What might be the greatest crisis in society today? Is it right-to-life issues, such as abortion? Is it a lack of faith, largely because Christians don’t share their own faith enough? Is it the role of women—in the home, in the church, in society? Is it creation, especially when and how God created the universe? Is it the need for prayer, that God’s will would be done and his kingdom would come?
Many non-believers hear Christians talk a lot about certain issues and probably think we consider those things most important. But the real question is, What does Jesus want our greatest passion, our highest priority, our deepest commitment to be?
The passage for today nails it. Note what John says:
Could anything be clearer? More important?
Randy Alcorn writes, “Holiness was once a central component of following Christ. But for many today the Christian life is little more than a celebration of cheap grace . . . with a high tolerance for sin.” In his book, The Hole in Our Holiness (p. 12), Kevin Deyoung asks: “Is obedience what your church is known for? Is it what other Christians think of when they look at your life?”
Elmer Davis said about the U.S., “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” Well said. Using that as an analogy, consider this statement: The church will accomplish its mission only so long as it is the home of the holy.
Let us make our highest priority to become pure and holy in the image of Christ. And let’s let everything else be secondary.
(Questions to ponder: 1) Is it necessary for us to be pure to go to heaven? 2) If sin in our lives proves Jesus is not there, why did John say earlier that if we claim to be without sin, the truth is not in us? 3) If the church puts a lot of emphasis on the necessity of holiness, might that drive people away, thinking church has become too demanding, even legalistic? 4) Or have Christians become too soft on sin, which allows people to come to church and think they’re Christians, when the way they live raises doubts?)