Hate, Racism, and the Gospel’s “Better Word”

Cain Murders Abel (Genesis 4:1-16)

It is a difficult time in our nation. The recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have disturbed the consciences of many and have surely instilled fear in many more. We then see the shameful actions of some that were caught on video deliberately and intentionally attempting to use race as a weapon against African Americans.

All of this reveals that the vile stench of racism and prejudice is still very much alive and well. Of course this isn’t a recent problem. Hatred of one’s brother has existed since the Fall. But that should never make us, as the people of God, turn a blind eye to the injustices we have witnessed. There is never an excuse to ignore or otherwise explain away such evil. It must be addressed, unmasked, and called out for what it is: God-hating, demonic, unadulterated evil. It is sin.

In our nation, people will respond with protests (and they should). People will respond with calls for legal action (and they should). People will respond with lives given to civic and legal action to bring about change in these areas (and they should). But as a local body of believers here at TCBC, we must proclaim that as good as all the civic action is and will be; There is only one solution for man’s hatred: The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The root of man’s hatred toward other men is sin, pure and simple. And the cure for that sin and that hostility is nothing less than the blood of Jesus. The Apostle Paul said that it is the blood of the Son of God alone that can break down these kinds of walls (Eph. 2:13,14). So it is the Gospel and the blood of Jesus that must be proclaimed above all else; From our churches and from individual believers.

That does not mean that churches and believers should be silent in calling out the terrible injustices we see perpetrated here. We are all too quick to speak out about our favorite sins; Those hot-button, cultural issues that we know will get a rousing “amen” from our congregation. But what about those sins that might make us all a little uncomfortable? That might hit a little too close to home? That might reveal a dark part of ourselves that we would like not to see? If we are preaching the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), we will inevitably unsheath that sword which cuts us to the deepest recesses of our hearts and exposes everything to God (Heb. 4:12). Though it is uncomfortable and even painful; This is how God heals us.

This is not merely a political issue nor is it simply an issue of race (though it certainly overlaps). This is a heart issue. This is a sin issue. And while we should expect this from the hearts of depraved men (just like you and me apart from Christ), that is certainly no excuse to be silent and not call out this evil for what it is.

But we can’t just condemn. We can’t just shout about the way things should be. We must also proclaim what God has done in Christ to deal with our sin. This is a wonderful opportunity to proclaim the Good News of a God who sent his only Son, Jesus, into the world to atone for our sin and reconcile us to God. This same God then gave us a “ministry of reconciliation” as we plead with all people, “be reconciled to God,” (2 Cor. 5:16-21). Certainly an overflow of that reconciliation with God is then to be reconciled to our brother and to embrace the beauty of the Body of Christ, the Church, a bride from every nation, tribe, and language (Rev. 7:9). If that is a picture of Heaven, shouldn’t that be what we pray for our churches now?

The blood of Abel calls out from the ground, revealing the hatred and ugliness of sin in our world. Praise God, the blood of Jesus, “speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Heb. 12:24). Let us proclaim that Word to a lost, hate-filled world.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Matt

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