus told that story for a reason. There is no telling how many times He literally watched it play-out while looking at the Earth from Heaven. It is unfortunately still something He sees all over the world. Not too long ago there was a story that I read which left me asking, “Where was the Samaritan?” In the story, officials at the Indian hospital “Kanpur Medical College” in northern Uttar Pradesh state acknowledged that a woman who had given birth to a baby boy died a day later because she was not given treatment from the doctors. Even the hospital’s chief medical superintendent refused to use the life saving knowledge he had. Unfortunately, her son died the same day he was born. There were people who eventually tried to help her, but it was too late; she had been in her condition for too long. (more…)
The church and the world have not always gotten along. Actually, a church that follows God can never get along with the world (John 15:18-20; 1 John 2:15-17). The word “church” literally means the “called out.” Called out of what? Out of the world! That means separate, distinct and different from the world (1 Peter 1:13-19; 2 Peter 1:1-11).
Despite the stark contrast desired by God between the church found in the New Testament and the old dying world (Philippians 2:12-16) there are churches today that the world loves because the love of the world is rooted deeply within them. Some have gone as far as to send out surveys on how to make the church more “attractive” to the public! A warm relationship between a church and the world is usually an indicator of a cold relationship between that church and God.
“O you who are false to God, do you not see that the friends of this world are not God’s friends? Every man desiring to be a friend of this world makes himself a hater of God.” (James 4:4 – Basic English Version)
The church that Jesus loves and the church that the world loves are two different churches in holy behavior and sincerity. Many may disagree but the second and third chapters of Revelation clearly show this to be true when Jesus talks to His churches. The gospel of Christ is meant to be preached with love but also with a call for repentance and separation from the ways of the world (2 Corinthians 6:17,18) and the scriptures plainly teach that the church and the world are meant to be on two visibly different courses (2 Timothy 2:19; Titus 2:11,12).
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
The church is not taught to withdraw itself from the world in love, concern, mercy, guidance and compassion so that the gospel of Christ is kept hidden from the lost but we are taught to withdraw in a way so that the lost can see a difference in the desires of the church and in the desires of world. What I am saying is that the Bible teaches that the church is called to love the individuals of the world, but churches have confused that with wanting to be loved by the world. When the world loves a church there is something wrong with that picture. (more…)