Oh You Mean the WHOLE Truth
by Paul Landkamer
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Well, my wife left me Friday. I knew it was coming, but I didn't do anything to stop her. A couple days earlier, some college girl I'd never met asked if she could come over Friday night with a few friends to have a party. I figured it'd be a good time, and with my wife gone, everything would work out. So I told her it'd be just fine. My wife heard about the party.
I got home from work Friday night, and my wife was gone. She'd packed her bags, and didn't even leave a note. Oh well, she'll get over it. I had a party comin' and I wasn't gonna let this get me down.
It was almost dark, and a car with some girls pulled into the driveway. Then a bus-full, then more cars. Wow! What a night this was going to be. The party took shape. There was lots of drinking and heavy smoke. Things started getting pretty hotů
Hold on! Wait a minute! What were you thinking? I gave you nothing but the truth. OK, I might have left a little out.
My daughter's in the Army, and had a four-day pass, so my wife booked a flight to go down to Arizona to do some Mom/daughter time. I knew it was coming for some time, and I didn't do anything to stop it. In fact, I encouraged it. That girl who called a couple days earlier? She was from a campus ministry and wondered if they could hold a bonfire for the international students at our place. We'd done it before, and she heard from former planners that we might do it again. I told my wife about it and she figured it'd be fun for all.
I got home from work Friday night, and knew my wife would be leaving for Arizona straight from her work. There wasn't any need for her to leave a note. I knew I could handle things, since the student ministry had almost all the work under control. All I did was cut firewood and provide a location. One student even came out early to help with the fire-building. His sister had helped organize the bonfire a couple years back.
At almost dark, the first car pulled in. Some girls and a guy got out. The girls gave a sort of squeal as they said, "Cool! We're the first ones here!" They waited for the bus with the others to arrive. When most of the people were here, I lit the fire. Yeah, there was drinking. Why not? It was a college party. It was only water, hot cider (non-alcoholic), and coffee. And after the fire took off, most of the heavy smoke cleared. Things got mighty hot near the fire, to the point that it had to burn down quite a bit until students could approach it with their hotdogs and marshmallows. I did a quick head count and came up with about 60 guys and girls. My only involvement during the party was that I was available to direct people to the "facilities", make more hotdog pokers, provide a little fire-control, answer occasional questions and keep the coffee on. I hope they had as much fun as it looked like they were having.
So that's my story, and I'm sticking to it! I'll do it again if the situation arises.
So what's this got to do with anything here at Faithwriters.com? I'm tired of hearing half-truths when it comes to evangelism. Sure, Jesus loves us all just the way we are. He loves gossips, homosexuals, murderers, liars, hypocrites, thieves, and all us sinners. Don't even for a second think that means He loves gossip, homosexuality, murder, lying, being hypocritical, or theft! He hates sin! I'll step out on a limb here and claim that He likely even dislikes political correctness when it waters down His Word (2Tim 4:3-4). We often hear He loves the sinner, but hates the sin. That's true. It's not the sin, however that goes to Hell. And Jesus doesn't send anyone there. The folks who go there do it by choosing not to accept Jesus. And I'm not here to argue what the biblical Hell is. If nothing else, it's the eternal absence of God, and that's bad enough for me.
And yes, it feels good to know I've got Jesus. There's a special feeling of security knowing Jesus is always there for me, and that there's a better place for me beyond death. I'm not saying, however, to have Jesus is to always feel good and be happy. He never promised us a life of comfort and ease when we accept Him. In fact, he promised us hardship, ridicule and persecution.
There's so much more about which we often only hear or give partial truths. When you're talking to non-Christians and to baby Christians, try to remember to give the Truth, the whole Truth, and in all you do, hold fast to nothing but the Truth. And when any of us evangelize, we are effectively teaching. Teaching of Christianity is something not to be taken at all lightly (James3:1)!
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