Pleasing God or Pleasing our Neighbor?

1 Thessalonians 2.4 describes, we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we declare it, not to please people but God, Who examines our hearts.

Christians have been commissioned by God to make Him known in the world. This is the purpose for the Church in this world. The Church’s foundation is the declaration of Who Jesus is; the Messiah, the Savior of the world. This declaration is to be the proclamation of all those who acknowledge Jesus as God, Savior and Judge.

God’s means of making Himself known is dependent in large part upon the obedience of His people faithfully going and making disciples as Jesus commanded prior to His return to the throne room of heaven. Honestly, not a very efficient means for accomplishing such a tremendous objective and one that has eternal ramifications for all people involved from all time in all places of the world. Seriously, if you had charge of all the angels in heaven don’t you believe sending them to every person on the planet would be far more effective than half-hearted, easily distracted, not too friendly adherents of His lordship?

Why are we so ineffective at communicating clearly, passionately and daily God’s love for the world as demonstrated through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Besides flagrant disobedience. Fear. We say our timidity is a result of our sensitivity to where people are ‘at’ and we are not looking to offend anyone. We are waiting until people are practically begging us to share with them the hope that we have within us, otherwise, we say nothing.

Notice from our verse today who we are to please in our exhortation to follow Jesus. It is not the recipient of our message but the Author of our message. We are trying to please God, Who will judge us for our actions. Instead of trying to please God we are trying to please people in order to keep them from being offended by the message that God loves us but we must change if we are to be reconciled to Him through Jesus the Savior.

What happens if we fail to reconcile ourselves to God? We spend eternity in hell. These people we are trying to please will not judge us eternally, they will judge us temporarily. We are more afraid of their temporal judgement which at worst causes us to lose our jobs but at best results in their salvation, than we are of God’s judgement Who has the power to send to hell for all eternity.

Maybe if we focused more on living to please God than we do on living to please our neighbor we would find more of our neighbors friendly to our message. Jesus promised His followers would be persecuted for His Name’s sake but He also promised those Who followed Him would bear much fruit proving to be His disciples.

To bear eternal fruit we must share the eternal message so that we may please the eternal God and receive His eternal reward.

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