On the first Sunday of June I addressed the congregation with a message of encouragement on what to think in the midst of this present spirit of divisiveness that seems to presently mark our country. Below is an updated transcript that I hope will bring a sense of biblical clarity and hope to the church of Jesus Christ:
My name is Josh Littler, the Pastor of Family Ministries here at Cornerstone Bible Church. It is so great to be gathered here at the Middle School once again and to celebrate the momentous occasion of our graduates. You just saw our 2020 high school graduates, and if you are one of them and you’re here would you please stand.
2020 is not quite the year the seniors expected to be their graduation year, and I think we can say the same for many of us, as some of the families here have experienced death in the family, including us. Janah and I are so grateful for all the love and encouragement you have blessed us with in recent days as we grieve the loss of her mother. Thank you.
And indeed, each of us in some way so far this year has needed spiritual refreshment, the refreshment of God’s truth and fellowship, as the psalmist says, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!” (Psalm 27:13, ESV).
How hard is that in days like these. These are days of mourning and weeping as so many turn to destruction and theft. Cities burn and our TVs and social media pages are filled with messages that, despite claiming to have good intentions, reject the revelation of God and His Son. We weep like the psalmist also who said, “My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law” (Ps. 119:136).
The law of God is broken, and on all sides there is a cry for justice: “Let justice be done!” Indeed, we should ask important questions like “Does our justice system reflect biblical justice?” And “How do we remind our society of the equal worth of all people?” Whether people live justly is important to God and an expectation for our lives: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, ESV).
Sadly, our world does not see the path to justice through God’s eyes. Our world pretends that vague messages and hashtags will achieve peace, and sadly many Christians also have bought into the lie that simply adjusting a broken system through social engineering or rallying enough people to a political position is what will build God’s kingdom and inaugurate peace.
We cannot begin to answer those questions rightly unless we build our lives on the foundation of God’s Word, specifically the reality of His justice. True and lasting change begins with each one of us living according to the gospel of Jesus Christ, that the Son of God came to earth to die on the cross that all who place their faith in Him would be saved of their sin, and so Jesus would endure the wrath of God for them. Thus, justice is served through the blood of the innocent God-man. True justice in this country starts with each person asking, “What if I were in the courtroom of God?”
Acts 17:31 makes clear: God “has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man [Jesus] whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
Jesus will either be your Savior or your Judge, and we must satisfy any angst we have against a system or certain people not with social media rants or sharing quips over the water cooler at work but rather with a sober sense that you too have broken God’s law and deserve death AND that God will eventually bring all into judgment and you need not have judgment satisfied today. While protests and picketing may have their place for the Christian, they have no place unless the unified call for justice starts and ends with truth, specifically, a reasonable evaluation of the facts surrounding the controversy and the sober realization that despite what happens in this life “God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14, ESV).
So, in the face of God’s law being broken, let us renew our Christian commitment to keep God’s law, starting with the two greatest commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your strength, soul, heart, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. The hard labor of daily loving, daily sacrificing – daily worship of God and daily love for neighbor through living out and sharing the gospel is the only hope for our nation.