The redefinition of ‘tolerance’

Greg Laurie and

Pastor Greg Laurie notes, ‘you cannot be a Christian and try to live in 2 worlds’

It is a wonderful thing to have a good ending. Sometimes we may not have a great beginning. But the good news is that we can get in the race and finish it well. It is better to have a great ending than to have a great beginning, only to crash and burn at the end. (And it is even better to have a great beginning and a great ending.) Your best days should not be behind you; they should be ahead of you.

The problem is that some people live in the past. Sometimes people will say to me, “Hey, Greg, remember the Jesus Movement? Those were great days.” Yes, those were great days. But that was 40 years ago. I thank God for what He did in the past. I am excited about what God did yesterday. But I am also looking forward to what God will do tomorrow. And this should be true of all of us. There should be constant growth in our lives.

The moment you begin to neglect your growth is the moment you will contribute to your decline.

I read an interesting article about a personal trainer who had a lot of overweight clients. He had never struggled with weight before, having always been in great shape. Nor had he ever had a problem with overeating. Because this trainer found it hard to sympathize with his clients who were struggling to lose weight, he decided to gain 70 pounds so he would know what they were going through. He chronicled his experience on his website, complete with before-and-after photos.

He said it was kind of exhilarating at first, because for the first week, he was eating like crazy but wasn’t seeing any effects on his body. He was still looking really good. But after a couple of weeks, the first things to go were his abs. Then rolls of fat started appearing, and soon he was feeling lethargic and dull and depressed. Now he is in the process of making his way back to his previous weight. But he said it is a lot harder than he thought it would be.

What a perfect picture of regressing spiritually. At first, as you go back to some of the old ways, it might be a little bit exhilarating. You may have gotten away with something, and the world didn’t end. But then the problems come. The depression starts. Then the repercussions are there. And you wonder how you can get back to where you were before.

In the book of Revelation, Jesus addressed a church that was spiritually sick, the church in Thyatira (see Revelation 2). The problem was they were tolerating open sin. So he focused specifically on the word “tolerance” with this church.

Isn’t that the watchword of the day? You can be anything but intolerant. I believe that all of the strong Christians I know are very tolerant. They have a worldview that comes from their study of Scripture and from their faith in Jesus Christ. And when people who hear what they have to say disagree with them, what do they do? Do they have them killed? Of course not. Do they assault them physically? Of course not. Do they scream in their face? No, they don’t do that either. They accept the choice someone makes, even though they may not agree with it. That is tolerance.

But the tolerance of today has been redefined, because when people tell you to be tolerant, they are, in effect, telling you to not only accept something, but to approve it and even validate it. They are saying, “You have no right to say that your version of truth is any better than anyone else’s version of truth. Therefore, you should accept and embrace what they believe, just as you embrace what you believe. And if you don’t, you are intolerant.”

I have found that the most intolerant people are the ones who talk the most about tolerance. They don’t allow me to simply accept something but not agree with it. They want me to endorse it.

Nowadays if you don’t agree with something, you have a phobia. To take a stand is defined as hate. Conviction is called fanaticism. Truths the church has believed for centuries now are regarded as discrimination.

But Jesus essentially told the church in Thyatira, “I am intolerant of this sin. You are allowing sexual immorality into your ranks” (see Revelation 2:20). Immorality was going on in the lives of those who professed to be believers. But you cannot be a Christian and try to live in two worlds. There are no exceptions.

When a church is tolerant of sin, when it stops moving forward spiritually, it becomes a sick church, and eventually a dead church. That was the case with another church, the church in Sardis. And here was Jesus’ prescription for spiritual recovery: “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God” (Revelation 3:2 NIV).

This church in Sardis looked good on the outside, but the fire was gone. So Jesus essentially told them, “Wake up! Stay with me – there is still hope.”

And he says the same to those today who are tolerating evil, who have gone from a little compromising to full toleration and rationalization of it. It’s time to wake up.

If you are winning a 10-lap race and suddenly bow out in the ninth lap, do you still win? No. You lose. You are the same as someone who never entered the race at all. So we must finish the race. It is not enough to start the race well. It is not even enough to run it well in the middle. We have to finish what we have begun.

We are all in the race of life. And we must run it to win.

