The world hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. – Jesus (John 7:7, 15:18)Tuesday was an amazing day in America. Nearly 200,000 copies of the new documentary, 180, were distributed on over 100 campuses in the United States and Canada. Most of these were college campuses, some were high schools. There was not as much opposition as I expected, but there was definitely much. Several police reports were filed, four citations were given, and many people were detained while police checked the legality of the hand-out.
Elsewhere, prayer is banned from public schools and football games, and evangelism is non-existent. As we evangelize at local high-school football games, police make up laws to seek to stop us.
Students were successfully protected from the message of Eternal Life. While we were prohibited from our free-speech rights, students were being taught evolution, homosexual agendas, communism, sports idolatry, sexual lascivious and irresponsibility, a blurring of the judicial/executive branches as police make up laws on the spot, and Islam is lauded as a religion of peace. I regularly preempt fights at football games and seek to witness to both parties involved. The world does its best to protect your children from Jesus Christ. He makes radical demands, so the world is quick to promise freedom, but they don’t admit to you that they are themselves slaves of corruption. They cry out, “Let us throw his laws off of us, ignoring his commands.” But in rejecting the freedom of Christ, they sink into the bondage of sin, and ensure that all around them fall headlong into the mire.
Martin Luther ominously said,
I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.This isn’t just happening in schools, this is happening in churches. Within every denomination, even the orthodox ones, you’ll find people protecting children from Jesus. Within several denominations, the hymnals have been rewritten to remove references to the cross, and especially to blood. Blood is clearly offensive not just to children, but to everyone who should recognize that blood is offensive for a reason, that something is wrong in the universe and death is a constant reality. These denominations (PCUSA, Episcopal, United Church of Christ, etc.) have successfully protected their children from Jesus and forgiveness, for there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood, as Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins of many.” (Hebrews 9:22, Matthew 26:28)
To be fair, the United Methodist Church has come out against this editing, and I want to applaud them in that regard. They write,
In Wesley hymns, the blood “pleads,” “avails,” “washes,” “purifies,” “saves,” “cleanses” and is “applied.” In the 80 Wesley hymns originally considered for inclusion in the 1989 hymnal, the word “blood” appears 31 times. Twenty-five of the hymns have a clear reference to the atonement. Whether or not blood atonement is taught in the seminaries or preached in the pulpit, it is still sung in the pews.Elsewhere, practically all denominations protect their children from Jesus by retelling Bible stories. The story of Noah’s Ark has become a story of fuzzy animals, not the wrath of God against millions of reprobates or the salvation of a relative few through means provided and prescripted by God. The anathema Veggie Tales have removed death, destruction, wrath, and judgment from the biblical accounts, and have turned sin into a mild inconvenience that might result in you being covered in pie. They do a fantastic job of protecting kids from Jesus by not even mentioning him.
Any means of teaching that removes offense is necessarily against God. False prophets in the Old Testament protected people from Jesus by declaring PEACE, PEACE, when there really was no peace. They appeased the offense, they settled consciences, and the people faced the severe consequences of the wrath of God against their sin.
Undoubtedly one of the people Jesus hates the most are those who preclude the little ones from coming to him. He threatens them explicitly in Matthew 18:6. The danger is great for protecting a child from Jesus. Both the child and the protector will face God as his enemy. The one who stands between men and God will be judged with greater strictness. Jesus cries out to those protecting people from him, “Woe to you! You shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces! You neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in!”
So, reader, wherever you stand in relation to this blog, repent of protecting kids from Jesus. Preach the entire message of the entire Bible, which is that mankind is fallen, God is angry, and something radically drastic was required to appease the wrath of God and reconcile men. The Son of God himself put on a body, because heretofore Jesus was a spirit, and spirits don't have blood, so Jesus put on a body, he lived a perfect life, and he poured out his blood on a cross. He was beaten beyond human recognition, the hatred of men against God was demonstrated on a cross, and the hatred of God against sin was demonstrated on a cross, and Christ bore the indignation of both men and God, giving his life as a ransom, glorifying God in his obedience. Three days later he defeated death, he will deliver everyone who trusts in him from their bodies of death into perfected bodies in Heaven. In Heaven he will wipe away every tear of his saints as death, suffering, and sin become a thing of the past.
You can only protect yourself and others from Christ for so long, for we all have an appointment to meet him. I pray that on that day you meet him as a friend and a Saviour, and not as an enemy and Executioner. If you refuse to come, then stand aside and let evangelists preach the message to those who will, do not stand in the way of the salvation of some-one else.
In conclusion, once while we were preaching in Tampa, Florida, a woman cried out, "Please wait until we leave, I don't want my seven year old exposed to this!" I responded with a George Whitefield paraphrase, "Ma'am, if you won't go to Heaven, then for your son's sake, don't prevent him! Young man, come to Jesus apart from your parents if need be!"
Come then, ye little children, come to Christ; the Lord Christ shall be your righteousness. Do not stay for other people! If your fathers and mothers will not come to Christ, come without them! Let children lead them, and show them how the Lord may be their righteousness. – George Whitefield