Mike Myers and Dana Carvey created the Wayne’s World characters Wayne and Garth for a 1988 skit on Saturday Night Live. (When it was still relatively funny) The premise of the skit entailed a couple of slackers that hosted a public access cable show. Whenever they interviewed someone of note, they would both do an exaggerated bow, stating, “We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy.” Well, we just may be able to learn from their example, because we are certainly not worthy of the grace that our God bestows upon us. Martin Luther wrote the explanation of the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer in the Small Catechism, “We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look upon our sins, nor deny such petitions on account of them; for we are worthy of none of the things for which we pray, neither have we deserved them; but that He would grant them all to us by grace; for we daily sin much, and indeed deserve nothing but punishment. So will we verily, on our part, also heartily forgive and also readily do good to those who sin against us.” We should always be eternally grateful that our Lord can overlook our numerous shortcomings and grant us eternal life, in spite of our blemishes.
Since we are forever unworthy of our Lord’s love, should we decide to simply rest on the laurels of our faith in the Risen Christ? Should we sit idly by and humbly accept the grace that grants us our salvation? Should we merely be happy that our Lord and Savior took upon Himself all of our sins and generously accepted our punishment, died in our place and rose, defeating death so that we should live? Or should we rejoice in the knowledge that faith in the Risen Christ is the only way to salvation by sharing the Good News with our neighbor? If we fail to abide by our Lord’s command to preach the Gospel to the world, we fail as Christians. The responsibility that comes with being a follower of Christ is that we simply can't not share the love that God has for all His children. Everyone should come to know Him and if we fail to take that responsibility, we fail our Lord. For certain, this does not affect our salvation, but any of His children that are lost bring sorrow to our God. If it is our goal to please our Lord, we must take up His cross and become a Disciple of Christ.
We must endeavor to not only reach those who have not heard, we need to reach those who are misled by false teachers, such as the ELCA, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ, that accept and promote errant doctrine. As these churches lead their members away from our Lord, placing their authority above our God, we must proclaim the true Gospel. To simply run away, clinging to sound doctrine, is to abandon our responsibility to gently correct in the hope that God will grant them repentance, leading them to know the Truth. Every soul that does not know our Lord is a soul longing to hear the word. Those that have been properly instructed in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ have the solemn duty to “preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2.
Satan is alive and doing very well in this modern, accepting, tolerant society of ours. He has infiltrated our churches, particularly through the misguided leaders of the ELCA, Episcopal, and UCC churches. Satan must be dancing with glee when hundreds of pastors sign documents lifting up sexual immorality and support for reproductive rights (abortion). When the leader of the ELCA, Mark Hanson, denounces God’s chosen, Israel, while lifting up Palestine, led by the terrorist organization Hamas, Satan must be so proud of his work. If we choose to sit by idly, many may be at risk of losing their very salvation. They may only need to hear the truth from fellow believers to turn back to the Lord. We can all leave these errant churches, join new organizations true to the Word, but it doesn’t change the fact that those left behind are your brothers and sisters in Christ. If we leave and let them be led away without trying to bring them back, we are just as guilty as those that lead them away. We must be diligent in our proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that not only those who have not heard come to Him, but that those who have fallen off the path can have their hearts and minds made right with God, so that they can return to Him. James 5:19-20, “My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.” Let the Lord help us not only to save the lost who have not heard, but to save those that have been unknowingly led to accept a gospel other than the one our Lord preached.