Friday, July 4, 2014

How Every Unbeliever Looks Under the Surface

The Santa Monica Third Street Promenade is an upscale, outdoor shopping and entertainment center, and one of Southern California's most popular tourist attractions. It is a wonderful place to engage in open-air preaching and other forms of evangelism.

Thousands of people make their way up and down the promenade, everyday. In spite of it's trendy reputation, the Third Street Promenade is frequented by people from every walk of life, every socioeconomic strata, every nation, tribe, and tongue. Movie stars to homeless people, professors to simpletons, stroll upon the Third Street Promenade.

The man in this picture heckled brother Steve Van Singel as he preached the gospel. He insisted that he was neither a man nor a woman. Other things he said were vile and unrepeatable. The sin he seemed to love the most was sexual deviancy.

What was it that differentiated this man from the well-dressed, wealthy, cultured unbelievers on the Promenade, today? It was God's hand of restraint, which He apparently has retracted from this man. What do I mean? Every unregenerate person on the promenade, today, including those who stopped to photo, film, and mock this depraved man, look the same as he does just beneath the surface. The same depravity that led this man to his present, deplorable and immoral state is the same depravity in every unregenerate person. While no one is as depraved as they could be, every unregenerate person is capable of exhibiting the same level of depravity as this man. But for the restraining hand of God, those who would mock this man--while pointing at him as the Pharisee pointed to the tax collector and said, "At least I'm not like him,"--would be this man.

As for the Christian, every regenerate, adopted, born-again son or daughter of God should remember from where they came. As the Christian looks at this picture, he or she should remember:
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, emphasis added).
This man is not to be mocked (any goofy comments will be deleted). He is to be pitied. Our hearts should break, understanding that this man could be swept into hell at any moment.

To Steve's credit, he tried to reason with the man and gently call him to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

I had to write this post, for I laughed at this man before I mourned for his lost, wretched, hell-bound condition. I failed to love my neighbor.

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