Categories: Bible Prophecy, Breaking News, Government & Politics

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10 replies

  1. I expect to be ridiculed for standing against what I know to be sinful but that isn’t an excuse for not making a stand is it? So I make no excuses and take a stand.

    Shirley Anne x

    • Amen Shirley. God bless you. I am ridiculed daily for what i do..namely, by professing Christians. It is good to be persecuted for the Lord. If we are never persecuted, then we are doing something wrong. I receive much condemnation…but, I would much rather please God, for He has told me to do exactly as I am doing. We all have different callings…mine is the one that probably receives the most hatred…preaching repentance and the gift of prophecy. Nobody likes to think about their sin..they don’t want to look at it..they want to cover it up and hide it and pretend it does not exist. I am like salt on an open wound… just like Elijah, John the Baptist, Ezekiel..they were hated, even their very lives sought after…Elijah had to hide..because the prophet doesn’t always deliver a sugary message that people want to hear. It is a rough road for me…but I would much rather kneel before God in obedience than kneel before Him in disobedience, by giving in to the perverted truth people want to hear… this would not please Him.

      Some are moved and some are called to give the gentle message..there are those who will only receive it this way. There are those who will only receive it by hearing it this way..a more bold, up front, in your face type of approach. We all work together for the same purpose…to bring people to Christ. We are called to lead those without Christ to Him… I will tell you..the calling on my lead those who already know Him but have walked away..the children of disobedience…is more difficult than to tell those who do not know. The children of disobedience are full of pride and they don’t want to be convicted… they don’t like it. Again, this calling is a very, very challenging one.

      You might ask..why do I tell you this? I tell you to build you that when you are persecuted or mocked for standing on truth..or called hypocrite because in your past, you’ve been guilty of the same things.. we all have… but we are not hypocrites… we have come out of the dark and into the light..and we come to shed the light on the darkness through the Holy Spirit! Do not be dismayed..but rejoice in your suffering, knowing that God is happy with you and your work..that is…after all…our serve Him…not man. So go forth boldly and be blessed!

      None of us are perfect by any means..but lets call it as it is..when we sin…we don’t make God happy. God hates sin. He loves us though..and He wants to forgive we have to repent to be forgiven. If we choose to LIVE in sin without repentance…. (we will continue making long as we live in a body of flesh…but there is a IN sin is doing it over and over and over without admittance of guilt, asking forgiveness, and giving it up.)..but if we live in an unrepentant condition…we are living in a more dangerous state than those who never knew Him to begin with.

      We all have something in our lives that does not belong…we must give it to God..and repent..before it is too late..and we must lead others with love, but truthfully..not holding back…because we LOVE them so much and don’t want the enemy to take them to hell..we love them because Christ loved us! God bless you sister!

      • Gosh I wasn’t expecting a quick reply to my comment Lynn so thank you so much for that. This post comes at an opportune time for me as I have just repented of a couple of things that The Holy Spirit was showing I shouldn’t have been doing! I was trying to justify how I was living my life and although I never have walked away from God my feet were certainly on slippery ground when it came to being obedient! I was firmly shown my error last night whilst I was watching a video broadcast by a Christian man and his wife and I came under conviction. The important thing is I RESPONDED! I was prompted to write an article scheduled for tomorrow where I explain what I decided to do.

        Shirley Anne x

  2. This is a wonderful post and it is spot on. Our depraved, rotting culture has redefined tolerance. Like he wrote. Our culture considers it politically INcorrect to disagree with someone. To be tolerant in our society, like he says here, we must not only tolerate views and beliefs that differ from ours. We must also endorse and condone them. Sick. Sick. Sick. Thank you, again, Lyn, for posting this.

    • Amen. Another word that is twisted and over-used is “Judging.” I can’t tell you how often I get accused of judging simply by speaking the truth. I don’t know about you, but growing up, I was taught that judging was accusing someone of something without knowing… Yet, all of the time I get told I am judging by speaking the truth of God’s Word. The world anymore, and sadly, most of the people who am referring to are “Christians”, don’t want to hear the truth..or else you’re ‘judging”.

  3. Tolerance. In may day it had much to do with putting up with things despite negative feelings about them. And you are correct in what tolerance means today. Well, if my standing for the Word of God makes me intolerant so be it. Let God be true and every man a liar.

"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 God's call to the world! Are you ready?

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